Introducing the Top 8 EdTech Trends for 2018: Are You Ready?

According to CB Insights, global investments in EdTech startups were projected at $3B in 2017! 24 percent more than in 2016. With U.S. companies alone raising $1.2B in 2017.

In Europe, the UK lead the way in EdTech investments, contributing 34 percent (GBP178 million) of the total, according to Benjamin Vedrenne-Cloquet, co-founder of EdtechXGlobal.

Nordic EdTech startups too had a cheerful year. The likes of 3D Bear and Peergrade raising 1 million and 1.25 ($1.5M) million euros respectively!

Breakdown of major EdTech deals in the Nordics in 2017 (updated 8th Jan, 2018):

  • Lexplore: €5M (March 2017) — Sweden
  • Labster: €8M (September) — Denmark
  • Kahoot: €9M (July) — Norway

Source: Nordic Tech List

Wow, that’s some serious $$$!!

By Pos7al

Well sure it is, but that’s not the way we should be measuring EdTech’s capability, says Patrick Brothers in his article forget what you’ve been told about edtech.

The EdTech market is complex — with rules all its own. What is being “sold” is not technology, it is the education of future generations. — Patrick Brothers, Navitas Ventures.

For this reason, I asked EdTech experts about educational technology trends for 2018.

In total I received answers from 13 experts, comprising of CEOs & founders of EdTech startups, EdTech cluster leaders as well as eminent teachers.

Let’s find out what they had to say…

TL;DR

What are the top EdTech trends of 2018?

1. Creativity first

Olli Vallo from Kokoa Standard and Kristo Lehtonen from 3DBear both agreed that without creativity, technology is nothing!

Olli Vallo, Co-founder & Head of Education at Kokoa Standard
In 2018 people will finally realise that without creativity technology is nothing. After realising this the use of EdTech becomes much more meaningful and the debate around it starts to make more sense.

P.S. Check out the interview with Olli on the EdTech revolution.

Kristo’s take:

I believe that the education sector will begin to embrace the innate creativity of children better. Human life is inherently creative. According to the maker ethic, the most valuable learning experiences come when you’re actively engaged in designing, building, or creating something — when you’re learning through making.

Fredrik Wetterhall, CEO at Lexplore stresses that true value in EdTech will only be realized when EdTech solutions will do more than what can be achieved with a paper and a pen.

Fredrik Wetterhall, CEO, Lexplore
I believe that major trends in the EdTech sector in 2018 will focus more on customer value rather than technology. I also think that AI solutions, that are doing more than just digitilizing a form, will get a broader acceptance.

2. Analytics and data driven decisions

Barbara Anna Zielonka who’s a prominent English teacher from Norway believes that machine learning and analytics are two areas which are set to gain momentum in 2018.

Jannie Jeppesen ,CEO at Swedish EdTech Industry also agrees that implementation of analytics on a large scale is the way forward!

3. Standardisation of EdTech products

Morten Amstrup, CEO at EdTech Denmark makes a crucial point. He would like to see educational institutions acknowledge that they are more similar than they think they are.

Morten Amstrup, CEO,EdTech Denmark
When an educational institution believes it is unique, then it will demand tailored bespoke solutions, thus making it hard for EdTechs to scale. We need more innovation in EdTech, and for the business models to be feasible, then EdTechs have to have somewhat standardised products that don’t need too much calibration to fit with a new customer. I believe that we are getting there, and I hope that 2018 is the year where we start seeing EdTechs really scale!

Keep reading! Just five more to go :)

4. Online learning and coaching

Massive open online courses (or MOOC) will continue to develop says Graham Boyd, founder and CEO at evolutesix.

Ola Szlachcikowska, knowledge management officer at GetResponse is hoping for more learning apps which deliver value in 2018.

5. VR/AR in education

There are plenty of reasons to use VR/AR in classrooms. In fact Peter who’s the English teacher at Setapp, uses VR to boost his student’s confidence speaking English.

Peter Jones, English teacher
As teachers we should embrace technology and use it to create better learning environments. VR is a great example of how we can use cutting edge tech to immerse people in an environment which will improve their learning experience. — Peter Jones, English Teacher at Setapp

Michał Wróblewski, Head of VR/AR at Setapp, is looking forward for greater implication of AR in classrooms.

As I highly value collaborative learning I look forward to great examples of AR in classrooms. But not a poor, static presentation. I’m thinking more like a physics experiment that you can assemble on the floor, then test and measure how it behaves on different planets to better understand Newton’s Second Law. Going one step further you can mix static physical objects with virtual ones. I can’t wait to see examples like that, otherwise we’ll build it ourselves! — Michał Wróblewski, Head of VR/AR, Setapp

6. More accessible learning and teaching for all

Let’s be honest. One of the most important things tech can do in education is to make it accessible for everyone. Hege Tollerud, CEO, Oslo EdTech Cluster tells why:

Hege Tollerud, CEO, Oslo EdTech Cluster
I’m hoping for the opportunity to see better and more accessible learning and teaching for all, independent of time, place, platform, space and age, through good pedagogic use of educational technology. This will contribute to securing better learning, as well as better market conditions for the industry that we represent.

7. Social-emotional skills and student wellbeing

Understanding of the correlation between improved social-emotional skills and student wellbeing will be key in 2018 says Mervi Pänkäläinen, Founder and CEO of Mightifier.

Understanding this correlation leads to better self-esteem and classroom spirit and decreases bullying and stress among students. In the long-run, learning outcomes are also better for students who have actively practiced their empathy towards others in the class. — Mervi Pänkäläinen, Founder and CEO at Mightifier

8. Integrated learning experience

Apoorv Bamba, founder at Startup Safari would like to see a comprehensive journey mapping for the end user thus leading to an integrated learning experience.

Too many EdTech ventures focus on tech and not the Education aspect. EdTech should envision to become the only way to learn in the next 2–3 years. — Apoorv Bamba, founder Startup Safari

Wrapping up

So, as you can see there’s a lot to look out for EdTech in 2018. VR/AR, MOOC and analytics in educational apps will gain momentum.

But remember EdTecher’s… “without creativity and a strong emphasis in learning, the use of tech in education is nothing”

Do you agree with the trends above? Would you like to share your thoughts on EdTech in 2018? Let us know in the comments below.


P.S. I hope you enjoyed reading the first story on the The EdTech World publication here on medium. Our goal is to provide the most comprehensive, thoughtful and well-researched insights from the world of educational technology! Got something to tell? Give us a sign at ashmeet.singh@setapp.pl