From education to employment

Winning students bag “life changing” grants to develop their #EdTech ideas.

The 15 winners of the student ideas competition by Jisc have been announced, and ideas are as varied as ever. They range from augmented reality and unique studying tools, to apps that help students find tutors, test each-other, locate spaces to study across campus, and even to inform students when it comes to selecting the right course for them, along with many more new ideas.

The successful entrants have scooped £2,000 of expert support, and are now in the running to win an additional £3,000 along with collaboration and support for developing their ideas. They’ll also from get a real taste of life in the cutting edge world of technology start-ups, helping to develop employability skills like planning and pitching. On 23 August the winning teams will pitch their designs, and Jisc will select up to 5 ideas to develop further.

Part of Jisc’sSummer of Student Innovation, the Student Ideas competition called for technology ideas that could improve the student experience in further or higher education and skills, and attracted dozens of entrants whose pitches accumulated 7613 votes in total on the Elevator website.

Paul Bailey, Senior co-design manager for Jisc said:

“The Summer of Student Innovation competition is now in its 4th year, but the fantastic ideas just keep on coming, proving that students are a great source of invaluable on-the-ground knowledge and innovation when it comes to ed-tech. As usual, we received many exciting and innovative ideas and choosing the winners was a difficult task. We chose these entrants because their ideas were innovative and exciting, whilst addressing new opportunities in educational technology. They also offer potential ideas we can develop into products, and have real potential to offer a genuine impact in learning, teaching or research”.

Previous winners include a platform for research participants, a student feedback tool, and apps to help apprentices and tools to support accessibility and inclusion. One winning team from 2015 who are currently benefiting from Jisc’s support are team ‘SALT’(The Student’s Academic Literacy Tool), for students in FE and HE institutions to improve their academic writing style. Their website to support academic writing has been developed into an app and will be ready to be piloted by universities soon. The team were also runners up in a The Guardian University Awards 2016.

Holly Shaverdi of SALT said: “I would even go as far as to say it (the Summer of Student Innovation) has been life changing where our project is concerned. Having the opportunity to network with professionals and gain support to develop your idea is such a great thing to be able to have access to (…) there is a lot of competition out there, so it is up to you to bring new ideas, and Jisc will help you with the rest!”

Keep an eye out for this year’s winners’ ideas in the future, and watch their pitches here.

The Summer of Student Innovation is managed by Jisc and is a co-design project with Research Libraries UK (RLUK), Russell Universities’ Group of IT Directors (RUGIT), the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL), Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association (UCISA) and the Association for Learning Technology (ALT).

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