Why should you attend the BCC Business and Education Summit 2017?

Why should you attend the BCC Business and Education Summit 2017?

The BCC Business and Education Summit is an inspiring, one day event that aims to encourage collaboration between education providers and businesses to help young people transition into the workplace. The Summit is a forum to explore issues surrounding our education system and how business partnerships can help these institutions deliver the relevant skills training that young people will need to succeed in today’s economy. 

 

Educators Need Funding for EdTech

On 2 March, 2017,  Nesta and Edspace partnered on the Rocket Fund platform to launch the 1 Mile Project. This project enables teachers to buy the equipment or services they believe will have the biggest impact on their students education by raising money from local businesses and the community. 

[Read more about Nesta and Edspace's partnership here]

Currently, ten schools are being promoted on Rocket Fund hoping to receive funding for future classroom technology such as higher capacity computers and iPads for virtual reality learning. 

Projects are listed for a limited time yet some have not received any pledges thus far. 

If you, your company or anyone you know would be interested in supporting these schools please follow this link to find out more about the projects looking for support. Any donation or share is greatly appreciated from the Edspace team, the 1 Mile Project and those schools who will benefit from this aide. 

 

DigitalTown, Digital Greenwich, Dot London Domains and MMX Announce Strategic Partnership for a Smart London

London is about to get smarter! Edspacers were chatting with DigitalTown last week who are launching smart.london at London Tech Week. It’s the city’s largest smart platform for registered businesses, traders and citizens to search, share, connect, collaborate and transact on a global level in a local way. All this on one single sign on, via a SMART wallet, verified identity and accrued reputation through good old citizenship activities. So basically: the next level sharing economy.

It’s an ambitious project looking for ambitious programmers. They are hosting a virtual hackathon starting June 12th until June 30th. Winner gets £5,000, owns the IP, gets announced live at London Bridge, gets some love from the city of London, then best part…..roundtrip flight to Miami as part of their next deployment there where your product also gets scaled across 23,000 smart city platforms. You can register here if this sounds like the dream, we think it does!

DigitalTown know that some of you are really invested in making the city smarter already... So you’re invited to their big DigitalTown hall event on June 13th, with some pretty cool speakers and big thinkers in the SMART cities, public services, global tourism, corporate and technology sectors around the world. Definitely worth getting there; you can sign up here. The event will be livestreamed and hosting an online conversation via #LondonNeeds, too, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, tweet or instagram our accounts and theirs (@Digi_Town) using the #LondonNEEDS hashtag to share the biggest needs and missed opportunities you feel are in this wonderful city. It’s a big conversation that starts here...

If you gave a child a cheque, would they buy edtech?

Edspace Education Ecosystem mapping - Article #1 Category: Who pays for education innovation Pattern: Large cluster around school leaders

Edspace Education Ecosystem mapping - Article #1
Category: Who pays for education innovation
Pattern: Large cluster around school leaders

By Shannon Nolan

Had my primary school handed me a large cheque to buy whatever my heart desired when I was young, I probably wouldn’t have chosen virtual reality or a coding kit or a Latin learning program. Firstly, because commercial VR didn’t exist quite yet. Secondly, I was more focused on trying to colour inside of the lines in a colouring book. 

But what if you gave a teacher a cheque? Would they buy EdTech?

Maybe. But only after they’ve purchased their extra boxes of Kleenex during flu season, markers for the dry erase board, decorations for each term’s classroom theme, hand sanitisers, pencils, treats for winter holiday festivities, and everything else teachers and school leaders can’t stretch their budgets to cover. 

School budgets are shrinking and in order to meet the demands of their profession, teachers put in more free labour and resources than ever before. They’re often spending their own money to give students a creative, interesting learning experience. Teachers spend their summer holidays planning, decorating and searching for resources. Worksheets must be printed, tissue boxes must be available along with marking stamps and pencils. Lesson plans must be written and rewritten to meet ever changing national standards and benchmarks. 

Insert an EdTech company’s sales pitch for a new tablet application that costs more than that teacher’s entire year’s budget. It’s the newest innovation in the field, they’ll say. It’s necessary for students’ success in an increasingly technological world, they’ll include. Both might be true. But the end result is this: the company won’t make the sale and the classroom will go without the new product. No one wins and the students lose most. 

Budget friendly responses to creating innovative classrooms

Rocket Fund, a new online platform that allows teachers to crowdfund projects for their classroom, is asking the same question. It works with teachers’ own networks to raise half of the funds needed to purchase new technology or supplies while finding a local business to match fund the rest. 

This step in the right direction is making the education technology marketplace more accessible for all teachers, no matter the size of their budget. Spending decisions are given back to teachers while the burden of stretching inadequate funds is taken off the shoulders of school leaders. Rocket Fund in the UK, and similar tools like DonorsChoose in the US are creating more financially autonomous classrooms by bringing corporates into the equation.

