A Student-Centered Approach to Wellbeing. In Search of a Simple Solution.

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Why is student well-being so important in education?

The majority of principals and deans around the world will tell you that their school or university is student-centered, but what does a truly student-centered school look like? 

Student-centered learning

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation describes student-centered learning as a way to engage students in their own success in the learning process, so every decision, administrative or operational, is focused on the benefit of the student’s wellbeing. Student wellbeing underpins every aspect of a student’s life: from learning and engagement to the physical, social, mental and emotional state necessary for good academic performance. So, how can educators proceed to achieve student well-being?

Prevention is better than cure

Today, more than ever, it’s essential that educational institutions provide the resources, tools, programmes  and skills to cope with student well-being. Students should be aware of mental health issues and be taught resilience skills like how to manage their emotions in an environment where they feel supported, connected and confident. If we really want to be student-centered, that means every student should have the right to this support and when they are faced with a problem, institutions should react in a quick and personalized manner. Prevention is key and relies on having a support network dependent on engagement and the relationship and communication with other students.

So, have you got the resources and network in place to support student wellbeing?

One approach to student well-being

Finland is well-known for being ranked highly in multiple global reports and indexes in education, probably because the Finnish education system is focused on wellbeing. They’ve been named the happiest country in the world three years in a row (UN World Happiness Report) and ranked the third best country in the world in terms of quality of life (Social Progress Index, 2020).

How can educational institutions achieve Finland’s level of happiness and quality of life for their students?

By following a successful example. Take the University of Vaasa, an institution of around 5.100 students and more than 500 staff known for its student support and guidance. They wanted to take action to improve students’ well-being by allowing them to get help quickly, which became especially important during the Corona pandemic with growing concerns about students’ academic achievement, social relationships and wellbeing.

They explored different programs and resources but were faced with barriers: all of them required considerable staff dedication, application time, and complicated roadmaps; not to mention the effort and budget required for quick and effective implementation.

So the University of Vaasa took it step by step, initially offering support and guidance with a low-threshold SMS chatbot to make sure students found the help they needed as early as possible, sounding an alarm as soon as possible and taking proactive steps at prevention. 

They saw immediate results, Susanna Mäenpää, Amanuensis at University of Vaasa said “Using text messages is a better way to reach students, because they don’t get lost among emails, social media messages or websites.” 

They were using Annie Advisor, an intelligent artificial chatbot that automatically directs students who need help to informational content or mental health professionals, “Annie has been an easy way to support a large amount of students.” 

The use of technology like AI chatbots can be highly effective in situations like these, lessening the load on humans and experts, and allowing them to focus on helping those that truly need it.

Now the University of Vaasa addresses 53% of its support needs with the AI chatbot and has an 85% average response rate. Setting an example to follow for how to make student-centered learning a priority and proof that taking small actions that don’t require a big budget can have a big effect on student well-being and success

We presented a report on the Future of Higher Education in collaboration with Mobile World Capital at the UNESCO World Higher Education Conference 2022. You can read the introduction to the report here and download the full report below.

As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, the world has become more complex and more interconnected. 

The abundance of knowledge and the scarcity of known paths for solutions to a different set of challenges will drive existing models of Higher Education (hereafter HE) towards an accelerated and permanent transformation by introducing greater flexibility, innovative learning and teaching methods, alongside new forms of credentialism and the imperative need to nurture a broader ecosystem.

Innovation is a much more fragmented and varied endeavor today than ever before. As a consequence of falling barriers, more young companies in unsuspected places are pursuing many new avenues of invention, and a number of these involve new technological advances.

Deep technologies — innovations based on scientific research — will be a key part of the answer to many of today’s global challenges. Solving the global challenges of this century — and driving local economic success — depends on the prompt and effective commercialization of new technologies. 

To accomplish these goals, government, industry, community, educational institutions, investors and entrepreneurs will have to collaborate closer together to build solutions and enter into the market quickly and at scale.

In 2021, according to the data provided by the International Association of Universities, there were approximately 20,000 universities globally. Every institution is immersed in a more global, diversified and complex environment. For learners and their families, learning choices become harder as the criteria for relevance and competitive advantages become increasingly  more personal and contextual. The selection of paths to (and the weight of) potential returns will not conform to the traditional values of benchmarks among options.

