Sep 30, 2014 Joanna Mehtälä
During the Slush Edutech session, everything from elementary school education to universities and professional learning is discussed by people working in edutech. The sector is full of opportunities; we want to attract attention to the field and inspire people regardless whether they are already working in the sector or not.
After Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka opens the session, Slush brings in teachers, edutech entrepreneurs and investors leading the industry. Let’s take a more detailed look into some of the speakers working in K12 education.
One of the most visible trends in the change of education is that we’re rapidly moving from books to digital content and from lecture halls to group work and interactive learning. In other words, from teacher-driven education to student-driven learning.
In the city of Kaarina in Finland, the Piikkiö school decided to put a ban on books and switch to tablets. The principal Marko Kuuskorpi is worried about how education is lagging behind other parts of society and not utilizing tools the use of which comes naturally to children. According to Kuuskorpi, adding touchpads to classes gets kids more motivated and is beneficial to their learning results. Based on this experience, he talks at Slush about what schools need from edutech startups.
Srini Swaminathan is a teacher who wants to bring tech to students in a low-resource setting. Swaminathan is from India, and grew up in a low-income family. A scholarship provided him with education, and after getting a degree in engineering, he nowadays teaches children dealing with poverty by using different kinds of learning apps. On the following video, Swaminathan shares his views on the role of technology in class.
The Tanzanian company Ubongo is using technology to make education entertaining. Ubongo offers educative cartoons that are televised to over a million households in East Africa, making it easier for kids to learn math. Children are motivated by learning through stories and songs, and they can interact via text messages to get feedback on their answers from the cartoon characters. We are looking forward to learning more about scaling an edutech startup in Africa from Doreen Kessy, the COO of Ubongo.
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