How Does EdTech Influence The Future?
To be sure, companies engaged in creating Education Technology products are beating the records. They are at the front lines of breaking the established patterns in the functioning of the education sector. That’s why Qubit Labs has decided to delve into this phenomenon and explore the upcoming EdTech trends, benefits, cases in point, and investment in the industry. But before talking about EdTech in action, let us address the question “what is education technology.”
What is EdTech?
EdTech is a trend, which implies introducing innovative technologies into the classroom to increase student engagement, improve the learning experience, and make education more inclusive and individualized.
The modern economy requires people to learn faster than a couple of years ago. The primary skill for building a career is to have the ability to learn. Actually, the concept of lifelong learning has become an inseparable part of our lives since if one wants to stay competitive, he/she has to obtain a set of skills matching the ever-changing requirements.
EdTech is considered the next Fintech because a handful of investors understand that this is an up-and-coming industry, which is unlikely to lie low in the next decades. What is the meaning of educational technology? EdTech is applied to enhance the quality and speed of education by using different means provided by the digital environment.
It can bring personalization and adaptivity into the sphere and adjust to each person’s capabilities by using algorithms and selecting fitting content. Almost every top-rated EdTech startup regards personalization as the critical element that shapes EdTech.
The classrooms are changing significantly due to the usage of EdTech tools; here are a couple of examples:
- Gamification enables teachers to hold the attention of the audience, which consumes content in enormous volumes.
- Virtual Reality can easily replace thousands of words and long lectures since it explains complicated topics multiple times better than the most talented professors.
- Artificial Intelligence analyzes the students’ achievements and chooses the tasks of the fitting complexity level. It can anticipate how much time the learner will need to master the subject and on what he/she needs to focus.
Although in 2016, the researchers doubted the success of EdTech, 2020 proved them wrong. It had become the year when EdTech skyrocketed. Some of the top companies with a capitalization of over one billion dollars have grown almost twice during the last year.
Here are a few quick facts about the current state of the EdTech industry:
- As of 1 March 2021, there were 20 Edtech Unicorns around the globe, and they collectively valued at more than $64 billion.
- On average, EdTech companies raise approximately $300 million of venture funding each week.
- Around 43% of the total number of EdTech companies are located in the US.
- In 2020, Venture Capital invested in Edtech was around $16,1 billion, which is 32 times higher than in 2010, namely $500 million.
The global pandemic gave the most incredible and diversified opportunities to the industry because the restrictions stimulated it to develop in all possible directions. Both educational institutions and businesses leveraged the potential of this industry and continue implementing the emerging practices. The current EdTech market offers several critical formats and approaches, so let’s take a look at the most notable benefits of education technology solutions.
Major Educational Innovation and Technology Gains
Educators must understand how they interact with the learners and what issues they might be facing. It is necessary to be aware of the modern “tastes” and models of content consumption to increase the positive experience from studying.
In the US, educational institutions are integrating peer-reviewing platforms. In Finland, the platforms for immersive learning help increase engagement and tie knowledge to emotions, helping students remember the study materials. Right below, there are some of the most significant advantages educational innovation and technology have brought.
Adaptive learning environments
Some people find it easier to perceive information by ear, while others need to visualize everything to have a better understanding. Some of them get new topics right away, and others need more time to figure everything out.
Based on the learners’ reaction to the educational material, the algorithms determine the patterns and, in real-time, provide the recommendations, implement changes, and regulate the learning process. They build upon each person’s unique needs and abilities and adapt education processes under their learning styles and rates.
The adaptive environment can be compared to the mentor who always has one’s back and takes a learner by the hand to walk him/her through each stage, correctly motivating the person and implementing the personal approach. With adaptive learning, there is no need for the student to repeat what he/she already knows; instead, one will focus on filling the knowledge gaps.
Having all the learning material in one place decreases the likeability of losing the notes and assignments, improving the organizational aspects of studying. With EdTech solutions, it is easy to highlight, comment, and search through the content in real-time. It saves a lot of time and effort because both teachers and students don’t have to dig through all the workbooks to find what they need or make quick adjustments to their tasks.
Also, using less paper makes a positive impact on environmental sustainability and prevents students from getting used to using printed materials. It increases their ecological awareness and makes them avoid buying and bringing numerous binders, folders, and other stationery to the class.
