This is the year for EdTech.

Now more than ever is the opportunity, and I’d argue, the imperative to reshape how we deliver education supported by well-considered Education Technology.

I doubt that I’m saying anything that you don’t know already when I say that the current crisis is a world-changing event. It has unleashed, what is for most of us, possibly the biggest shock to our lives and livelihoods. Within the Education/EdTech sector, we’re seeing all of the old rules and assumptions thrown out the window including pretty much zero on-boarding rules and some great initiatives from Kiwi EdTech’s.

Innovation is born of necessity.

Your ability to envision new ways of operating will be crucial to not only weathering the crisis but also being well placed to thrive in whatever becomes the new normal post crisis. Great leaders know to overturn assumptions, that in turn creates space to innovate. With distance learning becoming part of the new normal for a least the foreseeable future, and more likely indefinitely, we will need to rethink the learning experience. For example, how will you create personal human like interactions with your students, how will keep your students engaged and motivated, what does classroom collaboration look like under a distance model? This is a relatively new dynamic that will need to be seen through a completely different lens and there is no template for how to make this work. What you do now, will profoundly influence the future success of your business in tomorrows changed world. If you do it right, it will provide a foundation for improved agility, it will get you closer to your customers, your staff and your business partners.

If you are a digital business, then you have an edge, one that you may not only leverage to accelerate your own business, but to also show thought leadership in helping your customers navigate what is for them, perhaps unfamiliar waters. Paying it forward now, will gain trust and loyalty over the long term. One of the underlying themes in responding to the current crisis is one of “be kind, be supportive”. These social values are (in my view) vital and should underpin every action and decision that your business makes.

Here is a question to ask yourself: “what are bold actions that you’ve hesitated to pursue in the past, even knowing that they would eventually be required?”. Now is the time to courageously purse that agenda!

If you are going to innovate, don’t just look for like-for-like digital replacements for legacy physical offerings – that’s just digital lipstick! Don’t just make minor or cosmetic changes around the edges, the focus needs to be on the core. You may need to form new strategic alliances, look for new opportunities beyond your companies traditional (and comfortable) domains. Look at how the ecosystem is evolving and use a design centric approach that focus on the end users and your customers.

Be bold, be brave, be decisive, learn quickly and be agile – lead, don’t follow

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”  

– Malcolm X

Augen’s Strategy & Innovation Lead’s, with 30+ years of experience are also industry leaders in the New Zealand technology innovation domain.  Talk to us about how you can accelerate your business forward or get your new projects off the ground

Author. Shane Kerr, Strategy and Innovation Lead for Augen and Chair, EdTechNZ