Digital transformation in education. Ed-tech, trends and uses

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    Edtech, a contraction of the terms “education” and “technology”, brings together users around digital innovation. Higher education, schools and training organizations: In 2022, there is a rise in digital educational products adapted to your needs to deal with the Covid crisis, which left behind the rise of distance education. Today, 40/60 gives you the keys to successful edtech.

    An industry in full change

    Edtech: a concept that is not new

    Technologies in education emerged with the democratization of the Internet in the 2000s. The world of education took a digital turn at that time: at first moderately, with the appearance of online encyclopedias, then more extensively, with the daily use of learning platforms recommended by schools and training organizations, such as Moodle or Virtual School, giving way to edtech.

    Education and digital technology are now inseparable, even beyond online services, with the development of hybrid innovations, such as that of Oxford, with their Scribzee application, working with a connected notebook and released in 2017.

    A new turning point: Covid-19

    The biggest change in the sector to date remains that of distance education. The pandemic and the resulting national education recommendations have highlighted the importance and practicality of the digital product in education, leading inevitably to an evolution of the sector. Teachers and learners had no choice but to look for solutions, leaving the opportunity for innovative distance learning and distance learning platforms, such as OpenClassRoom or SkillShare, to develop their market.

    This mass redirection of the population to digital technology has led companies to take care of their design approach to make the user interface effective, thus integrating UX at the heart of the approach.

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    Edtech challenges and opportunities

    The continuous transformation of learning and training methods reveals the opportunities and obstacles in the sector. Here are 3 opportunities to seize in edtech:

    Understanding the need for leadership in institutions

    Edtech innovation is not limited to learning platforms. Creating products for institutions is a real opportunity: the education sector often lacks structure, management and organization. By offering training tools, management SAAS or CRM (Customer Relationship Management), we can seize a market whose need is to facilitate organization, improve productivity, etc...

    Combining the functionalities of a product

    An undeniable edtech opportunity is the bringing together of functionalities within the same product. Users often use several tools: one for videoconferences, one for finding and submitting exercises, one for the schedule, etc.). These uses, divided according to needs, lead to a series of constant back and forth, resulting in a waste of time. The solution on which to surf: the design of multi-functional digital applications and products, with careful UX, to improve the transmission of information.

    Reversing the attachment to the status quo

    Edtech players are often faced with reluctance on the part of some school directors in the face of a transformation of their methods towards digital solutions. To deal with this: provide information on the numerical results of a digital transition, encourage schools to leave their comfort zone through training, raise awareness about data security.

    2022 edtech trends

    The rise of tablet use in schools

    Children are increasingly digitalized, they have access to mobile screens from an early age. The Enfance et Numérique study, published by the Fondation Pour l'Enfance in 2018, shows that 58% of them start using a tablet or smartphone between the ages of 0 and 5.

    National education is helped by this ability of young people to use digital tools to digitize the school. More and more classes are “connected”, using tablets to replace textbooks, because they are lighter and more versatile. A trend that edtech companies can rely on, by developing applications dedicated to these devices.

    Gamification as a retention element

    Gamification is a method for giving a fun approach to an activity that is not usually considered a game.

    This fun learning methodology, which incorporates goals, tasks, and rewards, makes it easier to keep the attention of users of all ages.

    It is a technology that improves user efficiency: they go faster, are more willing and can see their progress at any time. For the edtech company, gamification increases its sympathy capital and its membership rate, leading to user loyalty.

    This is the bet that the Elsa Speak application has made, by making the process of knowing English more stimulating and fun.


    Adapting to new learning methods is an edtech trend to follow. Whether it is multi-speed practices in the same class, or work in different groups: it is essential to include personalization in your product.

    Digital technology and data collection make it possible to optimize these processes. However, they represent a challenge in the Edtech sector: since lessons are often taken by minors, parental authorization is essential. In addition to this challenge, teachers, seasoned adults, also need personalization in their interface, which can cause paradoxes in data collection. The solutions to deal with these reticences are transparency, information, and above all the well-founded construction of a reputation for security in data processing.

    However, in higher education and vocational training, this personalization is on the one hand more used, but also more easily achievable, as students are mostly adults.


    Nowadays, having access to education is not synonymous with physically going to school. Its access can be limited for multiple reasons, health and mobility among others. Being digitally equipped is a way of making training accessible to everyone, at any time.

    Inclusive, or ethical, design is within these accessibility issues. It makes it possible to put digital technology within the reach of a maximum of people, regardless of their physical, cognitive, etc...

    Internet access is also at the center of the issue of accessibility, digital deserts are in fact often forgotten in France (19.1% of the French population did not have access to “good broadband” in 2019 according to UFC Que Choisir). Since digital is not binary, not individual or social, in edtech, inclusive design is an opportunity for uniqueness with respect to education, placing the user at the center of a product.

    Artificial intelligence

    AI is an opportunity to transform the educational experience. It can be a valuable help on the development and management side, in customizing an interface, and on the learner side, for a more pleasant experience.

    The Voice-To-Text application is a perfect example of a user-centric AI tool: it involves easily creating class notes, using text-to-speech technology, to help students with dyslexia or other reading disabilities.

    Outside of the classroom, FAQ chatbots can provide answers to common student questions, taking on part of the student advisor role.

    40/60 studio and Edtech: your inspirations

    At 40/60, education is a sector we are passionate about. Our digital experience in the field has allowed us to improve ourselves, in order to be able to deliver excellent products with innovative interfaces today. Here are some inspiring examples of our edtech projects:

    Simplonline, an LMS (Learning Management System)

    Simplonline - Since 2018, we have been supporting the school of reinsertion through digital technology in the design of Simplonline, their internal educational platform. Learners, trainers and tutors work together transparently and fluidly. Simplonline is present in 20 countries with over 100k daily users.

    simplonline case:

    Flex Manuel, a platform for digitizing textbooks

    Manual flex - During the pandemic, we met with publishing houses Magnard Delagrave , who wanted to launch their tailor-made platform. The granular textbook is a revolution in textbook design, offering teachers great freedom of use. We support them over the long term, and after a successful MVP, we continue to optimize the user experience of the platform in order to scale the product.

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    The EdTech market is meeting opportunities by partnering with design. By having a UX and UI approach, you maximize the success of your digital products, by placing the user at the center of your goals.


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