Despite plenty of new technology, Danish students are taught by principles invented thousands of years ago.
The way we teach has not changed in thousands of years, states an external lecturer at Copenhagen Business School. He expects that the established educational institutions risk losing their grip if they do not embrace the possibilities in the new digital opportunities.
“The methods of teaching Danish students are basically applied the same way, as they were thousands of years ago.”– states Morten Amstrup.
Morten Amstrup is an external lecturer at Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Chief Operating Officer (COO) at the Danish startup company EdCom and simultaneously main initiator of the newly established EdTech Denmark, a Danish EdTech cluster.
Ed-Tech is an abbreviation of the words education and technology, and according to Morten Amstrup, the cluster is to be considered as an NGO, working to create innovation in the educational sector.
”Today, a teacher stands in classrooms and educates a group of students, roughly the same method applied more than 2000 years ago.” – he explains.
The stagnation in the educational field is, according to Morten Amstrup, an obvious paradox, when considering how the technology massively influenced other parts of our society.
This is partially the explanation of why he has taken the main lead of establishing the cluster, which officially will be launched at the tech-conference Tech BBQ, on the 5th and 6th of September in Copenhagen.
Morten Amstrup explains, that the cluster is the first of its kind in Denmark, but similar clusters are already existing in our neighboring countries.
Difficult to approach institutions
In Morten Amstrups experience, Danish ed-tech companies find it difficult to establish a connection with the established educational institutions.
This is why one of the most important functions of the cluster is to be the link between the educational institutions and the entrepreneurial companies providing educational technology.
“It is incredibly complex to get through to the major educational institutions, but meanwhile we experience, that the majority of the institutions actually are very interested in taking in new technology. Their main issue only being, that they have no contact in the ed-tech community – or they may not even be aware that such community exists,” he says.
Risk of losing grip
According to Morten Amstrup, the technological development happens so fast these years, that the established educations risk becoming redundant if they do not embrace the opportunities offered by technology.
”Today technology gives you the opportunity to build your own education online, and by that avoid the established educational institutions,” he states, and elaborates: “It is not at all unthinkable, that we are going to see a development, where the established educational institutions will lose their grip.”
”Naturally, that risk increases, if the institutions will not manage to embrace the new digital tools. Obviously, the risk of total disruption is increasing as the gaps between the solutions offered by institutions and the available solutions on the market grows.”
The monopoly on teaching is challenged
Morten Amstrup estimates, that the internet contributes to challenging the monopoly and the established educational institutions.
The American online university Khan Academy is an excellent example, which has received large donations from the founder of Microsoft Bill Gates- fund; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“The established educational system is structured in a straightforward way and demands that you fit into certain boxes. But today, ed-tech gives you an opportunity to receive education 24 hours a day via your computer, and not only when classes are held.”
”Contrary to the traditional school, technology can offer you a good education, regardless of who you are, where you are and what you wish to learn,” he says.