Education technologies (EdTech) are gradually changing traditional learning methods. By definition, EdTech refers to software designed to enhance teacher-led learning in classrooms and improve students’ education outcomes.
The growing number of tools and programs allow teachers to modernize classrooms and tailor lessons so as to fit the preferences of young learners. According to the report, 86% of teachers think it is absolutely essential to use EdTech, while 92% of them would like to use it even more often.
This is exactly why hundreds of new EdTech companies keep emerging every year, with each one trying to contribute to the overall improvement of academic performance. However, the big question is whether they actually succeed in the attempt to enhance traditional learning or not.
Our article will focus on practical problems of EdTech startups and discuss why new companies in this field are focusing on the oldest academic problems. Let’s take a look!
5 Reasons Why EdTech Startups Fail
A study shows that only 50% of education-related startups survive in the first four years, but the figure is even smaller in the EdTech niche. Launching and nurturing a successful EdTech business is difficult due to a number of different reasons, but some features prove to be more troublesome than others. We want to describe the main reasons why EdTech startups fail.
Not understanding how education works
The vast majority of startup owners are tech experts, but they rarely understand how education systems really function. Both teachers and students are facing numerous challenges on a daily basis and it’s almost impossible to come up with a good EdTech product if developers don’t cooperate with someone from inside the system. In case they don’t prepare well, their projects are likely to terminate sooner than later.
Not hiring teachers
This problem goes hand in hand with the previous one. Nobody can assist you in the product development process as much as teachers. After all, they are the ones who interact with students day after day and know what they do or do not need. It’s just common sense: if you are trying to make a new type of tennis racquet, who would you invite to test it – a tennis player or a random individual?
Not having enough patience
The dream of every startup owner is to design a fabulous product and make a breakthrough in a matter of months. However, the EdTech industry requires patience because school boards, teachers, and administrators probably receive tons of ideas every year. It takes time to present your idea, build trust, and test the product before actually launching a business.
Expecting hyper-growth instantly
Even if you launch a company without any problems, you cannot expect it to grow extremely rapidly. EdTech projects are supposed to last for years (if not decades), which means you have to wait in order to see some real revenue generation. There are a few extremely successful EdTech projects such as Duolingo that gathered millions of users quickly, but it doesn’t mean they managed to attract high-paying clients. It’s a long-term process and you better prepare for it.
Not thinking about the price
The deployment of EdTech systems in schools can be very expensive. You might as well be designing a groundbreaking product, but make sure to answer one question: How much does it cost? If the price is not suited for low-budget systems, perhaps it’s better to focus on something less revolutionary and more profitable.
Examples of Successful EdTech Startups
EdTech is not easy to penetrate, but there are lots of examples that prove it is possible to succeed if you are able to solve a practical problem. We will mention a few startups here:
This platform brings together the better of the two worlds, analog and digital. Coursera hires top-performing instructors from all over the globe to design high-quality online courses. With over 33 million users, Coursera represents one of the most popular EdTech projects. What kind of problem does it solve? It allows students worldwide to learn from the best teachers in the online environment.
We all know that programming is the fastest-growing profession globally, but is there a good way to inspire kids to engage and learn to code? Code Monkey proves that it is possible. Similar to Duolingo, Code Monkey also relies on gamification elements to make learning more entertaining. That way, young learners actually enjoy solving problems and developing mathematical skills.
This platform also solves a highly practical issue – it helps high school graduates to choose the best college for their skills and interests. Using BridgeU, students can create an online profile and name their academic achievements, grades, interests, and so on. Once they are done, the platform analyzes all inputs and suggests the most promising options. At the same time, BridgeU gathers data from previous users and keeps improving its algorithms long-term.
EdTech is also a fruitful soil for dissertation writing services and essay writing service startups, but the whole industry practically has an unlimited number of applications. We discussed only three small examples of high-quality startups, but they clearly reveal the secret behind successful EdTech projects.
Namely, startups need to find a way to utilize new technology in a way that solves well-known learning issues. This is exactly why the newest EdTech companies are focusing on the oldest problems.
The Bottom Line
With everything you’ve seen so far, it’s not difficult to draw meaningful conclusions. Here are the most important lessons we learned from this post:
EdTech startups should not develop technology for technology’s sake. On the contrary, they must realize that new technologies are only a tool that is supposed to solve practical issues in the classroom environment.
EdTech projects should revolve around real-world problems. This is why they need to cooperate with real educators who understand the obstacles students and teachers are facing in everyday work.
New startups are not supposed to revolutionize the current system. Instead, the goal is to improve the existing solutions and enhance traditional classroom learning in a step-by-step manner.
Technology evolves quickly, but education cannot follow the same pace. Therefore, making small improvements is always better than taking any major leaps.
Eugene Eaton is a British blogger who sometimes works for a GradeMiners, and assignmentholic.co.uk with essay geeks. He is into stand-up comedy. His favourite comedians are Louis CK and George Carlin. A good morning laugh is what keeps Eugene upbeat and motivated through the harsh day.