After strenuous paperwork, we just received good and welcome news from the EU: Our application for Horizon 2020 has been awarded the so-called Seal Of Excellence. The seal is a new arrangement for projects that satisfy all demands needed in order to be approved. As the European Union has allocated all its funds in the project, the recognition in practice serves as a recommendation for national funding. newSchool have received assurance of funding from Innovation Norway.
We had two busy days at EdSurge´s Austin Tech for Schools Summit. EdTech Leaders day (September 30th) was largely attended by superintendents, directors of curriculum & instruction, and instructional technology officers. All Educators day (October 1st) was largely attended by teachers, site administrators, and site support staff. We had conversations with more than 50 educators and decision makers after testing LeanLearn, and they all provided us with very valuable feedback, some of which lead us in new directions.
We received very positive product reviews although our product is still in beta version. These EdTech leaders gave us a clear message that we also need to open up for students being able to upload their own content. We also got many request for using this tool for Project Work. So after Austin we got a confirmation on the following:
- We need a better interface to edit content in LeanLearn (that is why its still in beta)
- We will create a new version of the tool that is targeting Group and project work TeamLearn
So thank you EdSurge and all teachers & leaders providing us with all this valuable feedback that speeds up our learning dramatically. We also look forward to launching several new pilots in the Austin area next year.
After months of development and piloting with our selected pilot schools in Norway and Portugal we are now proud to announce a free Beta version of our LeanLearn product at http://getleanlearn.com Please check it out and give us feedback at email@example.com
Fredrik travelled south on 10 February, eager to learn from a range of interesting sessions at the EdTech conference KnowHow 2016 in Stavanger. The conference centers around learning technology and is aimed specifically at local schools in the greater Stavanger region. There were plenty of interesting lectures, one of them with Maurice de Hond, founder of the Steve Jobs School in the Netherlands. The school's concept is spreading, and they are expecting to establish 40 such educational institutions around the world in a year.
Another highly interesting and amusing feature was the so-called couch talk where representatives from Google, Apple and Microsoft sat down for an informal and friendly chat about the future in EdTech.
You can find all the lectures from the conference here.
Mihaela is where it happens: newschool is now present at Oslo EdTech Cluster. The cluster works to develop, commercialize and export Norwegian learning technologies. They work with business development, growth and internationalization of Norwegian EdTech companies, and cooperate with market participants and research environments to develop world class Norwegian EdTech companies.Oslo EdTech aims to ensure interaction and added value between member companies, R&D groups and the market, focusing on strengthening the competitiveness of the cluster members and contributing to a stronger Norwegian EdTech industry.
Nils Jacob and Fredrik participated in the first Startup Extreme organised at Voss in Norway this past weekend.
They enjoyed highly rewarding days with fantastic experiences while getting to know great people in rather unusual circumstances. This was certainly not the last time newSchool will participate in this event!
See this post by Robin Wauters for for more pictures and a summary.
A team from newschool joined the Startup Weekend Education i Bergen in April 24th-26th. It was a great experience and a Great Team we got. Unfortunately we did not win, but the whole experience was fun and learning. We came up the the product "Classboard" - a visual dashbord for teachers to plan their teaching based on student self assessment on mobile
Although a bit outdated in its references (2008), this book its still a valid analysis of the challanges and possible approaches to fix our current education system. Clayton Christensen applies his theory of disruptive innovation (developed for other purposes) on education.
Unless top managers actively manages the process, their organizations will shape any disruptive innovation into a sustaining innovation - one that fits the processes, values and economic model of the existing business - because organizations cannot naturally disrupt themselves.
Dissruption in the education system is a shift to individual personalized learning, where each student can progress in their own pace, instead of the "batch" approach that we apply today. This can happen by using computers in a smart way,
Sometimes I had the feeling that Clayton Christensen is to focused on "fitting" his existing theories on the new field, rather than approaching the area of education with a fresh view. On the other hand, he probably invites "business people" to take part in the education system challenges by using a familiar vocabulary and set of references.