What is EdTech?
Covid-19 has changed fundamentally how we learn and work. Technology has enabled us to learn anytime, anywhere and with anyone. Using technology appropriately, we can make learning more enjoyable, personalised, inclusive, effective and affordable.
Education Technology (EdTech) refers to the applications of technology to make teaching and learning more effective and inclusive, such as mobile technology, cloud computing, immersive technologies, AI, big data, blockchain, IoT and robotics.
What’s EdTech? Source: Education Alliance Finland
EdTech is an enabler of but not the same as:
- E-learning: Delivery of learning through internet and electronic devices such as computers and mobile phones
- Online learning: Virtual and interactive teaching and learning
- Technology Education: Teaching and learning of technologies, including but not limited to information technology.
Whilst the education system will take years to evolve, technology can be a catalyst of change. EdTech can be an effective means to innovate teaching and learning. Effective EdTech applications will entail a different education philosophy (e.g. personalised learning, whole person development, learning anytime, anywhere and with any one) and pedagogy (e.g. blended, experiential, cross-disciplinary and project based learning). The end goal is to equip learners with 21st century skills (both digital and soft skills) and unleash the potential of every person with multiple pathways, and not having assessments and qualifications as the only and primary objective.
The EdTech market was valued at US$ 254.80 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach US$ 605.40 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 15.52% during the forecast period. EdTech investment in 2021 amounted to US$20 billion, 40 times bigger than it was in 2010 and three times the pre-pandemic level in 2019. (Source: HolonIQ)
No EdTech market in the world is as exciting as Asia’s, with a massive and tech savvy population, fast growing economies, a cultural emphasis on education, government support, and an abundance of capital. Asia is set to fuel the growth of the global EdTech market.
Importance of EdTech
“Half of all employees around the world will need reskilling by 2025—and that number does not include all the people who are currently not in employment.”
World Economic Forum and PwC Upskilling for Shared Prosperity report
EdTech is relevant to a whole spectrum of learning, from early childhood education to workforce development and lifelong learning. The pandemic has made digital transformation a necessity. Digital reskilling and upskilling should be high on the agenda of every business and society. Blended learning is fast becoming a new normal for schools and organisations alike. Edtech will provide organizations around the world with digital learning tools for workplace training, personalized learning platforms to help employees and employers track progress and micro-credentialing programs to help learners demonstrate mastery in particular areas. (EdSurge, 18 April, 2022)
EdTech should be integral to the development of the digital and knowledge economy. There is increasing convergence between EdTech, FinTech, HealthTech and other and other technologies to innovate every sector and to ensure the competitiveness and sustainable development of every society.
Personalized and adaptive learning are made possible by AI. Learners from different cultures and with different learning needs can overcome the learning barriers. Teachers can create smart content and leave mundane administrative tasks to AI. According to HolonIQ, spending on AI and machine learning is expected to grow to USD6B by 2025.
Blockchain technology will enable users to store and secure the records of students and learners, thereby creating more authentic and reliable learning management systems that allows administrators and educators to analyse patterns and make data-driven decisions.
Forrester estimates that data-driven businesses are growing at an average of more than 30 percent annually. Data is critical to unlock the potential of edtech solutions. It can help educators identify areas where students need help. Data analytics can also be used to track student engagement and motivation.
Extended reality (XR) is an umbrella term for augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), or the combination of related technology with the real environment to make learning immersive. With the decrease in costs of VR and AR hardware, enhancement of the visual learning process is made affordable. AR can introduce virtual elements to real-world scenarios to encourage student engagement and further connect educators with learners, while VR can take users into completely simulated and lifelike environments.
Integrating game-based solutions into the learning experience can increase engagement and result in positive learning outcomes, for young learners and adults alike.
There is a lot of hype about the metaverse and what it means for the future of learning. Essentially the metaverse can serve as an alternative learning space, leveraging the different technologies to make learning more engaging, fun and effective. It will open up new learning frontiers, transcending time and space in unprecedented ways.
Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material/event (or by members of the project team) do not reflect the views of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Innovation and Technology Commission or the Vetting Committee of the General Support Programme of the Innovation and Technology Fund.