Educate team meets Damian Hinds, to discuss the importance of EdTech to UK education

Senior representatives from the EDUCATE programme met with Damian Hinds, the newly-appointed Secretary of State for Education earlier this month, to discuss the importance and future of EdTech to the UK’s education system.

Professor Rose Luckin, the programme Director was accompanied by Dr Alison Clark-Wilson, EDUCATE’s Principal Research Leader, and Caroline Wright, the Director General of Besa, one of EDUCATE’s main partners.

The meeting offered an opportunity for the EDUCATE team to inform Mr Hinds how EDUCATE is supporting start-ups and EdTech companies to use and generate better research to prove the efficacy of their products.

Professor Luckin said: “We had a very constructive meeting with Mr Hinds and welcomed the opportunity to tell him about the important work we’re doing at EDUCATE, in particular in ensuring that EdTech products and services are underpinned by robust and effective research. This is vital if their products are to be fit for purpose and useful to teachers and students.

“Mr Hinds was interested to learn that this is where EDUCATE is unique from other EdTech start-up projects. The element of research and evidence is absolutely at the centre of everything we do.

“The Secretary of State was also particularly surprised to hear that even highly qualified EdTech entrepreneurs and their teams may not be fully equipped to conduct robust educational research about their products. This is where we come in, to help and guide them through this process.”

Much of the discussion during the meeting focussed on financial support for the UK EdTech sector to market their products and how they can raise funds from overseas investors. Mr Hinds was interested to find out more about how the UK EdTech sector as a whole informs schools and teachers about their products and services.

Dr Clark-Wilson added: “We felt it was important that the Secretary of State considers that, when it comes to the next review of the national curriculum and its assessment, it will be extremely important that this takes account of the changing EdTech landscape for all subjects, and not just Computing and ICT.

“We have a duty to prepare all students for their futures in an increasingly digital world. There is emerging evidence that the UK is being left behind in this respect.”

 

Ground-breaking EdTech programme, ‘EDUCATE’, to officially launch at the Bett show 2018

EDUCATE, a pioneering £4.5 million programme supporting EdTech start-ups, entrepreneurs and education practitioners, will launch at the Bett Show 2018.

Based at UCL Institute of Education, EDUCATE is a unique collaboration of innovators, researchers and educators, whose work is underpinned by robust research evidence to deliver the most effective EdTech products and services.

Part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and matched by its partners – UCL Institute of Education, UCL Engineering, BESA, F6S and Nesta – EDUCATE offers opportunities for entrepreneurs and developers to build the best educational technology, to enhance the teaching and learning experience in all educational settings, and to ensure that the EdTech being used is informed by the best research practice.

Rose Luckin, Professor of Learner Centred Design and Director of EDUCATE, said: “EDUCATE links research and practice into the development of educational technology and helps entrepreneurs find out if and how their products and services are effective for learners and teachers.

This is the future of educational technology and it is freely available now at UCL Knowledge Lab.”

EDUCATE is currently working with its third cohort of entrepreneurs and SMEs, and is extremely proud that three of its previous collaborators – MyTutor, SamLabs and Mathigon – have been shortlisted in the Bett Awards 2018.

Daniel Fozzati, Head of Product Development and Enterprise Partnerships Manager,
UCL Engineering, said: “UCL Engineering is honoured and delighted to contribute its world leading expertise in digital product development to a project that is a true world first.

Working with the UCL Institute of Education to improve the products of over 200 SMEs with a learner-centric methodology, presents a fascinating application of academic research to real-world tools in the classroom and the greater EdTech industry.”

Caroline Wright, Director General of the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), said: “Our research shows that schools tend to struggle to assess which EdTech products and services would work best for their needs.

The EDUCATE project therefore plays the crucial role of filling a gap by bringing together industry, academics and teachers in an unprecedented collaboration towards creating an evidence-base of educational technology. I look forward to seeing the results of the EDUCATE programme setting a new global standard for an evidence-led approach to EdTech.”

Egidijus Jarasunas, co-founder of F6S, said: “F6S is a leading global tech founder, working to solve the challenges we face today. We’re pleased to connect education to technology and develop London’s EdTech sector in the EDUCATE project.”

Nathan Elstub, Executive Director of Investments, Nesta, said: “In leading the EDUCATE project UCL is playing a critical role in promoting both awareness of the need for evidence of effectiveness of EdTech products, and helping companies to develop the skills required to generate that evidence.  

Nesta is excited to be working on the EDUCATE project.  We are passionate about the transformational potential of technology in the world of education, and committed to identifying where tech actually makes a difference to educational outcomes and what really works to support teachers and learners.”

