Edtech – the key word is ‘engagement’

by Apr 5, 2017

The following blog was written by Kerim Derhalli, CEO and founder of invstr, the app which helps people learn about finance and the markets.

Education is one of those topics which draws emotion from the most unsuspecting sources. How we educate our children and young people in the present has an impact on the future for all of us and many of us have firm opinions on how it should happen.

As with almost every other area of industry and policy, technology is adding a welcome and sometimes troublesome disruptive effect into the mix. We’ve already seen booming industries around medtech (medicine), fintech (finance) and sport tech so, of course, it’s not a huge surprise that the edtech industry is also going through a period of sustained growth.

With so much innovation taking place constantly across the edtech industry, however, there becomes a race among innovators to get their new product into market and in front of students. How can the implementers – the schools, colleges and universities – understand the best technologies to turn to when educating the next generation of young minds? There are many exciting opportunities – from augmented or virtual reality to presentation apps such as Pear Deck, or group-learning tools such as Classkick. But teachers should be pragmatic; even as we improve on the techniques of the past, there should be no baby thrown out with the bathwater.

At invstr, a fintech app which aims to educate the masses about the benefits of following the markets, we’ve learnt from experience that the most effective education comes not from a revolutionary approach, but an evolutionary one. Whatever the educational product, the focus has to be around engagement. Making use of the best technologies available on the market may be exciting, but if it’s not engaging, then it just becomes a learning engine without any fuel.

Take invstr’s learnings as an example. At the sharp end, we developed our Student Investing Championship, an app-based tournament for university students across the globe to test their investing skills and compete for prizes including cash, internships and access to some of the best employers and brands in finance from around the world. Delivering the experience via an app allows for constant access points for students, who are more and more reliant on their mobile devices as their social connection to the world.

The provision of competition and gamification means that students can learn and develop their investing potential. However, the championship was never intended to be a solution which ticks all the boxes on its own. We’ve developed it as an engaging piece of a larger jigsaw, accompanied by interactive tools such as an app-based Academy, a professor app which will help educators manage virtual classrooms of students who are using the invstr app, and a printed educational book, all of which provide a broad range of ways to learn. We’re promoting social learning through a marrying of technological possibilities alongside traditional techniques such as presentations at universities or encouraging ‘swotting up’ through reading.

Technology in education shouldn’t just be about looking at computer screens, or studying from home. Edtech is about providing social, collaborative platforms which bring people and ideas together, increasing the share of information and being used in tandem with real-world teaching, seminars and networking. This is as true in the wider world as it is in the classroom or school system. Time for all of us to become engaged.

– Kerim Derhalli (CEO and Founder of invstr)

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Risk Disclosure:

Invstr is a technology platform, not a registered broker-dealer or investment adviser. Invstr does not offer its own recommendations of any security or provide its own research to any user regarding any security transaction or order. Brokerage services, including fractional trading of US securities, are provided to Invstr users by DriveWealth LLC, a regulated member of FINRA/SIPC. DriveWealth may not establish investment accounts to residents of certain jurisdictions. For more information, including disclaimers, risk and transaction fees click here. Please note, investing involves risk and investments may lose value. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

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