Olive: Empowering Students, Educators and Learners for Future with AI

Olive: Empowering Students, Educators and Learners for Future with AI

Olive: Empowering Students, Educators and Learners for Future with AI
How we interact, socialize, and work is shifting rapidly. Similarly, how we learn is also undergoing rapid change. Notebooks are being replaced by tablets and laptops. Blackboards are giving way to interactive smartboards. Today, learners are no longer bound to four walls to learn.Thanks to new technologies and software, traditional classrooms are fast transforming in ways unimaginable in the past. By the time the kindergartners of today become the graduates of tomorrow, the world will be vastly different from anything the previous generations have experienced.

Future of Education: Digitalization and AI

Traditionally, education has been classroom-based. However, over the past decade, and especially after Covid-19, there has been a large impetus for virtual learning. As education is increasingly moving online, learners want to have the final say on what they want, when they want, and where they want to learn. Digital technologies are paving the way for this transformation and helping educators cater to the growing demand.

Although we are on the cusp of a digital revolution when it comes to many industries, and many others are advanced users of digital technologies, the education industry is still in its nascent stage of the adoption curve.

"Technology is a great way to engage today's tech-savvy students in learning. However, formal and enterprise education have been lagging behind the curve on engaging digital content. The Rainforests of poor static course content sitting on legacy learning management systems (LMS) like Moodle is a major learner engagement problem for corporates, colleges and training organizations, across the globe," Brendan Kavanagh, Group Chairman & CEO, The Olive Group (Olive), a leading, global education technology (EdTech) company. Can the current education system then cater to the needs of the students, and learners, now and in the future? Before answering this question, we need to understand why this sector has been unable to ride high on the digital revolution.

Producing good online learning content costs time, skill, technology and money. The cost of scaling LMS and harnessing the digital transformation of education, both in terms of platform and content, is too high today. Moreover, the cost of creating high-end, interactive, motion graphic, video-based, bite-sized learning content is also high. These have been holding back the sector from availing the benefits of digital solutions, unlike other sectors.

"Video or high-end interactive motion graphics content is in an ever-growing demand in eLearning as well as other industries. However, the cost of production is way too high. It costs about $20,000 for a one-hour video. Moreover, it is a time-consuming process due to which only one-tenth of the required content is being produced. Content creators require good design and editing skills, and this makes it difficult to scale video content production as needed," noted Kavanagh.

Olive Group is on a mission to revolutionize the way learners and educators create, disseminate and access content. 

Olive’s new artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled content creation tool can convert existing, instructionally-designed courses and newly-designed courses to high-end interactive motion graphics. This new technology will disrupt the way educators, and content creators, create content by significantly reducing cost and time creating high-end digital content in hours, not weeks, whilst scaling production and promoting sustainable and greener education.

Olive: Your Education Transformation Partner

Dublin-headquartered Olive is at the forefront of empowering educators with the ability to create and disseminate high-end, engaging, and learner-centric content. The company employs over 600 people across 12 countries, and provides digital learning courses in 27 different languages, using its own suite of e-learning platforms, as well as VR and AI tools.

Olive began as an upskilling and compliance training provider in 2006, a year before the recession hit. The company offered training to people, who were laid off during this period, as an effort to make them employment-ready for companies that were expanding into Ireland.

The company went on to build an in-house LMS and education content, and started offering virtual online learning.

"By 2012, the company's turnover was in excess of 2 million euros. We learned that compliance training is the "Trojan Horse" that would give us entry into every company, irrespective of industry, as it is a "have to have" product rather than "nice to have,” added Kavanagh.

Over the next few years, there was an outburst of education technology providers, who offered virtual learning solutions and platforms. However, new issues started emerging even before the existing ones were addressed.

In 2015, Olive started investing in strategies that would deliver world-class learning platforms and empower organizations to create their own digital content at a standard that is acceptable for all users - from the modern-day scrollers, swipers and touch screen aficionados, to today's workforce and college students. “

It is during this period that Olive built a recruitment software that matches candidates to available jobs with courses built into the platform, the first in the industry. "We set out to bridge the gap between educators and employers; a gap that we believe has widened over the years. Olive’s technology can address this gap with built-in LMS platforms and algorithms that match talent and opportunity thereafter," added Kavanagh.

In 2018, Olive developed a solution for The Gap Partnership, one of the world's most prominent "Negotiating Skills" training organizations. In 2019, Olive partnered with Microsoft to create a VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) Teams application. Today, its LMS software is available to over 250 million MS Teams users globally.

Olive’s technology can be integrated into any existing LMS as the company has partnered with several large content creators, including Work Care, National Safety Council, UL and Microsoft. Olive’s LMS has an  API to Zoom and Google and also delivers to non-MS team users on browsers. With Olive Virtual Learning Environment and AI Content Pro users have the flexibility to implement using existing architecture, such as Microsoft team or through any web browser.

“With its in-built AI content tool feature, Olive is all set to democratize learning content and address the graveyard of poor content that exists in the education sector. We are replacing stand-alone LMS competitors because of this “all in one place” advantage. We have also advanced our AI technology to create a Digital Content Production SaaS driven application that enables tutors and learners to create their own high-end eLearning content and videos in minutes rather than months,” said Kavanagh.

When Covid-19 hit in 2020, unlike Zoom, Google and Microsoft which only offered screen sharing functionality, Olive empowered students and teachers with an end-to-end solution that offered recording and tracking of students’ progress along with screen sharing.

“Our products deliver high-quality digital content that is learner-centric and outcome-driven, while also facilitating more dynamic student-tutor engagement and more efficient digital assessments,” averred Kavanagh.

Future Outlook

Technologies, such as AI, virtual reality (VR)  and machine learning (ML), would be game-changers for the education sector. These technologies will play an increasingly critical and complementary role in how students learn and how educators support them in the coming days. “Having emerging technology available helps to reach more students in a more efficient way than ever to suit busy modern lifestyles. We want education to become more accessible as a human right,” added Kavanagh.

While collaboration platforms will give students new opportunities to interact and work together, AI will give teachers and schools new ways to understand how students are progressing and allow for highly customized, timely, and targeted curation of content.

In May 2022, Olive Group partnered with ABE Global, enabling it to reach 20,000 students worldwide with access to 26 online professional development courses. “We believe our teaching and learning platforms can play a significant role in future-proofing educational and training systems for the 21st century and closing the digital divide. We’ve aligned our products with the overall digital strategy to ensure that students are at the center of the learning journey and to help students reach their full potential,” concluded Kavanagh.