What to Know About EdTech, a Trillion-Dollar Opportunity

What to Know About EdTech, a Trillion-Dollar Opportunity

Impact Hackathon Online 2021 is kicking off with the education vertical from May 27 to 29. This three-day event challenges innovators and entrepreneurs to improve the education sector by developing solutions such as transparent, data-protection compliant, and inclusive education and online grading systems. Winning teams will receive cash prizes and will also be part of Impact Hub’s incubation program, where they can grow their idea at the heart of the global start-up community.

 

Education often looks and feels a certain way: a group of school children sitting at desks. Their teacher in front of a blackboard. Thick textbooks and rote learning. All confined within the four walls of a classroom. Right now, less than four percent of global education expenditure is on technology. The pandemic, however, has forced students and educators to embrace educational technology and remote learning. For better and for worse.

 

Entrepreneurs should pay close attention as the industry is rife with opportunities. $10 trillion worth of opportunities if you want to put a number to it. That is what experts forecast global education expenditure will reach by 2030. Most of the expenditure will be on non-digital spending (e.g. physical buildings and real estate, labor). But venture capital funding in educational technology, or EdTech, has doubled from $8 billion in 2018 to $16 billion in 2020. So what are investors seeing about the EdTech space you should pay attention to?

 

Helping our teachers teach

 

Introducing technology into a traditional field can seem intimidating and scary. Some may think it is about replacing people with machines. That could not be further from the truth.

 

Educators are a key component of education. As a 2016 McKinsey report writes, “The essence of teaching is deep expertise and complex interactions with other people.” That is why McKinsey found that education has a low potential for automation. The pandemic has only proven that point even more. In the Philippines, teachers have had to leverage social media platforms like Facebook to reach their students because the take-home workbooks were not enough. Now imagine what educators could do with technologically enabled tools specifically built to assist them. This can come as learning management systems (LMS) and virtual classrooms, but the possibilities are endless.

 

To repeat, education is about expertise and complex interactions. Digitization of their peripheral roles unburdens educators so they can focus on what they need to do: teach.

 

Education is more than just schools

 

Digital literacy is now a core component of the Philippines’ K-to-12 curriculum. Digital literacy, however, is a mutable concept. Nobody can predict what technology learners will meet when they graduate.

 

It is easy to fall into the trap of only seeing the education space as what happens in a school. But it is wider than the school-age markets. Although those are lucrative in and of themselves.

 

That is why there has been growing interest in continuous learning in the workforce. Massive online open courses (MOOCs) like edX and Udacity are well-known, consumer-facing firms in the space. In less than a year, MOOC unicorn Coursera doubled its valuation from $2.5 billion in mid-2020 to $5 billion after a successful IPO in March 2021. By April, the market valued Coursera at $7 billion. Meanwhile, some companies work with corporations to help reskill their employees. Once viewed through the lens of lifelong learning, the education market can now seem limitless.

 

The EdTech boom is happening in Asia

 

Although the companies mentioned earlier are American, make no mistake, the EdTech boom is in Asia. If you look at the numbers, it makes sense. It is here in Asia that most of the opportunity lies. China and India, the countries with the largest populations, have the biggest EdTech ecosystems. In fact, 70 percent of all EdTech investment in 2020 happened in those two countries.

 

And in the neighboring region of Southeast Asia, with a population of over 700 million, a quarter of whom are of school-age, the ecosystem is booming.

 

There are still issues of lack of access to technology. But in 2020, 40 million people in Southeast Asia went on the Internet for the first time. The Philippines ranked the highest globally on average time spent on the Internet. We predominantly spent it on social media. As EdTech advances, however, it can bridge the learning gaps that plague the region, leveraging a tool most Filipinos are comfortable with.

Interested in developing solutions for the education sector? Be part of Impact Hackathon for Education. Register at impacthub.ph/impact-hackathon-education. Learn more about the program at www.impact2050.com

 

Written by: Kerry Tinga

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With the vision of providing a platform that will allow innovation to solve social challenges, Impact Hub Manila launched an annual code fest called Impact Hackathon in October 2019.

In the past 2 years, it has brought a combined number of 2,300 participants from all over the Philippines and attracted over 350 mentors and experts to the event.

The Impact Hackathon remains to be the largest hackathon in the Philippines.

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25th Floor, Picadilly Star, 4th Avenue corner 27th Street, Bonifacio Global City

Headquarters Impact Hub GmbH Lindengasse 56 / 18-19 1070 Vienna, Austria UID : ATU66357747 FN : 358967v

With the vision of providing a platform that will allow innovation to solve social challenges, Impact Hub Manila launched an annual code fest called Impact Hackathon in October 2019.

In the past 2 years, it has brought a combined number of 2,300 participants from all over the Philippines and attracted over 350 mentors and experts to the event.

The Impact Hackathon remains to be the largest hackathon in the Philippines.

Impact Hub Manila logo

July 15-17, 2021

Good Governance 

    Youth involvement in promoting transparency, empowering citizens, fighting corruption, and harnessing new technologies to strengthen governance 

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