Who are you?
Emilie-Kate Kidd, co-founder and communications director of Earwig Academic.
What do you do?
Earwig Academic is a tool for teachers to help record, track and assess pupils, particularly children with special educational needs and disabilities, as the tool is flexible and can store bespoke and specific information about the learner.
It offers a granular and flexible way of allowing teachers to keep records and is suitable for using wide variants that may be necessary for some pupils.
Teachers can input data easily, including information about the specific curriculum they are using, so they can benchmark pupils against what they are achieving, and customise it for any individual child’s needs.
What educational challenge are you trying to address?
The tool is designed to cut teacher workload, which is a major cause of teacher stress and staff leaving the profession. It aims to make the job of the teacher more efficient, allowing them to spend more time in the classroom in contact with pupils, and less on burdensome tasks such recording and monitoring.
What impact did the EDUCATE programme have on your product and company?
Being part of cohort 4 of the EDUCATE programme opened doors and opportunities to our company that it might not otherwise have achieved.
We have met other EdTech innovators and been involved in providing evidence to the Commons Education Select Committee’s inquiry into special educational needs, as well as giving a presentation to a delegation of education technologists from Israel.
Developing these contacts has facilitated making in-roads into schools – which can be particularly difficult for EdTech companies – because word gets out about the work you are doing. Once in front of teachers we get a virtually 100% take-up of the product because they can see how unique it is but getting to that stage can be challenging.
What advice would you give to prospective EDUCATE participants?
We would advise any up and coming EdTech companies to engage with the EDUCATE programme if they get the opportunity. The team was incredibly helpful and knowledgeable, and helped to get our own research right. They helped us to establish that we were going down the right direction of travel with our company, or whether we needed to review the development of the product.