DURBAN - As EdTech enters the next decade, Generation Z will continue to disrupt the way they learn and how they approach their education. 

Having grown up with technology as a part of their daily lives, Gen Z is critiquing the limitations of the old education system.

"With higher rates of digital literacy and early-stage technological adoption rates, younger generations play a significant role in the global learning economy," said Jamie Beaton, co-founder of Crimson Education.

The New Zealander co-founded the company in 2013 with South African born, Sharndre Kushor when they were 18-years old. At 24, Beaton has a number of accolades under his belt: he graduated from Harvard University, Magna Cum Laude in 2016. He was also one of the youngest in the world to be accepted to Stanford’s Graduate School of Business at age 20. In June 2019, Beaton graduated from Stanford with an MBA in Computer Science and Education Technology, having simultaneously begun his PhD as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.

Beaton predicts a rise in global online tutoring in 2020. Beaton said, "Video technology will continue to innovate and improve the way students and teachers engage online. Software, like Zoom, has enhanced the quality of video streaming meaning that online education is becoming accessible with a teacher being able to facilitate multiple students in one stable group call". 

According to Beaton, the new decade will see a rise in international applications to top-ranked universities in the United States and United Kingdom.

Qualifications from these universities drive global business networks, meaning that applications for the likes of Harvard, Oxford and Columbia will become increasingly competitive. 

"The cutting-edge research facilities and undergraduate programmes offered by these institutions will see the continued focus on international education," said Beaton. 

Rather than using extra lessons to fill gaps in their knowledge, students are making use of flexible one-on-one tutoring that they can take anytime, anywhere to prepare themselves for university admissions. This accelerated tutoring includes preparing for standardised tests, university application essays and even taking A-level subject tutoring alongside their school curriculum. 

"Acceptance rates at top-ranked institutions are low, meaning students will need to make themselves as competitive as possible," said Beaton.

He argues that introducing EdTech into the classroom allows Gen Z members to be active participants in their education. This provides a higher level of engagement and a more personalised approach to learning. 

Beaton said, "A higher adoption rate of EdTech in schools will allow educators to tap into a larger pool of international resources and offer more detailed and modern curricula to their students". 

Mandarin is becoming one of the most learned languages internationally. 

"In 2020 we’ll definitely see an increase in online Mandarin tutoring. The language has a strong functional use and global outlook. It’s surpassing the studying of other languages such as French and Spanish," said Beaton.

Crimson Education is a global EdTech company which focuses on building the candidacy of high school students wanting to study at top ranked universities in the United States and the United Kingdom. Through a team mentorship model, learners connect with admission strategists and tutors to assist them with the complex application process for overseas universities. The Crimson team includes alumni from top universities such as Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford.

With a presence in 30 cities, the company launched in South Africa in 2018, with their head office in Johannesburg and a satellite office in Cape Town. Crimson offers regular information evenings and workshops around the country. 

Jamie Beaton, Chief Executive and co-founder of Crimson Education Photo: LinkedIn

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE