EdTech (Education Technologies) is a new trend in the field of education, which implies the practical implementation of modern IT technologies and innovative solutions in the learning process. Its main goal is the effective assimilation of knowledge and skills. While FinTech has already experienced its stage of rapid growth and formation, EdTech is at a very successful start, having real prospects for rapid development.
Here’s what David Bainbridge, the CEO and the founder of the Knowledgemotion educational company wrote in his TechCrunch article:
“Just as digitalization has transformed the financial services industry, it too will soon have its progressive grip wrapped around education. The rise of a new type of education and learning world has begun with investment in EdTech set to reach $252 billion globally by 2020.”
The introduction of the EdTech concept is of the highest value both for an individual user and for the corporate culture of large and small companies around the world.
Five Key EdTech Development Principles
- Availability. With a gadget and Internet connection, anyone can join the learning process within the chosen specialty – for free or using paid courses.
- Manufacturability. Active use of modern technology in the learning process:
– To engage in the learning process – gamification (Duolingo, Puzzle English) and simulation (ABA English);
– To create a familiar environment – virtual classes (Udacity) and Internet audiences (Stanford and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology);
– For individualization – AI and neural network solutions: an electronic consultant for students based on the IBM Watson cognitive self-learning system (Deakin University, Australia).
- Personalization and adaptability. Application of the principle of correspondence of new knowledge to the individual abilities of a student and the level of their development. As a result, there is the transition from “the same information for everyone” to “unique information for everyone”.
- Consistency and structure. Educational platforms offer not just fragmented educational materials but also create an entire ecosystem for communication, as well as developing an individual or career program.
- Self-education. The principle of independent choosing a specialty and the manner of educating is an ideal model for a modern listener who sets great goals. It develops valuable qualities of students (discipline, systematic thinking, adaptability) and also dramatically increases the level of self-motivation.
It all started back in 1728 when the shorthand teacher and professor Caleb Philips placed an announcement in a Boston newspaper about the enrollment of students from all over the country for a course of studying shorthand through correspondence. Literally 200 years later, this trend has become worldwide!
Most Successful EdTech Projects
The world-famous online platform Coursera is considered to be the most successful EdTech project. Its creators, Stanford University computer science professors Andrew Eun and Daphne Koller, declared their mission to be to educate millions of students from all over the world, changing the method of traditional teaching and since its foundation in April 2012, they have been doing very well. Here are the current statistics of the web resource:
- 220 000 000+ dollars of investment;
- 35 000 000+ listeners;
- 150+ partner universities;
- 2 700+ educational courses;
- 250+ directions and specializations;
- 4+ levels of study (degrees).
In addition to Coursera, many other resources with similar functions and goals appeared over time: edX (based on the University of Massachusetts and Harvard), Udacity (based on the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University), MindValley, KhanAcademy, and others.
Among CIS analogs, there are also very good projects:
- Prometheus (Ukraine);
- GetCourse (Russia);
- Moocs (Kazakhstan);
All of them are at the stage of improvement and refinement, still having a decentralized working principle as their main drawback.
Investors’ Interest in EdTech
In addition to the fact that the education market is recognized as one of the most rapidly growing, it still has a very serious social component. As Liz Alton, a technology, marketing, and content strategy consultant of Adobe, IBM, Hewlett Packard, Twitter, ADP, and Google states in her article:
“Education and EdTech’s strategies, from AR/VR and interactive digital experiences to the way they conceptualize personalization, can help other industries connect with Gen Z.”
This truth is well understood even by U2’s lead singer, Bono. According to the TechCrunch article, he is a co-owner of the RiseFund Impact Fund, which has invested as much as $120 million in one of EverFi’s most promising online educational platforms.
Noteworthy, EdTech startups from China collect their investments most intensively. In 2018, they managed to obtain a total of about $2.22 billion for the development of their projects. The largest deals that Edutainme writes about are web resources for learning English with native speakers and a platform for doing homework.
As a result, the total investment in EdTech at the beginning of 2019 is more than $165 billion, and this figure is constantly growing. Sounds cool, right?
Tell us, please, what disadvantages or advantages do you see in EdTech for yourself and your development?