John Watson

Founder, Evergreen Education Group

John Watson is the founder of the Evergreen Education Group, which for 20 years has been a leading consulting and advisory firm serving school districts, state agencies, foundations, and companies in the K-12 digital learning field. John has led Evergreen’s creation of both the Digital Learning Annual Conference and the Digital Learning Collaborative, as well as planning and implementing the Resilient Schools Project helping districts respond to COVID-19 related instructional challenges. John writes regularly about various issues related to digital learning and is a contributing author of the Handbook of Research on K-12 Online and Blended Learning. His and Evergreen’s work have been cited in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Education Week, and eSchool News, and he has also appeared on NBC Nightly News. He has submitted invited testimony to state legislatures, state boards of education, charter school commissions, and other government agencies. Prior to starting Evergreen, John had several non-classroom education roles including teaching in a field science school in Colorado, leading students on bicycle camping excursions across New England and on an environmental service trip to Belize, and conducting a summer STEM program in Texas. After earning his MBA and a MS in natural resource policy at the University of Michigan, John went to work for one of the first Learning Management System companies, eCollege, in early 1998. He launched eCollege’s K-12 division, called eClassroom, and managed eClassroom’s research and business development. This experience was the springboard for John’s independent consulting in environmental policy and education which evolved into what Evergreen Education Group is today. John is deeply moved by stories of students and teachers who have been positively impacted by technology in classrooms, online courses, and innovative schools. He strives to tell these stories accurately and to clearly explain the challenges inherent with digital learning in order to bring an honest, balanced perspective to Evergreen’s insight and recommendations. His ability to approach research and relationships with consideration for bias and hierarchy makes him a natural connector between information and people.