The ultimate guide to Edtech

EdTech 2.0
13 min readJun 4, 2017

What is Edtech?

Ed Tech is or referred to as educational technology and the process of integrating technology and media into learning theory. A number of various companies are creating opportunities to integrate digital technology into higher education, classrooms and in business training programs. The future of educational technology could eventually create paperless schools, online classes, help tutorials, training programs and quizzes which are accessible internationally.

Ed tech started extensively from the first use of computers in post secondary education from Stanford University all the way up to platforms today that can deliver the submission of homework online, full degree and training programs, learning applications, edema fixation of education as well as new virtual reality techniques for training.

Teaching with technology is definitely the future of education and its helping teachers, students, parents and educators to grow more attached to the idea of generating educational outcomes worldwide. Meeting the diverse needs of populations that are served worldwide requires the use of leveraging devices and building a platform for the future success of students. In order to do this various companies need to build the framework for the future of education technology.

Many suggest that education technology is still in its earliest stages. Investors on the other hand are quick to point out the idea that many of the top companies in the world for investors are due to ED tech. The industry has since grown to create the potential for multi-trillion dollar growth by the year 2020. Ed Tech is more than emerging but rather continuing to grow based off a steady need in the market.

Careers in education technology are also continuing to skyrocket both from the perspective of developers but educators as well. Teachers from K-12 are using new educational initiatives in the form of technology to educate their students, change the way that homework is handled as well as the way that students are evaluated and tested online. Teachers are even given access to the ability to coordinate with parents and communicate with other educational professionals over the platform. Various schools are now making these types of programs and applications mandatory for students in the educational system and as a result many teachers are responsible for upskilling or even entering into programs where they can learn more about Ed tech. This overall call for programs and upskilling leads right back into the investment in Ed Tech as a vast majority of these programs are now taught through digital programs on the Ed tech platforms also designed for students.

In higher educational many academic technologists are required to build the systems that will support college and university staff and faculty. Many higher education facilities are partnering with Ed tech developers to create the platforms for the future that post secondary students will be learning and evaluating on. New distance education programs, learning management systems and new classroom technology are all being developed to fit on this system and the implementation of new learning technologies is going to play a major aspect in the role of higher education through the future, especially with the demand of higher education in an ever more competitive job market.

In the Corporate world education technology represents the future of training programs, performance improvements, web training, software support, help center training, educational outreach as well as skill improvements. All of these items in a corporate setting can be extremely useful for building of a more confident workforce and for improving the quality of a company.

Nonprofits/ military and government could also see further support from training new educational technologists that can improve organizations through the management of grants, improvements through a digital platform as well as the ability to train new staff members. These type of improvements can work in a number of different organizations from nonprofit charities all the way to children’s museums and small institutions. These types of ongoing training programs and the inclusion of digital technology will only work to build expertise in the nonprofit sector with volunteers and full-time paid workers.

How is Edtech going to evolve?

Edtech is evolving regularly and what started as a small experiment in the delivery of education has been transformed into a series of platforms and applications that are 100% required for many institutions today. There are people that owe their degrees to technology, people that would not have access to educational resources without technology and many training programs that would simply not work without the optimal system driving their progress into the future.

Technology in the digital era has improved and disrupted many major markets within the economy and education is one subset that has not changed for hundreds of years. Through the digital era a number of different institutions have enacted the use of education training and a tech revolution when it comes to the way the teachers are building their lesson plans, delivering assignments and more.

Ed Tech in its earliest stages may have been more about reformatting books, building training manuals and creating strategies for learning online but today it is about applying true digital technology to build a new architecture for learning. Through the inclusion of new technology, through demand from both students and educators and with the accessibility and affordability of education through this system, it is possible that we could see a wealth of new applications which are built from the ground up to teach in new ways. Applying digital methods to the process of learning and academics is changing mindsets and making the process of increasing educational and skills reach much more possible. Ed Tech through its innovation and evolution will eventually begin to create standardized processes for many universities. As more educational facilities begin to get on board with the idea of digital learning and Ed tech we are likely going to continue seeing a more democratized access to these resources as well as many subjects from prestigious universities being taught in new ways.

Through web conferencing and the resources available to students online today, Ed tech is going to evolve to the point where parents can be much more included in the educational process of the primary level, educators can be much more available to their students and students can have a wealth of concepts and learning strategies that can adapt to their own individual style of learning. These types of improvements will make the educational process more accessible to any student as well is much more inclusive for a support network while children are in school.

