The Education Business Forum brings together the companies that are successfully growing in education to share notes, get a glimpse of potential disruptions, and hear about trends. There were three opening Plenary sessions:
- Rockstars in the Ed Tech Industry
- Perspectives from Ed Tech Investors
- Outlook from the three big publishers
Here are some takeaways from the sessions.
Rockstars: Things you should know about potential disruptors of the education status quo.
- Google: Jonathan Rochelle explained how there are 10 million users of Google Classroom, and 50 million users of Google Apps for education.
- Noodle: John Katzman expects Noodle.com will be a central portal for school purchases.
- General Assembly: Scott Kirkpatric described how 99% of GA’s graduates (3 month programs) get higher paying jobs within 180 days.
- LinkedIn: Jessica Naeve pointed out that over half of college admissions officers did not meet their 2015 recruitment goals, and how LinkedIn is stepping into that process.
- Samsung: Diane Ashby talked about how Samsung is preparing for an education future that features virtual and augmented reality using wearable technology.
- Netdragon: Vincent Fung showed how Netdragon will build on Promethean’s progress to build the interactive classroom of the future.
Perspectives: Where are the smart investors investing:
- Jean Hammond of LearnLaunch: Looking for the gaps, between high school and college and between college and work
- Brian Napack of Providence Equity: Looking for companies that are creating platforms that can potentially disrupt the distribution process of education solutions
- Matt Greenfield or Rethink Education: looking for companies that have surer paths to profitability and not necessarily trying to become unicorns
Outlook: What are the big players expecting?
- Luyen Chou of Pearson: 70% of the education spend in the world is outside the US, look for areas where the Middle Class is growing
- CJ Kettler of HMH: US edtech growth will be in the parent school connection, an area of special opportunity will be allowing playful learning in an environment parents can trust
- Scott Virkler of McGraw-Hill Education: new applications of learning science, adaptive technology that makes action oriented suggestions
As usual, there were 1:1 meetings, networking, breakout sessions, food, and drink. All in all, too much to report in a blog post. Next year, be there!