Our signals clearly call for the end of the isomorphism path that has driven most Higher Education institutions (HEI) to preserve and emulate traditional structures of long-lasting perceptions of prestige and admittance value. Furthermore, these trends are forcing institutions to acknowledge the increasing gaps between their own self-perception and external criteria of excellence.

Scarcity has driven demand, has increased costs, and has created a strong correlation between selectivity and institutional wealth. Universities are moving from accepting the elite for a limited time to gaining subscribers from a diversified base of learners, for life.

The quality of teaching and learning — the main functions of any institution — are virtually impossible to measure and quantify. Especially as they are a direct result of each interaction and each individual. This is the main reason why we currently operate by using proxies, which include teacher reputation, teacher- learner ratios and many other factors as measures of quality. Technology will transform these challenges as it becomes prevalent in most  learning experiences; it is generating vast amounts of data around learner engagement and the quality of each individual journey.

The global dimension is becoming more integrated into an institution’s purpose. A new focus on quality, inclusion and sustainability is emerging in contrast to the traditional views of exclusivity, quantitative and competitive approach that are still prevalent, while learners from every corner of the world are able to be subscribed to many institutions at many stages of their life.

The main transformation occurs at the end of the era of dissemination of knowledge — which does not require a university anymore — to refocus on cognitive tools, active, experiential and social learning in an engaging learning environment by which learners and experts actively struggle together to find solutions to meaningful problems.

The role of all stakeholders has a profound impact as learners’ commitment, determination and perseverance have to be emphatically supported by a diverse set of interventions to navigate risks, time, vulnerabilities, emotions, growth and downturns in a different balance between time vs. mastery. 

Employers determine the real value of certifications and become an integral part of the learning ecosystem as work experience becomes a trusted signal and institutions permanently validate and expand learning and competencies.

The path to the future requires from institutions to act as Hubs for a diversity of services, products, experiences, technologies, partnerships, and signals that disaggregate, democratize, decentralize, support, validate, augment and expand their impact beyond boundaries of time, space, discipline, sector and age. 

Technology is an enabler of coherence for an always-connected, adaptive, holistic experience that starts where the learner is and continues for a lifetime on an augmented omnichannel flexible journey. 

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    This is a space to share our vision of education globally, in a personal way through our knowledgable and experienced team members, thus allowing you to imagine, inspire and improve your educational vision.

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    Leadership Awards 2022 win for Visionary and Finalist for CEO/Founder

    The EdTech Awards are the largest and most competitive education technology recognition program in the world, so the wins and nominations for our global education consulting firm reaffirm our role in the EdTech space as trailblazers, game-changers, and thought leaders. Two members of our consulting team were recognized in the EdTech Digest’s EdTech Awards Leadership category. Fernando Valenzuela, Partner LATAM, was the Leadership Award 2022 winner for Visionary, and Pablo Langa, Founder and Managing Partner was a finalist in the CEO/Founder category. They have been recognized for being innovators, leaders, and trendsetters in K-12, higher education, and workplace learning. 

    This forward-looking and pioneering mindset defines both Fernando and Pablo and it is with this clear vision and focus, grounded in their sense of purpose and passion for life and curiosity for the unknown that they have collaborated on a research project for UNESCO and MWC about the The Future of Higher Education. The path of learning to 2050. Signs that reveal the trends to come.  The paper will be released at the upcoming UNESCO World Higher Education Conference 2022 (WHEC2022) in May. The conference is bringing together relevant stakeholders to define and prepare a roadmap for a new era of higher education. As contributors to this report, it’s an honor for Pablo and Fernando to be recognized for their leadership and visionary standing.

     

    Exams for Zoom, venture project of EDT&Partners, wins EDTech Award for Cool Tool 2022 New Product or Service category.

    Exams for Zoom won the Award for Cool Tool 2022 in the New Product or Service category (2018 or later) and was a finalist in the Testing and Assessment Solution category. Exams for Zoom is a part of EDT&Ventures, which was created to address specific market needs.

