Online Education

“Online education is still in its infancy”

Sidney Taurel of Spanish and American nationality and French culture is the chairman of the British Pearson Group, a world leader in education through educational books and online education.

Do you think the health crisis and prison will permanently change the world of education?

Yes. The pandemic has changed the way we work, live and learn, forcing us to look for new and more efficient methods. Learning is the key to this development and all the opportunities it brings. Witness the speed and scale at which this learning has moved online and the accelerating demand for new digital forms of learning.

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In this knowledge market we live in now, the world of work is changing faster than most workers. This phenomenon creates a huge need for retraining and modernization. An estimated 30% of current jobs in all sectors will become obsolete by 2030 and the vast majority of the rest will be transformed by automation. Governments, employers and the wider education community must work together to address these pressing productivity and skills challenges. This is a huge bet.

What is the size and growth potential of the global e-learning market?

The digital education market is still in its infancy; it is estimated to represent only 3% of the approximately €6 trillion global education market. As a global leader, Pearson is well positioned to take advantage of the huge opportunities that are opening up as learning becomes increasingly digital. Today, almost three quarters of its turnover (4 billion euros in 2020) is directly or indirectly online. The shift to online education was already underway before the pandemic and has significantly accelerated the demand for quality products and services remotely and on a large scale. We believe that this strong trend will continue in the future.

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What lessons should e-learning learn from the previous limitations?

We are witnessing the pursuit of quality. It is increasingly recognized that providing extensive online learning materials and services requires experience, investment, and the application of educational science. Successful virtual learning allows the student to use the material at a time that suits them, in a flexible combination of synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous experiences, independent work and interactions with the teacher.

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