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Inside WEX

Filling In the Blanks: Tech Innovation in the Education Sector

March 2, 2016

From enhancing the classroom experience for teachers and students to facilitating funding and payments among payers, education technology—a.k.a. “EdTech”—is making the grade around the globe.

The reason behind technology growth in the education sector is clear: technology needs to keep pace with the demands and preferences of stakeholders across the system. Entering the classrooms each year are new teachers, most of them Millennials who, like their students, have grown up with technology. The people responsible for making payments, parents and students alike, are getting used to managing their money and paying bills online. And consider the surge of online learning, which depends on technology to prosper.

EdTech Trailblazers

Despite slow procurement processes and tight budgets, education institutions are upping their technology game—making investments in infrastructure as well as the digital tools and resources they need to remain competitive and relevant today. And there’s no shortage of EdTech companies ready and willing to support them, not to mention break into their own underserved corner of the marketplace or introduce brand-new solutions to untapped challenges.

According to an article on, education investment in the U.S. falls into four categories: technologies targeting the K-12 classroom; technologies or services focused on secondary education; continuing education and professional learning; and consumer-facing educational products and services. These companies behind them are hot tickets for investors. 2015 International Learning Technology Investment Patterns from Ambient Insight reveals global investments made to learning technology companies reached over $6.54 billion in 2015, up from $2.42 billion in 2014 and $1.64 billion in 2013.

Here’s a cross-section of EdTech companies and what they’re offering:

  • AppoLearning – a universal search engine letting teachers and parents search for the best education apps
  • BridgeU – SaaS based university preparation and careers guidance platform using machine learning
  • Classkick – enables teachers to monitor students in their classrooms and share feedback
  • PeerTransfer – software to help international students make online tuition payments to U.S. colleges
  • Remind – app that teachers use to send homework reminders to students and share classroom news with parents
  • Student Loan Hero– platform for managing student loans
  • ThinkCERCA – approach coupling informational text and reading assignments for students grades 4-12 with Common Core-aligned assessments
  • Vantiv – helps facilitate education payment processing
  • Yoyo Wallet – a solution enabling students to make payments in campus shops

Changing Payables in Education

Marketplace changes are creating opportunities for companies like Achieve Lending, PeerTransfer, and Vantiv to transform the way people think about college funding and payments. They’re giving students, lenders, and even schools access to information, alternatives, and each other so they can make the most of their budgets and resources. We’ll continue to provide insights into this exciting payments arena as more headway is made.

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