Banville, L. (2015) Reports Highlight Strong Growth and Investor Interest in China, U.S. Game-based Learning Games and Learning, May 31
This is an interesting report that summarizes three major market research reports about investment in game-based learning particularly, and learning technologies in general.
It covers recent reports from the following three market research organizations:
- worldwide sales of game-based learning products hit $1.7 billion in 2013 (Ambient)
- future growth in game-based learning products is expected to grow between 7%-16% per annum
- global private investment in learning technologies generally topped $2.4 billion in 2014 (Ambient)
- consumers are the top buyers of edugame packaged content, particularly in the early childhood market (Ambient)
- the emergence of easy-to-use mobile game-building tools supports the cultural shift towards game-creation as an educational experience (Ambient).
One driving factor in the most recent growth has been investment in mobile learning companies in China.
Ambient Insight in particular has been extremely accurate in identifying investment trends in learning technologies.
Mobile learning and game-based learning look to be the main bets for commercial growth, followed by learning analytics.
The big question is though whether these investments will drive change in education, or whether the education market will reject one or more of these developments, either because they are too costly or difficult to implement (e.g. very high training costs to get teachers or learners to use them well) or because such technologies do not meet the actual learning needs of students.
Another question is whether the level of investment in any single educational game will be large enough to bring about major changes in learning. The danger is of spreading investment too thinly across too many games to have a major impact, focusing on low levels of learning such as memorization, rather than developing critical thinking or problem solving skills. Ambient Insight’s comment that easy-to-use mobile game-building tools are increasing suggests though that this will be an exciting area that is ripe for growth – and for research and evaluation. I just hope that educators and learners will be as involved as software developers in designing such educational games.