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Personalized Learning: The Future of B2C EdTech

  • Why parents are choosing B2C EdTech solutions
  • How B2C EdTech providers can take advantage of this trend

With a new normal of remote and hybrid education, along with students working to catch up after the pandemic-induced interruption of their schooling, educators and parents alike are using online learning tools to bridge many of the gaps in education.

To complement school-led instruction, parents took the initiative by adopting direct-to-consumer EdTech tools for in-home tutoring, supplemental learning, and special education, opening a new window of opportunity for companies in the B2C EdTech space.

To learn what the future holds for B2C EdTech, we asked education and EdTech professionals about the opportunities, challenges, and outlook for the market. Here are the key takeaways:

  • Parents have embraced B2C EdTech
  • B2C EdTech gives parents more transparency and control
  • Asynchronous instruction better matches how students learn
  • Education has permanently moved beyond the classroom

Parents have embraced B2C EdTech

Over the past two years, parents had to familiarize themselves with online learning tools provided by schools. During this time, many parents discovered these tools can help even after students return to school.

According to Zafer Elcik, Co-founder and CEO of Otsimo, parents’ attitudes towards online learning became more open. He shared:

"Parents used to discuss whether screen time is safe or not, which is no longer a discussion. Our homes became the school, and the market responded in parallel to the demand."

Zafer Elcik, Co-founder and CEO of Otsimo

Dhonam Pemba, Co-founder of KidX, also explained how the market has changed now that EdTech providers aren’t limited to selling to school administrators.

"Parents are now accustomed to having their children learn at home and are more aware of educational products for home use. Previously, parents weren’t exposed to what products their children were learning with during traditional school—now parents have seen the ‘Zoom schools’—and are looking for alternatives for better in-home education."

Dhonam Pemba, Co-founder of KidX

B2C EdTech gives parents more transparency and control

As schools scrambled for classes to go online, parents and teachers started working together to find supplemental learning solutions. Tom Hooper, Founder and CEO at Third Space Learning, explained that many teachers recommended B2C tech solutions to parents "to support their children’s remote learning." Hooper added:

"This unique circumstance is likely to create a long-term change in decision making, product design and potentially even funding as parents and schools make decisions in a more coherent manner. This will be good for learning outcomes in the long term."

Tom Hooper, Founder and CEO, Third Space Learning

B2C EdTech has also provided access to instruction for topics that aren’t normally taught in schools but that parents or students may want to prioritize, says Nisha Talagala, CEO of AIClub. Talagala went on to suggest that this extracurricular instruction could impact eligibility for higher education:

"In the United States, we are seeing a growing demand by parents for distinctive learning experiences to support college applications. In this sense, project-based learning and entrepreneurship-based learning are also opportunities for B2C EdTech companies."

Nisha Talagala, CEO of AIClub

Asynchronous instruction better matches how students learn

Asynchronous instruction offered more scheduling flexibility for students during the pandemic, but Dr. Rebecca Mannis, Learning Specialist and Founder at Ivy Prep Learning Center, suggested that asynchronous instruction is generally better for students. She went on to say that B2C EdTech companies have the opportunity to change the education paradigm by fostering asynchronous learning opportunities:

"This can be a boon for B2C businesses and also help create an ethos that is less performance-bound and more supportive of what we know about learning and kids: children grow in asynchronous ways. Thus, sophisticated technologies will move away from a pure ‘drill and practice’ focus and toward more customized approaches that appreciate learning as a long-term process that is inherently uneven and where systematic reinforcement and encouraging self-awareness ultimately leads to mastery, retention, and ability to apply those skills gleaned in novel contexts. After all, isn’t that what our fast-paced world requires of us and our next generation for them to be competent, confident and curious citizens of the digital space?"

Dr. Rebecca Mannis, Learning Specialist, Ivy Prep

Dr. Mannis added that B2C EdTech can be a better solution to meet the needs of students with a variety of learning and development needs:

"These students have unique and often chronic learning challenges that most teachers are not trained to identify or address. Technology is a unique avenue toward managing some of these issues and in doing so leveling the playing field for these children and their parents."

Dr. Rebecca Mannis, Learning Specialist, Ivy Prep

Education has permanently moved beyond the classroom

The educational ecosystem has to a large degree shifted outside the classroom and into the home. Zafer Elcik suggested that because of the benefits that B2C EdTech provides, we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible for at-home instruction. He stated:

"Education isn’t and shouldn’t be restricted to the walls of the classroom. B2C EdTech solutions offer flexibility and customizability, features very much needed in today’s education atmosphere. B2C EdTech companies can expect to see the solutions developed in the past two years used in school environments for blended education and much more. And for B2C, there is still great potential, as it seems like we have just scratched the surface in terms of producing solutions that will address each and every need."

Zafer Elcik, Co-founder and CEO of Otsimo

B2C EdTech and M&A Conditions

In light of the above trends, EdTech companies will do well to keep in mind that parents are taking a greater role in determining how technology will play a role in their children’s education, both in the classroom and at home. As parents identify gaps in school-sponsored, technology-enabled instruction, they will turn to B2C EdTech to answer the demand. Specialized solutions are likely to crop up to fill those gaps, and this influx of new companies joining the market would create pressures for consolidation and improved conditions for new M&A activity in the B2C EdTech space.

Modified on Nov 18, 2021