When working together, students get out of their comfort zones and are inclined to be more creative and connected. The learners can use social media as a communication tool by:
- sharing videos and pictures, articles;
- creating specific profiles for the projects;
- searching for the necessary sources;
- giving and receiving advice.
Peer-to-peer reviews help students feel themselves in teachers’ roles and see how they can help others improve their results and detect the most common mistakes. Such reviews help to increase empathy and levels of engagement in the learning processes.
Besides, the teachers can leave comments in the documents on the cloud platforms, analyze data collected by AI, and give consultations in chats. The assessment of the tasks changes as well because the algorithms don’t have “favorites,” and the chance to get a biased mark is low.
Nowadays, there is a handful of online educational resources at our fingertips, and the students can access the information instantly without having to search for the books elsewhere. Besides, modern learners can barely imagine their lives without smartphones and tablets, so if they use familiar devices for educational purposes, it is likely to help them stay engaged.
Also, producing digital material is much cheaper than printing and translating books in different languages. Therefore, EdTech will enable students from economically unstable countries to have appropriate materials and learning environments.
Emphasis on skills of the future
Education technology solutions help eliminate the bridge between educational and real-life environments since the learners will have specific skills required for being competitive in the labor market. Teachers analyze what the employers are looking for in the candidates and emphasize those skills, whether it is empathy or using Photoshop.
The educational institutions try to avoid the tasks where learners have to choose the answer in tests. Instead, pupils work on real projects, which require them to think about each step, collaborate, tell a story, and understand why the work they did matters. EdTech solutions can significantly facilitate the problem-solving processes and help learners to use received knowledge in the future.
EdTech Market Overview
The global EdTech market is steadily expanding and is expected to reach $404 billion in total global expenditure. According to several EdTech blogs, the industry market will increase rapidly, yet somewhat unevenly. Its advancement in some of the less economically stable countries is much slower than in more developed countries because there is a dramatic growth.
The Chinese market takes the leading positions in the world, and it is developing more actively and steadily than in others and attracts more investments. Some of the country’s leading EdTech companies are focused on projects related to learning the school curriculum and the English language.
India took a giant leap forward in 2018 because investors considered it to be a promising market due to the spread of smartphones and openness for foreign capital. Although a couple of years the EdTech market in India was practically nonexistent, the local company ByJu’s helped the country to outrun the US and take second place.
In the US, there are several EdTech Unicorns in the spheres of secondary and higher education. Each of them puts impressive effort into coming up with unique and innovative solutions to stand out on the market and integrate new services to enhance user experience. Ed Tech Los Angeles, for example, boasts some of the most successful companies about which you’ve probably heard. These include GoGuardian, Campus Steps, and Knowledge Holdings.
Speaking of EdTech startups, there is a geographical dispersion in different sectors, namely:
- Half of the European projects are engaged in corporate education, and K12 and universities take the next position.
- In North America, 30% of the leading EdTech startups are focused on the corporate sector, and others are working in K12 and students.
- In India and South Asia, the dispersion between the three main sectors is equal because local markets are younger than previous ones and follow the consumer demands more.
The new market players analyze the existing EdTech software businesses’ mistakes, review their failures, and come up with well-thought solutions. They compete head-on with the industry leaders. It is a question of time whether some of the “newbies” will be able to outrun the largest EdTech companies. Investors monitor promising startups and support their initiatives.
What is Educational Technology in Terms of Investment?
According to HolonIQ:
- The growth of investment activity during 2014-2018 was relatively steady; the investment volume increased four times, from $2 billion to $8 billion.
- In 2020, the startups made around $16,1 billion.
- Almost half of the venture investments before the pandemic were taken by China, which has the largest EdTech market size.
- In 2020, the local market received approximately 60% of the VC, while 15% accounted for the US and 14% for India; meanwhile, only 5% of the funding was received by the EU and Great Britain.
Top Edtech Companies As The Leading Recipients of Investment
An Indian EdTech startup Byju’s became the first Decacorn in the world, worth more than $10 billion. The project received investments from some of the most distinguished investors, like Mark Zuckerberg and Yuri Milner. Nevertheless, Byju’s kept the title of the most expensive EdTech startup for not long.
A Chinese educational platform Yuanfudao has landed $2,2 billion in funding, and its valuation was around $15,5 billion, which made it the most expensive EdTech Unicorn in the world. Besides, the company will be the official sponsor of the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, which is the first time an EdTech software company will be funding such a large-scale event.