Ed Tech primarily is going to continue reducing costs in education. Traditional education remains an inefficient way to learn. With various funding cuts to education across the United States for example opting for a full digital initiative or reducing the price tag of traditional education through a new delivery system, can create more standardized education. Standardized education through digital means could ensure that children and adults have various methods for learning the stuff of their own preference and style. It could also mean that high school and public school students will be far more prepared to take on the challenges of the next level of education when required. By having access to all of these resources at home as well as new ways of reflection and skills mastering, kids could get a jumpstart on their education, grade the building blocks for learning more complex concepts and finally have an education that reflects the values of today’s digital world. The problem with many top curriculums even at universities is that they still cater to students preparing for the workforce in the early 20th century. High school programs are even more guilty of this. Through a dramatic shift in the market and a greater focus on new Ed tech systems that could change the outcome of educational resources in the future, we will continue to see students, educators and future skills resources for training upgraded.

The final evolution that we will likely see is this spending and investment in ED tech. Currently Education technology remains one of the best and brightest investments in any portfolio. Part of the reason why this solution represent such a secure investment is the idea that it is in such healthy demand from a variety of international markets. In industries with major tech focused like the UK for example, investors are quick to shy away from the idea of cashing into a series of startups as many tech startups could be affected by the Brexit or a variety of other political conditions. Because Ed Tech is a worldwide initiative it remains mostly untouched from the idea of a worldwide economy or political interference that could affect the outcome of an investment. Ed tech remains stable and continuing to rise. Many strategists would suggest that this already hot commodity may soon see a rise of up to 17% coming into the year 2020. This could represent trillions of dollars in potential profits and improvements throughout this industry and for investors.

What industries does Ed Tech effect?

Educational technology investment and innovation will go far further than just the idea of affecting public schools and universities as well. The main focus for educational technology has always been in the idea of the major market of kindergarten to grade 12 and University/colleges in the earliest stages but a number of companies could easily be affected by Ed Tech for their training programs and more.

The main vision of Ed tech goes far beyond the education industry as well. Universities across the world are using Ed Tech as a framework for making their course is much more accessible and making the process of skilling up much easier. New Ed Tech companies are having focuses in a variety of other industries as well:

Toys/ Entertainment: education technology is making its way into applications and games as well as the idea of poison novelty. Today there are companies that have been created that focus on getting kids how to learn software code early on. Companies like this are giving kids interactive tools in which they can patch software to their toys to get them to do a number of different preprogrammed things. Applications like this are getting kids excited about the idea of coding as well as getting kids more comfortable with voting before they take it on at a higher level. Entertainment and applications such as quizzing applications, language learning applications and even apps that keep your mind active through new mathematics problems are all part of the Ed Tech initiative. These are applications which are often being used as recommended review as well as to keep brains both young and old active and continuing to learn brand-new skills.

Manufacturing: Ed Tech is making its way into training programs and manufacturing. Many staff members are used to learning health and safety practices on pen and paper but there are many staffing agencies as well as many manufacturing facilities that are including training programs and workforce preparedness skills courses all online. Everyone from machinists to quality control specialists are building a knowledge base through Ed Tech resources and in some cases custom build platforms that are designed specifically to build a platform for the future of a specific company.

Creative: There are new and creative platforms with video tutorials, interactive web apps and even online internships available for creative professionals. New platforms are partnering with major corporations like Red Bull, Adobe and even Google to build opportunities for graphic designers, photographers, sound editors and more. Creative professionals now have a much greater access to learn the skills that they need for their job so that they can thrive in this competitive industry. With access to Ed Tech resources that can build more effective creatives for the future, many companies are getting access to creative professionals that are more equipped for the workforce and far more efficient.

Customer service/ Sales: In customer service especially interactive tools and educational technology are helping professionals to learn how to better service a company’s needs. Various sales tutorials and online knowledge banks are helping to build more knowledgeable customer service professionals as well as improved salespeople.

Non profits: Nonprofits need knowledgeable volunteers and full time employees. Through the use of skills programs and educational resources online volunteers are able to become much better equipped for securing grants, building creative content for the future and making a greater impact with charities and non-profits during their time as a volunteer.

There are a number of other industries which have seen the huge impacts from ED Tech development and we will likely continue to see an evolution and improvement in many new industries as Ed tech firms keep developing.

How large is the market for Ed Tech?

