Header photo by Dave Eisenmann
Right after the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos, Jacksón went to London for the inaugural LearnIt. Founded with the purpose of uniting all stakeholders in global education, LearnIt’s goal is to “to give everyone, regardless of age, ethnicity or wealth, the opportunity to reach their greatest potential in a rapidly evolving world”. The conference is right in line with the Learning Economy’s philosophy. Here are some of our takeaways from the event:
Education is an economy of value.
Blockchain is a fascinating technology for understanding who is adding value along the supply chain of education.
Teachers, students, administrators, curriculum writers all add and transfer value through the greater educational economy.
AR & VR will change how we look at classrooms.
An impressive array of EdTech companies are trying to use VR and AR for meaningfully instilling an intuitive understanding of classroom materials—and more, including implicit bias training (an insight from Lisa Short of ChangerInc.) and soft skills development that traditional educational materials just can’t do.
Internet access alone doesn’t provide an education.
There was a great discussion on what a right to access the internet means, in the context of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Is the right to internet access more substantive than just an ethernet connection? This discussion featured Alison Tarrant, CEO at the School Library Association and Leila Khouja Walker, UK Director at Wizenoze, who considered we may have an obligation to create tools for learners to navigate the internet.
The future of EdTech might not be what you expect.
Tim Praill of Navitas Ventures, Litzie Maarek, Partner at Educapital, Alex Spiro, Managing Partner at Brighteye Ventures, and Jan Lynn-Matern of Emerge Education discussed that the future of EdTech is on the ‘fringe’ of education. Things outside the classroom, such as empowering parents to be engaged with their children’s learning, could be the next step in ensuring educational quality.
This wasn’t your ordinary EdTech conference.
LearnIt founder and CEO Katy Fryatt organized the whole event—and did an incredible job. LearnIt brought together EdTech companies, investors, education ministers, and educators to have meaningful discussion and build fruitful partnerships. All in all, it was a radically different experience than a product-centered EdTech convention.
In Jacksòn’s own words:
“The conference flew in three high school teams participating in the Conrad Challenge, an annual student innovation competition. Each team presented their EdTech business on the main stage and received feedback from the audience as a stepping stone before the finals competition coming up. I was particularly excited to meet Arjun Dhumne, Vikram Bala, Trisha Pal, and Sahiti Rachakonda of BEHAVR. They combined virtual reality and EEG’s to provide the perfect learning environment for a student. An added bonus; they were all from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, my backyard in Virginia! I’m looking forward to seeing student involvement like this at future conferences.”