GUEST COLUMN | by Anjli Jain

Education with the touch of technology; a perfect amalgamation for ensuring success.

Where education was once known to be a sector with a reluctant outlook toward technologies, recent stats impressively counter the same.

By November 2017, investors around the globe invested around $8.15 Billion in learning technology companies, which is 11% more as compared to the previous year, 2016 ($7.33 Billion).

Not only this, per IBIS Capital, a London-based consultancy, the edtech market is predicted to reach $252 Billion by 2020, i.e. around triple than what it was in 2013. Still doubting its growth?

“…the edtech market is predicted to reach $252 Billion by 2020, i.e., around triple than what it was in 2013.  

With the massive surge of technological involvements in the world of education, many investors foresee edtech as a profitable sector and surely the numbers revolving around it phrase the same.

Being an edtech investor, I believe in the growth of the space.

And it’s amazing to see how new technologies and advancements unfold and coalesce with the education sector.

Having said that, let’s have a look at few edtech trends that are sure to boom in the coming days.

1) Rise of AR/VR

From the gaming industry to the education space, virtual reality is certainly a promising technology, ensuring better engagement and the push towards the future of learning.

Microsoft’s HoloLens comes up with an amazing 3D experience, where a student can have a better understanding of concepts.

I am sure students would love to go back in time and learn lessons on history instead of just reading about them in books.

Such technological inclusions act as a rescuer for those students dropping out due to the monotony of subjects, especially when they are on the outlook of innovation.

In the same way, AR is not settling for anything less. It got famous after the introduction of Pokémon Go.

Per a report, worldwide shipment of smart augmented reality glasses is predicted to reach around 5.4 million units by 2020 with the global augmented reality market expected to grow to about $90 Billion by 2020. 

Surely, a sector to watch out for!

2) Increasing Best Security Practices

With the loss of around 32 Million records in early 2017, the education sector accounted for 13% of total data breaches.

Such critical stats create urgency in building different security measures, including cyber hygiene, where users learn how they can keep themselves protected from such cybercrimes.

I believe this to be a sensitive issue and must be handled with extensive precaution, particularly when data revolving around students is at stake.

Having said that, there are still many institutions and organizations which are not aware of the need for installing cyber security tools.

It seems like they’re just waiting for another alarming data breach headline to knock on their door, or contemplating questions like: how can you fight with a problem, when you don’t even know if you have it?

I would resonate with the old maxim here: prevention is indeed better than getting cured!

Nonetheless, with this issue making loud noises around the world of data, the coming time is going to see a lot of security tools flowing in, ensuring the provision of data protection to the majority.

3) Mobile Learning

Mobiles disrupted the world of communication and unimaginably revolutionized the way we used to talk.

How can it limit itself to just talking, when the broader aspects are right in front of us?

Learning tops all those aspects and is sure to make big in providing help to the students worldwide.

With the multitude of opportunities, mobile learning promises results, reflecting:

– high retention rates

– better student engagement

– performance support

– flexibility of learning to the students

– etc.

Where 70% of learners feel more motivated when training on a mobile device as opposed to a computer, it’s not hard to fathom that mobile learning is ready to restructure the traditional ways of learning in times to come.

4) Analytics & Data Driven Learning

We are living in a world where we can monitor anything, be it the calories we are consuming or the number of hours we sleep at night.

However, such a data driven approach is not just limited to taking notes on our daily schedule.

It is way more than that.

Education is a top sector, holding potential of benefitting from analytics and data driven approach.

Such an approach comes with the bliss to justify, improve, and modify the way we are learning right now—to ensure success in future.

With the help of student data, drastic changes can be made leading to a better way of learning.

From leveling up student retention rates to engaging more and more students, everything can take a turn for the better and I am sure we are not going to miss on this in the coming time.

The Bottom Line Is

We are living in an era where the number of tools and technologies we have at our fingertips is astounding.

However, with this big number comes the responsibility of turning it towards betterment.

As universities begin to battle declining student enrollment numbers, security breaches, helpdesk setups, and other such limitations—technology must come into play.

With advanced edtech technologies coming in the front line in the times to come, I am pretty sure we are going to see a substantial transfiguration of the education space.

What do you think?

Anjli Jain is a Managing Partner at EVC Ventures, a $50 million Chicago-based venture capital fund and the Founder and Chairman of Campus Consortium, a global consortium of 2000+ colleges and universities.