    With the COVID pandemic came shutdowns and school closures and the overnight shift to online and remote classes. With that change, there were many emerging needs of teachers, students, and institutions that were not being met. An assessment solution was needed for all three. In the assessment space, the options were scarce. Educators were forced to adapt video-conferencing platforms to the classroom, and there were big challenges. For teachers, the challenge was how to effectively administer an exam in a secure, safe, and easy-to-use environment. Students needed a distraction-free, user-friendly and familiar environment where they could perform at their best in an exam. Institutions looked for a flexible, secure, and non-Orwellian solution that also met the needs of their staff and students. These are the problems Exams for Zoom has set out to address.

    Exams for Zoom has a small team of dedicated and passionate people who not only have the short-term objectives of the E4Z tool in mind but are conscious and aware of the bigger, existential changes happening in the assessment space. Changes brought about by AI, hybrid settings, MOOCs, online certifications, and more. Exams for Zoom is at the forefront of these changes, and just like the tool we’ve built, we’re monitoring and analyzing the environment to help provide the best possible results.

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    Bett 2022 Highlights & Takeaways

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    Bett is EdTech’s biggest event of the year, where the global education technology community gets together to spark ideas, create connections, accelerate change, and drive innovation and impact for educators and learners.

    After two consecutive years without Bett, a lot has changed in the education sector. The global pandemic brought about unprecedented change in education and in technology- from AI to apps to esports. EDT’s Director and Partner EMEA and LATAM, Ana Isabel Calvo, gives us the highlights and her key takeaways of this year’s event.

    Bett 2022, Europe’s largest educational technology event, reopened its doors in London from March 29th to 31st. Despite welcoming visitors from more than 120 countries, the attendance of 400 suppliers, and more than 300 inspiring conferences and sessions, the event was much smaller than in previous years. 

    This is a surprising fact, especially considering the rapid transformation that learning has undergone during the pandemic. It’s worth remembering that in 2021, investment in educational technology doubled globally with venture capital investment exceeding $20.8 billion. It is no less true that the episodic upsurges in cases of COVID-19 are still keeping many people away from international circuits. In this regard, it is noteworthy that the influx of visitors from Asia was among the lowest in recent memory.

    Among other highlights that characterize the effervescent educational landscape, it is interesting to note the rapid growth of solutions focused on artificial intelligence and data technology, and the importance of implementing proposals that allow hybrid programs (combining elements of online and face-to-face) and the interest in empowering educators. Likewise, it is also worth mentioning the strong fragmentation of technological projects, especially in formal education. 

    Educational applications (APPs) continue to play a leading role in the sector, either as learning projects focused on specific areas of the curriculum or as authoring tools. In this editional of Bett we saw a shift from supplemental or consumer (B2C) projects to institutional (B2B) or mixed (B2B2C) projects. A clear example of this trend is the solution awarded the Most Innovative Project at the Bett Awards, PracticePal, an application for practicing and learning music. 

    Based on the research about student welfare, especially after the pandemic, a series of technological and intelligent solutions have arisen to help solve many of the problems that we observe in educational institutions on the socio-emotional and health level. In this area projects such as Natterhub (which won in the Transformational Impact category) were featured. We saw other interesting proposals such as Annie Advisor, or Childsafeguarding.com.

    The curricular areas receiving the greatest focus are robotics, programming, and mathematics (STEM areas), followed closely by various initiatives focused on reading comprehension and language learning.

    Also worth mentioning are various projects for simulators and very powerful virtual and augmented reality elements for both formal and higher education. Otherwise, little else was new: visitors found the usual list of educational platforms and systems for classroom management, evaluation-planning, and technical support. As well as numerous devices for personal and classroom use.  

    The EdTech industry’s interest in supporting families has been reaffirmed. To a large extent, younger students have been especially vulnerable during the pandemic and quarantines. Families have had to take on the role of teachers. In many cases, it has been an exhausting task, and in some cases, an unattainable activity. The industry has certainly learned from this, with projects such as Your Favourite Teacher, which won the Educational Resource for Parents or Home Learning award, or the finalist Planet Pop. Not to mention the private tutoring market, which was also present, and which according to Facts and Factors’ market research study, is estimated to grow at over 9% annually for the next six years, with a projected value of $174.65 billion. 

