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Investors must seek research-driven edtech, says the foundation for education

A multi-million dollar investment foundation has invited the edtech industry and investors in the UK to deepen collaboration with researchers before launching new products and projects.

The Swiss-based Jacobs Foundation, founded in 1989 by billionaire Klaus J. Jacobs, has called for a “cultural shift” in the British edtech sector, which the estimates are worth 3 billion pounds and represent 40% of European investments in edtech.

The foundation was established to invest in children, youth and education around the world. It will invest £ 412 million in education by 2030, including £ 33 million “to bridge the gap between science learning and edtech”.

The foundation wants the edtech industry to improve its collaboration with researchers by pursuing more evidence-based approaches. Likewise, the foundation called on edtech equity funds to make research and data-based investment decisions. He says investors should seek closer collaboration with researchers when allocating capital to new products and companies to ensure only viable approaches make it to market.

The appeal is one of many to the industry to ensure the effectiveness of new products.

With the dizzying amount of investment pouring into the UK edtech sector, we must not lose sight of what really matters: whether these new innovations really benefit children’s learning.
– Jacobs Foundation

The announcement comes as UK Secretary of Education Nadham Zahawi established new government guidelines on edtech for schools to ensure that all pupils in England receive a minimum standard of technology-enhanced teaching. Zahawi said he wanted to see “a new culture of evidence-based technology use built into every school”, but “it won’t interfere in the market.”

The government-flagged approach makes the collection and analysis of authenticated evidence even more vital for aspiring developers hoping for an industry benchmark.

In May, the Jacobs Foundation will hold a conference in Germany – Unlocking the Impact of Edtech – to discuss ways to make more and better use of evidence.

Fabio Segura and Simon Sommer, co-chief executive of the Jacobs Foundation, said: “With the skyrocketing investments pouring into the UK edtech sector, we must not lose sight of what really matters: whether these new innovations really benefit the UK. learning of children.

“Today we are calling for a cultural change in edtech. UK investment and research communities should work together and with partners around the world to integrate more evidence into edtech product development. This will benefit everyone.

“Investors will make better decisions, start-ups that partner with researchers will improve their products, and students will have access to edtech that benefits their learning. There is not a moment to lose for students shocked by Covid “.

The Jacob Foundation’s £ 33 million investment in edtech will support three interconnected global initiatives. The foundation’s Learning Edtech Impact Funds (LEIFs) will invest £ 27 million in venture capital funds which will invest in research highlighted projects. The fund will spend £ 8.2 million to support a newly launched research center at the University of California Irvine, Connecting the Edtech Research EcoSystem (Ceres). Ceres will bring together experts in computer science, human-computer interaction, education and psychology to produce “cutting-edge scientific research on how children learn through technology”.

The foundation will launch an alliance of trusts under the EdFIRST banner to “work together to encourage the use of evidence in edtech investment decisions.” Segura and Sommer said the new alliance of foundations seeks “to support a large-scale shift towards impact evidence in edtech to shape education policy globally by 2030 and beyond.”


Related comment: The importance of collecting evidence of edtech impact

Investors must seek research-driven edtech, says the foundation for education

Source link Investors must seek research-driven edtech, says the foundation for education

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