[Read more about the 1 Mile Project at Edspace, partnering with Nesta to bring Rocket Fund to the 61 schools in our neighbourhood].

UBS, the global financial service, sponsors The Bridge Academy, a school for 11-19 year olds in Hackney. In an area where 59% of students are eligible for free meals, UBS supports the school’s mission to take a parent’s income out of the education equation. Their contribution doesn’t end on the signature line of a cheque; UBS employees have put in over a combined 37,500 volunteer hours. Not only did the school benefit, the employees reported a greater satisfaction with their jobs. 

 
What do we need to see more of to support school budgets?

Hidden within the colorful strings of the education ecosystem map - there are gaps which show that the recipients of primary and secondary school successes aren’t currently paying for them. So what areas are open for further innovation and collaboration?

Business funding in the classroom. Initiatives like Rocket Fund are working to bridge funding gaps and create mutually meaningful relationships between large and small companies and their local schools.

College and university funding. At what point do colleges and universities need to begin investing in the younger classrooms that their students come from? Could we design a more holistic financial support system for education,  that connects the public and private institutions and industries that support us throughout a lifetime of learning into career development? Could EdTech companies draw funding from universities to benefit their customer base of schools?

This is where the unknown territory in the current ecosystem takes shape.

Mark your place in the ecosystem

The current map includes the direct Edspace and Emerge Education membership at the time of creation. We know there are many more innovative projects, organisations and ventures out there. What are we seeing happen in education innovation? What are we not seeing?

Our ambition is to build this map together, and share the knowledge - by inviting you to add your own details. 

About the author:
Shannon Nolan is a third year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Engaged Social Innovation. Shannon is spending four months in the UK interning at Edspace and her current research interest delves into embedding creativity, innovation and autonomy into higher education classrooms. 

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Mark your place in the education innovation ecosystem

Edspace is the focal point for a growing number of education innovators - and we benefit from a privileged position at the centre of this expanding ecosystem.

We are connected to a wide range of innovative education ventures - from in-class apps, to whole school management, to entirely new peer education systems. We can see various patterns emerging, and decided to map an ecosystem of the immediate members of Edspace and our parter edtech accelerator, Emerge Education.

The resulting drawing, with pen on paper connecting nodes around a circle with lines, highlighted interesting market clusters and and gaps - showing more competitive areas, and opportunities ripe for innovation.

To share the insight more widely, we used 180 eyelet screws, over 60m of neon thread, and more than 360 knots to replicate the model in 3D inside Edspace. It's quite a talking point!

Mark your place in the ecosystem

The current map includes the direct Edspace and Emerge Education members at the time of creation. But more have joined Edspace even in the short time since we made it, and we know there are many more innovative projects, organisations and ventures out there.

What are we seeing happen in education innovation? What are we not seeing?

Our ambition is to build this map together, and share the knowledge - by inviting you to add your own details. 

 

Thanks go to:
Zahra Davidson, founder, Enrol Yourself - fellow systems changer who helped devise and map the ecosystem
Dave Lynam, General Assembly instructor and Edspace member host - who did a lot of string tying and photo taking
Shannon Nolan, third year student at the University of Iowa majoring in Journalism and Engaged Social Innovation - for writing an article based on one of the clusters shown by the map

 
 

1 Mile Project Launch - help a local school

Last week saw the launch of the 1 Mile Project - a new initiative from Edspace to collaborate with schools, businesses and education entrepreneurs within 1 Mile of our location in Hackney Community College, Hoxton.

For the first activity in the 1 Mile - we’ve teamed up with Nesta (the UK’s innovation foundation) to scale up their new crowdfunding platform which empowers teachers to raise funds for the most important projects in their classroom. 

It's called RocketFund, and it's now available to the 61 schools within 1 Mile of Edspace.

Donna's story

Learn how a primary school in Islington used Rocket Fund to buy VR headsets for their whole school.

Take Part

Teachers - register your school so you can start fundraising

Businesses - pledge to match fund a school project for £950

Education ventures - showcase your products and services

Individuals - donate any amount to the school projects when they go live in June

Everyone - help us spread the word! 

www.1mile.rocket.fund
@rocketfundUK
@edspacehoxton
#1MileProject

Edspace welcomes Emerge Education 6th cohort

Emerge Education kicks off its 6th cohort  - and Edspace welcomes 5 more of the best edtech companies around.

Peergrade - Peer evalutaoin in HE for better learning

Filisia - Smart tech to support special education

Wonde - Data interoperability between school data and educational apps

Boolino- Creative book recommendations and resources for children

Bibliotech - Spotify for texbooks