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Edtech Experts: Educational Disruption Extends Beyond Online Learning – ReadWrite

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Deanna Ritchie


Education has changed more in the past 10 years than it did in the prior 100. Those changes are only accelerating, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic and the disruptive nature of digital technology.

It’s no secret that technological change has taken a lot of industries by storm. As students hunker down at home during the pandemic, tech experts foresee more than a trend toward online education. Tomorrow’s education system will be more interactive, workforce-oriented, and certificate-based.

How do Educational Challenges and Changes Occur?

How these helpful and needed changes happen, exactly, is up for debate. Benjamin Arabov, CEO of education marketing firm Grow Enrollments, sees new platforms as just the start. “The future of learning lies in teaching institutions that will revolutionize that space, not simply turn conventional education into an online format,” he says. “Disruptive education will emphasize gamification and visual learning to engage the next generation of students.”

Arabov, a 2021 inductee to the Forbes 30 Under 30, thinks disruptive education will have a significant impact on how the majority of us learn and prepare for a career in the future. Here’s how and why that might happen:

What Does Disruption Look Like in the Education Industry?

Definitionally, disruption is the process of displacing an established technology, process, or industry in a groundbreaking, meaningful way. In the context of education, disruption refers to technology’s ability to provide students with modern education, shake up educational institutions, and revolutionize the way we think about learning.

Prominent examples of tech disruption exist in education already: Online courses, degrees, and certifications are becoming common and accepted by employers. Libraries are shifting from print books toward digital archives. Sites like Wikipedia are now respected educational institutions in their own right.

According to Arabov, those changes are just the start. In his eyes, disruptive education offers elegant solutions for the problems that plague the traditional education system.

“To this day, what traditional learning institutions struggle to deliver is student development opportunities. Schools are struggling to engage students. They’re coming up short on creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration.”

What does Arabov propose? Digital programs that teach employer-desired skill sets more effectively and quickly than traditional degree programs. And he’s working with edtech entrepreneurs to bring those to fruition.

What Can We Expect from Disruptive Education Companies?

The future of education will be shaped by the edtech startups of today. It’s Arabov’s belief that these companies will get ahead by not just providing innovative learning programs, but also by solving the current problems that exist within the traditional education system.

One of those problems? The stubborn skills gap for many students who are gearing up to enter the workforce.

“To produce the sort of candidates companies want to hire, education providers have to address the issue of integrating technology with learning,” Arabov said. He points to programs like Distance Learning Systems, which offers digital courses it guarantees will transfer to accredited schools.

Distance Learning Systems makes university programs more accessible and career-oriented using technology. “With today’s increasing cost and time required for higher education, it has become extremely challenging for many to fast-track, or even obtain a college degree,” explains David Christy, the company’s president.

Distance Learning Systems delivers classes live online and records them for students. Students can earn college credit by attending just one class per week.

Another is personalization, Arabov explains. Historically, classroom education has been one size fits all. As is true elsewhere in the economy, that’s changing.

Data by Education Week Research Center suggests half of the educators consider personalized learning an important tool in improving education. Just 11% said they saw it as a fad.

Personalized learning can take many forms. Learn-at-your-own-pace online courses are an early example. In the future, VR experiences may be tailored to the lessons each student struggles with. Expect degree programs to be tailored to each student’s desired skill set, not just the subject area they’re interested in.

Regardless, Arabov says, disruptive education companies will use technology to get there. They’ll help students get insight into their own learning habits, create personalized approaches to education, and keep up with the constant changes that will continue to rock the education industry. And frankly, it’s about time.

Image Credit: anastasiya gepp; pexels

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content development.

Politics

Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending

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Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play


London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Politics

Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs

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Deanna Ritchie


As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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Politics

UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations

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Deanna Ritchie


As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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