What is EdTech? Background of attention & summary of domestic and overseas use cases

Many EdTech-related services offer access to high-quality educational materials wherever the Internet is available. In addition, with the power of AI and big data, we will realize cross-curricular and humanities-science fusion learning and personalization of learning programs, and foster creative problem-discovery and problem-solving skills, which are the qualities of a “change maker” that transforms the world. increase.

In this article, we will explain the characteristics of EdTech, the background that attracts attention, and examples of its use in Japan and overseas.

Table of Contents

Definition and market size of EdTech

While there are interpretations of EdTech that include businesses and companies that bring about innovation in the field of education, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) interprets it as “services and techniques that utilize technology to bring about innovation in education, and the elemental technologies themselves that make up those services and techniques.” is defined as

EdTech market size

According to the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), an independent administrative agency , the global EdTech market is estimated to reach 38 trillion yen by 2025. On the other hand, the size of the domestic market remains flat due to the impact of the declining birthrate. However, there are efforts related to EdTech, such as the establishment of the “Future Classroom and EdTech Study Group” by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the distribution of personal computers and tablet terminals to each elementary and junior high school student as part of the “GIGA School Concept”. is underway.

Issues Expected to be Solved by EdTech

EdTech solves various problems in society and companies. Here, we introduce three issues that EdTech is expected to solve.

1. Elimination of educational disparities

Waseda University Associate Professor Ryoji Matsuoka, an educational sociologist and author of “Educational Disparities” (Chikuma Shinsho), describes educational disparities as “initial conditions that cannot be changed by the child himself/herself, such as the socioeconomic status of the family of origin, the region of origin, gender, etc. There is a difference in educational outcomes such as the final educational background depending on the student.”

For example, children from families whose parents do not have enough income will have fewer opportunities to use cram schools and extracurricular activities. Alternatively, children living in mountainous areas may not receive a higher level of education than children living in urban areas.

In Japan, the final educational attainment is decided in the early twenties, and the career after that is decided. In other words, educational inequality is the root of various inequalities.

EdTech provides high-quality educational content at low prices through the Internet. Therefore, the realization of equal education that is not affected by place of residence or family environment is expected.

2. Development of global human resources

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications’ ” Corporate Attitude Survey Concerning the Status of Recruiting Global Human Resources ,” 70% of the surveyed companies operating overseas said that they “lack” or “relatively lack” the human resources necessary for their overseas business. Yes.”

The definition of global human resources varies from person to person, but the Council for the Promotion of Global Human Resource Development, whose members include the Chief Cabinet Secretary and foreign ministers, defines a person with the following characteristics as a global human resource.

  • language skills and communication skills
  • Independence, challenging spirit, sense of mission
  • Understanding different cultures and identity as Japanese

EdTech supports the development of global human resources by providing high-quality foreign language courses and interdisciplinary learning through projects.

3. Improved learning efficiency

EdTech is expected to significantly increase learning efficiency. In the 2018 demonstration project “Self-learning RED (e-Foresta)” public education introduction demonstration, the use of tablet terminals equipped with “e-Foresta”, an individual optimization learning program that utilizes AI, can significantly reduce the input time for each subject. and is simulated.

Such empirical studies will continue to advance, and the effects of EdTech will become clearer.

The “four characteristics” of EdTech will greatly change society

The “four characteristics” of EdTech will greatly change society

EdTech can solve the problems introduced earlier, but what can it actually do? Let’s consider the four characteristics of EdTech.

1. Realization of “STEAM education”

STEAM education is a coined word that takes the initials of “Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics” and means cross-curricular learning. It has been attracting attention as an educational method that can improve creative problem-finding and problem-solving skills, and has been positioned as a national strategy in the United States since the Obama administration.

Implementation of STEAM education requires a wide variety of educational content and an environment in which learners can freely access the content. With the advent of EdTech, video content from various stakeholders such as teachers and companies can be aggregated on the platform, and learners can receive STEAM learning regardless of where they live .

2. Personalized learning program

EdTech realizes the personalization of learning programs through the accumulation of big data and AI analysis. Since learners can acquire necessary knowledge and skills efficiently, it leads to early development of human resources.

