Understanding the EdTech Product Landscape [+ Infographic]
We all know how rapidly the EdTech sector is growing. Last year global investments in educational technology crossed $9 billion. A 30% jump from 2016. With the Chinese and Indians spending massively on education, 2018 is set to be another record-breaking year for the EdTech industry.
This growth can be attributed to the widening of the product landscape in EdTech. Educators and innovators are beginning to realise the real potential of technology far beyond classrooms.
Today the scope of EdTech solutions have evolved so much so that you can find an app to learn (or discover) pretty much anything. From learning a foreign language to immersing yourself into orbit. You’re spoilt for choices. Literally!
The EdTech Product Landscape (not just classrooms)
Before diving further into the topic, I’d like to put out a disclaimer. I’m not an EdTech specialist. Nor do I have an academic background to boast of. I’m just an enthusiast who’d like to understand the sector deeply, and in doing so I hope to share my thoughts with you.
Based on the latest trends I’ve sorted the EdTech product landscape into eight categories. Below you can find an infographic shortly describing each category.
Of course, the EdTech landscape can be a categorised in a much broader way. Check out Navitas ventures latest report on the global edtech landscape. They have done a brilliant job in mapping out the industry into twenty six innovative clusters.
EdTech companies falling under each category
Now let’s look at what companies correspond to the categories I’ve listed above.
1. Immersive Tech
3D Bear is a 3D design tool that runs on your browser or tablet and gets you familiar with Augmented Reality(AR) & 3D printing. Apart from designing and printing your own avatar, you can learn number sequences and mathematical equations. Now that sounds fun, doesn’t it?
3D Bear participated in xEdu’s Acceleration Program (Fall’ 16), and recently secured their second round of funding from US based VC LearnStart. Resulting in total $1,5M to date. Here’s what Kristo Lehtonen, CEO of 3D Bear said right afterwards..
We’re very excited to continue our expansion on the US market. Students find 3DBear AR lessons fun and engaging, and teachers find that they are not constrained by physical limitations of 3D printers
The 3DBear AR application is free and is available on both AppStore and PlayStore.
2. Coding & Technology
BomberBot is a digital learning tool where elementary school children can learn how to code, among other critical digital skills such as testing, algorithmic thinking, and spatial reasoning. No programming skills are required — teachers get ready-made lesson plans to work with the BomberBot game with online and offline activities.
This company is a graduate of the Rockstart Acceleration Program (2014) & xEdu’s first Acceleration Program (Spring 2016), and this year they have raised their second round of investment with Social Impact Ventures.
Nano Simbox is making the invisible visible. They are an exploratory digital learning and research platform that allows users to immerse themselves (using VR or interactive 3D environments) in the scientific world of atoms and molecules.
“If we’re going to deal with the world’s biggest challenges, like climate change and health, more of us need to embrace science now. Nano Simbox helps to change the way we all think about science — make it about curiosity, creativity and collaboration — anyone can be a scientist. By making the invisible world visible to everyone, we are inspiring and teaching the next generation of children to see the world differently, and become the scientists our future needs.”
4. Learning Management System
eloomi is a cloud-based web/mobile app that allows individuals and organizations to support skill training, content management, and new behaviour through e-learning content and performance trackers. Eloomi has received funding from SEED Capital (2015) and VF Venture (2017).
Here’s what their CEO, Claus Johansen had to say on the next generation of LMS tools:
To support the increasing need to engage and empower teams, organisations today require a tool with a powerful user experience that makes e.g. on-boarding, skills training and compliance simple. In a next generation LMS you would also want to find learning and development integrated with simplified appraisals, feedback and performance development.
5. Social-emotional Learning
Mightifier is a tablet app that encourages positive feedback among classmates and delivers real-time data to teachers about students (& classrooms) well-being.
After Mightifier graduated from xEdu’s 2016 acceleration programme, the company received Kokoa’s Certification, conquered the Arctic15 Microsoft Pitching Competition in 2017 and reached the finals at Nordic EdTech Awards. Mightifier are currently expanding onto the Asian market.
“The development of overall school wellbeing will be in a bigger role in the future. It is not enough to develop only students’ social-emotional skills, also school personnel need to be trained. There is a need for tools that can demonstrate their impact on better team spirit, social relations and decreasing anxiety and bullying.”
6. Language Learning
Utelias develops software for robots to be used by educational institutions and private customers. The startup is currently developing language learning software for children and adults who are learning a foreign language.
“Our mission is to make people communicate better with the help of social robots and artificial intelligence” — Johanna Hemminki , founder and CEO at Utelias.
7. Early Childhood Learning
GroPlay is a creative studio that makes various children’s apps ( and toys) about health, social and sustainability issues in an inspiring and fun way! All of their games are designed to give kids and their parents a foundation about eco-living to create a more sustainable future.
Here’s what Kristian Lundquist, CEO & Co-founder, GroPlay has to say about Early Childhood Learning apps..
Merely digitising textbooks or uploading videos on the web is not an effective way to cater the early-childhood group of learners. EdTech companies should instead focus on involving children in playful experiences to explore and experiment. Game based and blended learning is a great way of doing that. Kids will make mistakes, which doesn't matter because they will try again and eventually succeed.
Fun Academy is another startup delivering early-childhood educational solutions and services. Fun Academy combines many aspects of the EdTech landscape in their holistic approach to early years education. They train teachers to help them work on redesigning their classroom to support also tech in learning — as a tool for creativity and participation.
8. Online Courses
GoLearn is an e-learning subscription-based platform for people who want to develop digital marketing skills (content marketing, SEO, social media, automation, etc).
Their mission is clear:
to help boost the Danish business industry’s competitiveness by making it easier and cheaper for companies to retrain their employees.
As you can see EdTech solutions are becoming part of our everyday lives. There are learning solutions for literally everyone. Schools, businesses, parents and individuals, everyone wants to be part of the EdTech evolution!
And why not? Who doesn’t want to make their screen-time count.
Oh so you got this far! I’d really appreciate some claps (and shares). And do let me know in the comments below what you think of this piece.
Thanks a ton Anne Gläsel once again, for helping with this piece. You rock!