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EdTech Trends in India

As in many countries around the world, EdTech adoption has been accelerated in India amidst the COVID-19 outbreak. With everyone forced to move to learning online, it provided opportunities for EdTech companies to meet the increasing demand. In June 2020, the Ministry of Human Resource Development in India estimated that EdTech expenditure would be $10 trillion by 2030.

The differentiators between the different EdTech offerings will be language, syllabus, pricing, pedagogy, offline support and teacher training. 22 languages are spoken in India and one key challenge for EdTech adoption is reaching the remote communities in the country. Now that the pandemic has decentralised education, the challenge is to deliver high quality education in local languages and dialects through online platforms. It may be that soon we will see a hybrid approach, with online learning and a live mentor/mentee approach nearly to provide support and reassurance to the student. By having centralised versus decentralised models students can succeed in their education at the right time. It cannot be a one size fits all market and distribution is key. …

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A well-known driver of education is to help people develop skills and drive human capital. The second element of education is its role in signalling skills to the labor market. The successful bridge between education and work relies on companies understanding what skills matter to their productivity and what skills are achieved within education.

With the increasing pace of technology and lifelong learning, educational institutions are moving towards becoming insufficient in their ability to selectively signal skills. The scaling of online education also allows mass accessibility to high quality education in a way that traditional brick and mortar education can not. However, without selectivity, the question remains as to whether it can compete with traditional education credentials and it’s signalling value. …

By Charles McIntyre, IBIS Capital

We live in interesting times, as they say, with little understanding of what will happen next week let alone next year.

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The fluctuations of COVID-19 cases, make it hard to get any sense of when we might return to normal or even a “new normal”. The question is can we make a virtue out of necessity, and improve on what we already have?

We are in the midst of the largest mass experiment of distance learning that there has ever been; the EdTech acceleration has advanced mass digital usage by up to 10 years. EdTech is now mainstream, no longer the twinkle in the eye of early adopters, but the here and now of education. That may sound exhilarating and the dawn of a new digital age, but it is laden with challenges. …

Kognity has continued to successfully grow since they started in 2015 and this year are one of the runner-ups of the EdTechX Scale-Up Awards. We spoke with Carl Emillson, COO of Kognity to learn more about how they successfully grew the business to where it is today and what is next in store…

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Carl Emilsson, COO of Kognity | Photo courtesy of Kognity

What was the inspiration behind starting Kognity?
Kognity has been founded on the bold vision to radically improve learning for the world’s students. The way teaching and learning is done has essentially been the same for hundreds of years, and technology has not delivered on any of its promises in education. There are so many tools focusing on admin or very specific tasks, but very little targeting pedagogy. …

Busuu were announced as the winners of the EdTechX Impact Awards. We spoke with Bernhard Niesner, Co-Founder and CEO of Busuu to learn more about the company’s aspirations and next steps…

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Bernhard Niesner, CEO & Co-Founder, Busuu

What was the inspiration behind starting Busuu?

I founded Busuu in 2008 with my co-founder, Adrian Hilti, after we finished our MBA studies. Back then, most people learned languages offline using traditional methods — perhaps with CD-ROMs if they were feeling innovative! From our own experiences learning languages and interacting with people from different cultures whilst travelling, we were convinced there was a more effective way to learn. …

Earlier this year, Seneca won the 2020 EdTechX Impact Award along with Busuu. Following the awards, we spoke with Stephen Wilks, CEO of Seneca, to learn more about the inspiration behind the company, what they are looking to achieve next and challenges amidst COVID-19…

What was the inspiration behind starting Seneca?

Whilst at university, I became more and more interested in how we learn, and how we can learn more efficiently. The more I learned about Neuroscience and Psychology, the more I realised that what most people do is completely wrong. I was one of the people using the worst possible learning techniques and we wanted to fix this for everyone. …

CareerFoundry was award runner up in the EdTechX Impact Awards Category, a category launched last year to recognise demonstrable economic and/or societal impact or on prioritising ‘purpose over profit’. We spoke with Martin Ramsin, CEO of CareerFoundry about the ‘New Normal’, what advice he’d share to other entrepreneurs starting their journey and more…

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Martin Ramsin, CEO of CareerFoundry | Photo courtesy of Carerer Foundry

What was the inspiration behind starting CareerFoundry?

We wanted to build a more human-centric online learning of tech skills. At the time that we launched most of the online learning services were video based. I tried to use one of them to learn to code but it felt like an innovation that had gone backwards — it was less good than the old classroom on-ground version of education. …

Vision Education received runner up recognition in the 2020 EdTechX Startup Awards category. Manfred Kastner, Founder of Vision Education, spoke with EdTechX about challenges amidst COVID-19, what’s next for the company and how he envisages the ‘New Normal’ will be in education and EdTech.

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Manfred Kastner, Founder of Vision Education | Photo Courtesy of Vision Education

What was the inspiration behind starting Vision Education?
Our aim is to design resources and enjoyable experiences which make language learning more fun and highly motivating, to ensure that learning really works. Rather than dumping content onto the learners “the old way”, we want users to enjoy learning together and thereby learn in an effective and relaxed way. Fun and play in our view are just other words for learning. …

Perlego won the 2020 EdTechX Startup Award alongside Founded only in 2016, Perlego have become one of the most successful online libraries. We spoke with Gauthier van Malderen, CEO and Co-Founder of Perlego to learn more about their success…

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Gauthier Van Malderen Co-Founder and CEO of Perlego | Photo Courtesy of Perlego

What was the inspiration behind starting Perlego?

Whilst at university I found myself sometimes paying hundreds of pounds for a textbook that I might only use once, and even then, only one or two chapters. I realised this was ludicrous, unsustainable and something had to change. I looked around and found that whilst I could listen to music via Spotify, and watch films on Netflix, there wasn’t anything that offered the same level of access and simplicity with books. …

Recognising the great success the PeopleCert have achieved over the last year, they were announced the winner of the EdTechX Scale Up Category. We spoke with Byron Nicolaides, Founder and CEO of PeopleCert about the inspiration behind their company and what they are looking to achieve next.

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Byron Nicolaides, Founder and CEO of PeopleCert | Photo courtesy of PeopleCert

What was the inspiration behind starting PeopleCert?

From a very early age, education and entrepreneurship were at the epicentre of my upbringing and family life.

Both my parents were teachers — my father was an English language teacher and my mother a primary school teacher. I was fortunate to attend the Greek Community School in Istanbul and Bosporus University (formerly known as Robert College), a prestigious academic institution. One of the most educational experiences of my life has been hitchhiking around the world at a time when many barriers still existed. This helped me to recognise the attractiveness of a barrier-free world, as well as the importance of developing a globally competitive skillset in order to become a true world citizen.


Romy Tuin

Editor of EdTechX 360 and Head of Content at EdTechX. Writing about all things EdTech —

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