4 challenges facing education in the future

4 challenges facing education in the future

| Self-development

The educational world, both schools and universities, was forced to undergo total digitalization because of Covid-19 in 2020.

The pandemic has simply forced educational institutions to switch to distance learning, whether they like it or not. The creators of lifelong learning courses were forced to reformulate their programs in a short time, and content providers began to look for new approaches to potential buyers. The skyrocketing demand for online courses has led to a frenzied increase in the number of players in the EdTech market. Now the "bubble" that has formed is beginning to deflate; weak companies are leaving the market, while strong companies are gaining momentum.

It would seem that the problems and trends that online education will face in the future are obvious. The race for technological know-how, the division of the market between large companies, overlapping courses... But not everything is so simple! In this article, we will tell you what difficulties the digital learning market should prepare for and in which direction EdTech will continue to move in 2021.

New consumer segments

New consumer segments

During the birth of the online education market in the 2010's, consumers (that is, you and me) were not well educated yet. Over the past 10 years the situation has changed, of course, and now marketers are talking about a slow but steady change in these segments. Additional education for adults is coming to the fore; during the first weeks of self-isolation in Russia the number of GeekBrains students increased by 640%. More and more technological solutions are being created in the segment of school education. For example, schools from the English-speaking segment (mainly from the USA, Great Britain, and Ireland) actively use iTunes U. You can find courses in Spanish, theology, or American history on the platform. Plus, there are computer literacy and teacher training programs!

Customer segments rise and fall in size, sub-segments by values, and learning goals disappear and reappear. Traditional Russian universities have become like a phoenix that casts a shadow over the online education market. Before 2020, only 1 out of every 10 had their courses published on the Internet. Now every major university is represented on at least one site, and some universities have adapted their corporate websites for online learning.

Nichification

Nichification

Nichification happens when there is a change in the segments of consumers of educational content, and therefore is considered one of the main trends in the industry. While some companies are expanding their range of courses, others are actively occupying empty niches. Thus, Stepik is considered the ambassador of online learning apps, SkillFactory is the main player in the niche of professional immersion, and Udemy is the best resource for making money on courses created by users. The British company ZenEducate took advantage of this trend back in 2016.The developers of the app offered users a "smart" job search engine for school teachers.

The trend refers to the distribution of companies not only by the prevailing subject matter of the courses, but also by the buyer. The end consumer is both private individuals or companies and the government. Therefore, new market players can take the most advantageous position by choosing an unreported topic and correctly setting up B2B, B2G, or B2C delivery channels.

Changes to the pricing model

Changes to the pricing model

10 years ago the first Russian online education companies could "write off" the price of a course from their Western colleagues. A pricing model did not exist yet, so the pioneers of the EdTech market learned a lot from international online learning platforms. No matter how unique an educational course may be, it is no longer alone in the market. However, expecting an Instagram blogger app that is the price of a cup of coffee to teach you a new profession will not be worth it.

The pricing model will change in the near future. The quality of the programs created by the players on the market is constantly growing, but the number of these same players is multiplying every month. It is believed that this will keep course prices from skyrocketing, but it also will not prevent companies from cutting costly programs.

The need to rebuild the school system

The need to rebuild the school system

Companies that have been in the market for a long time are building an entire online ecosystem for schools in order to follow the trend. For example, the American company Blackboard, created in 1997, began to include services for teachers, students, and organizations in 2021. A study by the Stockholm School of Economics confirms that school systems, which were reluctant to go online in 2020, need to be overhauled. Public authorities and private companies are responsible for changing the educational landscape by offering technological solutions for schools, without government participation. In other words, the authors of the report, professors Per Andersson and Lars-Gunnar Mattsson, argue that one of the main trends in online education in the future will be the creation of software for schools. The rapid development of continuing education courses for professionals will also remain one of the leading segments.

There was a strong trend to digitalize education in 2020, and it still continues today. The transformation of our models of learning will affect all areas of education sooner or later, be it primary grade school, internships at universities, or professional development within a company. The task of the EdTech market is not to prepare for every hypothetical risk, but to integrate new technological innovations as soon as they appear. This tactic will allow companies to become "innovators" and gain a competitive advantage.

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