EdTech Development and the E-Learning Revolution

Alex Tarasenko
Alex Tarasenko

Just like many other traditional industries, education has been shifting to a digital-first dimension for quite a long time now. Seemingly approaching its pinnacle since the COVID situation began to unfold in the past Spring, the digitization of education is only picking up speed right now. So, we can watch an actual digital revolution happen in the education sector right in front of our eyes.   

How big is the progress so far and what opportunities remain unexplored in the E-LEarning niche? Let’s find it out. 

Accelerated Transformation of Learning

Last April, almost 90% of enrolled students around the world were affected by quarantines. Nationwide closure of schools was recorded across almost 200 countries, according to UNESCO’s official records. This makes up about 1.6 billion people –  a staggering audience to think about when we talk about education’s digital transformation. 

Here’s a map for you to imagine the scale of the COVID impact on the global educational system:

Global Schools Closure Due to COVID as of Oct 2020

*by Ourworldindata.org

The pandemic-related contact limitations enforced universally this year have not allowed many options for the education industry. Rethinking the standard model of knowledge distribution and adapting to the challenges of the new world became a priority. 

As a result, remote schooling has become the new norm on all levels of educational activities – from early education and tutoring to higher education, professional growth courses, and non-academic training. 

Naturally, such a great demand requires a lot more than an outstanding supply of hardware. This is less of a problem since most households and learning facilities in the developed countries have access to a wide range of digital devices. It also calls for appropriate software tools allowing schools and students to fulfill regular activities without sacrificing the quality of education. 

All-inclusive Educational Technology

Speaking about the types of digital solutions helping students maintain the educational process on distance – the list is virtually bottomless. 

Right now we’re seeing major efforts at improving the software for conducting web classes, automating student and work assessment, and digitalizing course materials via the development of smart textbooks, rich video content, slide show presentations, etc. In this regard, Kognity and Lix Technologies are two startups leading the E-learning adaptation race at the moment.

Improving general education accessibility and providing digital support within the sector is especially important for college and university students. This is another major vector the industry is focusing on in 2020, with Graduway and Teacherly delivering some great results.

Various administrative tools for conducting the educational process online are also being developed and implemented. They include digitalized school payments and fee collection software, student attendance tracking, and education monitoring applications. And don’t forget about language adaptation and designing a new learning model for students with limited abilities.  

Meanwhile, the task of digitalizing is rather simplified for adult and post-degree learning – where online courses have already been adopted well before the pandemic. 

All this being the case, there is still a long way to go in each of the directions. The digital learning niche remains unsaturated, as the demand for these kinds of solutions exceeds the current market supply. 

EduTech Investments and Government Initiatives

Given the timing of the COVID-related events and further uncertainty regarding the quarantines and travel restrictions – entrepreneurs understand that right now is the high time to put both their time and resources into the development of EdTech businesses and startups. 

In fact, experts expect EdTech investments to reach $7.5T in 2020, growing an estimated 15% in a single year and over 4 times since 2014 – according to dealroom.co’s assessment. 

Global EdTech Development Investments Graph Over Years

At that, the UK remains the largest hub when it comes to EdTech transformation. The kingdom is receiving almost 40% of entire Europe’s investments in the sector.   

Speaking of which… 

While businesses are the main drivers of progress in EdTech adoption, governments are also playing an important role in the process. In this regard, Estonia’s legislators are showing a good example by not only supporting the internal EdTech market but sharing the developed tools and technologies for free with the rest of the world.

Notably, a lot of EdTech initiatives are occurring in third-world countries. There, the pandemic has hit the already crisis-affected regions, furtherly worsening local socio-economical conditions. 

Like that, international humanitarian organizations and private foundations are backing versatile tech solutions in cooperation with ministries of education. Right now they are helping students and families in places like Sudan, Uganda, Lebanon, Jordan, Chad, Bangladesh, as well as Kenya, and multiple African countries access affordable education and continue learning.   

To get a glimpse of the variety of current EdTech projects, check EdTechHub’s list of the most relevant startups in the sector. 

Final word

To sum up all the findings, the global education system is undergoing a major transformation on all of its levels. Both schools and universities, as well as non-academic educational institutions, are switching to a digital-first approach. This means an increased demand for niche software development and technology maintenance. 

Online learning is becoming the new norm, and the trend does not seem to be reversing anytime soon. Therefore, investing in custom e-learning solutions is decisively a winning business move right now. 

Need help or have questions regarding digital opportunities in the education sector? Contact our team to discuss it!