Bett show, the best place to learn about ed-tech
Over 34,000 education professionals from 136 countries gathered at London’s Excel Centre from 23 to 26 January 2019 for the annual Bett show. Over 800 ed-tech companies chose to exhibit this year, including 130 innovative start-ups. Bett is internationally recognised as the most important yearly event for the education/ed-tech industry and 90% of visitors agreed that Bett is the best place to learn about ed-tech.
‘Ed-tech’ is short for ‘education technology’ and signifies any technology designed for education. Ed-tech’s goal is to improve education, by facilitating learning processes and optimising the performance and efficacity of existing educational systems.
The ed-tech trends
‘Future’ is the focus at Bett and the aim of both the event and of its exhibitors is to equip future generations with the skills they need for an uncertain future. Bett gathers educational solutions for schools, children and educational establishments; as opposed to ed-tech for adults, businesses or lifelong learning.
1. Technologies for children
A clear trend was that of games and interactive technology in order to engage children and make learning fun. These technologies are designed to be used by children from a very young age, with robots, AIs and games existing to help children learn to read and write.
Many ed-tech companies use this technology to teach children how to code: this is becoming an important skill earlier and earlier, even for children as young as four. It is clear that the classroom is going digital and it now goes without saying that every child will have access to a tablet.
2. Technologies for teachers
Many ed-tech providers develop management software for teachers, which can be used for administrative purposes or to facilitate learning. These digital solutions meet the genuine needs of overwhelmed teachers who demand to be able to spend more time on teaching and less time on admin.
Ed-tech: An international industry
The Bett show also serves as proof of the internationalisation of the ed-tech industry. Interestingly, several exhibitors remarked that in light of Brexit, the UK is no longer seen as the key global ed-tech market, even at this event which takes place in the British capital. Whilst London remains Europe’s leading ed-tech city for the moment, international pavilions representing amongst others France, Norway, Israel and Denmark show that ed-tech is developing quickly outside of the UK as well.
Many exhibitors let us know that they are looking to develop their business internationally, with a large number focusing on emerging markets such as India, Malaysia and Brazil. Further European expansion also remains a common aim among ed-tech companies, and CEOs tend to target countries with a succesful education system and a developed ed-tech market, such as France, Finland or the Netherlands.
Ed-tech industry in France
Ed-tech is developing rapidly in France and Paris is now Europe’s second ed-tech city, after London. French ed-tech is currently focused on lifelong learning and ed-tech for businesses, however an increasing number of French companies are developing ed-tech solutions for children, schools and educational establishments at every level. France’s school system is internationally renowned and a high proportion of its population stays in education post-18: 44.7% of young French adults aged 25-34 have a masters degree, compared to 29.6% in Germany and 25.1% in Italy.
1. French schools digitalisation
The flexible French education system welcomes innovative solutions, from primary level up to university. The French government launched an initiative in 2015 to increase the digitalisation of French schools, in which they invested 1 billion euros. This includes equipping students with tablets and up to date IT equipment, as well as encouraging the growth of innovative ed-tech businesses and the use of their solutions in schools.
2. Advantages for ed-tech start-ups in France
There are also other strategic advantages to setting up your ed-tech business in France. La French Tech, the French national organisation promoting the development of start-ups in France, has identified 15 French territories as having a particularly strong ed-tech ecosystem. These 15 #EdTech territories work together with local ed-tech start-ups to accelerate their growth and impact throughout France, and internationally. The ed-tech market is increasing by a massive 20% year on year.
3. Relevant numbers
In France, the ed-tech and entertainment industries employ altogether over 2.5 million people, representing a total of more than 15 million learners. Creative industries are going from strength to strength in France, and are now responsible for over 5% of French jobs. The strength of other creative sectors, for example video games, is beneficial to the ed-tech market due to the overlap between the two industries. The French video games market represents 940 million euros annually in export alone, and 21% of the creative industry’s export revenue. As we saw at Bett, games are being used more and more in ed-tech and the former sector’s development means only good things for that of the latter.
If you would like to know more about the opportunities for ed-tech businesses in France, please get in touch.