What do you like about your role?
As the Chief Mentor of Smartclass Educational, I feel proud how we are disrupting learning , though our breakthrough products in Digital Classrooms, Neuro Cognitive Learning , Computational Thinking and Innovation labs and large scale assessment.
I also get to meet a lot of bright minds and startups that are shaping our future by their revolutionary ideas. The whole experience is priceless.
Share three predictions on the future of Edtech.
Education hasn’t changed much in the past two millennia : classrooms and lesson delivery continues to be the same except for minor supplements like whiteboards and computers. However, there are tectonic shifts happening in education today that will redefine the whole system. This is an exciting time, indeed. My top three predictions about the future of education are :
- Business models across the industry will change. Right now almost all major businesses of EdTech industry are dependent, if not focussed, upon B2B because cost to serve B2C is higher. However this will change due to low cost ubiquitous 4g and extremely low cost access devices. Now there will be more personal education products.
- Earlier companies were highly local because of localized natures of markets. However, this will change and companies that have an appeal in a certain country or market will surely find takers elsewhere in the world. We will see the emergence of global learning systems and large Edtech players catering to the infinitely long tail in education choice.
- We will see that the future of jobs will disrupt skill delivery. New learning requirements and the need to reinvent oneself frequently will result in a very dynamic vocational and skills sector.
What technologies do you believe have the potential to transform the education industry?
There will be many but the one that will have the most impact is Artificial Intelligence. It will redefine the meaning of education. Assessments have always been superficial, and AI will create assessments that can create a deep profile for the learners. Instruction delivery can also benefit from AI by decoding the skill requirements in various vocations, and delivering a highly personalized curriculum to the aspirant based on their learning styles.
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?
The most impactful change has in the past 5 years has been the rapid adoption of mobile phones across the world that has led to so many changes in the industry. Of course, we haven’t reached saturation and this will continue to grow rapidly in foreseeable future. Smartphones have become prominent platform for consumption of information and have democratised education. This has certainly opened many avenues. The growing number of products that are using Augmented Reality ( AR) continues to surprise, excite and delight.
What has been a pleasant surprize for me is the way the DIY and Activity-based learning has evolved in the past 5 years. I see a great future in activity-based learning.
I think these are still early days to judge any new thing on hype. We’re just starting and many things that one may say is hype may catch up and surprize you.
Why is it important for all players in the edtech ecosystem to continuously connect, network and learn from each other?
Firstly for inspiration. Secondly, the landscape is rapidly changing. It is always better to be abreast with the latest developments around the world. Thirdly, education is complex and none is an expert in all trades. There are so many avenues to collaborate strategically to should be explored and lastly i see the emergence of globally transportable education models and hence companies need to collaborate across the ecosystem and across geographies.
When you think about joining EdTechXEurope this year, what are you looking forward to? What makes you excited about our event in London?
When I was thinking about joining EdTechXEurope, I was looking forward to meet the best brains in education in the world, not only Europe. This is my second visit here. Needless to say the last year’s edition was impressive and here I am again. I am very excited about the ideas that I will hear about in different sessions - some of them so revolutionary that they have the potential to change education as we know it. We’re also here to meet and identify lucrative startups that our fund can invest in.
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