From education to employment

EDUCATE showcases #EdTech start-ups to Universities’ Minister Chris Skidmore

Universities and science minister, Chris Skidmore, is to meet researchers and entrepreneurs from the EDUCATE programme today (February 8) at its headquarters at the UCL Knowledge Lab, in London.

Mr Skidmore will see the work of more than 20 London EdTech companies who are working with UCL researchers on a range of projects, from using AI to speed up language learning to building social confidence in school students. He will also meet members of the EDUCATE team.

The visit follows a recent announcement by Education Secretary Damian Hinds of the Government’s forthcoming EdTech strategy and £10 million fund to support innovative uses of technology in schools and colleges across England.

Professor Rose Luckin, EDUCATE director, said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to host Chris Skidmore at the UCL Knowledge Lab and to welcome him to the EDUCATE programme.

“EDUCATE has enabled EdTech entrepreneurs and start-ups to connect with our academics, who bring access to high-quality evidence, and educators, who support the design and piloting of EdTech products and services with their pedagogical expertise.”

“His visit could not be more timely and follows the Secretary of State for Education’s recent EdTech investment plans and desire to harness the power of technology in schools. This is not only great news for technologists but also represents a call to action for schools to engage more fully in its development.”

Professor Michael Arthur, UCL President & Provost, will welcome Mr Skidmore to UCL along with Professor Luckin and Dr Celia Caulcott, UCL’s Vice Provost for Enterprise. He said: “UCL, along with other UK universities, is at the forefront of some of the greatest discoveries and innovations shaping our world today. We create and share knowledge that transforms lives and society. We are delighted to be able to showcase some of this work to the minister today.”

Professor Becky Francis, Director of the UCL Institute of Education (IOE), added: “EDUCATE is a much-needed innovation and exemplifies the IOE’s concern to build policy and practice that is informed by research evidence. By bringing together the energy of EdTech start-ups with the wealth of expertise found among the EDUCATE team and IOE more generally, the EDUCATE project is helping EdTech entrepreneurs make a much more effective contribution to advancing learning.”

About EDUCATE: An ERDF-funded programme launched in January 2017 to support EdTech development, and innovation and entrepreneurship in education through evidence-informed product or service development. Based at UCL Institute of Education, EDUCATE makes research and expertise accessible to enterprises and individuals who want to explore their ideas on how teachers and learners can benefit from the latest scientific advances. It shows them how to use research to inform their ideas, and to demonstrate impact to teachers and learners. Working with our partners we promote and support innovators with research, business and product development training. By the end of 2020, EDUCATE aims to have worked with 250 start-ups and SMEs, as well as entrepreneurs who work in teaching and research, to create and perfect their concepts. Over time, we plan to expand our work to four new regional centres in locations around the UK. EDUCATE believes that enriching learning through technological innovation is vital if the UK is to maintain its place as a global leader in education.

About UCL and UCL Institute of Education: Set up in 1826 in the heart of London, UCL was the first English university after Oxford and Cambridge and pioneered the promotion of inclusivity in higher education. It was the first to welcome students of any religion and the first to admit women on equal terms to men. Today, it is among the world’s top universities in international performance rankings. The UCL Institute of Education (IOE) was founded in 1902 and is a world-leading centre for research and teaching in education and social science. It was ranked first globally in education for the last five years and has been judged by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’ on every criterion for initial teacher training programmes.

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