The significance of technology in education has been consistently growing in recent years, 70 percent of UK primary and secondary school students are now using a tablet in class. Many teachers now realize that if used correctly, technology can be a great incentive for students.
Most of us think of education as being traditional in it's process however, the demand for technological classroom supports has significantly increased, creating a thriving market for education technology. These aids range from computers to mobile, tablets and online learning platforms.
There are many edtech startups developing innovative products and concepts that will change the world of education as we know it.
Here are five of the best, as concluded by a local research I've ran.
Pobble won the European Business Plan competition in 2015 with the goal of inspiring young writers. Schools are provided with Pobble platform, which allows children to publish their writing with pride by offering them a worldwide audience for their work.
The platform also allows children to connect through writing and provide peer-to-peer feedback developing critical thinking skills that will have a positive impact on their educational journey.
Currently, Pobble is used by hundreds of schools in over 100 countries. Teachers in these countries champion Pobble as successfully encouraging and inspiring their students to want to excel in school, ultimately boosting morale both for teachers and students alike. Pobble raised 900k from edtech angels.
Founded in 2012, FutureLearn is a digital learning platform that offers courses from universities all over the world. The courses have a wide variety of subject matter from programming to screenwriting from several different institutions like the University of Reading.
FutureLearn was set up by The Open University and was the first endeavour of this kind to come from the United Kingdom. The results have been very impressive with well over three million users.
With over 500 million questions answered in 8 countries around the world, Quipper, another UK born platform, gives teachers the ability to connect directly with students and keep their lesson plans organized.
Teachers can build lessons online, delegate tasks, and students have the ability to submit their work online. The students are provided with feedback based on their performance as well as access to online tools to help study and revise coursework.
RefMe is an online reference tool and was one of the winners of the 2015 EdTech Europe competition. Founded in 2014, this app allows students have access to references with the simple act of a barcode scanner for phones.
The free tool available on both Android and iOS creates citations, footnotes and bibliographies instantly, saving students valuable time. In addition to books and journals, RefMe supports several other references, such as films, webpage, speeches, interviews, legal cases, and more.
In addition to helping everyday students, RefMe intends to collect data and information down the line, on which references are being used the most and are most helpful to students.
Once they garner enough information, they hope to provide insights to universities, so that students only spend money on the right textbooks. Afterall, the cost of student textbooks has grown significantly and is a major expense for most students. In April 2015, RefMe announced a $5 million seed funding round.
Memrise is an online learning tool with courses created by its community members. With well over one million users, scientifically optimized techniques make learning quick and easy.
The company seems to have cracked the code on setting a business model for a fun and effective method of learning, predominantly when it comes to studying new languages.
Clearly, there are several great edtech startups coming out of the UK. It's not surprising either, especially because there is currently a major conversation concerning education and teacher workloads across the United Kingdom.
Hopefully, these startups will be the remedy to help innovate education in the UK and serve as an example for edtech in the rest of the world. We're all looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds.