Education isn’t just for students: The pandemic’s impact on edtech (in work-life)

Learning always has been, and always will be a foundational part of humanity. Regardless of age, we are constantly developing new understandings. As our collective intelligence improves, we are beginning to create machines that have human-like abilities to learn and make strategic decisions. The recent innovations in edtech can help the lives of many adults, students and children alike well into the future.


In our last blog post, we discussed the characteristics of our future workforces, and what employers need to take into account while onboarding young professionals in the post-pandemic workplace. However, upskilling and education are not only for the students and young professionals!


The pandemic changed the traditional education paradigm and suddenly everyone, from parents to teachers to institutions and, finally, investors, began hunting for solutions. According to Forbes, education during the pandemic has demonstrated the need for learning platforms that support in-person and remote learning experiences and has generated fundamental innovations, particularly in edtech and AI.


Even as students begin to return to the classroom, and the pandemic slowly becomes only a memory, education technology remains a hot topic. Schools are continuing to look for effective and affordable ways to enhance classroom learning or support for remote learning and the tech industry has been quick to deliver.


Due to the lifestyle changes prompted by the pandemic, the edtech and online education space has surged, seeing an average increase in revenue of 335% according to data that Rootstrap recently collected.


How up and coming startups are riding the edtech wave


Investors are saying that especially new, AI-driven approaches to education will persist after the pandemic. Among the most promising companies are indeed those harnessing artificial intelligence to improve education.


Companies are now merging the organic and the artificial by applying deep learning systems to innovate how people are educated. Machine learning and AI are making it easier to create engaging, interactive experiences for learning. This allows learners to take control of their learning journey deciding how, when, and where to engage with the learning material. In other words, this allows them to learn in a way that suits them best.


Coursera's IPO in late March 2021 valued the company at nearly $6 billion. Meanwhile, according to education market research firm HolonIQ, edtech companies raised more than $16 billion globally in 2020, with China and India accounting for over three-quarters of that total.


The educational platform Kikodo is making learning to code engaging and available to the masses, just like edtech leader Duolingo - which had a $2.4 billion valuation in November 2020 and is currently seeking a summer 2021 IPO - has built a successful edtech app for learning languages. In addition, Kikodo has a built-in AI-based tutor, allowing the experience of a personal tutor at the cost of a MOOC.


Companies like Riiid, Liulishuo and Osmo are now merging the organic and the artificial by applying deep learning systems to innovate how people are educated.


For example in May, Seoul-based Riiid — which builds AI-based personalized learning, including test prep, for students — closed a funding round of $175 million. Riiid is driving a paradigm shift in education, from a ‘one size fits all’ approach to personalized instruction. Powered by AI and machine learning, Riiid’s platform provides education companies, schools and students with personalized plans and tools to optimize learning potential.


What edtech companies have you followed recently?