A collaborative organization made up of companies focused on developing the UK’s education technology sector has been established in London.
The organization, EdTech UK, is made up of 25 of the nation’s most promising start-ups and most successful global companies. These companies have created a selection of hardware and software that deal with a variety of educational challenges, including general classroom teaching, online learning, tutoring, business training, and helping students develop computer skills that they will need for the increasingly tech-focused workforce.
Darren Allan of IT Pro Portal quoted EdTech UK’s CEO, Ian Fordham:
Edtech has come of age. The UK is home to some of the world’s leading schools, colleges, universities and education businesses.
EdTech UK will be a pro-active organisation building and accelerating a vibrant education and learning technology sector and leading new developments with our founding partners. It will also be a front door to government, educators, companies and investors from Britain and globally.
London & Partners and EdTech UK say that the global ed tech sector is worth £45 billion now and will be worth £129 billion by 2020, reports Megan Dunsby of Startups. Ed tech companies make up 4% of all digital businesses, including 1,000 start-ups in England.
London is an obvious choice for an ed tech hub, according to the statistics. Of England’s 1,000 new ed tech start-ups, one fifth are based in London. Some notables include Futurelearn, the UK’s first massive open online course (MOOC) platform, and Showmyhomework, which helps teachers and students keep track of homework on a cloud-based platform for access from multiple devices. A number of well-established ed tech companies already reside there, including well-known textbook company Pearson, Knewton, and Kaplan, reports Christine Schauer of IT Pro.
While ed tech innovations in the US often get more attention, the UK quickly implements new technology. Schools in the UK spend £900 million per year on education already, writes Jonathan Moules of the Financial Times.
Some of the other educational technology that’s already in use in England’s classrooms include Raspberry Pi, a device for teaching programming developed at Cambridge, and Code Club, which teams up programmers with primary schools for after-school programs.
The local and national government supports EdTech UK’s endeavor, for both financial and educational reasons.
EdTech UK’s advisory board includes sector leaders like Eileen Burbudge of Passion Capital, David Slater of London & Partners, Bethany Koby of Technology Will Save Us, Matt Candler of 4.0 Schools, and Ty Goddard of the Education Foundation.