3. You can study when you want

EdTech delivers learning content through the Internet. Through smartphones and computers, learners can learn anytime, anywhere, in a way that suits them. In addition, unlike conventional classes and training, it is also a feature that you can use the learning content as many times as you like until you understand it.

4. More efficient learning management

By using the EdTech learning management system LMS (Learning Management System), it is possible to check the degree of understanding and utilization of learners in real time, optimize individual instruction, and provide teaching materials that match their interests. In addition, if you look at the learning history, you can check the fields that the learners are interested in, so it is possible to develop human resources while grasping the career plans of employees and increasing motivation.

The LMS is explained in detail in the following article, so please refer to it as well.

Examples of EdTech-advanced countries, the United States

Examples of EdTech-advanced countries, the United States

From here, we will introduce the case of the United States, an advanced EdTech country.

“Alt School” for Personalized Learning with EdTech

Alt School was founded in 2013 by a former Google employee and is also funded by Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg. Alt School does not have the concept of grades because it makes full use of EdTech and provides thorough personalized learning. In addition, by conducting daily learning on EdTech, AI can analyze a huge amount of learning data and provide highly accurate individual learning programs.

Classes are made up of 25 students of different ages and learn according to their level and interests. For example, a 4th grader may learn 6th grade level English or 3rd grade level mathematics.

“Learning Economy” that provides free education for data and compensation

Learning Economy is a non-profit organization that aims to close the educational gap with the power of blockchain and data science. The Learning Economy platform allows users to obtain free educational opportunities in exchange for learning records and career information. Governments and businesses can obtain valuable user data.

AI analyzes the user’s learning data and provides individual advice on careers and skills to acquire.

“Cousera” delivers educational content from world-renowned universities and companies

Cousera is an educational platform that delivers video content from world-renowned universities and top companies such as Yale University and Google.

When subscribing to an online learning plan for businesses, users have unlimited access to over 5,000 courses, 400 specializations, and more. In addition, the skill development dashboard for administrators can be used to check and analyze user learning progress and skill proficiency.

There are also functions such as content personalization and message sending to users, so you can efficiently develop employee skills.

Japanese Services and Cases Utilizing EdTech

Japanese Services and Cases Utilizing EdTech

Finally, I would like to introduce domestic examples of using EdTech.

Vocational school succeeds in revitalizing self-learning with “Udemy Business”

YIC Information Business College is a vocational school that provides learning such as IT and business. The school introduced an e-learning system around 2010, but had the following issues.

  • Scattered content makes it hard to find the video you need quickly
  • Teachers can’t see student progress

To solve these problems, the school introduced “Udemy Business”, which aggregates all video teaching materials into one platform. Udemy Business is a video distribution platform that aggregates videos of a wide variety of genres, and you can watch as much content as you like within a flat fee.

The school uses Udemy Business for flipped learning, assignments during long vacations, and self-study. A particularly useful feature is the “learning path” that allows you to organize multiple contents into one list.

For example, instructors can create courses with themes like “ecommerce” or “business practice” and students can quickly find the videos they need. By using the learning path, the students were able to clarify the skills they should learn, leading to the activation of independent learning.

“Life is Tech” to solve the problems of programming compulsory

Life is Tech Co., Ltd. has a vision of “creating a world where 200,000 junior, and provides education such as programming and data science.

The company’s “Life is Tech Lesson” is a cloud-based programming learning material for junior high and high school students. Since the characters on the screen carefully teach programming, even teachers who are not familiar with programming can teach. Another feature is that teachers can check the progress of students from the management screen and provide optimal support for each student.

Although programming has become a compulsory subject in school education, it has solved the problem that there are few teachers who can teach programming, and is used by more than 320,000 junior and senior high school students in 1,650 schools.

EdTech could be the key to social change

EdTech is an educational innovation that changes the traditional way of learning. Learners can access quality teaching materials anytime, anywhere through a computer or smartphone. With the power of AI and big data, we will be able to provide humanities and science fusion, cross-curricular learning, and individually optimized learning programs, which will enable the development of human resources who can discover and solve complex business and social issues. . The social transformation brought about by EdTech is about to begin. I have high hopes for future development.

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