    Perhaps one of the most interesting developments of this edition of BETT is the arrival of esports in the education sector. If we dive into the global esports market, the sector’s valuation in 2020 reached 1 billion dollars while in 2021 it increased to 1.28 billion, and it is estimated to reach 2.89 billion in 2025. This is a further step towards the convergence of the digital and physical realms brought about by the Internet of Things (IoT). For new generations, the boundaries between the digital realm and physical reality practically cease to exist. And education is taking note of this.

    In the United Kingdom, for example, esports are classified as games. Students between the ages of 12 and 15 in the UK spend an average of almost 12 hours a week on this type of game. In other words, they spend more time playing games on the Internet than on more traditional activities such as sports or music (OFCOM 2019).

    As is the case in other areas, this type of activity done in moderation can be beneficial, improving perceptual and cognitive skills. This is precisely the point that the educational sector is focusing on. It has been shown that the practice of these games has clear links with computer science, STEAM subjects and the development of strategic, commercial and digital actions. It promotes the development of numerous transversal skills (such as teamwork), improves leadership, decision making, problem solving and socialisation, as well as encourages multiculturalism and language learning. Moreover, through competitiveness, the player-student works on certain skills such as reaction times, dexterity and concentration, as well as resilience. 

    Several initiatives are working on new lines of business in the sector. As already made evident by Microsoft’s acquisition of Minecraft in 2014, this is a very lucrative area of activity. We have already seen Pearson’s partnership with the British Esports Association to create the first qualification for a degree in esports. For these and other reasons, the 2022 edition of BETT could eventually come to be seen as the launch of esports in the educational context.

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    This is a space to share our vision of education globally, in a personal way through our knowledgable and experienced team members, thus allowing you to imagine, inspire and improve your educational vision.

    For more insights follow us on LinkedIn.

    EDT&Partners is a global, purpose-driven consulting firm, dedicated to IMAGINE, INSPIRE and IMPROVE education.

    We bring about fast, impactful change in education through our insights, network, global perspective, reach and innovative viewpoints.

    Webinar- Going Global. How EdTech Businesses can expand from Asia Pacific to Africa, the Middle East & Latin America

    Watch this EDT&Partners and AWS EdStart webinar aimed at EdTech startups looking to expand to new markets in Africa, Middle East, and LATAM. 

    Why should new opportunities in these regions be explored? 

    In the context of recovery from the COVID pandemic, each region has responded differently and had different outcomes- creating unique and new opportunities for innovative technology and solutions. 

    Learn from EDT&Partners consultants about the ecosystem, challenges, needs, and opportunities in Africa, the Middle East, and LATAM regions. Including case studies that illustrate how to best enter each market. 

    Hosted by Camil Torabully, AWS EdStart Program Manager for Asia Pacific, and Josep M. Mas, Partner APAC at EDT&Partners, the webinar features EDT&Partners consultants:

    LATAM- Fernando Valenzuela | Partner LATAM 

    Middle East- Roy Saab | Partner EMEA 

    Africa: Ecosystem and Challenges- Hussein Ayoub | Senior Consultant EMEA  

    Africa: Needs and Opportunities- Mohamed Hemoh | Senior Consultant Africa

     

    Want to watch the full webinar?
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      Adama Sanneh is the Co-Founder and CEO of the Moleskine Foundation. Italian by birth, he has an Italian mother and Senegalese-Gambian father and has lived in four different countries across Europe and Africa, but there is so much more to him than this that makes him an interesting and inspirational figure. For one, he is dedicated to his work at the Moleskine Foundation – a non-profit with unconventional programs aimed at enabling social transformation through creativity in youth and under-served communities. 

      His interview with the EDiT provides an eye-opening perspective on the world that will turn many people’s preconceived ideas and internal narrative about Africa, education, technology and creativity on its head.

      1. You come from a very interesting background and you speak a lot about the topic of identity and the “other”. How has this influenced your work at the Moleskine Foundation?

