Who are you?
Jake O’Keefe, co-founder at Atom Learning.
What do you do?
Atom Learning is an adaptive learning platform for Key Stage 2, which combines high-quality teacher-made content with sophisticated technology to keep students on their optimal learning paths. We cover the subject of mathematics, English and reasoning. Atom Learning is popular with learners who are studying for senior school entrance exams as well as those who want to consolidate their KS2 knowledge.
We were a participant in cohort 9 of the UCL EDUCATE programme and have an EdWard at Evidence-Aware level.
What educational challenge are you trying to meet?
When we set up the company we wanted to resolve two issues in the private tutoring market: it is expensive, and the quality varies considerably.
The solution is a fully automated resource that is sufficiently scalable to be affordable, and has high-quality teaching and testing materials produced by great teachers.
What impact did the EDUCATE programme have on your product and company?
Being part of the EDUCATE programme was very useful. It clarified the approach we need to take to make product improvements. In education, in particular, where your product can have a positive or negative impact on a student’s future, it is vital that you operate with academic rigour, carefully testing developments to confirm they will have a positive impact rather than adopting a fail-fast approach traditionally associated with the technology sector.
What impact has achieving an EdWard had on you personally, and on your company or product?
Gaining an EdWard is recognition of the work we are doing and the approach we are taking to online learning. It acknowledges how seriously we take what we are doing and the trust we place in schools and students to offer them a great learning experience.
What advice would you give to prospective EDUCATE participants?
I would recommend the programme to any EdTech company. The programme distils the approach you must take to developing your education product so that you operate with integrity and build a tool that continues to maximise learning potential for students.