Tim Praill: a way forward for edtech

Tim Praill: a way forward for edtech

By 2030, the largest company on the internet is going to be an education based company that we haven’t heard of yet. Tim Praill cited futurist Thomas Frey at his recent keynote during the EduTECH conference and expo in Sydney. 

Tim Praill, Head of Navitas Ventures & General Manager Strategy & Transformation at Navitas, was invited by EduGrowth to speak on the Innovation Stage about the challenges for education into the future and the role EdTech can play. 

“Education technology is not new, but it could have played a bigger role than it has. EdTech has had many false starts and an alarming level of technology is not used or not used to its full potential,” he said.

Tim argues there are a number of reasons EdTech has struggled to get a foothold, including:

  • Inconsistent terminology
  • Product efficacy – how do educators know a product or service actually works?
  • Organisational cultural resistance
  • Sophisticated or complicated purchasing conditions
  • Change management, and the consistency thereof
  • Parental conservatism, and
  • Immature venture capital support in the Australian ecosystem.

It’s not all doom and gloom, Tim says. EdTech investment is growing, even if most funding remains concentrated in the US and China. But Australia has reached a tipping point, landing large domestic and international venture capital support.

Tim outlined a framework detailing how the EdTech sector in Australia can develop, evolve and grow internationally. There is no reason why an Australian company couldn’t be the company that Frey referred to.

While challenges around attributing greater learning outcomes to EdTech is hard, with so many variables, and the natural benefits lag around new innovations continue to persist, Tim is confident there is a future for EdTech innovation in Australia.

“We have an opportunity to lead technology in exciting areas,” he added.

‘The EdTech Paradox’ was a thought leadership keynote sponsored by Navitas Ventures, held on the Innovation Stage at EduTECH Conference, Thursday 6 June 2019.