Global EdTech Trends - Interview with Speakers Header v3.png Gabriel Bustamente_2u.png

What do you like about your role?

I love that at 2U we have the opportunity to engage with prospective students on behalf of historic and top university brands that are really working hard to innovate and stay relevant in the 21st century. We serve a graduate education population and deciding to enroll in a masters degree program requires a big commitment and typically is a life changing experience. The opportunity to be a part of a student’s decision to pursue education is exciting and humbling.

Share three predictions on the future of Edtech.

1. Forward thinking non-profit universities who are taking a leap to innovate with online education will lead in the future. These universities and brands who take a chance now may displace other universities down the road.

2. Incorporating data and analytics will be critical in the ability for universities to both find the right students but also provide insights on how to improve student experiences, retention and outcomes. The universities and companies who are focused on student outcomes will win.

3. There is a place for online short courses for working professionals and they provide a great alternative for those who can’t commit to a full degree for professional development.

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

There’s not a single technology that can be applied to education that will be successful without proper human support. The human touch for student and customer support, coaching and counselling are critical in education and the right bundle of people-mediated support with smart technology is what is transforming the space.

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?

There have been a few waves in the evolution of online education, first from the for-profit industry then to the hype of the MOOCs. While both served specific audiences, completion and graduation was not a central focus for either of these industries. Today more non-profit universities are ready to offer full degrees and certificates online with a focus on quality and completion and that’s a great thing for the industry.   

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

As the space evolves, so does the student. The exchange of knowledge and experiences within the edtech ecosystem will facilitate the evolution of the industry as a whole, which benefits everyone. Students adapt quickly to new technologies and their needs and demands will also progress. For myself and many others in the edtech industry, understanding these students needs is critical as we’re all ultimately in this field to move education forward and ultimately to serve these students and make a difference.

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

The United Kingdom has been a great source for exporting revolutionary ideas to the rest of the world. It’s not a coincidence that Shakespeare, Adam Smith and The Beatles are all from Great Britain. EdTech Europe in London is a natural venue for attendees from all over the globe to discuss the future of digital education.

Join Gabriel 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 >>