      This concept is at the core of the foundation’s work. We want to create a positive impact in the world and so we encourage people to realize they are “the other”, to break down barriers of individuality and eventually, to move away from hierarchical patronizing systems and embracing this idea. From there, you can start a new internal journey and when you realize that there is no “me” and “others” it becomes the centerpiece and the starting point for reasoning.

      2. The Moleskine Foundation has a few education-related initiatives. Can you tell us about the WikiAfrica Education program and the impact it’s had on the African continent?

      WikiAfrica Education is a program that we conceptualized more than 10 years ago. We wanted to address the lack of information about the African continent online, and the bias in knowledge using digital tools used for mass distribution of information. We realized that this bias caused misrepresentation about the continent and its history, its people and its values. In addition, the scarcity in information about hundreds of cultures, history and social issues contributes to burying the narratives of millions of lives. There is more information about the city of Paris than the entire continent of Africa on Wikipedia. 

      There is something that a good friend wrote that said, “in order to change the world, you need to change the narrative of the world”. This change starts from knowledge and the way it is transformed into creative action. 

      We created the WikiAfrica Education program to get young people to become active knowledge producers, for themselves and their community. If we support one person by improving their critical thinking, knowledge development, skills, etc – this person can then transform and impact their community and becoming the knowledge provider for the current generations and those to come. We decided to do this in African languages, because they are even more under-represented when it comes to digital knowledge. 

      Since 2019 we’ve been able to produce 600-700 entries, meaning we’ve impacted around 500 young people who have become knowledge producers and their entries have been seen more than a million times, and this is just the beginning of the movement.

      3. Chimamanda Ngozi wrote about “the single story” problem of the western version of the history of Africa. How is the WikiAfrica project addressing this issue?

      What Chimamanda says about the single story narrative is that it’s extremely problematic, so with WikiAfrica we want to give visibility to the under-represented narrative that is being buried under the history written by third-parties. When one is looking for information online, Wikipedia entries are always in the first pages to appear on any Google search. Even if you live in rural Africa, nowadays many people have a phone or are connected somehow, and so can have access to this information. 

      We have nothing to “teach” to anyone as a foundation, the only thing that we’re interested in is providing tools for young people to develop their creative skills by creating and supporting spaces where criticality and imagination can occur. Our role is to provide enough tools and support enough spaces where this transformation can happen and be sustained.

      4. The WikiAfrica program is a union between education and technology. Do you think this union of education and technology is a solution to the education equity problems facing Africa and the world, or are they contributing to the problem?

       

      I would say that this is not contributing to the problem, but it’s not a solution. A tool is a tool, it all comes down to how it is used. Obviously bringing together education and technology is an enormous opportunity and has allowed us to do things that were completely unimaginable a few years back, but we need to exercise a strong level of criticality around this. There is a great book one of our main advisors, Roberto Casati, wrote called Against Digital Colonialism. Although he’s not necessarily against technology in education, his main reflection was that we need to exercise criticality.

      Introducing technology and computers in schools is not completely  good or bad- it depends on how you use it. It can be a great opportunity, but it cannot replace creative education- you cannot replace human contact, you cannot replace a book. Technology is a tool we need to properly figure out how to use, but it’s not a solution to all problems.  

      5. What role does creativity play in the objective of the Moleskine Foundation?

      It’s at the center of our mission. We created the Moleskine Foundation to answer a call to action from the international community. If you look at the UNESCO education report, the sustainable development goals, the World Economic Forum’s future of work, etc, everybody is understanding that creativity is at the center of our capacity to build our collective future in a positive way. We created a world in which creativity and creative skills were not encouraged by the system, but now we know that these are at the center of our capacity to build our future.  

      We need creativity, critical thinking, creative doing, lifelong learning, development of change-making attitudes along with other qualities like empathy, problem solving, the capacity to work across complexity to create real change. Only now does the international community realize this is where we need to invest, but they don’t really know how to do it. They are in need of more structured experiences. The Moleskine Foundation has placed creativity at the center of our mission and the development of creative skills for young people with a strong focus on underserved communities.We like to say we work in the space of creativity for social change. This means that at times it might be difficult to explain fully what we do, but we have a strong belief that answering that call to action is important.     

