5 INSIGHTS FROM EDTECH EUROPE 2015

By Charles McIntyre and Benjamin Vedrenne-Cloquet

The annual EdTech Europe conference took place in London on the 18th June 2015. It was attended by over 650 movers and shakers from the EdTech communityto share their insights, and knowledge of the key trends at the cutting edge of technology in education and training. We had a number of panel discussions and speakers sharing their thoughts and theories on the market. Here, we share five of our own insights into key trends affecting the EdTech market:

Insight 1: The Long Rising Tide

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While the tech scene is known for its rapid growth and transformation, it’s a different story for the education sector. With only 3% of education budgets spent on digital, the educational market isslow to adopt digital technologies due to the number of agents involved within the market. The digital transition will happen but up to five times slower than the adoption rates we have seen in other digital industries. We are confident that it will be worth the wait.

Insight 2: The Education Super Dividend

When we look at EdTech, we need to look beyond the short term advantages and focus onthe bigger picture; an improved educational system has a direct and positive effect on our economy. According to a report by the OECD in 2010, there is a clear link between educational standards and GDP per capita. The research used OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) scores to determine that a 25 point PISA improvement for a country equates to a $100,000 return to each of its citizens. Though 25 points seems like a lot, it is only really the equivalent of the UK or France raising its educational standards to the same level as Finland.

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Insight 3: The Digital Paradigm Shift

For digital education to be pervasive we need to discard the idea that we just digitise our existing products. We need to conceive digital education as a service, in the same way that a school provides a service not a product. You can already start to see this evolution in the world of massive open online courses (MOOCs).MOOCs began as digital content engines with huge distribution, but they are already starting to morph into a service approach that is becoming increasingly sophisticated. With this sophistication follows a viable business model, so if we look at Coursera we can see exciting growth in revenues from certification of course completion. Take Lynda.com for example, at $15.5 billion, the deal with LinkedIn was the fourth-largest acquisition in social media history, proving there is value in this market.

Insight 4: But Will the Future Need Us?

Due to advances in technology, nearly all industries are experiencing job threats. According to Deloitte, 35% of UK jobs are at “high risk” of being made redundant by technology, so it’s important to remember that education is now no longer just for young people. In an evolving marketplace the role of education and training needs to provide the individual with the ability to learn new skills easily, not just when we are young but at any stage of our working life.

Insight 5: Change in world economic order

Investing in education is necessary for stable growth and ensures future generations have the relevant skills for employment. According to EMC digital, emerging nations are already taking notice of this andare predicted to be accessing more digital infrastructure than the advanced economies by 2017. Euromedia International hasalso stated that more than 90% of the wold’s population under 30 will be in emerging markets with a very evident desire to “learn or earn”. This trend will continue, with current projections estimating over 60% of the world’s GDP to be in the hands of emerging markets by 2020. We can already see that emerging nations are in the best place to respond to the change within the education market.

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