Predictions for the future of edtech from industry thought leaders

According to these influential figures from the edtech world, gamification, active learning and personalisation are among the characteristics that will define education in the coming years

You’d be hard-pushed to find an industry as fast-evolving as technology. With most experts estimating that the lifespan of a laptop – arguably a relatively straightforward device compared to many of the field’s newer innovations – is three to five years, it’s easy to see how quickly technologies can become outdated. New trends are a constant in this sector, and while there’s no telling how the next great development will unfold, we can turn to the informed insights of tech pioneers, thought leaders and authorities to forecast what the future might hold.

At the recent Global Education Summit, held by Genius Group, leading sector representatives used the event as a platform to share their ideas. The two-day virtual event brought together some of the most influential minds on the future of learning, with a global audience of thousands – including educators, trainers, coaches, speakers, students and industry leaders – tuning in to the event.

Experts at the summit cited expectations of the industry tripling in size by 2030, what with the vast disruption of the market, alongside the continuing edtech explosion transforming the teaching and learning process. Keen to know more? Here are the prognoses of four edtech trailblazers, drawn from the two-day summit:

“Gamification will continue to play an increasing role in how education will adapt in the future”

Seth Godin, author of no less than 20 best-sellers, and founder of both the altMBA and The Akimbo Workshops, thinks gamification will take much more of a central role in education over the next few years, lauding its ability to motivate learners and provoke a healthy sense of competition. He explained that the current model for learning maths, which is largely based on “obedience and repetition”, is only really effective for arithmetic, and proposed the idea of teaching young people the principles of mathematics through the game of poker instead. Godin commented:

“It’ll teach them so many more skills; for example, decision-making, observation, game theory – ones that will prepare young people well for adult life”

“Lectures will be a thing of the past”

Salman Khan, founder of free online learning provider the Khan Academy, and author of The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined, envisions that the traditional lecture format will soon be replaced by “human-to-human engagement”. He states that, whether online or in-person, learning outcomes are more effective when people take part in the process together. Khan also added:

“Let’s not lecture at students. Remote learning during the pandemic taught everyone that it’s not to simply lecture for an hour on Zoom. You need to engage kids, ask questions, put them into breakout rooms and so on. You must focus on active learning, and make it as humanly interactive as possible”

“We have five forces of change hitting us in every direction”

New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author of The SPEED of Trust – The One Thing That Changes Everything, Stephen M. R. Covey, also shared his insights at the event. Covey spoke of five transformative factors he believes are at play, the first of which he named as “the very nature of the world itself”, which is shifting because of technology.

The second point he listed was work, which is becoming more collaborative and service-oriented. The workplace was third, which Covey claims will increasingly be defined by flexible options for employees, including working from home or hybrid alternatives.

On top of this, he said:

“Fourth, the nature of the workforce is far more diverse than any generation before; and finally, the nature of choice. We have gone from what we might call multiple choice, to infinite choice. People have so many choices and options today that they did not have even 16 months ago. With all these changes, we cannot continue to lead in the ways we have led in the past because it’s just not going to work”

“Education will become more personalised and lifelong learning will grow to be the norm”

Roger James Hamilton, founder and CEO of Genius Group, also shared his thoughts. As Hamilton eloquently explained:

“The tide will shift from the existing industrial one-size-fits-all education and training model to become personalised mentorship and digital learning. We will see a huge shift in mindset across the globe”

So, how accurate are these expert predictions? We’ll have to wait and see how things unravel…

In other news: City-scale Wallace & Gromit AR experience launches in Bristol, Cardiff and San Francisco


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