Global EdTech Trends - Interview with Speakers Header v3.png Tony Sheehan_Now&Next.png

What do you like about your role?

The ability to continuously explore, evaluate and embed new approaches to learning. The organisational challenge is always evolving, the Edtech solutions always adapting, so there is a blend of great complexity, great variety and great fun in bringing those two worlds together at London Business School. 

Share three predictions on the future of Edtech.

  • Edtech will empower learners to optimise their approach to learning. We are in an age where music, TV, films have become personalised and we can expect learning will follow a similar path enabled by Edtech solutions that enhance individual choice
  • Edtech will also enrich understanding and enable performance improvement through analytics.  Those institutions looking to improve will thrive on learning performance insights which will create a platform for adaptive learning solutions 
  • Edtech will be blended with learner preference.  The best solutions will create an optimal blend of best of tech with the best of face to face practices.  Live sessions will still be valued for context, and Edtech solutions will enable this.

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

  • Analytics – sensemaking is critical in a world of complexity
  • AI – in particular to mobilise commoditised knowledge in order to provide more time for exploration of complex issues
  • Incubators – an enabler of technology growth. Many a good concept dies too quickly or is acquired into a more fixed mindset. The education industry needs to be enabled by a thriving ecosystem of startups that can scale, stretch and survive to support demand. 

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?

  • Every year seems to provide a new (and often over-hyped) trend but a key characteristic of the last 5 years has been an acceleration of the speed past novelty to credible products that enable pedagogy.  Trends like mobile, social learning were each over-hyped but matured quickly to nurture effective solutions. 
  • In terms of the key changes influencing adoption of Edtech:
    • Learner expectations, familiarity and acceptance of technology have reduced barriers to adoption; we have transitioned as a result in many cases from technology push to learner pull
    • In addition, speed to credible product has increased dramatically. We have moved out of a world of good ideas that fail to deliver to a world of cloud based platforms, agile software development, open architectures and communities of developers that enable change

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

We are in an age where business problems are bigger than a single knowledge domain, where education needs to embrace multiple perspectives and where significant challenges demand multidisciplinary solutions. Innovations rarely emerge from silos and there are great opportunities for those that connect and collaborate to lead change. 

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

The event is thought provoking - both in terms of reflecting on the challenges across the sector and in being inspired by the melting pot of creativity and collaboration that the EdTechX events bring together. I remember the noise of the collective conversation as I walked through the doors in London last year; and the buzz of ideas I walked away with.  It is energising to be immersed in such an environment, sound in the knowledge that some great new contacts, ideas and tangible impacts will come out of it.

Join Tony 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 >>