Edtech – the next big thing?
Fintech has taken the world by storm and revolutionised how we bank.
Its spectacular success is not difficult to explain. Fintech start-ups identified a shift in society, led by consumer demand for innovative digital services. We want things to be easier, more accessible and instant. Fintech start-ups recognised this and took traditional financial services, added a pinch of innovation and a dash of technology, and the future of banking changed forever.
So, what is next?
Just as digitalisation has transformed the financial services industry, it is already beginning to revolutionise education.
Learning models have barely changed since schools began. A teacher stands at the front of the classroom, while students sit and listen, with learning materials being mostly physical textbooks.
However, digital technologies are transforming this model. Students are increasingly using computers or tablets, and more and more teachers are using screens to deliver their lessons. Textbooks are being replaced by interactive online services, which are more up to date and in-depth, and which enable students to explore and learn at their own pace, often via distance learning.
Two main factors are driving this change.
Firstly, today’s students are children of the digital revolution and have come to expect the same digital capabilities within their learning environments.
Secondly, digital will soon be the nucleus of every industry, from human resources to healthcare and fashion. Four years from now, the U.K. alone will require 2.3 million digitally skilled workers, while only 10% of schools offer any kind of computer science class. Unless we start exposing learners to technology in the classroom, our skills gap will soon become a chasm.
There are now more than 1,000 edtech startups in Britain, contributing more than £1 billion to the U.K. economy each year. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Edtech is poised to be the biggest and most profitable digitalised sector yet.
Edtech is also a safe bet for investors. Unlike the ups and downs of the financial markets, education remains constant, sheltered from many of the pressures of the broader geopolitical landscape, and offering a safe haven for smart money from smart investors.