The Emergence of EdTech: How virtual reality wants to help educate your kids
Anita Riotta
Industry Snapshot
13:45, 13th May 2019

Some members of Generation Alpha, also known as the iGeneration, aren’t even born yet but they’re already dictating future market trends. 

Born between 2010 and 2025, Generation Alpha will be the first generation born entirely in the 21st century-- and whole industries are already positioning themselves to benefit from the inherently digital upbringing that will mold them.

Few efforts, however, have been as concerted as that within the education sector-- the market Generation Alpha will, arguably, interact with and shape first.

Since 2010, investors have directed over $2 billion into startups operating in the United States’ K-12 educational technology, or ‘edtech,’ market. Chief among these is the incorporation of virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and similar technologies into classrooms.

In a survey by international law firm Perkins Coie and the XR (cross reality) Association, 41% of respondents chose education as the “most applicable” sector for VR and AR; 36% of participants thought the most VR and AR investment would be directed into education.

At Bett Middle East and Africa, the world’s largest education technology portfolio of events, experts showcased how schools are experimenting with virtual reality to simulate and immerse students in environments that catalyze creativity, problem-solving skills, and critical thinking. 

Anthony Salcity, Vice President of Worldwide Education at Microsoft, argued, “Virtual reality does many great things. It's great for storytelling and for students to see advanced concepts they couldn't have experienced. There are going to be great opportunities for bringing immersive experiences with virtual reality.”

And the U.K. is ready to seize that opportunity. PwC’s most recent annual Entertainment and Media Outlook reported the U.K. as the largest market for VR and AR in Europe. 

Sol Rogers, founder and CEO of Rewind, a top global creative agency for mixed reality content, argues, “VR and AR are truly global technologies, but I feel that what has helped to set the U.K. apart as a leader in the space is breadth and depth of what it offers.” That breadth and depth is expected to make the virtual reality market in the UK worth over £350 million by 2020.

In the education landscape, UK-based companies such as Dev Clever Holdings (DEV) FOLLOW have already laid out the groundwork to both take advantage of this growth and also shape the industry’s future. 

A leading developer of mobile and immersive educational experiences, Dev Clever has released its latest virtual reality experience “VICTAR” (Virtual Interactive Careers Training & Apprenticeship Robot)-- the world’s first interactive VR careers guidance experience, to schools across the UK as part of their division EDUCATE. 

Chris Jeffries, Dev Clever’s CEO, says  "VICTAR is a pivotal application in VR and the start of the mass adoption of the technology in the education sector. It allows schools to generate an immediate return on their investment  for introducing the equipment in their institution by supporting the government mandate for schools to perform against the Gatsby Benchmarks for careers guidance.

Using virtual reality, VICTAR fulfills a real and current need to engage young people at school in the delivery of careers information and will become a conduit to deliver further virtual reality content such as curriculum, career focused and other training modules.”

And a sharp focus on educational VR is likely to benefit the cross reality industry as a whole. PwC found that one of the main challenges to the mainstream adoption of VR and AR technology is precisely education and that “few members of the public have an accurate understanding of the technology due to a lack of first-hand experience.”

Once that technology is brought into classrooms and a large swath of the public has adopted and utilized it since childhood, it seems there’s only growth ahead of educational VR.

For more news and updates on Dev Clever Holdings: FOLLOW

The information, investment views and recommendations in this article are provided for general information purposes only and do not constitute financial, investment or legal advice. Although based on information believed to be accurate and complete, the information is not guaranteed to be accurate or current and readers should seek advice specific to their circumstances from their adviser before making any investment decision or taking any action. Nothing in this article should be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell any financial product, or to engage in or refrain from doing so or engaging in any other transaction. Full disclosure of potential conflict of interest is made in accordance with ethical standards. The author may or may not hold investments in all or any of the companies under discussion.

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