Lock-downs lead to EdTech boom

The transition to EdTech in schools has been a long time in the making. Insufficient investment, lack of training, and…

Sonja Mozzi-Megit
Sonja Mozzi-Megit
Published: March 17, 2021

The transition to EdTech in schools has been a long time in the making. Insufficient investment, lack of training, and poorly-designed products have meant that many schools have been slow to adopt the technology.

However, last year saw a change in EdTech’s fortunes as schools had to embrace technology like never before. Lock-downs and school closures led to a massive 72% boom in growth in the UK’s EdTech sector (Robert Walters) – an impressive stat given GDP shrank by 11% (as of November 2020)!

In this article, we discuss the EdTech boom and how it’s likely to impact schools.

The worldwide rise of EdTech

Countries across the world have grappled to get to grips with EdTech following the onset of COVID-19.

Japan was one of the worst hit by the pandemic as it relied on traditional ‘in-class’ education that had remained more or less unchanged for over a century. Coronavirus exposed the gaping hole in the country’s use of EdTech and the (otherwise) technologically-savvy country began to plough investment into developing its EdTech sector.

Like the UK, most of Japan’s student engagement took place through platforms like Zoom and YouTube during school closures. Now, with schools re-opened, Japan has embraced the power of EdTech and is looking to fully embed it into its education system.

In the first half of 2020, privately-owned EdTech companies in the USA also raised more than $803 million in Venture Capital, and many of these companies are working on technology specifically for schools.

With investment and adoption growing around the world, it’s an exciting time for the EdTech sector!

Key areas of growth

1) Augmented reality (AR)

AR is big news in EdTech. It saw an enormous 119% rise in growth in 2020, and the value of this area is expected to surpass $5.3 billion within the next two years (Robert Walters)! AR allows students to visualise and/or explore complex or abstract concepts in a real-world, immersive environment.

Its main benefits are:

  • Facilitates learning complex concepts: Learning using simulations enables students to connect with and understand complex ideas.
  • Improves engagement: Interactive, ‘gamified’ experiences make learning fun!
  • Experiential learning: Learning by doing can help kids make sense of theories using real-world examples.
  • Personalised learning: AR can personalise learning experiences based on a student’s learning style and patterns of behaviour.

2) Digital Classrooms

Digital classrooms saw a surge in growth of 65% in 2020. Tools like Google Classroom and Schoology have experienced huge uptake during school closures – with teachers using them to organise and share lessons, Zoom recordings, handouts and classwork.

Having a central location for materials that parents and students can access has been invaluable for home-schooling during lock-downs!

The future role of EdTech

According to global recruiter Robert Walters’ Senior Manager for Technology, growth in EdTech is set to continue.

He commented: “In the UK, the EdTech market is still very much in its infancy – whilst a surge in demand was forecast for 2020, the reality exceeded all expectations due to the impact of Covid-19 and the need to continue education remotely”.

He went on to say, “The requirement for both online courses and virtual classes as permanent academic fixtures will dramatically increase the scale of the sector over the next 12 months.”

All the signs are pointing to a more holistic education system that embeds online/technology-based learning. This could also see the traditional teacher’s role change slightly as a result.

At Utility Rentals, we offer schools a range of high-tech equipment to support learning. From ClassVR to 3D printers, Sphero coding robots, SAM Labs Kits, and iPads!

Our school-friendly equipment is available via our flexible rental agreements. This means you can access this technology without blowing your budget! Our leases also include a range of perks such as training, set-up, and parts and labour warranties for the full rental term.


To find out more about EdTech for your school, contact the experts at Utility Rentals!


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