      6. What Moleskine Foundation projects or initiatives are you most excited about for 2022?

      We’re going to continue with WikiAfrica, expanding our reach and branching out in new sectors. However, one thing I’m very excited about is our Creativity Pioneers Support Fund project which we launched this year to support the Creativity Pioneers community, which is aimed at change-makers and creative people that have started cultural and creative institutions and organizations operating in underserved communities. Through the use of creativity, culture and the arts they are transforming and answering some of the biggest questions happening at both a local and global level – human rights, climate change, identity building, education…  

      They are working at the nexus of all these issues and all these sectors. This year, we launched the first call out, and in 3 weeks we received 570 applications from 72 countries. It is extremely exciting for us to contribute to all the creative potential that is out there and operating and now our role is to support, connect and give visibility to them.  

      We strongly believe at the Moleskine Foundation that some of the answers to the biggest issues and problems that the world is facing will be articulated and solved in the cultural and creative sector. When the world is in a crisis of language- meaning it’s looking for how to articulate and conceptualize the problems it’s facing, the field of culture and creativity is the only sector that is able to produce and create this language.

      If we want to start finding answers this is where we want to invest, who we want to support. And we’re making a call to action to all the brands, organizations and people that really understand the power of creativity and the importance of creative skills because their success was built on it. This is where we need to invest, there is a sector to build- one which I strongly believe will contribute enormously to the future of the world. 

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      The Moleskine Foundation and EDT&Partners are collaborative partners. Both believe in the power of creativity for social change and the importance of the #NoLearnerLeftBehind movement.

      EDT&Partners supports the Moleskine Foundation in three main areas: helping with additional partnerships; transforming their initiatives into fully-online, distance delivery by providing impact regardless of covid, and expanding the range of their active initiatives.

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      The EDiT Spotlight features articles about EdTech industry leaders, their stories, insights, and the innovative projects they’re a part of. 

      Follow us on LinkedIn for the latest news, analysis, and insights in the world of EdTech.

       

      Listen to Josep M. Mas and Basil Tonk’s full conversation about the future of language learning.

      Their thought-provoking conversation covers a variety of topics related to the language learning industry- from their predictions of the role of AI and teachers to insights about mastering a foreign language and reflections on cultural intelligence.

      A partnership built on the principles of global insights, consulting and exponential growth in EdTech. 

      SINGAPORE/DELHI, NOV. 18, 2021 – EDT&Partners, a global, purpose-driven consulting firm dedicated to imagining, inspiring and improving education, has partnered with EdTechReview, a premier media platform and community for educational stakeholders to connect and find useful news, information and resources on educational technology.

      The strategic partnership focuses on knowledge and shared business strengths in India and abroad. The collaboration will merge EDT Partners’ consulting experience helping institutions, EdTech companies, publishers, startups, investors and governments in the education space with EdTechReview’s awareness and media reach in education in India and beyond. This partnership will facilitate additional services, insights, reach and cooperation for organizations in the joint network of EdTechReview and EDT.

      “At EDT&Partners, we are always looking for powerful and innovative collaborations that continue to put us at the forefront of the fast-growing EdTech industry,” said Pablo Langa, the Founder and Managing Partner at EDT&Partners. “This partnership will allow us to better support the international expansion and fundraising of Indian companies as well as the expansion of global businesses looking to grow their presence and explore opportunities in India.”

      Speaking about the partnership, Utkarsh Lokesh, CEO & Editor, EdTechReview, said, “In the last five years, through our global reach and network, we have contributed to the growth of 1000+ edtech across the world in different capacities. This partnership will only strengthen and deepen our ability to further support the needs of edtech founders and propel the growth of the Indian and global edtech ecosystem, which is core to our mission.”

      India’s is the world’s second-largest edtech market, and it is expected to grow almost four times by 2025, reaching a worth of US$10 billion. The EDT&Partners and EdTechReview partnership will address the growing need for global insights, research, networks and dissemination supporting the organic and inorganic expansion of the Indian market within the country and abroad.

       

       

       

      As students settle into another school year, parents around the world are looking for how to best prepare their kids or teens for future success. Many might consider enrolling their children in an IT or coding course and rightfully so, according to the US Labor Department in December 2020 the world was 40 million short of the skilled coders and engineers it required, and it expects that number might double by 2030.

