Three former participants of UCL EDUCATE have each received £100,000 as part of the first wave of EdTech Innovation funding.
MangaHigh, Pobble and Seneca Learning are among 13 edtech firms from across the UK sharing £1.2 million of funding to develop products aimed at revolutionising education through the use of technology.
The announcement this week signalled the first round of allocations under the £4.6 million partnership between Nesta and the Department for Education, launched in April, to find solutions in schools for four “challenge areas”: assessment, essay marking, parental engagement and timetabling.
MangaHigh, a maths platform for primary and secondary aged pupils providing gamified questions and quizzes for students, will use the funding to adapt the product to make it suitable for SEND students and improve the accessibility of the questions and games.
Pobble, which supports the teaching of writing in English lessons aims to use the funding to improve its individual pupil functionality, including supporting self and peer-assessment, allowing pupils to access lessons outside the classroom and enabling pupils to publish their own work.
Meanwhile, Seneca Learning, a homework and revision platform, will plough the money into developing new diagnostic questions and a Multiple Choice Knowledge Assessments feature.
Joysy John, Nesta’s Director of Education, said: “To be truly transformational education technology needs to achieve tangible impact for teachers and students, be informed by robust evidence and be easy to implement.
“Nesta will work with grantees to develop their ideas and share learnings across the sector so that technology can better meet the changing, and challenging, needs of the education system. We believe these products have huge potential to free up teacher time so they can spend it doing what they do best, inspiring students.”
Alongside the fund, Nesta has launched England’s first EdTech Innovation Testbed, currently open for applications, which allows schools and colleges to trial promising technology products that are suited to their needs for free. They are also offered hands-on support from evaluation experts to understand what works and generate actionable insights for schools, colleges and edtech organisations.