Even prior to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, technology was already bringing about fundamental changes to how education is delivered in the 21st century. Classrooms and lecture theatres have morphed to become spaces where learning is far more interactive and immersive. Technology such as interactive whiteboards, smart projectors and tablets means that pupils and students are a far more integral part of the experience than previous generations. Indeed, recent statistics show that 73% of UK students now use laptops or tablets daily as part of their formal education.
This has even included the launch of special collaborative projects, such as government-backed Oak National School, a new online only academy that has been delivering learning resources to the nation and can be seen to represent a new model of education delivery. Speak of the project’s vision, Matt Hood, the academy’s principal, said:
“Our hope was to create a resource that is genuinely useful for schools, and play a small part in the collective effort to make sure that every child continues to learn.”
With this in mind, we have spoken to the many businesses who are using technology to change the face of education, both here in the UK and around the world. Here are some examples…
Personalised Online Learning Programmes
Tassomai is an online learning program that is designed to intelligently help all students achieve outstanding results by personalising their education experience. It is currently in use in around a third of UK schools and has a great track record in improving students’ grades. Tassomai works through a ten-step programme that first analyses everything that a student needs to know for a particular subject and creating sets of questions that test the student across the whole subject. This builds up a knowledge profile of each student and tailors the quiz to their specific needs. This knowledge is then reinforced in order to help a student achieve their maximum results. The program also builds up data sets of students that teachers can use to help plan their lessons and help individual students.
Centralised Learning Hubs
Firefly Learning serves as a central education hub for an institution or organisation. It is a VLE or virtual learning environment that serves to add value to the physical classroom or campus. It mirrors the ‘perfect’ education environment and allows educators to construct a digital learning space that helps both students and teachers. It also allows collaboration between students and gives access to a vast array of resources. It is the perfect answer to the challenges presented by Covid-19 by replicating a campus or school environment from the home.
Creation of Education Apps
EZ Education are the creators of the education-based apps, DoodleMaths and DoodleEnglish. These apps are targeted towards primary school children and bring personalisation into the learning environment. Curriculum based questions ascertain the strengths and weakness of each child. The questions are delivered in short snappy bursts designed to improve a child’s confidence in as little as ten minutes per day. In April alone, sign-ups more than tripled and over four million questions were answered by Doodle users. It is similar in some ways to Tassomai, however, given the age demographic it is also designed to include parents in the education experience. The co-founder, of EZ Education, Nicola Chilman, has also been hosting free daily webinars for parents to help with their children’s home learning during the Coronavirus lockdown.
Using tech for good: Safeguarding is still paramount
Tootoot is a pupil safeguarding app designed to give students a discreet voice to speak up about concerns. It has been put into use by over 15,000 teachers and has been used to talk about a number of issues including bullying, cyberbullying, self-harm, domestic abuse, and other mental health concerns. The app allows students who may not be confident enough to speak up in person to highlight concerns in a safe way. The incident recording feature allows a picture of the whole school to be built up. This means that teachers are able to highlight any concerns themselves and the linked mentor feature makes it easier to collaborate on issues. This is all with the bonus of a reduction in administrative paperwork.
Apps that encourage coding skills are on the rise
Erase All Kittens is an educational game which teaches children to code. After learning that many children were put off learning the technical skills requires, the founders Dee, Alex and Leonie were inspired to make something that encouraged children to learn this vital skill in a fun and interesting way. Users can learn and play on their own or with their parent or teacher.
Establishing the foundations for an enhanced EdTech experience
Ed-tech applications and initiatives will change the face of learning for decades to come. But for schools and universities to successfully adopt them, it is crucial that their core network infrastructure can facilitate an increased use of connected devices and new platforms. Nowcomm has experience of helping schools, further education and higher education institutes develop their IT infrastructure to ensure it’s fit for purpose in the 21st century.