2021: the need for human touch in EdTech

Davide Conforti, Cofounder & CEO,  OfCourseMeDavide Conforti, Cofounder & CEO, OfCourseMe
2020 has been a year of disruptive change in the workplace: smart working, remote collaboration, new software, and tools made their way suddenly, often overnight. People were stressed by social distancing and limitations, with the addition of frantic change and detached cooperation on top of them. That is why, in an effort to restore a new normal including empathy and contact, we believe that 2021 education technologies will need to focus on a specific differentiator: human touch. This might involve revamped consultative approach and editorial curation for content publishers, improved UX and strengthened customer support for online software, care and empathy when dealing with product marketing and communication for everybody in the industry. Businesses and people were forced to change in 2021, and technology was sometimes seen as something necessary to replace or compensate at least partially the human interactions we could no longer have: think about video conferencing tools. Now we need to get back to think technology as an enabler and support to let people bloom and thrive. Technology might be intriguing or fascinating when it is about buzzwords and trends per se, but it becomes deciding and game changer when it has the purpose to help us be better human beings: again, after a tough year. To do that, we need to couple smart technology with the empathy of human touch. This is what the industry will require most in 2021.

Francesco Carante, Cofounder & COO, OfCourseMe
Education technology makes no difference. In the past few years, we have been bombarded by new acronyms and promises that emerging technologies and products (LXPs, NGLPs, AI / ML, VR / AR, to name a few) were going to radically change the way we deliver and consume learning content, ultimately the way we acquire knowledge. And they are effectively changing all the above, but the assumption that humas have little role into this seems flawed, especially looking back at 2020 where humans (being them individual learners or L&D professionals) made the difference in turning processes around and adapting to radical change, a change which had little to do with technology itself. This reminds us that, whatever piece of smart tech we decide to adopt in our lives and organizations, ultimately, we need to drive this process rather than being passive about this.

At OfCourseMe we advocate the centricity of L&D professionals in leading and driving learning experiences which need to be contextual and relevant to their colleagues and useful to foster upskilling and reskilling in a context of profound culture change. We help do this efficiently. We are a facilitator, we bring speed, expertise and flexibility to the process. We do not want to drive it. OfCourseMe is built around the concept of providing to the L&D departments an array of tools and services to build better learning paths at scale. It is their job ultimately, and we want to be their trusted partners in this journey.
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