EdTech trends in 2023



David Peran

8/15/20236 min read

EdTech innovation is making learning more accessible, engaging, and affordable in significant ways. Education is one of the world’s single largest industries, accounting for more than 6% of global GDP. HolonIQ reports that total global expenditure on education, combining investments from governments, companies, and consumers, is predicted to reach an astounding $7.3T by 2025. Online education, specifically, extends its reach to even the remotest students. Digital tools not only bring the world closer but also make learning experiences more interactive and immersive, leading to increased student engagement. Moreover, leveraging technology can significantly reduce administrative and infrastructure costs, paving the way for a more efficient and vibrant learning environment.

Here are some EdTech trends I have been following:

1. Metaversities and the rise of digital campuses

The concept of metaversities is radically transforming the educational landscape. As digital twins of traditional university campuses, they offer a space where students can experience immersive lectures, engage in projects, and even socialize. Arizona State University's ASUniverse project stands out as a pioneering example of this trend. These platforms aim to capture the essence of physical campuses while providing the flexibility and global reach of online platforms. By blurring the lines between virtual and real-world environments, metaversities might revolutionize the online learning experience. However, these platforms also introduce new challenges. Concerns surrounding data privacy, equity in access, and the qualitative difference between virtual and in-person interactions remain prominent.

Investment potential:

The rise of metaversities signals significant investment avenues in AR/VR tech, content development, and virtual community-building.

Opportunities for entrepreneurs:

Prioritize crafting immersive learning experiences. Seamlessly integrate familiar conferencing tools, like Zoom, while ensuring universal accessibility. Address challenges of replicating real-world dynamics and inclusivity. Scalability and decentralization of resources will be crucial.

2. Blockchain’s revolution in education

Blockchain technology is no longer just a backbone for cryptocurrencies; it's forging new pathways in education. Its potential for securely storing academic records offers transparency and ease of verification. Institutions globally are exploring blockchain to streamline credit transfers, validate qualifications, and authenticate academic achievements. The decentralized nature of blockchain ensures tamper-proof records, combating fraudulent claims and enhancing credibility. E-learning platforms are also harnessing blockchain to certify course completions and incentivize knowledge sharing. Yet, the adoption of blockchain in education isn't without challenges. High implementation costs, a lack of standardized procedures, and concerns over data privacy must be addressed.

Investment potential:

With the educational blockchain market potentially hitting $1 billion by 2028 according to Business Research Insights, opportunities abound in secure credentialing, transparent record-keeping, and knowledge-sharing.

Opportunities for entrepreneurs:

Emphasize solutions for standardized, tamper-proof academic profiling. Collaborate with video conferencing and cloud storage entities for enhanced data protection. Engage with recruiters to offer authenticated student and professional profiles.

3. The imperative of cybersecurity and data privacy

In an era dominated by digital classrooms, cybersecurity and data privacy have become paramount. Schools and universities are inundated with vast amounts of confidential student data, making them potential targets for cyberattacks. Recognizing the risks, institutions are investing heavily in state-of-the-art security protocols. These measures span from network protection and cloud-based storage safeguards to regular staff and student training sessions on cyber threats. As technology evolves, so do the nature and sophistication of cyber threats, necessitating continuous updates to security policies. Furthermore, the legal implications of data breaches underscore the importance of robust cybersecurity measures.

Investment potential:

A surge in online classrooms necessitates comprehensive cybersecurity solutions tailored for educational institutions.

Opportunities for entrepreneurs:

Develop AI-enhanced threat monitoring, encrypted storage, and blockchain identity solutions. Offer governance frameworks congruent with evolving regulations. Showcase the pivotal role of cybersecurity in ensuring institutional integrity.

4. The emergence of the expertise economy

Specialized knowledge has become a coveted commodity, giving rise to the expertise economy. Digital platforms such as Udemy, Thinkific, Teachable, and Substack have democratized the dissemination of niche knowledge, allowing experts to share and monetize their insights. This trend reflects a broader shift in societal values, where specialized skills, especially in tech-driven areas like AI and cybersecurity, are highly prized. Moreover, these platforms empower independent experts to build personalized brands and nurture student communities. But the surge in niche learning platforms also brings challenges. Ensuring quality, curbing misinformation, and maintaining the credibility of experts are paramount concerns in this burgeoning economy.