      We talked to Gyula Csitári, the Co-founder and managing director at Logiscool about the importance of digital literacy and teaching programming skills to youth.

      Listen for his unique perspective and to find out why he started Logiscool, a unique educational platform and teaching method that offers after-school courses in programming, robotics, game design and video production.

       

       

      Dorka Horváth started the award-winning Kids reading App, BOOKR Kids in 2015 when she noticed a lack of quality children’s literature in a digital format. She combined her passion for publishing and education, and the result was interactive versions of classical children’s stories with animation, narration, text highlighting, and educational games. 

      We asked the entrepreneur, mom, and doctoral thesis candidate about a variety of topics, from the issue of differentiation in learning abilities to the future of our reading habits. She even gave some good advice for aspiring women entrepreneurs. Dorka’s knowledge and experience provide a unique perspective into the present and future of learning. 

      How did the idea for the BOOKR Kids app come about?

      Growing up with publisher parents and being a young mother-to-be, I wanted the love of reading to inspire my son, just like other children. Books are always a happy place for me, where I can disappear from daily routines, problems and conflicts.  But the world is changing, and younger generations need smart and interactive content to read and learn. With BOOKR, we launched an innovative solution to connect beautiful literature and engaging digital books to develop the love of reading among children. BOOKR Kids’ mission is to make data-driven technological tools available for teachers and students worldwide, promoting literature and storytelling, enhancing reading comprehension, and supporting cultural awareness, critical thinking, and social-emotional learning.

      What role has EDT&Partners played in BOOKR’s journey and path to success?

      We have been working with EDT for more than two years now. When we decided we were ready to go global, we were looking for a strategic partner to support us in our journey. EDT is helping us every day in business development, product development and expansion strategy. We have built our distribution strategy together and gained amazing channel partners like Berlitz for South America. We are also working on government projects together; without EDT expertise, I am afraid we would be lost in this very specific, bureaucratic world.

      How is technology helping address the issue of differentiation in learning abilities?

      Personalized learning is one of the most highlighted pedagogical approaches today. It requires understanding each student’s individual needs and designing educational experiences to help all students achieve success. BOOKR Class empowers teachers to use data in the decision-making process, be more agile in their instruction, and increase students’ performance by personalising learning and pathways. It tracks overall engagement, reading habits, assignment completion, level progression and language skill development. BOOKR’s learning and teaching environment have been defined as the measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of data about learners and their contexts to understand and optimise learning and the environments in which it occurs.

      You’re writing your doctoral thesis about how interactive books are changing reading habits- can you tell us what the single most influential change will be?

      In my doctoral thesis, I am focusing on interactive books as an important and innovative tool in reading comprehension development.  How can interactive books support those who are struggling in the reading process? If a child has a low ability to interpret text, both in decoding and understanding the text, they usually compensate by using other cognitive processes while reading. Thus, if you cannot use automatic text recognition, you can activate an additional “knowledge base,” such as calling additional illustrations to help interpret the context. If these illustrations are also moving, they can stimulate additional receptors and be even more effective at supporting the extra resource. Interactive books enhance reading comprehension because the range of functions can be so rich that the child can benefit from the most appropriate and least energy-consuming compensation process. So personalization and differentiated education can also be achieved.

      You’re an advocate for women entrepreneurship; what advice would you give to aspiring women entrepreneurs?

      Last year we raised €2 million for a company where two of the three founders are women. In our team, there are five moms with flexible working hours, someone on maternity leave. Today’s world even favours us; it doesn’t matter where and when you work anymore… In pyjamas or a suit, during bedtime or on the way to the nursery. We’ve never had as many great opportunities as now to find the devoted harmony between work and family. Let’s live with it and learn more every day than yesterday and share what we have learned with each other!

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      This is the first part of a new series we’re calling the EDiT Spotlight where we’ll be featuring articles in the EDiT Journal about EdTech industry leaders, their stories, insights, and the innovative projects they’re a part of. 

      Follow us on LinkedIn for the latest news, analysis and insights in the world of EdTech.