Tag: Edtech

EdTech still going strong with £3m investment in UK HE skills training platform Aptem

“The world is rapidly changing, with globalisation giving way to protectionism”

Aptem (MWS Technology Ltd), the market-leading SaaS software provider for apprenticeships, vocational training and employability, has secured £3 additional funding at a valuation of £33 million from long-term investors 24Haymarket and Guinness Ventures. Despite UK crises and talk of funding cuts, alongside a level of disenchantment with online learning in HE, EdTech is still seen as a good bet.

It is no exaggeration to say that the UK is in a political and economic crisis. With a new government (albeit the same political party) every two years and three different education secretaries in 2022 alone, the impact on education has been stark. Reliant on stability and continuity, particularly in an era of funding constraints, the sector is struggling to deliver the skills the UK needs.

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Online learning can enable educators to reach an almost limitless audience

“Edtech will be key to pushing us towards an education style that suits the individual, no matter where they are based”

The last two years have been a torrid time across a number of sectors and education is no exception to that rule, but we can also take some key lessons from the experience of teaching through a pandemic.

One of the effects of lockdowns across the globe has been the breaking down of borders in education, as the shift towards online or blended learning allows educators to reach a larger virtual ‘classroom’, spread across large geographical areas, says Rahim Hirji, UK Country Manager of online learning platform and app, Quizlet.

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Changing the education paradigm with AI

“Artificial intelligence systems are being developed to act as teachers’ aides, leaving teachers more time to give individual students personalised attention”

The world’s current education paradigm relies on an outdated and inefficient model with one teacher helping an entire classroom of students master the same material at roughly the same pace in a predetermined amount of time. The model also assumes that student motivation is relatively constant, and roughly the same for each student, explains YJ Jang, CEO and founder of Riiid.

Even exceptionally talented teachers can overcome only some of these issues, but exceptionally talented teachers are, by definition, rare.

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Higher education needs to play the long game with tech after Covid-19

“Leaders in higher education are still working to refine the solutions they implemented during the pandemic, despite a disruptive year and overwhelmed IT teams, there’s reason for optimism”

Tech leaders in higher education spent the better part of 2020 learning lessons of their own. Shifting abruptly to remote learning, keeping students healthy and consistently circulating accurate information were just a few of the efforts IT leaders were tasked to help facilitate.

Like peers in most other industries, leaders in higher education are still working to refine the solutions they implemented during the pandemic. But despite a disruptive year and overwhelmed IT teams, there’s reason for optimism: the pandemic accelerated digital transformation in higher education.

The improvements that were made to campus content services platforms and legacy systems during the pandemic laid the groundwork for a better student experience for years to come.

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Revolutionising employability with edtech in Africa

“Underemployed graduates can master more skills, update their knowledge and improve their chances of getting a better job”

By 2030, the number of young people in the African labour force will increase to 375 million. According to the International Monetary Fund, population growth on the continent means that by 2035, there will be more young Africans entering the workforce each year than in the rest of the world combined.

Yet the African Development Bank has observed that only 3 million of the 12 million graduates produced by African universities find employment each year.

In Nigeria, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, unemployment has increased to 33.3% in the 4th quarter 0f 2020. Despite producing huge number of graduates, African universities are churning out too many graduates who possess little or no mastery of skills necessary for today’s job market. Oladapo Soetan, founder of Ajuwaya Learn, explains how edtech could offer a solution.

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The importance of social engagement in the online class

“I can’t tell who is more frustrated, the teacher or the student”

How do you show friendliness in an online classroom? Now that we’re past the survival stage of virtual learning, we can think about what’s missing in how we teach and what we can do to achieve better quality communication.

I remember those moments, before the pandemic, when a student would walk into my classroom and I’d say, “hey, how’s it going today?” And that student could feel the impact of personal attention, that a teacher is actually “seeing” them. Those kinds of socially intuitive interactions are lost in the online teaching we are doing today.

What’s also missing are the little things that indicate friendliness, like someone getting closer to you when you’re saying something. In fact, students indicate that they miss the tactile aspects of face-to-face classes, like the feeling of having a physical classmate sitting close to them in class.

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The future of online learning is on-demand

“There is a visible need for more relevant digital learning experiences”

The global education sector has experienced more disruption and rapid change over the course of 2020 than it has over the past few decades, writes Susannah Belcher, Chief Operations Officer at FutureLearn. As schools close, universities pivot harder to digital, and professionals need to adapt and reskill, the demand for online learning is set to pick up rather than slow down.

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Migrating digital natives to home-learning in the wake of school closures

“The human interaction aspect of e-learning is crucial for student success and wellbeing – and for teachers too”

This latest blog is by Daniel Jones, Chief Education Officer of Globeducate, one of the world’s leading international school groups that has seen schools in all markets migrate to temporary home-schooling due to Covid-19 in less than a month.

Having anticipated possible school closures early in the new year our leadership team began planning a global strategy for online learning by the start of February. When the news of school closures in Italy broke, ICS Milan, Rome International School and Southlands International School were ready to launch their virtual learning programmes for students aged 3 to 18.

What has been asked of students and teachers all over the world has been immense – students have had to adapt to learning at home, away from the routine of school and the familiarity of their friends and teachers, and teachers have been engaging students in an entirely new environment.

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The three commandments of international education partnerships

“Finding the right partners isn’t easy, and it’s important to be particular in your search for the right network and connections”

Mark Fletcher is co-founder and CEO of edtech company Cohort Go. In this blog, he explores the importance of creating strong partnerships to keep the international education industry growing and moving forward.

 Partnerships are critical to international education. Whether it’s an international student seeking advice from an education agent, or a university working with a payments provider to facilitate student tuition payments – the international education community is built on a solid foundation of partnerships.

Collaborating with the right partners is vital if you are going to deliver overall success – not just in your business, but to the sector as a whole. Here are three things I’ve learned to help form successful partnerships in international education.

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