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Top 3 Ed Tech Trends Impacting Existing Ed Tech Landscape

As part of the HireArt Ed-Tech Challenge, I was asked to answer the following question:

Please name the top three education technology trends that you think we should be paying attention to in 2013 and explain how each trend will impact the existing ed-tech landscape. If you have data to validate your responses, please add it in your response. You can type out or attach your response.


Trend 1: Ed Tech becomes more B2C, as there are many communities of lifelong learners springing up across the globe. Currently Ed Tech is more B2B, in the sense that Ed Tech companies reach out to educational institutions to provide administrative services or technology integration into classrooms. As the learner community becomes more focused on continuous lifelong learning, and as the traditional format of classrooms continue to get challenged, learners will directly subscribe to new Ed Tech that cater to them. MOOC is a clear evidence of this phenomenon. We have also seen this phenomenon with iPad and Android apps for language learning, teaching mathematics, game based learning for kids, etc. We will continue to see MOOCs becoming the defacto informal learning platform, and in parts replacing formal learning in many countries. We already saw the explosion of MOOC providers in 2012 with Coursera, Udacity, Udemy, edX. We continue to see this with NovoEd, iVersity (Germany), FutureLearn (UK) and now even India trying to come out with its own MOOC. Flipping the classrooms is another phenomenon that has caught on well in late 2012. We can expect to see a steady growth in the adoption of MOOCs and Flipped Classrooms. Any services that helps interoperability or accreditation from these platforms will also naturally gain traction.

Trend 2: Paid Learning Services will replace Paid Content. Learning services or value-adds such as content curation, content delivery, access to experts, etc will gain traction. Courses from experts or crowdsourced curated content will continue to rise from the likes of Coursera, Udacity, YouTubeEdu, Khan Academy, Quora, LunrQ, CodeAcademy, Udemy, etc. A decade back, Google solved a big problem in education, namely Content Discovery. Now, as we become experts in discovering content, the real challenge we will face is content accuracy (spam info, fake Wikipedia pages), content curation (Common Core, Learning Registry) and content delivery / expert interactions (MOOCs). Adoption of free content platforms like Open Education Resources will also accelerate this phenomenon. So Ed Tech companies should gear up to offer more such services, and not mere content.

Trend 3: Internet is seeing a wave of changes with Web 2.0 and Mobile, which will also impact the Ed Tech landscape. As Adobe abandoned Flash and HTML5 grew in popularity, we see a plethora of content providers porting their content to the new internet. But replatforming just the content will not help these companies, as the delivery medium has also changed from static desktop for Flash content, to highly responsive UX delivered via today’s browsers and mobile devices. Content for today’s Ed Tech offerings should also focus on being contextual (geo-based, augmented reality), current (Twitter trends) and common experience across varied platforms and form factors. For example, Moodle suffered a setback because new age providers like Edmodo capitalized on Web 2.0 and Mobile early on. While Moodle has officially released its mobile app in beta, industry experts believe that it has come in too late.

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