What do you like about your role?
We focus on enabling what we call learning impact: engaging pupils, improving learning outcomes and supporting the efficient workflow of the teacher. I really like how we can use technology in the overall mix of the offering to boost learning impact.
Share three predictions on the future of Edtech.
We are active in the K-12 space. I think this question should be answered through the benefits edtech can provide to pupils and teachers, rather than through something specific about AI, VR or AR for example. So I would say that edtech will 1) help to make learning more engaging for pupils 2) in so doing will lead to improved individual learning outcomes and 3) will bring major time and cost efficiencies to learning and teaching. Those technologies that can prove and improve these key benefits will bring significant commercial opportunities to those companies that can successfully deploy them in the market.
What technologies do you believe have the potential to transform the education industry?
Again I think this question should be looked at through the eyes of the customers: pupils and teachers.
Looking at it from the global perspective, I think the most transformational impact will be access to mobile devices. Today, access to mobile learning is limited in three dimensions: to children in richer communities, in rich countries, and in schools where digital learning is encouraged. Consider the world in say 2050 where the number of under 15 year olds will be roughly as follows: 70 million in the USA, 90 million in South America, 110 million in Europe, 200 million in China, 300 million in India and 700 million in Sub-Saharan Africa. There’s a real chance that more or less all schoolchildren everywhere will have access to mobile devices in the foreseeable future and will be allowed to use those devices for learning. Imagine the profound impact on our people and planet when this generation gets access to mobile learning across the globe. Is there a more powerful instrument for personal development, reducing poverty and inequality, and laying the basis for sustained economic growth and sound governance than this?
Looking from the local/classroom perspective, I believe the teacher is the killer app in education. Supercharging the teacher with enabling technologies that support pupil engagement, excellent learning outcomes and an efficient workflow could have a significant transformative impact.
As we are celebrating out 5th anniversary of EdTechXEurope, we are looking at the key trends over the past 5 years in edtech. What would you say have been the key areas of change that are impacting edtech today? Anything unexpected that surprised you? Trends that were overhyped and never met their expected potential?
Looking back 5 years, I would say the rapid adoption of mobile devices has been the most significant development. The emergence of China as a superpower in education and edtech is progressing full steam ahead. I have been somewhat surprised by the rather low adoption of pure-play digital curriculum solutions in Western schools and the preference for multi-channel models.
Why is it important for all players in the edtech ecosystem to continuously connect, network and learn from each other?
This is the best way for rapid learning and innovation in the industry and also for improving the experience to customers that is so critical to encouraging usage.
When you think about joining EdTechXEurope this year, what are you looking forward to? What makes you excited about our event in London?
EdTechXEurope is the best opportunity in Europe to get inspired by and meet the movers and shakers in the industry. I think this will be my fifth year, and well worth the visit! Maybe Helsinki next year!?
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