Day 1

Pressure continues to increase on education budgets around the globe. Yet despite this fact, the education sector is continuing to increase its investment in technology related to learning. Ed-Tech funding jumped 55% in 2014, with no signs of slowing down, according to CB Insights. A report from Global Industry Analysts (GIA) predicts that the global e-learning market will reach $107 billion in 2015, propelled by technological advancements and demand for additional skills.

With this trend as a backdrop, the Education Technology sessions will focus on Ed-Tech trends and its impact on learning and assessment.

Ed-Tech Session 1:  The New Connected Classroom

As technology enters the classroom, the very notion of the classroom is being redefined. Classes are no longer confined to closed rooms where teachers converse with students with just a blackboard and chalk. Today's classrooms are virtual, collaborative spaces that stretch the old four walls in both space and time.

Video classrooms and live streaming allow any one to attend live sessions, while star teachers can teach from anywhere. Lecture capture and playback allow for asynchronous reviews of in-class conversations and MOOC-style learning experiences. In-class assessments and data analytics tied to student devices provide real time reviews of student performance, while teacher curated content selected from the Cloud, shared lecture notes, and access to digital libraries can substantially enhance the learning experience in the new classroom. Video cameras that capture lectures now also do automated attendance tracking by facial recognition, while analytics on motion sensor streams are providing precise utilization and availability metrics on campus spaces.

With so much going on, it would be interesting to discuss the possibilities and challenges of these connected classrooms..


Issues/Challenges:

  • With live streaming and bi-directional video-conferencing and virtual classrooms already in place, what possibilities do you see as classes are accessible from anywhere and any time?

  • With so much great content available on the Cloud, and mobiles and tablets available in class, how is the teaching experience being enhanced?

  • What challenges do these technologies impose on the teachers and students? Are these technologies simply distractions that promise too much, or do they have a substantial impact on learning?

Ed-Tech Session 2:  Innovation in Blended Learning – The New Wave

Online learning is growing at a rapid pace - one in ten students were taking courses exclusively online by 2012, and even more were taking at least some of their classes online. The shift to online learning has been heavily aided by technology improvements in fields like learning analytics, adaptive learning, and asynchronous as well as synchronous tools. Similarly, the corporate training industry has also seen a comparable shift; incorporating learning technologies that indicate a seismic shift toward a 21st century workplace..

But blended learning may be the even bigger innovation to come of the shift to online learning, as it combines the benefits of the technology of online learning with the accessibility of working with instructors face-to-face. Access to more online resources in whatever format students learn from best, accessible wherever and whenever they want, enables better learning outside of the classroom. Add to that a greater availability of teachers once in the classroom and you have a powerful tool that provides students with the best of both worlds..

As blended learning continues to further evolve to include futurist technologies, such as virtual reality and augmented reality, students and life-long learners have new opportunities to engage with interactive environments that re-define training, learning and knowledge sharing. Allowing students to immerse themselves in these virtual worlds may pose challenges to more traditional forms of face to face teaching practices; yet, the inclusion of these education technologies could facilitate a greater transition toward 21st century schools and workplaces..

The best practices for blended learning are still being developed, but as more institutions and organizations experiment with it and track what works best, it can only get better..


Issues/Challenges:

  • Blended learning is often considered to be a ‘new wave’ in learning, yet variations of these technologies have been introduced into classrooms over the past few years. What companies or blended learning strategies do you believe are best facilitating this ‘new wave’? Or, do you think that another technology or strategy will replace blended learning in the near future?

  • What type of teacher training is needed to be able to allow educators to develop not only a deeper knowledge of ‘best practices’, but also strategies for creatively incorporating these solutions into the classroom?

  • With VR & AR technologies, and often with blended learning more generally, critics are quick to note that the immersive environments remove the human connection. Is this really a problem, considering how outside the classroom, we already use these technologies so much that we are often already transfixed and distracted by devices?

  • Consider how the use of VR & AR for corporate training, such as fire safety or negotiation tactics, could save employers a significant amount of money by avoiding physical risks and also the need for a person to come in and conduct the training face to face. Would employees however be missing something by not having the human interaction?

Ed-Tech Session 3:  Spectrum of Mobile Learning Only Opportunities

The usage of mobiles is growing faster than ever before, backed by the rolling out of quicker internet speeds and smarter phones at affordable prices.

  • Various research papers forecast that for the next 5 years:
  • The number of mobile-connected devices exceeded the world’s population in 2014.
  • 4G traffic will be more than half of the total mobile traffic by 2017.
  • Because of increased usage on smartphones, smartphones will reach three-quarters of mobile data traffic by 2019.

