Exploring the Power of Edtech – The Future of Education
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Exploring the Power of Edtech – The Future of Education

Exploring the Power of Edtech – The Future of Education

Posted on 29/02/2024

For centuries, education was ruled by blackboards, chalk, and textbooks. But then, technology has revolutionized various aspects of our lives, including the way we learn. The rise of education technology, or edtech started when schools were closed during the pandemic and traditional classrooms were being transformed into dynamic and interactive learning environments. Now, edtech is still changing the way students acquire knowledge and skills, making education more accessible and engaging. So, what is edtech? And why is it said to be the future of education?

What is Edtech?

Edtech, short for education technology, refers to the use of technology to enhance and improve the learning experience. Since its inception, edtech has journeyed through a remarkable evolution.

The-history-of-edtech

The history of edtech started in the 20th century. Photo: IPEL.

Beginning modestly in the mid-20th century with pioneers like Seymour Papert and the development of educational programming languages like LOGO, edtech gradually expanded its horizons through the emergence of personal computers, the internet, and multimedia technologies.

In the 1990s, the dawn of online learning platforms marked a significant milestone in the evolution of education. However, during this era, online learning remained largely confined to specific programs or self-study endeavors. These platforms served as valuable supplements to traditional classroom instruction but had yet to realize their full potential as comprehensive alternatives to conventional education.

The global lockdowns enforced during the COVID-19 pandemic from 2020 acted as the catalyst for the monumental transformation of edtech. As schools and educational institutions worldwide shuttered their physical doors to curb the spread of the virus, educators and students were thrust into an unprecedented era of remote learning. Overnight, the traditional classroom model gave way to virtual platforms, video conferencing tools, and digital resources. This sudden shift not only accelerated the adoption of technology but also underscored its indispensable role in ensuring educational access and resilience in times of adversity.

Enhancing Learning Through Technology

For a long time, the interaction in a physical classroom seemed to be irreplaceable interactions. But the experience during the pandemic has proved the opposite. Virtual classrooms, discussion forums, and collaborative online projects enable students to interact with their peers, exchange ideas, and work together on assignments. This collaborative learning environment promotes critical thinking, communication skills, and teamwork, which are essential skills for success in the 21st century. It also offers gamification features, such as quizzes and rewards, which make learning more fun and motivating.

Edtech-platforms

Edtech platforms are offering more features than traditional classes.

Recent platforms also cater to different learning styles and accommodate diverse educational needs. By reaching a wider audience, the new way of education is democratizing education and leveling the playing field for all learners.

With advancements in hardware and software, edtech tools are becoming more accessible and affordable, making them viable options for educational institutions and individual learners alike. On the other hand, with AI, edtech tools now are able to personalize learning experiences by adapting to individual student needs and preferences. This personalized approach helps students grasp concepts more effectively and encourages active engagement in the learning process.

Why Investors Should Invest in Edtech Companies

Although “making money in edtech has never been like some dream easy thing to do,” like Bill Gates said in an interview, many startups saw the opportunities and are actively working in this area.

There hasn’t been a revolution yet, but a recent survey of both specialized and general investors revealed significant activity, resembling a busy network underground. The future of education lies in edtech, and a lot of investors – VCs, PE firms, seed investors – are trying to find out where they should put their investment, especially after the year we all had last year.

“My optimism about edtech in general is not just because of AI. It is a set of things, even before this latest advance, that I think we’re getting smarter about and getting out into the field”, said Bill Gates.

Growing Market Size

The global edtech market is projected to reach a value of $404 billion by 2025, according to a report by Global Market Insights. The increasing demand for online learning platforms, digital content, and educational apps is driving market growth. As more educational institutions and learners embrace edtech solutions, the market size is expected to expand further. This presents a significant opportunity for investors looking to capitalize on the edtech boom.

“While some publicly traded companies still haven’t recovered from the post-COVID low, there are also the Duolingos of the world that recently announced a 43% increase in revenue in Q3 and have users who are more engaged than ever before,” Marieke Gehres, an early-stage investor at Earlybird Venture Capital, said. This announcement has, of course, greatly benefited their stock price, and Marieke Gehres believes that the Duolingos among the edtech companies will be quite ready to invest in the top opportunities next year that show sustainable growth.

Addressing Global Education Challenges

Education systems worldwide are facing various challenges, such as limited resources, overcrowded classrooms, and teacher shortages. Edtech offers innovative solutions to these challenges by providing scalable and cost-effective alternatives. Virtual classrooms, AI-powered tutoring systems, and online assessment tools not only improve the quality of education, but also help address these issues and diminish the gaps around the world.

edtech-helps-reduce-education-gap

Education Technology helps reduce the gap in education. Photo: UNICEF.

“In health and education, this should be a leveler. Because having access to a tutor is too expensive for most students – especially having that tutor adapt and remember everything that you’ve done and look across your entire body of work”, said Bill Gates.

Potential for Disruption

By leveraging technology, edtech companies are revolutionizing teaching methods, curriculum design, and assessment techniques. Bill Gates, the billionaire and the futurist, the investor for Khan Academy from a very early stage, once said that: “I’d say that is a very worthwhile milestone – to engage in a dialogue where you’re helping students understand what they’re missing – and we’re not that far”.

For AI to give edtech startups a long-term advantage, investors who recognize the transformative power of edtech are seizing opportunities to support innovative startups. “Simply labeling generative AI as an edtech product isn’t enough. What I find more intriguing is when AI enhances an already robust product, as seen with Duolingo,” said Marieke Gehres.

VTC Education – a Growing Edtech Company in Vietnam

Edtech has spread in some parts of the world but has yet to reach those who need it most especially in developing regions. Standing out as a visionary company in the realm of education in Vietnam, VTC Education is leading edtech and the digital transformation of education in the country. By focusing on technology-oriented training programs and in-demand skills for the digital age, it has achieved significant success through its VTC Academy system.

Recently, VTC Education decided to expand their portfolio by introducing the online learning platform Onlinica in August 2023. This proactive approach underscores VTC Education’s role as a key player in shaping the future of education in Vietnam, offering innovative solutions that empower learners and educators alike. As the demand for digital skills continues to rise, VTC Education aims to meet this demand and empower learners to thrive in the digital economy.

 

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