Global EdTech Trends - Interview with Speakers Header v3.png HelenZille_WesternCapeGovernment.png

What do you like about your role?

The ability to make things happen.  As the Premier (Prime Minister) of the Western Cape Province, we have taken on the great challenge of establishing an eLearning platform that brings excellent education to disadvantaged children. Getting this right will be a game-changer in South Africa.

Share three predictions on the future of Edtech.

  1. We have under-estimated the management and technical skills required to establish and maintain a technology platform for the delivery of curriculum.  Our capacity to get this right will be make-or-break.
  2. Teachers will remain central to the enterprise.  Many will embrace eLearning as part of their teaching suite, and implement it enthusiastically.  Integrating eLearning into the suite of teaching skills will become pivotal in teacher training.
  3. Increasingly, low fee independent (private) schools will use eLearning to bring down their overhead costs.  The excellent management of the system will give learners access to the best teachers in a well-managed system.  This will create huge competition for public schools that will have to up their game substantially to keep pace.

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

Artificial intelligence will increasingly support individual and personalised learning, helping learners to address their specific learning challenges more effectively.

Constant improvements in technology, hardware and software will increasingly benefit and positively impact on the learning experience of learners with learning challenges or special needs.


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?

More universal access to broadband provides and enabling environment that is essential to introduce eLearning at scale. As the quality and speed improves, so eLearning can be more integrated into the teaching and learning experience.

The establishment and support of EdTech Start-up incubators will help to expand the industry through ongoing development of new, quality education solutions that are responsive to the needs of young people.

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

Because the field is changing so rapidly, and ideas are sparked through interaction.

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

I am looking forward to networking with others working in the field, and to get to the cutting edge of new developments.

Join Helen 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 >>