The global EdTech market is growing before our eyes — by 2025, spending on online education will reach $404 billion. The development of this industry not only changes the methodology of training, but also sets trends in education. We talk about the EdTech market in Russia, as well as trends and tools.
The situation in the EdTech market in Russia
The EdTech market in Russia is especially developing in the direction of online education, and, important to note, this industry is relatively young, but very promising. According to the study of Holon IQ, 50% of companies that are now in the top 100 of the Holon rating, are maximum 6 years old, and some of them were born during the pandemic, such as children online school Skysmart.
Most courses are concentrated in the niche of new professions and skills (22%), for example Skypro, HTML Academy, Skill Cup. In the third quarter of 2021, according to Smart Ranking data, compared to the same period of 2020 year, the volume of the EdTech market grew almost 2 times.
It is not surprising that the EdTech industry is developing so rapidly, especially in the past few years given the pandemic and the unstable situation in the labor market.
Top trends in EdTech
The concept of lifelong learning, or continuous learning, is that a person constantly strives for knowledge, personal and professional growth throughout his life. The most important thing is to achieve the desired result, and no matter — at university or online courses.
With this concept, the target audience of educational platforms has expanded: yesterday it included mainly schoolchildren or students, and now the emphasis has shifted to senior generation. According to the Pew Research Center, 73% of adults consider themselves lifelong learners and receive lifelong learning. So, 87% of respondents believe to self-feel more confidently and comprehensively developed individuals, and for 69% education opened up new prospects.
Another trend is mixed learning, or blended learning, when part of it passes online, and the other is offline. More and more players who offered only distance learning, try to introduce as many “real” workshops and meetings as possible — and vice versa. Such format increases engagement and efficiency, and the community motivates for the result. The concept of blended learning includes several more categories:
Micro Learning. Learn less — get more knowledge. Training is designed so that lessons last about 10 minutes, but they contain the most useful information — without “water”.
Mobile Learning. Uncomfortable to learn from a laptop while using the subway? It doesn’t matter, with a new trend on mobile educational applications, you can learn anywhere.
Business simulations. With such simulation, employees will learn specifically that they will need at their work, but in an absolutely calm atmosphere. So they can improve their skills and acquire new ones.
“Back to school.” Despite the proven effectiveness of online learning, the risk to distract or drop out of courses is much higher. Therefore, more and more EdTech companies are implementing in their programs offline seminars, and workshops. For example, in the “Like Center” there are both training formats — general energy and being in the circle of like-minded people charge and motivate to continue to study.
The learning model as in school — when everyone is taught according to the same scheme — no longer works. People need an individual approach: a focus on their interests and needs, a flexible pace without constantly burning deadlines, and personalized programs that are built on the basis of goals and opportunities of students.
Artificial intelligence helps to draw up an individual plan. Technologies are studying the goals pursued by students and their preferred learning formats. For example, Coursera, before the beginning of the course, collects general information — if the student knows something about the university and has ever studied a similar course. And after each unit, the platform offers to pass the test — so it analyzes what percentage of the material the student learned, and then builds the content depending on results.
Tools that develop EdTech
Big Data and Artificial Intelligence
According to forecasts, the use of AI in education in 2021 will increase by 48%. Big Data and AI technologies make learning personalized. They analyze a huge amount of data, study the interests of students, their time of study, etc. — and individual training plans appear.
In addition, high tech saves students’ and teachers’ time and saves them from performing routine tasks. For example, students can ask for some information in a chatbot, getting instant respond. Also, technology helps teachers check and rate homework.
Games make learning more exciting for students regardless of their age. They allow to acquire new skills through already familiar activities. In addition, this approach develops creativity, imagination and causes only positive emotions. Although game mechanics are popular in school education, they gradually penetrate into education for young people and adults. Gamification primarily holds the student’s attention and involves him in the learning process. When students receive points for completed tasks or close some tasks using games, they end up in a competitive environment where everyone wants to win.
Extended Reality (XR)
Technology combines mixed reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) — so students gain experience in immersive learning. AR blends virtual and real worlds, transforming material elements into digital elements. And VR creates 3D reality, that is, a student may be on another planet or at another time.
Of course, such technologies are very useful. For example, students can experiment in virtual lab or go for a field study — and don’t even have to leave class. So, students will be able to better absorb complex material. By the way, XR does not even need individual devices — simple actions can be performed using a tablet or smartphone.
Opportunity to share experiences with other students
We have already said earlier that online training is quite effective if you apply enough efforts. But there is one drawback — only 5–15% of people pass the program to the end.
One way to involve students is gamification, and the other is the ability to exchange experience with other participants, that is, the creation of a certain community. Such an environment is comfortable and effective for students as much as possible as they have already encountered such a format, for example, in school or social networks.
Many educational platforms create separate chat rooms for students where they can meet each other, ask questions about their homework, or share their experience. In addition, many students continue to communicate after training, even creating joint business.
So, “Like Center” back in 2019 launched its own hypothesis library, which works at Toolbox LMS platform. The library collects various ideas from entrepreneurs in open access for everybody — this is how students exchange experience.
Undoubtedly, in the next 5–10 years, the online education and EdTech market will continue to grow rapidly. At the Education Global Summit forum, experts predict that in 2030 this segment will be 3 times larger than it is now. New players will appear on the market, competing with existing ones. And this will improve the quality of online education: everyone will do his best to keep the student as his client — now this can only be done offering the real good.
Patrick Brothers, managing director of Holon IQ, believes that another scenario is possible: large technology companies, such as Google, will dominate the EdTech market, and the players we see now will fade into the background.
In addition, it is predicted that in 2050 there will be 2 billion more people in the world who need school and higher education. Brothers claims that even now the system is no longer coping with such a flow — so you need to look for as many new ways as possible to make each person trained.
Nevertheless, all experts agree that students first need practical skills, not notorious names — so even small players can stay alive due to high-quality content.
Author: Ekaterina Popova, Director of Product and Service of Technological education company for businessmen “Like Center”