The EdTech market is like a playground, where the project creators choose the most forward-looking technologies by trial and error. The opportunity to take one’s place in the filled-in niche attracts a handful of entrepreneurs. Although the number of platforms and apps for learning languages can be counted in thousands, it doesn’t prevent the promising startups, which came up with offbeat solutions to get financial backing.
What is New in Educational Technology: Notable Examples
This is one of the top EdTech companies, which cooperates with more than 150 universities. The platform allows students to access video lectures and community forums and is one of the largest startups that promote eLearning. According to its website, Coursera has raised $130 million in Series F round of financing, and its cash balance is around $300 million.
This online platform allows students to apply the knowledge received in classes in the conditions of their future profession. It helps learners to advance their skills of solving tasks, communication, and creative thinking. Among the companies publishing the assignments, there are Delta Airlines, Caterpillar, and Ericsson. Students get rewards from the company for correctly finished projects. Mindsumo has attracted over $1 million in investments and cooperates with 100+ companies from Fortune 500 list.
This is a corporate digital platform for education. Alongside the Organizations for Assessment and Certification of the Professionals, it develops personalized online programs for studying for exams. Its mission is to help people learn more efficiently by implementing technologies, data analysis, ergonomic design, and innovative learning models. It has announced a $20 million Series C round of funding in 2019.
This is an online application, the goal of which is to gamify the learning process. It offers seven modes to choose from and gradually increases the complexity of lessons. Each class is held in the form of games, tests, etc. TechCrunch mentions that Quizlet has raised $30 million in Series C round. Its total financing is more than $60 million.
This is one of the most successful EdTech companies, which has a $1,5 billion valuation. It connects students, teachers, and recruiters around the world. Here, teachers and learners can apply for jobs, internships, and education abroad.
Considering the size and diversity of the EdTech market, the number of tendencies associated with it is unlimited. The complexity is not simply organizing the learning processes but making them efficient. Studying has to inspire and engage the students. That’s why it’s time to see what the future of technology in education has prepared for the companies in 2021.
One of the blockchain’s specificities is the decentralization of databases. The information is distributed: there is no main server, which stores all the data. The unauthorized falsification of information becomes impossible. Cloud data storage via blockchain also saves educational institutions money and safeguards them from losing the data stored on hard disks.
The gamified courses increase student motivation and engagement levels. It reduces the study periods because learners tend to finish the tasks faster and increase the desire to continue learning. Gamification also improves academic performance since the students listen to the lecturer and undertake assignments on an interactive platform. The future of technology in education enables interactivity, which helps to hold the attention span, the lack of which is a distinctive feature of Generation Z.
Virtual reality changes the student’s role; from the passive observer, he/she becomes an active participator, which can interact with the environment. The learning process turns to be more captivating and efficient when it is possible to take a virtual trip to Rome instead of learning about it from the books. The future of education technology allows conducting experiments in the virtual chemistry lab without fear of consequences. Also, for example, medical students can understand the body structure and systems of a human organism better when they see a 3D model.
Although we use digital assistants every day, very few people pay attention to the capacity of voice assistants in education. They can create multi-level opportunities and improve involvement in the processes. These assistants can set reminders or rimers, give instructions, or hold consultations.
Usually, when a person purchases a course, does assignments, gets feedback, and receives a certificate after completing it. However, it often happens that in the middle of the training course, he/she understands the program or topics are not interesting. Yet, the curriculum is already paid for, and it’s almost impossible to get money back. Subscription-based courses solve this issue.
The student can change the course at any moment, stop the studying process, go back to the previous lessons, or do or not do the tasks. One can study at the most optimal pace and not overpay for the number of finished courses.
Overview of the future education technology can’t be complete without mentioning the services aimed at protecting virtual lessons from the influence of strangers. So-called “Zoom bombing,” which is one of the types of cyberthreats aimed at undermining video conferences, has become widespread now. Thus, it is critical to embark on developing services that can protect virtual classrooms from cyber attacks.
To Wrap Up
In conditions of the global pandemic, EdTech has received an immense boost for development. More and more people are becoming consumers of the industry’s products, increasing the market’s size. The future of technology in education requires businesses and investors to focus more on interactive digital solutions and new technologies, which change not what we are learning, but how we teach.
In case you feel inspired to create your own EdTech solution, you can entrust it to Qubit Labs.
Feel free to contact us to schedule a consultation and discuss everything in detail.
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