Wendy Dsouza, Senior Vice President for India & South Asia - Enterprise Ireland & Education in Ireland

Wendy Dsouza is currently working with Enterprise Ireland which is an Irish Government body under the authority of Ministry of Education & Skills. She is the Senior Vice President, India and South Aisa for Enterprise Ireland and Education in Ireland. She comes with over 6 years of experience in working closely with the Irish government. Previous to this Wendy has worked as a Business Development Manager for the Australian Trade Commission for more than 10 years. She has a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management from Xavier Institute of Management and has completed a certification course in Business Transformation Strategies from XLRI.

 

It isn’t surprising that information communication technology has brought about a revolution in education. Classrooms, especially now since the pandemic, have evolved and transformed. Essentially, the evolution of EdTech is related to the demand by newer generations to make learning easier and more accessible. Since 2020, this need has grown exponentially.

In recent years, the rising growth of the education technology industry has been phenomenal. The trend has increased worldwide only in the last decade but Ireland has had an already established and dynamic EdTech industry which has been driving many notable changes and inventions.

The EdTech industry does come with its own challenges. One major challenge is resources. Users may wish to experiment with new technologies but may not have the time or resources to actually do it. People are slow to accept change as well and look upon it as a threat to traditional and accepted ways of being. Managing privacy and data is also a concern which must be managed responsibly in meeting global privacy and regulatory requirements.

However, there is no denying the global importance of this industry. Both governments and industries across the world see the creation of a technological immersed generation as a vital part of the future of their country. And it is no different in Ireland. Irish companies are solving some of the world’s most pressing problems. They are coming up with ways of educating every type of learner through a whole host of mediums.

Irish companies bring world-class innovation to the forefront. For instance for schools, companies like Soapbox Labs have created speech recognition technology for children using state-of-the-art, deep neural network machine learning.  In the higher education space, Immersive VR Education, a VR software company, is dedicated to creating quality educational experiences for all students.

Established in 2013, Adaptemy is a classroom-focused adaptive learning platform. Its features include curriculum maps, real-time classroom monitoring, an automatic suggestion of content to students based on performance, activities suggestion to teachers, and dashboard based reporting of various predefined metrics.  Then there is TeachKloud, a Cork based cloud-based management system for early educational institutes that provides an inspection app allowing schools to manage and create policies, accident and emergency reports. It saves time on paperwork for teachers and also includes a parent communication app.

Beyond schooling in the corporate learning space, we have Interactive Services that rolls out compliance learning to over 3 million corporate learners across 120 countries in more than 40 languages. They work with the likes of American Express, Goldman Sachs, Oracle, and Facebook.

Founded in 2007 in Dublin, Learnosity is another visionary in the EdTech space that brings together the world of education and corporations. A cloud based assessment platform, it offers customisable questions and tests to educators that can be embedded in their content through the platform. Educators are able to ask audio questions, upload their own videos or source it from any other platform. Student responses can be captured and stored for review and grading by both students and teachers in their own platform or on third party dashboards. It essentially allows teachers to track the progress of students individually and in groups in real-time.

Dublin based GoCreate creates and delivers a globally recognized series of ef online Creative Media courses and qualifications that are delivered by world class experts in partnership with respected broadcasters, brands and educational institutions. They focus on giving anyone access to a wide selection of new, employment-focused, creative skills, irrespective of their different stages in life, their geography and their demography. Courses include copywriting, filmmaking, song writing, vocals, to name a few.

Education DESTY and Prodigy Learning are two other Irish EdTech companies that have brought out revolutionary computer science teaching solutions. Education DESTY taps into the needs of children beyond classroom learning and provides them an online emotional resilience development program. It offers ‘DESTY Island’ which is an online one-to-one program where children and mentors work together. It enables the student to build relationships, self-confidence, and develop social skills. Prodigy Learning, a multi-award winning global EdTech business (providing digital skills certifications and learning solutions for Adobe, Autodesk, Microsoft), has developed Coding in Minecraft to engage school children from age 9 to 16 in computer science through game-based learning. It is a new computer science curriculum, skills assessment, and credential program delivered through Minecraft, and also provides teachers with a revolutionary end-to-end teaching and assessment solution for their students to develop and prove skills in coding.

Learning is a continuous process and doesn’t end with formal education. Upskilling and reskilling and adapting to the ever-changing technological eco-system of the modern workplace is something that will keep this industry thriving.

Undoubtably, the current and next generation of Irish EdTech providers will help education institutions, as well as corporate and government entities deploy solutions that bring people together, instil learning, and spark creativity and innovation in education on a global scale.

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