Investment potential:

Platforms that empower experts to monetize and share specialized knowledge are on the rise, particularly with sites such as Thinkific and Teachable leading the way.

Opportunities for entrepreneurs:

Facilitate easy knowledge monetization, coupled with robust quality control. Deploy AI to connect learners with relevant expertise. Simplify the course creation process and offer tools for broader audience engagement.

5. Prioritizing mental health and well-being in education

The importance of mental well-being in educational settings has reached unprecedented levels. The combined pressures of modern academic life and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have spotlighted student mental health. Schools and EdTech firms are responding innovatively, developing tools that offer support. AI-driven chatbots, virtual reality relaxation apps, and digital counseling platforms have emerged as popular solutions. The focus is shifting towards a more holistic education model that prioritizes emotional and mental well-being alongside academic achievements. Yet, while technology offers new support avenues, ethical concerns, especially around data collection and privacy, persist.

Investment potential:

The emphasis on holistic student well-being, intensified by the pandemic, invites investments in AI-driven counseling apps, VR wellness tools, and educator support mechanisms.

Opportunities for entrepreneurs:

Prioritize early interventions. Construct VR environments for mental wellness activities like meditation. Offer tangible metrics to institutions, underscoring the return on investment of prioritizing mental health.

6. The emphasis on lifelong learning

Education, once viewed as a phase in early life, is now seen as a continuous journey. The constantly evolving technological landscape necessitates perpetual upskilling and adaptation. Recognizing this need, platforms that offer courses tailored for working professionals are flourishing. These platforms, such as Skillshare and MasterClass, cater to a wide age range, facilitating career pivots and skill enhancement. Collaborations between industries and online educators further underline the growing demand for continuous learning. Yet, challenges remain. Motivating adult learners and ensuring consistent quality across platforms are significant hurdles to address.

Investment potential:

Continuous reskilling and upskilling suggests vast growth opportunities in modular and flexible learning.

Opportunities for entrepreneurs:

Tailor courses to real-world industry needs and ensure mobile compatibility. Integrate short modules, subscription models, and peer support networks. Engage with corporate entities to discern evolving training needs.

7. Neuroeducation: bridging brain science and pedagogy

The fusion of neuroscience and education, termed neuroeducation, promises to optimize learning by tailoring pedagogy to our brain's intricacies. This interdisciplinary approach goes beyond conventional teaching methods, leveraging insights from cognitive research and brain scans. By understanding the physiological processes behind learning, educators can enhance memory retention, comprehension, and overall engagement. As the technology enabling detailed brain studies improves, the potential of neuroeducation becomes more evident. However, the field also grapples with challenges. Ethical concerns about brain data collection and the need for scientific validation of various claims are prominent issues.

Investment potential:

Though in nascent stages, neuroeducation, with its intersection of neuroscience and pedagogy, promises long-term growth for those investing in research and application.

Opportunities for entrepreneurs:

Craft tools that harness neuroscience findings, such as VR for enhanced sensory immersion. Partner with academic researchers for authenticity. Advocate for techniques with demonstrable cognitive benefits, and design solutions for individualized learning paths.

Education is at the forefront of transformation, largely influenced by technological innovations and modern pedagogical strategies. These emerging trends promise enhanced learning experiences and a more dynamic educational landscape. Yet, it is crucial to address the pressing challenges of data protection, maintaining educational quality, and ensuring all students have equitable opportunities. The overarching aim is holistic: preparing students to be emotionally, socially, and intellectually adept for the challenges and opportunities of the future.


HolonIQ, Education technology in 10 charts (2023). Available at:                                                              https://www.holoniq.com/edtech-in-10-charts

Business Research Insights (2022), Blockchain in education. Available at:                                                                    https://www.businessresearchinsights.com/market-reports/blockchain-in-education-market-102379


HolonIQ, Education technology in 10 charts (2023). Available at: https://www.holoniq.com/edtech-in-10-charts