Now against the backdrop of such information, it would be interesting to explore and debate what role mobiles are playing in shaping up the workplace learning scenario. These trends with mobile learning are evidence of the fact that we are on the brink of a new era of learning – through the mobile device:

  • The shift from Flash to HTML
  • Device agnostic design approach
  • Mobile app analytics
  • Multi-screen usage
  • Bite sized learning for performance support
  • Mobiles as devices for competency based learning
  • Gamified mobile learning and assessments
  • Augmented Reality for mobiles

Issues/Challenges:

  • What do you believe is the greatest opportunity for the usage of mobile technologies within the worldwide education technology industry?

Day 1

Education for a 21st Century Africa

While there is much reason to celebrate the progress in education that Africa has made over the past decade, according to the Africa Learning Barometer created by the Center for Universal Education at Brookings, which provides a picture of the state of learning for 28 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, there is a deeper learning crisis that needs to be addressed. Out of Africa's nearly 128 million school-aged children, 17 million will never attend school and more importantly another 37 million African children will learn so little while in they are in school that they will not be much better off than those kids who never attend school.

For a continent widely considered to be rising fast, the reality of education on the continent today will pose a bleak challenge to its future economic and social development tomorrow. As the youngest continent on the planet with nearly 1 in 3 Africans between the ages of 10 and 24, education is central to a prosperous African future. The need to re-shape education in Africa is evident at every level, from early childhood education to the re-invention of vocational training. And, on a continent with the potential for both massive unemployment but also massive job creation and growth, the attention of governments, educators, international partners and even investors should also expand to include not just a focus on access and quality, but as importantly on the relevance of education to employability.

Both Africa sessions will look at how innovation outside of government can help pave the way for education on the continent that embodies the best of 21st century learning. We will look at the extent to which education entrepreneurs are the much needed visionaries and disruptors on a continent that is exploding with creativity and innovation deeply tied to human needs. And we will hear from leaders in the field who are innovating at scale to challenge some of the most pressing - and often intangible - problems in education in Africa.

Africa Session: East Africa Start Ups - Important Trends (Emerging Private Education)

East Africa is becoming a hub of education innovation that is demonstrated by an increasing number of promising start-ups with big ambitions for impact and scale. Taken together, they represent the next frontiers in better connecting education to employment, and in providing low-cost and relevant education, locally-created content and learning management systems, and innovative financing opportunities for loans and even textbooks. There are many who feel that the region’s unprecedented adoption of mobile phones, deep commitment to education at every level of society and unbridled entrepreneurship may position it to not just keep up with the re-invention of education elsewhere, but to actually leapfrog and reverse innovate. This session will showcase some leading education businesses that are breaking the mode and ask key questions about what they might mean for the future of learning on the African continent. And it will look candidly at the road to investment and to profitability.

Topics for Discussion:

  • How are education start-ups in Africa addressing some of the challenges and opportunities in bringing 21st century learning to the continent?
  • Are start-ups uniquely positioned to fill these gaps and why if so? Is there impetus to collaborate with governments which are so dominant in the sector?
  • What can these start-ups’ journeys to investment tell us about what is most needed to support a richer ecosystem?
  • With so much of the education innovation geared towards the bottom of the pyramid, is it realistic to think businesses that target them can deliver commercial returns? Or is education investing only for middle class and elite offerings?

Interviews with Innovators Addressing Some of the Core Education Challenges in Africa

While interest and opportunity in investing in African education is increasing, it is timely to consider large-scale efforts that are addressing some of the most fundamental challenges at the core of education in Africa. Topics will include: How do we tackle the increasing number of out-of-school children? What does creating world class education institutions on the continent look like? And, what are lessons learned from trying to scale the largest network of low-cost private schools on the continent?

This session will hear from some of the trail blazers and ask them what their work tells us about what is possible on the continent and asks them to contemplate strategies for scale, replication, sustainability and impact.

Day 2

Asia is clearly at the forefront of an economic shift in the world of education, having the largest underserved student population in the world. From a continent which had two-thirds of world’s out-of-school children in the 1970s, Asia is a global success story when it comes to educating children. Even though tremendous progress has been made in this sector, serious shortfalls at all levels are still present.

Changes in the education system can happen through patient dialog and focused efforts on the part of all stakeholders. Full of opportunities and fraught with challenges, Asian countries are looking for collaborations between entrepreneurs, investors, organizations and policy makers to work together to enhance and improve the education sector.

Recognizing the evolving state of the education sector in the region, this symposium aims to debate/discuss education disruption, and, align education operators and development partners, and highlight major education challenges and trends in developing Asia.

