Why Edtech is Failing

Published on 22 Aug 2022

Edtech, Failing

EdTech, which stands for education technology, is one of the technology industries expanding at the quickest rate. It is required to make our schools more competitive, provide our teachers with the tools they need to be successful, and allow our children to develop.

EdTech, on the other hand, is a challenging field for startups to enter, tough for investors to make money in and challenging for schools to implement. Edtech businesses are flooding the market, and in 2015, education technology companies received over $1.8 billion in venture capital investments.

Apple, Google, and Facebook have entered this lucrative sector to stake their claim with iPads, Google Classroom, and other important collaborations. These major companies were among the first to get into the game.

Why is education technology failing when so much new technology is available and so many billions of dollars are spent on it?

Also Read: U.S. Court Denies Facebook's Motion To Dismiss Antitrust Case

1. Startups That Went Bankrupt 

The fact that there are numerous apps with no clear income is one of the most unsettling aspects of working with startups.

For instance, until very recently, the program known as Snapchat did not have any monetization. Recently, however, it began allowing users to pay for geofilters and businesses to pay for promoted snaps.

The frightening reality is that most edtech firms do not generate income either. The cause for this is that there is a great deal of businesses that are getting into cutthroat competition for a limited market.

"Free for instructors" and "sales to administrators" are the two primary business models used by firms specializing in educational technology.

Sales to administrators are a top-down strategy in which administrators advise teachers on which tools to use and how to utilize them. Sales to administrators are a growing industry. The first option is quite popular among educators, but it is tough to make money off of it.

That leaves two categories: poor startup businesses teachers like and prosperous established businesses teachers hate.

Edtech firms do not have the luxury of selling advertisements as a revenue stream since protecting users' privacy and data come first. This contrasts with corporations that can expand to millions of users and offer advertising as a revenue source. As a result, companies that focus on educational technology are struggling to develop profitable business models. Many are having trouble surviving in a conventional hierarchy and will likely cease to exist in this fragmented market.

2. There is an Excessive Amount of Them

There are hundreds of companies that are solely dedicated to developing mathematically-oriented goods. These businesses are all following the same strategy to target certain subgroups inside the educational system. In spite of this, there has been an uptick in the number of edtech accelerators, driving even more competition into an already crowded sector.

This is common for every new sector, as several businesses compete with one another for the position of market leader in their particular area. As these industry heavyweights continue to solidify their positions, the education technology sector will likely face the increasing danger of market consolidation in the coming years.

This pattern is not unique to the edtech industry; rather, it is seen in a variety of other sectors, which have also seen a similar cycle of development and contraction. This phenomenon is referred to as the consolidation curve with a distinct life cycle by Harvard Business Review.

3. No One Is Aware of the Identity of the Customer

Edtech businesses have gotten their ideal consumer completely wrong. At the moment, the majority of educational technology products are centred solely on the student and the consequences for the student. Naturally, the final result should be for the students to bring about a good change in the educational system, but the method must be modified to alter the outcomes.

Who is in charge of this process? Ultimately, it's up to the professors. The greatest chance for widespread usage and useful influence is to focus on educators as the major user. Since teachers are the guardians of introducing technology, especially at lower grade levels, it is essential to focus on them as the main user.

If an edtech firm does not target the appropriate end user, it will have difficulty acquiring momentum and developing a business that can be sustained over time. Because edtech company founders lack a solid grasp of their complicated market, which differs from other markets in that the end user is not the target client, this aspect of the industry is more difficult.

4. Attempts at Pedagogy by Engineers in Other Professions

There are a lot of firms in the edtech industry that people launched with backgrounds in technology but not a lot of previous knowledge of pedagogy.

Edtech entrepreneurs need to acquire a mastery of teaching despite the fact that they are not themselves teachers, which is not an easy undertaking. If such information is lacking, the market will be flooded with aesthetically pleasing apps that do not truly move the needle regarding student achievement. Edmodo, Clever, and Chalk.com are just a few examples of organizations that have addressed this issue by recruiting educators to work for them.

These founding members must thoroughly grasp various instructional and pedagogical approaches to succeed in the impending consolidation. "Instead of thinking of ourselves as a technology firm, we prefer to think of ourselves as a learning organization. Everyone working for the firm is responsible for having a basic understanding of pedagogy. "William Zhou, CEO of Chalk.com, an education technology startup based in Waterloo, Canada, asserts the following: "Our team collaborates directly with educators to get a deeper understanding of the problems and possibilities associated with learning."

The only way to make meaningful progress in education and success in the technology business is to have a fundamental grasp of pedagogy.


There is no room for a question that many ed-tech startups will fail. As the industry undergoes consolidation, those companies that abandon environmentally responsible business practices will be consumed by competitors. Those who don't focus on pedagogy will end up developing useless applications.

They aren't concerned about businesses like Chalk.com, concentrating on finding solutions to the genuine issues that instructors face rather than just ticking boxes on sales presentations.


Featured image: Image by rawpixel.com


Subscribe to Whitepapers.online to learn about new updates and changes made by tech giants that affect health, marketing, business, and other fields. Also, if you like our content, please share on social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, and more.