Global EdTech Trends - Interview with Speakers Header v3.png Bror - Chair Now & Next of EdTech .png

What do you like about your role?

My work as CLO of Kaplan lets me work with terrific colleagues across a dozen different learning industries that we serve around the globe, helping them apply evidence-based learning and learning measurement practices to lift their learner successes. Very unusual to be able to do this in so many different kinds of learning environments at once!

Share three predictions on the future of Edtech.

  1. Corporations and learners will find it increasingly valuable (to the point of requirement) to generate and see evidence that learning outcomes and approaches are truly adding value to firms and individuals. This means becoming increasingly specific about what exactly our best performers actually decide and do, not what conventional training/academics have been thinking. 
  2. Increasingly rapid change in how people at all levels have to work, driven by increasing side-by-side work with information-rich tools, means a real premium on identifying practices and learning environments that very reliably change skills in short order.
  3. Learning work will become increasingly personalized to match requirements of not only the potential technologies, but the requirements of minds. Edtech will provide the tools to identify and match both cognitive needs and motivation needs for learners, connecting learners with automated and human resources as needed to overcome individual barriers to success.

What technologies do you believe have the potential to transform the education industry?

Adaptive approaches, built on high quality valid and reliable assessment tasks tied to evidence-based learning outcomes, and connected to competency transcripts, have the potential to transform how we train and match learners to opportunities. More targeted than "degree" - more able to find "close enough" matches that can be trained into competence from multiple people sources.

VR may have several interesting roles to play (if evidence supports it). Helping learners identify "What is it like to be an X?" in a more visceral way than just reading about it or watching a video; helping learners train for "performance" (literally and figuratively) of a task in closer-to-real-world scenarios towards the end of training; building stocks of experience working in many different kinds of work environments without having to actually take multiple jobs.

Simulation-based tasks for practice and feedback as well as skill documenting have the possibility of giving much more realistic and useful information as well as better training for real-world problem-solving, with timing and resource constraints. Slimmed down simulations can better scaffold learners progress towards conceptual and practical expertise in the demanding real-world environments as well.

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?

Remarkable expansion in the availability of mobile computing power, leading to more possibilities for training in unusual locales. This has to be leavened by sorting out what kind of training will actually work in those time intervals and with these devices - not everything can be jammed onto a smartphone screen effectively!

Increasing availability of click-stream data, along with increasing techniques to find meaning in very large streams of data, which also has to be leavened by a need for more valid and reliable evidence of actual learning, to allow us to use adaptivity and learning analytics effectively to improve learning. MOOCs were overhyped - but, given how most of them were not designed to really match how human learning actually works, this was predictable years ago when the trend started.

Why is it important for all players in the edtech ecosystem to continuously connect, network and learn from each other?

Because of the amazing variety of things that people are trying on the one hand, and on the other because of a need to come together to agree on how we should evaluate effectiveness and efficiency of all the different things being tried. Edtech since the 1930's has been plagued by cycles of "this is so cool it must be good for learning!" to "this seems to have made no difference - a pox on all these houses!" There now is sufficient understanding of human learning to provide some principled grounding on what is more or less likely to work that should be shared and become common ground for all of us, and we need to work towards better agreement on what constitutes solid, valid and reliable evidence of the learning of practically useful decisions and tasks. Non-trivial - needs many examples and conversations to proceed, and to try to stop likely-to-fail ideas as early as possible.

When you think about joining EdTechXEurope this year, what are you looking forward to? What makes you excited about our event in London?

Once again experiencing the remarkable rapid rate of developments in edtech: new products, new approaches, new underlying technologies, new data streams and analytics. And meeting the thinkers and doers behind all this, to see how they are seeing the development of all of it, to learn from them, and to help shape meaningful progress for learners and other stakeholders worldwide.

Join Bror and our 100+ thought leader speakers at EdTechXEurope 2017 on 20 - 21st June 2017 - reserve your place now >> 

Explore the agenda and see all of our confirmed 2017 EdTechXEurope speakers - go to agenda >>