Q & A: Innovate EdTech Conference 2017

Edspace recently sat down with Jo Sayers, director of ELTjam, to hear more about the Innovate Edtech Conference they’re hosting on Saturday, 11th November.  

As the official co-working partner of the Innovate Edtech Conference, we’re happy to announce that anybody within the Edspace network can get a 50% discount to this event by using the discount code EDSPACE50.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Who is ELTjam?

We’re lots of things, but fundamentally we help organisations to make more effective digital learning experiences. We have developed a methodology around Learner Experience Design (LXD) in order to help ensure that digital learning products are effective in terms of pedagogy and content as well as technology and design. We help people do this through consultancy, product development and training as well as running events that we think showcase the best of innovation in the education space. All of us are former teachers and we have a lot of experience in language education, specifically English Language Teaching (ELT), where the company began, hence the name! We also write about what we do and what interests us on the ELTjam blog.

Why is ELTjam inspired to host a conference on edtech?

Three years ago we set up the InnovateELT conference in Barcelona and it’s been a huge success. We wanted to share innovative practice but also create a conference that was inclusive, engaging and participatory.  We feel now like it’s time to bring some of the Innovate Events magic to London – a city that, although well served for EdTech events, lacks a collaborative, inclusive event that celebrates innovation in teaching and learning, whilst also being affordable for practising teachers and educators, startups and freelancers. We also want there to be more of a focus on the learner in the discussions around EdTech, so this conference is a way of highlighting that need and sharing ideas on how best to use technology in education.

How will the conference aid teachers and non-teachers alike?

We have a great selection of speakers, and a programme that looks at the area of learner experience from different angles. There are some practical sessions with classroom tips, as well as workshops to help attendees learn and develop new skills, and also bigger picture thought-leadership talks helping us get our head around what the future holds. There really is something for everyone.

What are some of the day's events that you are most excited for?

I can’t wait to hear Rose Luckin speak about Artificial and Human Intelligence, that will be a great talk. We also have a panel hosted by Sophie Bailey titled "Multiple Perspectives on Learner Experience Design", giving us the teacher and supply-side perspective on the topic; an important discussion. I’m also looking forward to the Open Space hour where there will be lots of different things that people can drop in and out of. We also have fun activities for attendees to get involved with throughout the day to encourage us all to interact in structured or unstructured ways. And then of course there’s the local food we’ve got and the party after where we can all unwind a bit!

What do you hope conference attendees take away from the day?

A better understanding of the importance of a learner-centred approach, plus some practical things that they can do in their day-to-day to help focus attention on the learner. People will also leave with an idea of the very best in innovative practice around the use of technology in education and how it will impact them, their schools, their businesses and their learners. People should also leave having met and engaged with a range of other education professionals and EdTech organisations and had a lot of fun in the process.

What advice would you give to delegates to get the most from the day?

Arrive early, stay late and get involved. There will be loads of things to do and people to interact with, so come with an open mind and learn from all the other great people who will be there, as they will from you!