With tech taking over almost every aspect of our lives, now it is education that is seeing the benefits of tech in teaching. Edtech in the UK is already starting to filter through to the classroom — especially in independent schools. Although the tech we currently have might seem up-to-date, the edtech that is being developed right now by startups has the potential to revolutionise the way we teach.
From AI-powered personal learning, to augmented reality language apps, to online platforms that facilitate peer feedback sessions, the future is just around the corner. And with students being fully integrated into the digital world already, these technologies could help modernise traditional learning practices.
The role of a teacher will always be vital in the classroom. But the potential, with this educational technology on board, is there to create a learning environment that is less stressful and more insightful for teachers, and better tailored and engaging for students.
There are many startups working in the edtech space right now. But here are five of the best that we believe have real potential for both teachers and students.
Century Intelligent Learning - @ThisIsCentury
If there is one aspect of a teachers job that consumes the most time, it’s lesson planning. Not only does it involve analysis of students’ current and potential ability, it requires creativity to get them to engage with the curriculum. However, tailoring questions and topics that meet every students’ personal development is an almost impossible job. That is where startups like Century are working to make this a simpler, better focused process.
Century is a cloud-based software that can be accessed in every environment, at any time. It sets homework based around topics you set, marks it, and then provides the data you need to see which topics students are struggling with. The data allows you to tailor your lesson planning, as well as making it highly focused on individual learning. Easier for you, better for the student. Century is an educational technology startup we think could have a huge impact in and outside the classroom.
If you want to find out more about Century, visit their website here.
Lexplore - @LexploreUK
One of the biggest issues in the UK education system is low levels of literacy. Not only does it cost the UK £81 billion each year, it negatively aﬀects children’s enjoyment of schooling. Reading has also been shown to reduce the risk of depression, as well as encouraging empathy. Despite this, statistics show that one in five children in the UK cannot read well by the age of 11. At the same time, 16 to 24 year olds have lower levels of literacy than 21 out of 24 countries in the OECD. It is a major crisis. How can edtech companies help?
Enter Lexplore. Lexplore is a Swedish edtech startup that is being used in schools across the globe. It is a cloud-based platform that uses AI analysis and recommendations, as well as eye tracking technology, to help determine the reading ability of students in order to develop them. This approach is grounded in decades of research indicating the positive cognitive relationship between eye movements when we read and our brains. The company also claims that: “a minimum amount of work on the part of the school is required, and lessons can continue as normal.” So, if the claim is to be believed — no arduous integration problems either.
With a simple testing process, Lexplore gives teachers a dashboard that explains gaps in reading ability, as well as potentially recognising signs of dyslexia. Not only does Lexplore have the capacity to improve the long-term literacy of our students, it could also impact the UK economy.
If you want to find out more about Lexplore, visit their website here.
Peergrade - @Peergrade
With schools from New Zealand to Denmark already embracing Peergrade, it is a big player in the world of edtech already. As the name might suggest, Peergrade is there to let students engage in the peer feedback process. Through this, students are provided more feedback beyond just the teacher’s and opens up the possibility of extended learning.
For teachers, Peergrade also provides you with highly valuable data. From student reports, in which you can assess the quality and depth of feedback, to rubric quality, to evaluation insights, Peergrade allows you to see everything in one easy-to-use dashboard — saving you time and eﬀort. Fundamentally, Peergrade gives you a fully customisable, integrated platform for peer feedback.
With schools, colleges and universities already benefiting from the tech, it shouldn’t be too long before it is adopted by more schools in the UK.
If you want to find out more about Peergrade, visit their website here.
Firefly - @FireFlyTeam
Firefly is perhaps the most recognisable edtech on this list. In 2016 the company secured the largest Series A funding for any edtech company in the UK. Whilst two-thirds of students that attend UK independent schools already use the product. Clearly, it already has significant adoption. The question is: what makes it so good?
Firefly combines everything a teacher needs in a single portal. From lesson plans, to resources, timetables, to homework setting, it is a tool that can assist in every aspect of the teaching process. It’s hardly a surprise that it has been widely successful and popular with schools and teachers then. In the schools that have adopted the tech, 95% of teachers actively use it, whilst 96% of schools remain loyal customers.
Whilst Firefly is being used mainly in independent schools in the UK so far, it is likely to find its way into more classrooms going forward. It may be big already — and for good reason — but we think it’s going to get even bigger once the word spreads further.
If you want to find out more about Firefly, visit their website here.
Mondly - @MondlyLanguages
The number of UK students taking language degrees is at a record low. UK pupils are the worst in Europe at learning foreign languages. We evidently have a huge issue in the UK engaging pupils in language study. We don’t believe it ’s down to teaching alone. Embracing language-focused edtech could help make teaching languages more eﬀective, as well as making it more entertaining for pupils. Mondly is potentially at the forefront of this change.
Though it is not designed just for students, Mondly’s augmented reality, virtual reality and chatbot tech massively increases engagement. Being able to interact with a native speaker improves language acquisition. Though the Mondly virtual assistants are virtual, it provides the same feedback loop that you would have in day-to-day conversation. Plus, VR and AR, being the latest tech, will resonate with younger students who are, after all, digital natives.
Potentially, Mondly can be used for both classroom work and homework assignments. Ultimately, it’s going to make language teaching more fun. And that could help solve the dire problem we have in the UK with poor foreign language engagement.
If you want to find out more about Mondly, visit their website here.
To sum up…
The future of edtech is really exciting. With the potential to change the way we teach, increase student engagement, and lessen the burden on time consuming administrative tasks for teachers, there are clear benefits that can be had immediately. It may take some time for edtech to fully integrate itself into the classroom, but once complete, teaching will get a whole lot cooler.
If you are interested in finding an exciting, fresh new teaching job, take a look at our current jobs in your region today.