Latin America to Witness the Rise of Edtech Giants

Education Technology Insights | Thursday, September 22, 2022

Edtech is crucial in ensuring everyone has access to a high-quality education, a fundamental human right. Adopting edtech in Latin America and other countries worldwide will enable educators to develop more effective, personalized learning programs for pupils.

FREMONT, CA: Educators and administrators sometimes joke that change in the education environment occurs glacially, and some may argue that the edtech industry was a sleeping giant before COVID-19. Now that the edtech titan is fully awake, better funded, and roaring to life after years of sluggish expansion, the moment is right to explore this sector that is so essential to the future of the globe.

Against the global backdrop of pandemic-related school closures and necessary lockdowns, there has been a sudden shift toward remote and hybrid learning. According to a March report by the Association for Private Capital Investment in Latin America (LAVCA), edtech investments surged by 146 percent in 2020. During the first half of 2021, U.S.-based education technology businesses raised more than $3.2 billion in investment capital, exceeding the $2.2 billion total recorded by EdSurge for 2020.

It is not surprising when astute investors view this once-in-a-lifetime potential to alter education digitally, they see dollar signs. Simultaneously, edtech leaders and scrappy entrepreneurs are keen to develop additional solutions and tools that can serve learners of all ages—from children working in virtual and hybrid classrooms to adults who want to study everything from cooking to coding.

Latin America has been quietly becoming a hotbed of edtech innovation for almost a decade, although this development may not have garnered much attention.

During the pandemic, the adoption of remote learning and edtech solutions has increased out of pure need, compressing "three to five years of normal technology adoption into around 12 months, with this disruption forcing the sector to rethink how the world learns.

The economic rationale for adopting edtech

In Latin America, where systematic education gaps and limited resources directly impact lives and livelihoods—notably those living in poor, rural, and indigenous communities—the edtech sector plays a crucial role.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, 120 million school-age children lost or were on the verge of losing an entire academic year this year, according to the World Bank, resulting in 7.6 million additional "learning poor" primary school-age children.

These unanticipated learning deficits will have long-lasting repercussions. Experts believe the pandemic could result in an entire generation of "lost children" who drop out of school and never return.

This is the most severe educational crisis ever witnessed, and we are concerned that a whole generation could be adversely affected.

Across the region, the economic effects of job losses caused by the epidemic are already being felt significantly. During the same period, the World Bank estimates that the Latin American economy contracted by 7 percent and that 30 million people were unemployed or quit the labor force. Gender, education, connectedness, and experience significantly impact a person's success.

Edtech to transform classroom learning

Experts believe that startups and global companies must meet schools and educators where they are to adopt edtech innovations in traditional classroom settings.

Every nation in Latin America is at a distinct stage of connectivity, internet access, infrastructure, and education development. Others have yet to master the fundamentals of teaching and learning with remote and digital information. However, private institutions and affluent communities may be ready to integrate some of edtech's more advanced features.

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