Last week the second EdTech Europe meeting was held in London. It was an inspiring day and attracted high quality participants including quite a large audience of start-ups, established operating companies and investors. Thanks to Charles McIntyre, CEO of IBIS Capital and Benjamin Vedrenne-Cloquet, Founding CEO of Edxus Group, for having arranged this excellent meeting!
I was a speaker on one of the panels and also a member of the Advisory Board, so I was happy it was a success. I loved engaging with the entrepreneurs running the edtech ventures. It’s inspiring to hear their stories and feel their energy. And it was also a great networking event for meeting peers from across Europe.
Technology, platform, content, data?
This was a meeting about educational technology, so there was rightly a lot of discussion about the transformation of education and the roles that technology, platforms, content and data will play. What will be the “killer app” of education in the future?
The killer app in education today is the teacher
Today I believe that the “killer app” of K-12 education is the teacher. Great teachers engage individuals and classes, ensuring that they are motivated to learn. They stretch and support individual pupils so that they reach the best learning outcome they can. And they guide the ways of working such that learning time is spent usefully.
Technology will both enable and disrupt teachers in the future
Effective use of technology, platforms, content and data can help to raise learning outcomes (e.g. data-driven personalised learning), bring efficiency to the ways of working (e.g. automation and performance dashboards), and support engagement and motivation (e.g. gamification and storyfication). The teacher is therefore likely to get both enabled and disrupted by technology in the future.
Yet although the role of the teacher will change, I believe they will remain the “killer app” of education in the future too. They are likely to remain the leader of the classroom. They will probably more-or-less remain as the primary guide and gatekeeper to the learning activities that are carried out. And their relationship with classes and individual pupils will remain pivotal to engagement and motivation.
Enable teachers to develop each child
Our ambition is to use edtech to enable teachers to excel at developing the talents of every child, resulting in higher outcomes, better engagement and new ways of working. That’s something I believe in and would be keen to invest in.