This is the story of two passionate education meet on the benches of HEC and ask about the courses they have received, finally not very different from those of their parents, or even their grandparents. Over the course of their discussions, Svenia Busson and Audrey Jarre discover the urge to go elsewhere, to explore the places in the world where, under the impact of the digital, we learn now really otherwise. Thus was born their project, called the EdTech World Tour. The objective : understand how the new technologies applied to education, EdTech, transform the pedagogy.
For five months, the two young women criss-cross the planet, from South Africa to New Zealand, passing by Chile, the United States or India. Their report, completed this summer, provides a balance sheet of national ecosystems and are best practices, country-by-country. Posted in free access on their site, it helps to answer the five key questions that arise when one addresses the subject of EdTech.
#1 The development of startups in the education, is it a global phenomenon ?
Yes, the rise of EdTech is now a global trend. According to the Boston Consulting Group, the sector has attracted 2015 investment of up to $ 4.5 billion at the global level, and the growth forecasts are of the order of 20 % per year.
However, this development does not take place everywhere at the same speed. It depends on the maturity of national markets, the deployment of suitable infrastructures, but also of mentalities. Where the sentence of Bernhard Niesner, ceo of the social network for language learning Busuu, Svenia Busson and Audrey Jarre cite in their report : “Being a tech start-up is like a marathon, being an EdTech start-up is like an ironman “.
#2 points you to a “ubérisation” of education ?
No, EdTech will not threaten, not the traditional economic model, because they generally do not have the ambition to provide a total solution : education remains a local issue and sovereign. It is impossible to replace one system or the educational practices of one country to the other without taking into account the reality on the ground in all its dimensions, economic, social, cultural.
” Being a tech start-up is like a marathon, being an EdTech start-up is like an ironman “
#3 The new technologies can transform education in depth ?
Yes, because they induce a change of mentality, giving more power to what the anglo-saxons call the ” growth mindset “, usually translated as “state of mind” development. Specifically, this is relying on his mistakes to progress, to the image of bugs computer that you must learn to solve. This fundamentally changes the status of the error, which radically moves away from the ” mistake “, a term even more guilt that he carries a moral connotation in the negative.
#4 startups EdTech will they revolutionize alone our education system ?
No, they need the support of institutional actors, including public authorities, to successfully reach students. This is far from obvious in France, where the market is highly centralized and the public tenders largely in favour of the traditional publishers. The startups, they have a lot of trouble to get into the schools, unlike the United States, for example, where it is very easy to test a tool in such or such a district.
#5 The digital sign-t-he end of the prof ?
No, the teacher remains at the centre of the education system, but its position vis-à-vis student exchange : less than his master, he now becomes his companion. With digital, it is above all the pedagogical relationship that evolves, but no application can replace the teacher. Hence the statement of John Martin, ceo of Sanoma Learning, the heavy weight of educational publishing in Europe : “the teacher is the killer app “. Remains a major challenge, far from always taken into account : teacher training the use of new technologies in the classroom.