When EdTech makes the learning journey more inclusive

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According to government figures, 110,000 young people leave school every year without a diploma. The fight against dropping out of school is one of the government’s main concerns and EdTechs could well be major allies to get there. Used well, digital technology can be a tool for democratization allowing each student to progress at their own pace and work on their areas of difficulty.

“The difficulty with EdTech is that they must both offer solutions that adapt to the needs of each learner while being as inclusive as possible to reach the greatest number”, acknowledges Alexander Glaser. This is one of the promises of adaptive learning based on artificial intelligence or game-based learning.

A journey that adapts

Adapted learning has made colossal progress in recent years, both in B2B and B2C, even if the first market remains more addressed”. And the state is perhaps not for nothing.

In 2019, he launched the P2IA (artificial intelligence innovation partnership) in order to push the development of such solutions. Among the winners, we find Lalilo – whose application develops a course adapted to each child according to his progress in the educational games offered -, Mathia whose assistant exchanges with the child to help him learn by speaking or even Adaptiv’Math – a solution equipped with a dynamic personalization algorithm. This last solution is part of the concepts developed by Evidence B, which relies on artificial intelligence, UX Design, and cognitive sciences to invent the education of tomorrow.

These solutions are based on the results of the students which, once analyzed by the algorithms, allow the application to postpone exercises on the weak points of the student. This reduces student boredom and maintains motivation. Another solution to engage young people: games.

When play merges with education

Combining games (video or not) with learning is nothing new, some may even remember Adibou. But many startups rely on this association to promote learning “Numerous studies show that we learn better and retain information better when we are having fun. Gamification offers a lot of answers when used well”, confirms Alexander Glaser. The game must be thought of in the service of learning but can motivate students who feel gratification by receiving rewards and are thus encouraged to continue their momentum.

PowerZ is one of the startups that have stood out on this prism even if, unlike many others, it does not just offer a few small games but has truly developed a video game to serve learning.

Support students

Vertical much less exploited for the moment, that of solutions for people with dys or visually impaired disorders are nevertheless developing. In France, the startup Mila offers a playful rehabilitation tool for children with dyslexic disorders that combines music, neuroscience, and digital technology.

EdTech has the power to break down geographic, social, and financial barriers. At Educapital, we strongly believe in solutions” that tackle this type of problem. “If this sector has value, it is also in this type of use”.

And good news, we observe “interesting traction from startups on these topics”, confides Alexander Glaser. This presents several solutions such as a digital textbook with a particular color code to facilitate learning or even intelligent note-taking tools. DoubleYou Kids, for its part, invented a voice assistant intended to support visually impaired primary school pupils in learning mathematics.

Still, with a view to support, we are seeing the development of cohort learning offers or even virtual assistants who help students while they do their homework and answer the questions they ask.

A difficult change of scale

The EdTech market is becoming more and more mature with solid solutions that prove their effectiveness. “There has been a real momentum towards the EdTech market for 5 years with an improvement in the offer and more quality which is also reflected in an increase in investments in the sector”, develops Alexandre Glaser. It must be said that the market potential is enormous since it is “expected to reach 500 billion euros by 2025″, believes the VC. Under certain conditions.

Despite growing interest in the solutions developed by these startups, they face a pitfall: scaling up. “Many services have been tried out by schools, but they face difficulties in being deployed on a large scale. Paradoxically, this is how these products improve” because they are based on the data, continues Alexandre Glaser.

Several factors explain the complexity of these startups to integrate the world of education. After a period of doubt about their effectiveness, now proven, there are still structural challenges to address. For Alexandre Glaser, “The world of education must really take hold of these solutions and there is a real desire to do so. It is now a question of the market, we need support from the public authorities”.

The implementation of P2IA is a first step forward but we must go even further. “A new P2IA centered on themes such as dys problems or the fight against school dropout” would be an asset, he believes.