Educational technology has become a billion dollar industry. $8.15 billion as of 2017, to be exact. Remember when education equaled a teacher, a classroom, desks, paper, pencils, a board and some chalk? Those days are long gone with the advancement of technology in online courses and the opportunities for global education systems. Now our kids are communicating with teachers halfway across the world. And they are doing it from the comfort of their own room. With the onset of technology, the entire world of education has changed.
Take a look at the educational field of language learning. Now students can learn virtually any language spoken in the world via their iPad, laptop or Desktop, any device with a connection, camera and audio capabilities. Students in every country are utilizing this opportunity, but especially in Asian countries, where the demand for English knowledge is high and the access to quality English teachers is low. Educational technology is opening up doors to students that would have never been open to them otherwise.
Asia specifically is becoming a global player in the field of educational technology. Not only is the Asian education system the largest in the world, but it has over half a million students enrolled in K-12. The numbers continue to stagger when you break Asia down into China, Indonesia and India. There are close to 1 billion youths looking for great education. As the economy continues to evolve and change with global consumer demand, it’s obvious that educational technology is something to seriously consider as an investor. Educational startups from language apps to printing technology should catch the eye of anyone remotely business savvy.
The global economy and its high profile investors are doing just this. Goldman Schs and Times Internet are two of many capitalist entities funding edtech and taking action in the Asian market in particular. Mark Zuckerberg also has his eye on this particular niche and its global impact. He has an investment fund called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative which named edtech one of its top priorities. These firms all have one thing in common: They see the potential for educational technology to not only transform the lives of young people, but to create invaluable returns on investment.
Education does not need to be boring, and it does not need to be local. Education can be global, as these major players have shown us. Watch as the world changes around you. Will you just be sending your child to local kindergarten? Or will you be having him/her sit in front of Skype and communicating with a language teacher halfway across the globe? In the West much of our education is free. But it doesn’t expose our children to a global worldview. It doesn’t necessarily broaden their horizons. Are your children able to speak three languages? As the global economy continues to shrink in on us, it is important to view our children’s’ futures as competitive with anyone, even someone half a world away.