UNiIn his recent book, The Third Wave, Steve Case talks about the way the next generation of technology startups will focus on solving the really big issues facing society. He points to the fact that the first wave was all about setting up the basic building blocks of the internet by big players such as Cisco, Microsoft and AOL. The second wave saw the rise of the stand alone app startups such as Uber and Airbnb and a whole host of less significant players. The third wave will use this platform to transform sectors such as health and education

The education system in many developed nations has changed little in past 300 years. It was designed at the height of the British dominance as a way of equipping diplomats with the skills they needed to run a huge sprawling empire. This system is arguably no longer fit for purpose for a modern technology enabled society where students need new and quickly changing skillsets.

Technology offers huge potential to radically improve the learning experience and equip students with the skills they will need in the next decade.

Trends to watch include flipped learning, where students learn from video at home and attend school to do their homework with the help of educators, adaptive and personalised learning and student generated content. This transformation will be driven by the interaction of a number of exponential technologies that will come together to deliver an entirely different learning experience. Big Data and Machine learning will help educators to predict learning requirements and tailor content for specific student needs. The huge increase in video bandwidth will enable Virtual Reality experiences that are more engaging and will improve the learning experience. Coding schools are already creating a generation that is more familiar with software and will set high expectations about the rest of the curiculum which is rarely aligned to the needs of employers in the digital age.

The biggest challenges will not be technology based. Edtech founders currently face long sales cycles and a system that is reluctant to take risks. Steve case believes the third wave will be all about partnering. Founders will have to become effective at building relationships with Government agencies, educational establishments and other stakeholders. However, I am confident that we are entering a period of rapid transformation where a quality education can be delivered to a broader cross-section of society.

Blog by Paul Dowling — Co-Founder of Dreamstake the world’s first tech startup platform to match founders with the most appropriate investors using a unique startup rating system. This allows entrepreneurs and investors to monitor startup progress and inject capital and support when most needed. Startup founders can create profiles on the platform and get direct introductions to investors. We are constantly looking for great early stage tech startups. Investors please contact [email protected]

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