Session 1: K-12 -New Age Schooling

Preparing a new generation for the knowledge workforce of tomorrow is not a process that can begin when that generation enters college. Change has to be, and is being, driven upstream into K-12 and even from the pre-K segments as parental aspirations, industry needs, and the changing mores required by globalization converge to demand more from the educational system. Incredible advances in technology, freely available content, and collaborative technologies that can connect teachers from any part of the globe to students anywhere, are also opening up the opportunity to deliver quality education effectively to disenfranchised sections that we simply could not reach earlier.

This rapidly changing landscape, is leading to a significant number of experiments in.

  • How learning can best happen with newer pedagogies and use of technology and assessments
  • Changes in what is being taught with more emphasis on social and experiential elements
  • And finally, the very notion of a school itself is undergoing change with a rise in home schooling, technology oriented virtual schools for access, and new models for affordable, scalable schools

Topics debated would be:

  • What is expected from a new-age school in the pre-K through K-12 segments? What will tomorrow's school look like?
  • What trends are driving new requirements? What experiments show the most promise?
  • How can new models increase access for the disenfranchised sector?

Session 2: Skill Specific or Competency Based Education (CBE)

The most significant innovation in education programs is “competency-based education” (CBE) which focusses on a specific skillset or knowledge area and which will disrupt traditional education significantly. Traditional education is defined as for-credit education measured by instruction time and grading of students by faculty where the outcomes are credentials in the form of a degree or diploma which is recognized by employers and institutions. On the other hand, skills education facilitates student’s learning technical skills or knowledge in a specific topic area that is measured by criteria-specific performance. Typically assessment is an observable outcome(s) that demonstrates mastery in the form of an e-portfolio or interactive transcript. Examples are competency-based degree programs such as the one offered at Purdue, or Nano-degrees offered by Udacity, Micro-credential programs offered by edX or Coursera, certificates by Alison, and Mozilla’s Open Badges program. 

Topics to be debated:

Can we expect more institutions offering competency education programs and employer involvement in skill-specific education this year?
Will we also see more companies serving as advisors for curriculum and program development for courses of study at institutions?

Workshop by Parthenon - EY

Session 3: Linking Teacher Education Efforts To Large Scale System Change

Research around the world shows that the quality of teachers plays the most important role in the quality of education. Research also shows that high quality teacher education, both upfront or pre-service and on-going or in-service, plays a crucial role in teacher quality and teacher performance.

However, in many school systems around the world, teacher education efforts have by and large struggled to bring together quality, scale and sustainability. Barring a few exceptions, one comes across either very high quality programs that are restricted to small pockets or large scale programs with questionable impact, and sustainability is often a question-mark at both ends of this spectrum.

In this panel, we will try to discuss two things. One, we will ask the question “why”. Why is it that though teacher education is widely recognized as a crucial need and is seeing focus from several non-profits, for-profits and governments, large scale, high quality, sustainable efforts are so few in number? Among other reasons, some of our panellists believe that this is a classic example of market failure. In many emerging markets in particular, where regulation does not require teachers to regularly upgrade themselves, the average school has limited incentive to invest in teacher training and the individual teacher does not see any rewards associated with better competencies or performance. Therefore, teacher education efforts end up depending on a few progressive schools or donor grants or government funding for sustainability – all of which are insufficient and uncertain sources. This brings us to the second and bigger question that our panel will discuss. What could be ways to create more market demand for teacher training and link teacher education efforts better to market needs or “customers” who are willing to pay for quality? We will touch upon what teacher education entities themselves could do towards this, what schools and school systems could do, what role teacher certifying entities could play, and what role if any should be played by regulation.

Session 4: Funding the Ecosystem

Education has evolved from a single-teacher: single-student focused skill-transfer endeavour to one where the same knowledge is imparted to almost all learners irrespective of their abilities, desires, and dreams. Education was considered the responsibility of the head of the family or the local teacher whose livelihood often depended on the donations from the society/parents. Today, educating the next generation is a responsibility shared between the parents, teachers, and the government. While transitioning to this world of shared responsibility, there has been a systematic reduction in clarity on the sharing of the responsibility for funding the ecosystem. Some developed nations such as Sweden, Switzerland and Finland with significant tax rates (XXX) have free education systems. On the other hand, developing nations often find themselves unable to collect sufficient taxes to enable a well-funded education ecosystem and private education providers in such nations usually face significant social and policy hurdles to developing self-sustaining institutions. With this as backdrop, some questions that come up are: how can government and private enterprise collaborate to develop educations systems from the perspective of nation building? How suitable are various sources of funding for various aspects of sector’s development? Who should fund innovation and who should fund the commercialization of new products and services across various segments? What value can smart capital add to the ecosystem?

