The education technology industry is under tremendous growth. As a result, Ireland is all set to take advantage of the same. They see this and an opportunity to create jobs and to enhance the economy.
Dr Martyn Farrows, director of the Learnovate Centre says, “Most people don’t realise Ireland has been leading in elearning going back about 30 years.”
The move is said to benefit large companies and smaller firms equally. The Learnovate Centre is a part of the move. Funded by Enterprise Ireland and hosted by Trinity College Dublin, the centre is an industry-led centre of excellence for research and innovation in learning technologies.
“The overall mission of this centre is to make Ireland a centre of excellence in edtech. We do a lot of work travelling to the US, India, talking about the work we do here, talking about the eco system,” Dr. Farrows said.
The Learnovate Centre has the task of exploring how education technology can be used in innovative learning. “It’s not technology innovation, it’s learning innovation supported by technology,” Farrows says. “We don’t do any research projects unless there is a very identifiable piece of innovation around learning. That’s the starting point of everything.”
Many schools have embraced technology. However, there is a lack of proper digital strategy. Ireland is planning to put this to use to build job opportunities in the country. “It’s coming and it will come here as well. The likes of Folens, CJ Fallon and the educational company will have to adapt their business model to try to anticipate when that tipping point is going to arrive,” Farrows said. “Schools will probably continue to use textbooks, but in a different way than they use textbooks now.”
Learnovate is looking forward to attract many more companies to be set up in Ireland. It had been announced in the beginning of June that a Brazilian e-learning company, Affero, will set up its research and development lab in Ireland, creating 40 jobs initially.
“We would expect more to that to happen as IDA client companies start to be attracted to Dublin,” Dr. Farrows said.
If the strategy of centre works, it will create high job opportunities to the economy.
“If we can get even a small proportion of that compared to where we’re at at the moment, based on those EI figures, you could very easily see that 2,500 jobs double or treble in the next couple of years,” Farrows said.
“There are people out there saying this is this is ripe for disruption and what we’re saying is where better to do that than here?”