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Report – Innovation in Education

Posted on: Thursday 07 July 2016 9:55am by Jessica Thornsby

Serious gaming, edutainment and stealth learning – new technology is breaking the boundaries of the classroom and revolutionising the way we see education

Takeaways

  • Digital skills are crucial for empowering students
  • Technology has huge potential to enrich classroom learning and engage students
  • It’s an exciting time to be involved in the industry!

Detail

In a world where children spend their days on smartphones, tablets and computers that Photo innovation in educationoffer instant entertainment, how can the traditional classroom compare? How do we rebuild education in the 21st century?

The answer is to bring technology to the classroom!

The session began with a presentation from Changemaker Phil Wilkinson, Researcher in Residence at the Isle of Portland Aldridge Community Academy. Phil stressed that digital literacy is now a necessity for economic, civic engagement: “If a person is not online or not comfortable with digital platforms, then they’re going to miss out.”

In this packed-out session, attendees got a unique insight into how various companies are using technology to engage classrooms. CEO and co-founder of the award-winning now>press>play, Alice Lacey, presented her ‘curriculum-based audio product’ that provides primary school children with headphones and educational audio content. She shared the story of Alfie, a child who had been removed from the learning environment due to being disruptive – his teachers were amazed by how well Alfie was able to focus on now>press>play’s audio products.

CEO of LudInc and German Computer Game Awards winner Jan von Meppen presented another innovative product: Professor S.

Jan asked attendees to imagine that, instead of learning about American politics from textbooks, we could learn by stepping into popular US drama ‘House of Cards’.

“That’s what Professor S is,” he said. An ongoing drama about a professor who builds a time machine, but ends up getting stuck in the past. Students have to help Professor S get back to the present by performing tasks that all tie into the school curriculum. Students can communicate to Professor S via text, and can even send him objects which then appear in subsequent episodes.

Katie Roden also introduced attendees to ‘Premier League Primary Stars,’ a new initiative that aims to deliver educational content via the familiar Premier League brand.

Senior Manager at LEGO Education UK Matt Parkes talked attendees through a few of the educational projects LEGO are involved in, including ‘LEGO therapy’, a movement created by teachers that encourages students to communicate their thoughts and feelings via LEGO.

It seems like everyone – from the biggest multinational giants, to VC-backed startups – is exploring how to use the latest technology to make classrooms more engaging. In short: it’s an exciting time to be involved in the industry!

Jessica Thornsby

About the author

Jessica Thornsby

Can Studios, Technical Writer

Jessica Thornsby studied Creative Writing at the University of Bolton. She has a background in technical writing and reporting, music journalism, and digital marketing. She is the co-author of O’Reilly Media’s iWork: The Missing Manual. She works as a technical writer at Can Studios, an award-winning team of developers, designers… Read more

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