The market for Ed Tech Market is developing for so many different industries and with such demand that there is a massive international market available for Ed Tech development. Ed Tech Companies in the United States were able to raise over $1.36 billion in funding throughout the year 2014. Many experts estimate that this will become $1 trillion+ industry by the year 2020. With only 2% of education that sits as digitized in estimate from 2016, The demand and the amount of work that Ed tech firms could have ahead of them is almost difficult to fathom.

What are some top conferences in Ed tech?

Some of the top conferences which Ed Tech is commonly featured at include:

CES: The international consumer electronics show which takes place in Las Vegas every year. For over 50 years CES has been one of the greatest Launchpads for startups, innovation and technology. It takes place in early January and is generally attended by just under 200,000 people. Many ED Tech focused companies and developments have displayed their tech here for the first time.

Ted: Ted conferences often feature a number of short talks from influential speakers. A number of Ed tech investors as well as Ed tech company founders have been continuing to demo their topics at Ted conferences over the years. Although the first conference took place 33 years ago, the event has been running annually for the past 27 years. Many of the top TED talks from conferences concerning education and the future of tech creativity in education can even be found on youtube.

Ed Media: Ed Media is an international conference that is dedicated primarily to educational multimedia, telecommunications and a series of workshops. The conference is put on by the Association of the advancement of computing in education and they regularly recognize international Ed Tech companies and new products which are changing the Ed tech industry.

Wikimania: This is the official conference of the Wikimedia foundation and it regularly includes new products and nonprofit Ed tech demonstrations. Many people come to deliver open-source software, knowledge libraries and more which can represent the future of Ed Tech development.

Emtech: The Emtech conferences put on by MIT through their technology review magazine. The conference is primarily dedicated to showing new inventions as well as the latest in engineering as well as technology. Many Ed tech firms have deployed some of their earliest prototypes at this conference as well as given speeches on their views and for the future of education technology.

Top Ed Tech Companies:

There are a number of very valuable companies that are stepping up to the plate as pioneers in Ed Tech. Here are some of the top companies that are being heralded as some of the industry giants in Ed Tech:

Udemy: This company was founded in the year 2010 with a mission to continue democratizing education. The class is available here are available from an open online marketplace where anyone can sell a class or upload a full class. Most of the prices for classes are available from $20 up to $100 and they can teach anything from skills on how to learn Excel to developing a full iOS application. Some of the top-selling class is available on this platform has sold over 150,000 enrollments and counting. Udemy delivers quality tools for corporations and individuals to build training courses on their platform and this is partially what is responsible for their success in the industry.

Coursera: MOOCs: This platform is used by many of the top universities and it has the platform and the space available to offer real college programs to anyone online and completely for free. This platform has been considered to be one of the most important for higher education as well as one of the most adaptive platforms for improving education technology for hundreds of years. Coursera only has one major competitor in the two are snapping up a number of different network university programs and certificate granting programs.

Kramer: this classroom collaboration app launched in the year 2015 and it allows collaboration between student groups on many different devices. The students can share work on one central monitor and from a single control panel a teacher can supervise the work as well as participate in correct the work. Kramer can be customized in its system as well as have the option to send out different content to many different devices. Many different individuals or groups could work at their own pace and continue sending different tasks using this app.

Exec Online: This platform works with a number of the top business universities in the world to offer university curriculums online directly to corporate clients. Corporate clients simply by a subscription and allow their staff access to ongoing educational resources without having to send them out regularly to top university programs. This platform makes many the world’s most elite programs completely accessible to executives online and with the ability to access programs on any device.

The Largest Venture Capital Investment in Ed tech:

With the chance for so many new investment in ED tech there are many VCs and large scale corporations that are investing huge sums of money into Ed tech. Some of the largest investments in Ed tech startups recently are some of the following:

HotChalk an online degree company raised over $230 million in the year 2016.

An English Learning startup called Tutorgroup was able to raise over $300 million in 2016.

Udacity the online course provider was able to raise another $105 million in investments in the year 2016 as well.

New Schools Venture Fund: This nonprofit VC focuses on education from K-12. In the year 2016 they were able to obtain a $23.5 million investment from a software as a service company called Parchment.

500 startups: This company received a large deal of $6.5 million in investments from Culturealley which is a language learning platform for their English learning app.

Starting up one of these Ed tech companies or even investing a small amount of money could help to deliver substantial growth especially if you are able to pick a company that has an original idea or effective product that worldwide investors are interested in.

Ed Tech is alive and well and has long taken off. It shows absolutely no signs of slowing down and could be one of the hottest new investment industries!

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