The Challenges and Opportunities in Digitising Education
I recently chaired a discussion at Founders Factory on The Challenges and Opportunities in Digitising Education. I was joined by guests covering perspectives from educational leadership, edtech delivery, personalised learning and investment:
- Patrick Hayes (Director, BESA)
- Dr Melody Lang, (CEO, Edvinca)
- Kelwyn Looi (Special Projects, Pearson)
Unfortunately, we lost Sir Anthony Seldon (Vice-Chancellor of The University of Buckingham) to the Beast to the East.
Below summarises our discussion, which skimmed the surface due to time constraints and a broad definition of edtech:
1. Budget/Investment: We don’t have Chinese-level financial injections Business model issues.
2. Misconceptions & hyperbole: “Edtech is the new fintech?!” Crystalballs.
3. The digital dividend gap: How do we ensure we don’t just create more education to those who can already access education? What about broadening access? See also SEND/Early Years
4. Implementation – “Teachers “vs” network managers”. Wifi. Security. Fragmentation of academies model. Localisation. Scale.
5. Contextualising, measuring & efficacy case: Largely still unproven. Eg. personalised learning and Silicon schools fund report questioning proven impact. Jefferson education accelerator moving to become an exchange because ultimately efficacy doesn’t make a difference on uptake of products and services.
“I can’t go on, I’ll go on”. Sometimes edu/edtech discussions feel very much like a Beckett play. Why should we all go on? What can we make better? What should we not accept as given?
1. Relevant quality education: “Personal and professional satisfaction”. Plugging the skills gap. Making things more learner centric.
2. New models for “education”: Flexible working/better conditions for school staff. Mental health of students & staff. To date, a lot has been digitising old delivery models but there is potential to do things very differently. Disintermediation of old edu gate keepers. Better value. Where are the new pedagogies?
3. Truly lifelong learning and international learning – Developing Global Competencies. Equipping for “How to live to 100”
4. Scaling – opportunities for scale. Going beyond limitations of bricks and mortar. Meeting needs of 65m displaced people.