Each day the future of learning grows increasingly more hybrid. This past year saw the transition to remote learning and then a transition to in-person learning and finally a transition to the inclusive, hyper-accessible hybrid learning model. Now, as we approach the transition back to the classroom (and return to the office) school districts are left to decide which EdTech tools they’ve outgrown and which ones they will continue to rely on. Let’s take a look at the EdTech companies that are about to transform classrooms and the way students learn in 2021.
Education technology, or EdTech, is any technology that is used to promote and access education. This includes all of the hardware, software, and other tools used by educators and students in conducting virtual, remote and hybrid classes. The EdTech industry has been around for years, even before COVID-19 made distanced learning the only classroom option for so many of us. Tons of K-12 schools, colleges and universities were already using technology on a daily basis to help online and hybrid classes stay connected and collaborating.
In 2019, the market of EdTech companies was valued at 187 billion. As of 2020, it’s now projected to hit 404 billion by 2025. After a year of distanced learning and a flexible future that is here to stay, the industry is absolutely exploding, surpassing all projections and previously estimated growth rates.
Online learning platforms and software come in many different shapes and sizes, depending on how educational institutions choose to deploy them. Any education tech tool is considered EdTech— from language learning apps to educational quiz generators to virtual classroom platforms. The boom in EdTech may be partially attributed to how all encompassing the industry is. Well, that and the ample benefits that come from utilizing these platforms.
As EdTech transitioned this past year from a useful tool to a necessary one, some companies managed this growth opportunity particularly well. With dozens of education-focused tech companies out there, here are the top startups and established companies to explore in 2021.
Whether they create specialized or more general EdTech tools, these startup companies are leading the pack when it comes to creating innovative education technology platforms.
For those looking for specialized EdTech, Grammarly is a startup that made it big. As an online proofreader/editing tool that automatically detects grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, and style mistakes in writing uploaded by users, Grammarly teaches 30 million people (+ counting) grammar in a fun, interactive way.
As far as language learning apps go, the EdTech tool on the top of everyone’s brain is typically Duolingo. The free app that helps users master over 30 languages through game-based interactive lessons is known for being a fun, user-friendly alternative to traditional language classes and has boomed in the market since it was released in 2011. After all, us owls have to stick together. Hoot hoot!
When it comes to EdTech platforms designed to support traditional classroom use (especially for K-12 schools), there are three audiences to keep in mind: educators students, and the caregivers of students. Seesaw, a learning app that provides students with a way to document their classroom lessons by taking photos and videos of physical work, was designed with all three audiences in mind.
As mentioned earlier, EdTech is by no means a new phenomenon. Many innovative companies have been popular alternatives to traditional in-person learning for years now, and they show no signs of slowing down in 2021.
Source: Google for Education
A comprehensive workflow management system created to help teachers and students save time and avoid headaches, Google Classroom organizes assignments, resources, and all other classroom materials in one central location. By keeping all digital educational materials in one place, Google Classroom provides students and teachers with a seamless and effective virtual management system.
Source: Apex Learning
As one of the original EdTech organizations out there, Apex Learning regularly lives up to its name. As a digital curriculum provider, Apex Learning is a multifaceted platform designed to support educational institutions that offers accredited online courses and tutorials for a wide range of student age groups, specialties, and classes. Additionally, all Apex Learning resources can be tailored to fit any remote, in-person, or hybrid classroom environment.
A leading EdTech platform for educational institutions, government agencies and businesses alike, Blackboard is a renowned platform for online courses as well as offering detailed analytics to help educators master the art of teaching remote and hybrid classes. Thanks to their universally accessible design Blackboard is the go-to EdTech platform for educators looking for an all-in-one support system for all of their distance education needs.
Whether you are designing your next hybrid lesson or looking to squeeze in a few foreign language lessons in your spare time, EdTech tools are there to ensure we never stop learning. If you’re looking for more on education technology, here’s our Top Learning Management Systems for Schools in 2021.