LONDON 22nd JANUARY 2014
The Gold Mercury report explains what the future is likely to look like for teachers and students, and examines what the implications might be for institutions and companies currently involved in the industry. The report also determines that there will be massive improvement in the lives of students, teachers and parents. The traditional institutions that have shaped this industry historically will be left behind if they do not allow their organisations to adapt. The study has identified where the key education meta-trends are, and also where they may potentially lead, and it is crucial for us to understand them in order to adequately adapt.
Some key findings of the report include:
-All levels of education are being dramatically affected by modern technology, with the traditional higher education business models being disrupted the most, due to their high fees and their need to improve future global workforce’s job-seeking abilities.
-The pricing models and delivery of educational services are radically changing, as the actors and value-chain of education are totally transformed by new, innovative players and changing models of certification.
-Access to education for the poor is rapidly increasing thanks to mobile technology and free Massive Open Online Course platforms, helping to advance the United Nations’ millennium development goal of universal education by 2015.
-Three important, broad tech meta-trends are affecting education’s future at all levels: 1. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), 2. Mobile Learning and Multi-Faceted Technology and 3. Learning Analytics.
“This report shows that technology will disrupt education in a way never seen before in other industries. The tech tsunami is coming towards the shores of education and it will disrupt all education business models and the meaning and purpose of education, from curriculums to certification, to how and why people are hired in the future,”
says Nicolas De Santis, President of Gold Mercury.
For this EdTech study, Gold Mercury partnered with Silicon Valley Comes to the UK (SVC2UK): the not-for profit organisation bringing the leading Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and thought leaders to the UK, to ignite local entrepreneurship. SVC2UK recently hosted the Future of Education Summit; partnered with Cambridge University Press, to discuss and debate the future of learning in the context of new technologies. Sherry Coutu, SVC2UK Chairwoman has this to say on the importance of the report:
“Gold Mercury and SVC2UK believe that this Ed-tech study shows the truly dramatic changes happening at all levels of the education value chain, and business models in countries around the world. Technology has started its transformation of the lives of those in and dedicated to education, but the transformation has only just begun; we are going to see real disruptive changes”.
The report also includes a special section on “How technology is disrupting education forever and helping the poor” by Dr David McNally, Director of Digital Systems for Macmillan Science and Education. Macmillan are driving the introduction of new and innovative digital education models, that have the potential to disrupt traditional textbook publishing businesses; but with much greater scalability and global reach.
Education – The last great transformation
The education sector has, in reality; for decades (or even possibly centuries), been the last great bastion of industry tradition and fixity. The lonely island of the educational sector has remained static, amidst a violent sea of modern change and technological transformation; a raging torrent which has long since swept away and revolutionised all other sectors. In many ways, education is the last great industry to fall to this change, and be brought into the 21st Century by technology. As part of the findings of the report, Gold Mercury have identified three broad meta-trends from which the majority of the substantial changes to the shape of education are emerging. Understanding the importance and potential for these three types of disruptive technology is absolutely crucial if we are to continue to bring education out from the stone-age.
The three most important meta-trends and categories of EdTech
The report analyses the degree to which education is being made into a universally accessible, innovative, personalized, and adaptive experience, and finds that the these changes will be pivotal for achieving the United Nations’ goal of universal education by 2015. The report breaks down new types of technology into three broad categories, and then examines how they are influencing the shape of modern education; the meta-trends being: 1) “Open Sources and the Internet”, 2) “mobile and multi-faceted technology”, and 3) “virtual learning environments/learning analytics”.
1) Open Sources and the Internet
Two technological areas of particular importance to education, which the report examines in detail, are that of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and the Web 2.0 Platform. MOOCs and Web 2.0 are Open Source technologies which have been born from the Internet, and the drastic changes the Internet has brought about in how people communicate and process information. These two technologies defy the traditional barriers of education, and allow the overall structure of education to decentralise and universalise.
The report highlights that the previously rigid, top-down structure of education is now giving way to a more adaptable, fully customisable, individualised system; primarily due to the ubiquity of modern technological devices. The standardisation of the Internet, Web 2.0, mobile devices, computers and virtual realities, as part of our everyday lives, will help to facilitate and reinforce this fundamental shift by means of normalisation; utilising the fact that modern students are already “digital natives”.
2) Mobile and Multi-Faceted Technology
While Open Sources and the Internet revolutionise the structure of education itself, mobile and multi-faceted technology revolutionises the way society can provide education to students. Mobile devices provide more accessible, individualised portals through which information and knowledge is accessed, shattering the rigidity of traditional education. What could previously only be accessed in the classroom is now available in the palm of your hand, wherever you go.
3) Virtual Learning Environments and Learning Analytics
With this mobile technology and its increasing prevalence around the globe, students can then use this technology to merge their virtual lives with their physical ones; by completing assignments and educational games online, or by receiving feedback online through virtual learning environments. Learning and teaching can now both occur in these online environments, due to the presence of analytics.
At the centre of modern education – true innovation
The evidence which Gold Mercury has collected about the state of the EdTech industry, draws the exciting conclusion that the revolution’s catalyst is indeed true innovation, as opposed to business interests or hollow rhetoric. The extensive collection of case studies referenced in the report paint an exciting picture; the majority of the important and widely-influencing technologies in recent educational history have come from small startup businesses who are then funded by major companies, who see their potential. Examples of this, referenced in the report, include Veduca, Minerva University, Raspberry Pi, Kahoot!, Khan Academy, etc. Education is a field which is encouraging and rewarding entrepreneurship and innovation, and one which carries an enormous multiplicity of social and economic benefits. Not only are businesses and start-ups finding great success in genuinely innovating the sector, but their output is more than just economic; they strengthen human capital and condition significantly, by ensuring accessible, involving, and personalized education for all. This creates the entrepreneurs and innovators of the future, driving sustainability and growth worldwide.
Advancing the goal of global educational development
The revolution in E-Ducation is important for humanity in so many different global areas, and is undeniably crucial for sustainability, growth, and perhaps most importantly – improving overall human condition. It is paramount that we do all we can to understand and help drive this change and move forwards; to ensure a better future for ourselves and future generations. Now that the revolution has finally been catalysed, we must continue to drive it forward.
Gold Mercury have dedicated the Ed-Tech report to Malala Yousafzai, whose message of universal education we support wholeheartedly. She has become a symbol for the right to universal education, and the rights of women to study around the world.
Press Release Ends
For further information, please contact:
Chon Kemp, Corporate Affairs Manager – Gold Mercury International
Telephone: +442071933708 / Mobile: +447932988874