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NZ gears up for education tech conference

Education, training and research providers, game and developers, hardware and software companies and content developers will converge on Wellington in June as the city hosts this year’s Ed Tech for Export (eT4e) conference.

US analysts predict the global education ICT market will grow at 3.05 percent annually until 2018.

Grow Wellington CEO Gerard Quinn says the conference is key to encouraging industry collaboration and ensuring New Zealand gets in on the growth in the sector.

The global performance of companies like open source learning management firm Totara LMS, customised tutoring venture LearnKo, which is targeting the Asian market, and Vital English, which supplies English as a Second Language resources and course content, has created the perception New Zealand is a leader in the space. But he warns we need to keep up with advancements in that market.

“Today’s children who enter the labour market in ten years’ time will need technological skills that are unknown in education environments today,” he says.

eT4e will play host to four international speakers from business and academic backgrounds including Lee Wilson, CEO of Filament Games in Wisconsin; Dr Erkki Sutinen, head of the edTech Research Group from the University of Eastern Finland; Jennifer Carolan, the head of the NewSchools Seed Fund in California, a non-profit venture philanthropy firm; and Hapara founder Jan Zawadzki.

The keynotes focus on business growth and global opportunities for local companies and individuals in the sector and include New Zealand speakers, workshops and showcases. 

Amanda Sachtleben is an Auckland writer and social media type, who's also Idealog's former tech editor and business journalist.

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