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Now is the time for EdTech to prove itself

Man walking through a library

For emerging technologies and futurist start-ups, now is a time of unrivalled opportunity. The so-called disruptors must take advantage of the disruption. The chance is offered most clearly in the EdTech (Education Technology) sector: schools are closed, while parents, teachers and students are relying on technology for learning to continue.

In 2019, Metaari reported EdTech as a sector emboldened by demonstrative investor confidence. Last year saw $18.7 billion of global private investment in learning technology suppliers. The industry garnered attention not only from education sector veterans, but from cross-industry investors too.

Yet despite holding a clear stake in the future, EdTech’s limitations were apparent. Lesson plans are primarily virtual, and homework can be set on apps, but wide-scale adoption remained a challenge.

“Schools and teachers, already under pressure, can be somewhat resistant to change.” explained Paul Cuatrecasas, CEO of tech acquisition advisory firm Aquaa Partners and author of Go Tech or Go Extinct.

But Covid-19 transformed everything. Toptol predicted last year that online learning would accelerate in 2020. Renewed investment in platforms such as Outlier, MasterClass, Osmosis, Coursera, and Degreed suggested a renaissance of sorts. Now, learning is only online.

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