Tag: education (Page 1 of 2)

Education – the Trillion Dollar Opportunity

This past week, I had the great honour and pleasure to give a keynote at the Mobile Word Congress‘ hotter sibling that is 4YFN, sizing up the opportunity of the education market, which is something I have been looking at a lot in the course of my work with Emerge Education, Europe’s leading EdTech accelerator, over the past few years.

In it, I have been outlining the immense size of the market at hand as well as the incredible impact startups and investments in this sector can have on the world. I also offered some thoughts on how to work around some of the obstacles that such a traditionally “hard” sector poses.

The video of the talk will follow shortly. In the interim, here are my slides of it. I hope you will enjoy them.

A few thoughts on improving learning outcomes & avoiding cognitive biases [video]

When I was recently invited to give a talk at TEDx Education Barcelona, the good folks from the Open University of Catalunya interviewed my on my thoughts on how I would think data and analytics would impact education. Here’s the result…

The full post is here: http://openthoughts-analytics.blogs.uoc.edu/improving-learning-outcomes-avoiding-cognitive-biases/


TEDx Barcelona ED – My Talk…

I did a talk at TEDxBarcelonaED on “Learning for the Unknown”. Quite daunting. Quite exciting. I think it worked. Do you agree? Watch it here:

Apps for Good: Future Learning (or learning the future?)

Here’s an initiative to whom a shout-out is long overdue: the good people from Apps for Good have been working with children in schools on making apps. They provide a framework through which children learn everything from concept and market research to design and execution. And some of them then go ahead and publish the results in the wide world of Google Play (check for instance the formidable team from Mount Grace School in Hertfordshire whose “Social Bank” app that helps you to achieve saving what you crave most. Go have a look and download it (here on Google Play); I assure you it is very far cry from Jurassic scenes rebuilt in shoe boxes…

I had the great pleasure to work with some of the teams as a voluntary “expert” and – assuming if you read this blog you, too, are active somewhere in mobile – should have a look at doing the same thing. Here’s why:

  1. It’s tremendous fun. I consider Apps for Good sessions as an energizer to my day: to work with enthusiastic children and seeing them come into their own in a learning environment that allows them (and demands of them) to get out of their usual routines and create something from nowhere – and to then go and execute on it is nothing short of inspiring.
  2. It’s the simplest and, let’s face it, cheapest way to invest in the future of not only those children but all of us: this is an area where children learn 21st century skills that are not (yet) embedded in national curricula around the world (there are some initiatives to change this of course, such as Ian Livingstone’s plans for the Livingstone School in London Hammersmith) but there is still a lot more to be done. And with one hour of your time here and there, you can help. If this is for you, apply here to become an expert.

The work they are doing is being recognised all over the place, expressed for instance by winning Google’s Global Impact Challenge.

Apps for Good delivers its programme in over 200 schools across the UK so far. If you are a school and want to participate, go here.

The State of Digital Learning

Here’s an interesting infographic I came across from The Next Web. It serves as the right backdrop to a lot of my activities these days. Let it sink in…

A New Thing: Emerge Venture Lab

Some of you might have seen it (OK, most won’t have) but I have a couple of new gigs going, one of which is Emerge Venture Lab‘s Emerge Education programme. It launched last week in style on L39 in Canary Wharf (yes, we were looking at you, you bankers).

Be it as it may, I am now a Venture Partner there. And I am thrilled to be there. Swanky title, you say, what else? Here’s what: Emerge merged (oooh) a couple of rather sweet things into one coherent offering, namely:

  • The guys come out of Oxford University’s prestigious Said Business School and have hence, per se, a pretty awesome pedigree AND network. But these are not your usual millenials. They put their talent to hard, hard work and assembled a team of mentors that is mind-bogglingly good: you will find a network of insanely gifted (and successful) entrepreneurs there that comprise the true heavyweights of today: tons of entrepreneurs, investors, big corporates (yes, Google is also there) and public ventures (like NESTA) are there.
  • I would suggest (but of course I would say that) that your chances of finding follow-on funding are better here than anywhere else because of the above. Why (besides that bloody awesome advisor list)? Oh, just read on…
  • Emerge have managed to compile a list of top-tier educational institutions that will work with you to hone your application or service before it hits the market. So the next time Mr Big Investor asks you if you have any proof it works, you will just coolly whip out that Oxford Uni study. Not bad, huh? And if you think that this still is all my usual BS, just think of the sell-in cycles in education. Then pause. Then think of what Oxford University on your PowerPoint might actually do for you. With me?

Everything aside, I am truly excited by what Emerge has achieved in a very short space of time. They have managed to navigate the insanely complex and dangerous seas of the educational minefields to assemble something that should accelerate aspiring ventures in the field in the true sense of the word. If you come out of this programme, you will have had your product vetted not only by passionate entrepreneurs but also by real clients. And that, my friends, is pretty astonishing for an accelerator programme, don’t you think?

And, yes, that’s why I am excited, and, yes, that’s why I am here! Get in touch, talk to us, apply to the programme here!


Can PacMan teach Maths?

Here’s the podcast of a rather intriguing panel discussion I participated in at the Mobile Fringe Festival earlier this year in Barcelona. Moderated by the indomitable Russell Buckley (the big daddy of mobile marketing), I was joined by Vincent Hoogsteder (Founder & CEO, Distimo) and Alina Vandenberghe (Head of Mobile and Gaming, Pearson) discussing how elements of games and, indeed, mobile technology can aid educational demands – not only for the iPad-clad haute vollee of the first world but also in regions where traditional schooling is a lot more challenging.

I wrote about the topic previously and it is one of the areas I take an increasing amount of interest in. Have a listen, let me know what you think.

I tried to paste a fancy Soundcloud widget but this didn’t work out, so go listen to it here.

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