The future of education

Holon IQ – December conference
Here are the things that stuck with me:
- Scaling internationally seems to be particularly difficult for EdTech startups.
- Education market can be broken down into 4 parts: pre-K (0-4), K-12 (4-17), Higher education, Corporate training
- Asking for schools to pay for something seems very difficult.
- Only 3% of education market budget is spent on digital. Only the construction industry has a lower rate.
- We could imagine 5 trends for the future: Education doesn’t change much, Regional actors emerge, Global giants emerge, Peer-to-peer becomes the norm, Revolution through robots
- In 2018, the EdTech VC Deal Value was 8B$, of which 5B$ in China.
- Interesting business model: offer education for free, get paid through cut on salary. Called income-sharing.
- OpenClassRooms offers full refund of the course if you don’t get a job within 6 months. They can do it because a) they focus on skills in high demand, and b) they help students prepare their job seeking phase.
- K12 seems impossible to get in, you have to sell to parents or get sponsored by companies that want to access that audience (eg banks). It’s possible to do pilots, but very hard to scale after.
- Higher education is getting a bit easier to get in.
- Corporate training is where the money is.
- ProNote is seeing a massive adoption in French collèges.
- Today, an average school in France benefits from zero innovation. The digital is increasing the social gap, because of digital literacy differences.
- PISA study, run by OCDE, seems to have become the standard international evaluation. 2018 report just came out.
- 42 programming school is based on radical choices: a) No teachers, just exposing students to problems they need to solve, b) Peer learning, even for individual exams, c) Inspiration from video games: you fail a project = you start again, you pass a project = you unlock more projects, d) soft skills are more important than hard content which will become obsolete more quickly, e) Putting effort in transferring knowledge is irrelevant because the knowledge is already available, and at work you are always in the situation of having to find and filter the knowledge needed
- For kids born after 2000 and grew up with mobile phones, it’s weird to arrive in university and discover non-digitized campuses.
- In Europe, after-school class happens when you’re failing. In China, parents compete on how much they will spend on it.
- Problem to solve: how do you personalize learning when you have a class of 25 kids?
- Paradox: by definition, teachers are former good students. They don’t know what failing feels like.
- Trend: mid-life crisis entrepreneurs: working adults who see their kids going to school, which triggers their desire to have an impact on it.
- Trend: just-in-time learning, instead of learning things years in advance.
- Topics that investors would invest in: Tutoring, Peer-to-peer coaching, Up-skilling
- The trap everyone falls into is to obsess about students. Helping teachers seems much more sustainable.
- In Europe, there’s too many tiny startups. Dominance or aggregation will be necessary.
- Artificial Intelligence will not replace but augment the teacher. For example by helping personalize homework, or by automating tasks that can be, so teachers can focus on the remaining ones.
- Artificial Intelligence recommendations need explanation in order to be followed. Example: Revise this course because you are about to forget it.
- EduVoices is helping teachers try new approaches, one step at a time. Based on local communities.
- Robots won’t teach anything, but they can be rich media between the physical world and the computer. You can touch, talk, move a robot. Pilot happening in Nogent, with La Main à la Pâte. Interactions between robots and kids/elderlies seem easier than with adults.
- Great app: Lalilo, to help educators teach primary school students to read

I attended the Paris HolonIQ « Future of Education and Workforce » Summit.

Here are the things that stuck with me:

- Scaling internationally seems to be particularly difficult for EdTech startups.

- Education market can be broken down into 4 parts: pre-K (0-4), K-12 (4-17), Higher education, Corporate training

- Asking for schools to pay for something seems very difficult.

- Only 3% of education market budget is spent on digital. Only the construction industry has a lower rate.

- We could imagine 5 trends for the future: Education doesn’t change much, Regional actors emerge, Global giants emerge, Peer-to-peer becomes the norm, Revolution through robots

- In 2018, the EdTech VC Deal Value was 8B$, of which 5B$ in China.

- Interesting business model: offer education for free, get paid through cut on salary. Called income-sharing.

- OpenClassRooms offers full refund of the course if you don’t get a job within 6 months. They can do it because a) they focus on skills in high demand, and b) they help students prepare their job seeking phase.

- K12 seems impossible to get in, you have to sell to parents or get sponsored by companies that want to access that audience (eg banks). It’s possible to do pilots, but very hard to scale after.

- Higher education is getting a bit easier to get in.

- Corporate training is where the money is.

- ProNote is seeing a massive adoption in French collèges.

- Today, an average school in France benefits from zero innovation. The digital is increasing the social gap, because of digital literacy differences.

- PISA study, run by OCDE, seems to have become the standard international evaluation. 2018 report just came out.

- 42 programming school is based on radical choices: a) No teachers, just exposing students to problems they need to solve, b) Peer learning, even for individual exams, c) Inspiration from video games: you fail a project = you start again, you pass a project = you unlock more projects, d) soft skills are more important than hard content which will become obsolete more quickly, e) Putting effort in transferring knowledge is irrelevant because the knowledge is already available, and at work you are always in the situation of having to find and filter the knowledge needed

- For kids born after 2000 and grew up with mobile phones, it’s weird to arrive in university and discover non-digitized campuses.

- In Europe, after-school class happens when you’re failing. In China, parents compete on how much they will spend on it.

- Problem to solve: how do you personalize learning when you have a class of 25 kids?

- Paradox: by definition, teachers are former good students. They don’t know what failing feels like.

- Trend: mid-life crisis entrepreneurs: working adults who see their kids going to school, which triggers their desire to have an impact on it.

- Trend: just-in-time learning, instead of learning things years in advance.

- Topics that investors would invest in: Tutoring, Peer-to-peer coaching, Up-skilling

- The trap everyone falls into is to obsess about students. Helping teachers seems much more sustainable.

- In Europe, there’s too many tiny startups. Dominance or aggregation will be necessary.

- Artificial Intelligence will not replace but augment the teacher. For example by helping personalize homework, or by automating tasks that can be, so teachers can focus on the remaining ones.

- Artificial Intelligence recommendations need explanation in order to be followed. Example: Revise this course because you are about to forget it.

- EduVoices is helping teachers try new approaches, one step at a time. Based on local communities.

- Robots won’t teach anything, but they can be rich media between the physical world and the computer. You can touch, talk, move a robot. Pilot happening in Nogent, with La Main à la Pâte. Interactions between robots and kids/elderlies seem easier than with adults.

- Great app: Lalilo, to help educators teach primary school students to read

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