Issues/Challenges:

  • With increasing numbers of students at every level of education, the challenges of funding and the pressures upon finances have been steadily growing. Add the global economic crisis and continuing economic instability and the challenges are clear. Education forms at least part of the solution to current economic issues, so reducing provision is simply not an option. Innovative funding mechanisms will need to be found to sustain and develop education. To date, education has been funded in a range of ways, including governments, private organisations and through PPP models. What funding models will prevail in the future?
  • Does education hold the potential of being an alternate asset class when compared with the total market cap of education versus global education spend and when contrasted against healthcare and other sectors?
  • Will the quality of returns ever be of the same level as expected from other sectors such as technology, health, energy, etc? Should the returns be measured only on an IRR basis?
  • What role can enterprises and governments play in funding the capital gap through smart and relevant capital?

Session 5: Transnational/Crossborder Education - Developments And Trends

The TNE landscape is a complex one, with multiple stakeholders, each having different perceptions, expectations and motivations. Differing starting points and expectations have spawned a vibrant and diverse range of engagement models. Some have been more successful than others, but all have contributed to the rich fabric of international higher education and in most cases benefitted their stakeholders either directly or indirectly. 

This session aims to bring participants up to date with the rapidly developing environment of TNE looking at how recent innovations in online education and scaled up provision of education are influencing models of delivery; how regulatory regimes are responding to the development of TNE; what the current issues are in quality and the student experience and how TNE is embracing and embraced by the various international environments it operates in.

Key topics to be explored include:

  • Technological innovation: the development of MOOCs and the movement of students east-east rather than east-west
  • Quality of delivery and accreditation
  • TNE models: education hubs and exchange programs
  • The student experience

Agenda

ED-TECH AND AFRICA SESSIONS AND EDUAWARDS

Registration & Breakfast Meeting

Symposium 2016 – Opening Remarks:

Sandeep Aneja - Managing Director, Kaizen Private Equity and Peter Zemsky - Deputy Dean, INSEAD

Keynote Speech:

Peter Blair Henry - Dean, NYU, Stern School of Business

Ed-Tech Session 1:  The New Connected Classroom

Moderator: Hans Christensen - DSO, DTEC
Panellist 1: Chhaya Shastri - MT Educare
Panellist 2: Amit Mahensaria - Impartus
Panellist 3: Takuya Homma- Quipper
Panellist 4: PJ Gunsagar - Kidaptive

Coffee Break

Ed-Tech Session 2:  Innovation in Blended Learning – The New Wave

Moderator: Benjamin Vedrenne-Cloquet - IBIS Capital
Panellist 1: Tuan Pham Minh - Topica
Panellist 2: Pankaj Makkar - Bertelsmann India
Panellist 3: Harman Singh - WizIQ
Panellist 4: Amir Rao - Udemy

Ed-Tech Session 3:  Spectrum of Mobile Learning Only Opportunities

Moderator: Gaurav Mehra - Kaizen
Panellist 1: Allison Baum - Fresco Capital
Panellist 2: Douglas Hoernle, Re-think Education
Panellist 3: Mark Dorman - McGraw Hill
Panellist 4: Arpit Jain - SplashMath

Lunch

Important Trends & Investment Insights From African Start-Ups

Moderator: Julia Moffett - Equity Group Foundation
Panellist 1: Jussi Hinkkanen - Fuzu
Panellist 2: Jennifer White - Student Finance Africa
Panellist 3: Oliver Sabot - Nova Academies
Panellist 4: Tonee Ndungu - Kytabu

Interviews with Innovators Addressing Some of Africa’s Biggest Education Challenges & Opportunities

Moderator: Julia Moffett - Equity Group Foundation
Panellist 1: Caitlin Baron - Speed School Fund
Panellist 2: Fred Swaniker - ALU
Panellist 3: Dr. Shannon May - Bridge Academy

Coffee Break

Managing Higher Educational Institutions in Turbulent Times - Steve Riehs and Amit Sevak

EduAwards:

EduAwards – Five Shortlisted Business Plans to be Showcased ; Hosted by Mike Michalec

Cocktails & Networking

Dinner by Invitation:

Dinner by Invitation: Speech by Jerry Hultin

27-28

Feb 2016

Dubai, UAE

2 Days

11 sessions

Focus on Edtech
Africa and Asia

50

Speakers

20 Nationalities

300

participants

Investors, Policy Makers, Education CXOs