EDUCATE’s launch will take place on Friday, January 26 at 6pm- 7.45pm at The Leaders’ Lounge, the Bett Show, ExCel, London, in conjunction with our friends at the EdTech Exchange. The event, organised by the charity Debate Mate, will include a drinks reception, speeches and a debate, and involve leading figures in education. If you would like to attend, please go to our launch registration page at http://bit.ly/2DjvkTD, as attendance is by invitation only. You must also be registered with Bett as a member of the media. Please note that spaces are limited, and early booking is advised.

EDUCATE will be exhibiting at HUB1 in the Bett Futures Zone.

For further information, and to arrange interviews during the Bett Show, please contact:
Dorothy Lepkowska, EDUCATE Communications Consultant on 07798 614256 or d.lepkowska@ucl.ac.uk
Cleo Fatoorehchi, Communications Coordinator, BESA on 07940 562530 or cleo@besa.org.uk
Catherine O’Donoghue, Communications-Projects, F6S on 07500 663575 or catherine@f6s.com

Notes to Editors about EDUCATE

1. About EDUCATE
EDUCATE is an ERDF-funded programme that began in January 2017 to support EdTech development, and innovation and entrepreneurship in education through evidence-informed product or service development. Based at UCL Institute of Education, EDUCATE makes research and expertise accessible to enterprises and individuals who want to explore their ideas on how teachers and learners can benefit from the latest scientific advances. It shoes them how to use research to inform their ideas, and to demonstrate impact to teachers and learners. Working with our partners we promote and support innovators with research, business and product development training. During the next five years EDUCATE aims to work with 250 start-ups and SMEs, as well as entrepreneurs who work in teaching and research, to create and perfect their concepts. Over time, we plan to expand our work to four new regional centres in locations around the UK. EDUCATE believes that enriching learning through technological innovation is vital if the UK is to maintain its place as a global leader in education.

2. EDUCATE full name
EDUCATE stands for Educational Technology Exchange programme

3. EDUCATE partners
EDUCATE is a partnership between UCL Institute of Education; UCL Engineering; BESA (the British Educational Suppliers Association); Nesta and F6S. It is part-funded through the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund.

4. EDUCATE social media names
Twitter: @EDUCATEldn

5. EDUCATE website
educate.london

6. About UCL and UCL Institute of Education
Set up in 1826 in the heart of London, UCL was the first English university after Oxford and Cambridge, and pioneered the promotion of inclusivity in higher education. It was the first to welcome students of any religion and the first to admit women on equal terms to men. Today, it is among the world’s top universities in international performance rankings. The UCL Institute of Education (IOE) was founded in 1902 and is a world-leading centre for research and teaching in education and social science. It was ranked first globally in education in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, and has been judged by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’ on every criterion for initial teacher training programmes.

ends

EDUCATE to host its official launch, at the BETT Show 2018

Bett futures

The EDUCATE team is thrilled and excited to be participating in its first ever Bett Show, in 2018. and to be using this opportunity to officially launch the EDUCATE programme.

It feels completely appropriate for us to be celebrating our work in the Bett Futures Zone, as EDUCATE represents the very future of EdTech design and development in the UK.

Having recently admitted our third cohort of SMEs, start-ups and entrepreneurs, the Bett Show allows us to showcase our many successes to date, and to demonstrate how being part of the programme can help, support and facilitate the very best in EdTech development.

With so many challenges facing schools today, and with the pace of change in technology often exceeding our ability to keep up, EDUCATE aims to help educators and entrepreneurs to access the very best and most effective research evidence. It offers business coaching and mentoring, as well as providing physical space for innovators to thrive.

We look forward to welcoming distinguished guests and dignitaries to our launch, and invite visitors – whether teachers, EdTech companies or potential investors – to our stand to talk to our staff and representatives from our cohorts to find out more about how we can work together.

You will find us at Hub1 in the Bett Futures Zone.

Student research competition

Take part in a ​student​ ​research​ ​competition​. We​ ​would​ ​like​ ​to​ ​form​ ​a​ ​link between​ ​​ ​school​s ​and​ ​University​ ​College​ ​London.​ ​School students​ ​will​ ​get the​ ​chance​ ​to​ ​run​ ​a​ ​real​ ​life​ ​research​ ​project​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​access​ ​many​ ​of​ ​the talks​ ​and​ ​opportunities​ ​UCL​ ​has​ ​to​ ​offer.

Read more about the research competition.

Minister announces EDUCATE

Robert Halfon announced EDUCATE at Bett 2017

saying…

Today I welcome the EDUCATE initiative led by UCL which will bring together educators, researchers and the ed tech industry in order to develop and use the best research informed ed tech.

EDUCATE will create a ‘golden triangle’ between teachers and learners, educational technology companies and educational technology researchers. This is centred around evidence and effectiveness to ensure that the UK produces the products and services that have the greatest impact on learning.

EDUCATE will translate research into new and better educational products, and will stimulate demand for new and improved ones. This type of initiative is hugely valuable in ensuring the ed tech sector can grow sustainably and respond in the way that education leaders want.