Recently, the Liberty team has been working with two key players in the education technology and e-learning space, IBIS Capital and Edxus Group, on a new event exploring the business of education and acting as a catalyst for the consolidation and investment required in the sector.
The project has been a great example of one of the things that I most enjoy about working in technology PR – looking beyond the bottom line of a new technology’s earning potential to how it impacts on the real world and can potentially change lives. Along with m-health, education is clearly an area which has the potential to be revolutionised by technology – with benefits for both education providers and the recipients.
As IBIS Capital’s industry reports into e-learning have found, despite the fact that the global education market is worth a staggering $4.4 trillion, 20% more than the global IT market, it has been one of the least innovated areas of modern life over the past decade. If market dynamics can be aligned then e-learning and education technology generally looks set to turn this lack of innovation on its head. In return for governmental and education institution investment that falls far short of that required in traditional learning delivery infrastructure (which has skyrocketed in recent times – by 80% since 2000 according to IBIS), e-learning platforms have the power to cost effectively provide a better standard of education.
Not only can this help to democratise education, offering access to standardised content whether a student attends the best private institution or a rundown inner city school, but the immersive, interactive platforms that are available will fundamentally change the way that education is delivered. By leveraging virtualisation and gamification, adapting to an individual’s need for visual or numerical content for instance, the potential for improved engagement and therefore results is huge.
Combine this with e-learning platforms’ ability to harness big data and smart analytics and you can start to see how content can then be further tailored to the individual’s learning patterns and aptitude. Progress can be tracked down to the individual with less need for exams and less admin for teachers, as well as greater visibility for parents or bosses in the professional learning sector.
Of course, we’ve got a long way to go before all schools are able to offer e-curricula, but the trends in the higher education and professional learning sectors towards e-learning are clear and seem to be well received. If government and education institutions can work together to welcome the digital age then hopefully the impact on both results and budgets will be an education in themselves.
For more information on IBIS Capital’s industry reports, visit http://www.ibiscapital.co.uk/resources/investment-banking-research.aspx and http://edxusgroup.com/a-european-perspective-on-e-learning-report-ibis-capital/.
For information on EdTech Europe, Edxus and IBIS Capital’s recent London event, visit http://edxusgroup.com/category/events/.