Edtech – Pros & Cons of The Industry
May 24, 2021
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by Snigdh Baunthiyal

Edtech gaining record breaking investment
The pandemic has benefitted the edtech industry. Schools and universities shutting down has led to parents and students looking online for their education needs. The global edtech market size is expected to reach $106.04 billion this year.

In India, the edtech industry is predicted to reach the $30 billion mark by 2030. The current market value sits at around $700-800 million. As per IBEF’s Indian Education Sector Industry Report of August 2020, India is the second largest market for e-learning in the world.

Currently, in India, ed-tech companies have to comply by the rules around the e-commerce network. There’s no strict regulation of the industry in the country yet. In fact, a recent report in India revealed that there has been an increase in data theft on online portals in the country and that most of the fraud took place in ed-tech website accounts.

Recently, a major ed-tech company withdrew a defamation case against an Indian engineer after he spoke out against their advertisement strategies and questioned their teachers’ qualifications. 

In 2019, in the United States alone, around $1.7 billion was invested in ed-tech. In 2020, the investment increased by 30% as these startups raised over $2.2 billion in venture and private equity capitals.

The investments in China have also been groundbreaking.  Yuanfudao, which engages the K-12 age group, raised over $3.5 billion last year. Another company, Zuoyebang received a $2.35 billion funding in 2020 from investors including Alibaba. These are China’s most valuable edtech startups.

China, though, is making sure the industry is regulated. The country has imposed the maximum penalty on Zuoyebang and Yuanfudao, for unfair competition. According to the investigation, Zuoyebang made up information about its teachers’ work experience, claimed to give services it didn’t and also promoted false user reviews. Zuoyebang also claimed to be a partner of the United Nations. 

The Swedish Touch

With Sweden being known for being an innovation hotpsot, it’s comes as no surprise that the country has its own range of online learning tools. One of them is Youschool. Its founder, Fredrik Jansson, created the app to add the emotional component to learning. It also focuses on the use of pen and paper, in particular for STEM. Something he found missing in the online version of education:

“What I am trying to address is the feel-good factor in education. I think those two are very interconnected. And it’s so clear when you look at people who are not succeeding. Ask any student anywhere in the world who is not succeeding: how do you feel about school? They’ll rarely say, “Oh I love school! It’s the best place, you know?”

What’s more relationships in learning is important. In creating Youschool, I came up with a personality-type adaptive learning to be part of the solution. I found correlations between different personality types, be it student to student or teacher to student.

The interest here is what we can use data in order to find a good match for students and teachers.  Combining the emotional to the learning aspect is as simple as that, for me. It’s using data and enabling learning with pen and paper. Even recent studies endorsed by Microsoft, for instance, demonstrate clearly that’s the best way to learn.

Basically, Youschool is an online version of a classroom where there’s a teacher walking around to help students. They can interact online, click on the keyboard, demonstrate with their pen and paper and ask questions. The best way to learn, in my opinion, is by teaching others. So that’s what we are focusing on with the Youschool solution.”

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