“More” is what we need

Innovation in education. Photo credit: leighstjohn.com

Innovation in education. Photo credit: leighstjohn.com

Who are the innovators in education?

We – at P.A.U. Education – are about to launch the first European Incubator for Innovation in Education. Our Open Education Challenge is an invitation to all education practitioners and all innovators passionate about education to push forward their ideas and their dreams, create a startup and contribute to changing education. The launch is around the corner and we are still wondering:

  • How can private entrepreneurial initiatives truly transform the way we learn, and how can they adapt to our education systems in an ethical way?
  • How can startups respond to education challenges in terms of efficiency, social equity and cultural diversity?

Education is a magical and highly respected word; so respected that it can prevent innovators from entering the field, as they fear seeing their ideas blocked by the “system”, i.e. a set of rules and standards that rigidly control education systems.

In recent years, we have seen acclaimed professors jumping from their “academic pedestals” into the startup world. Udacity – one of the reference points for MOOCs – was cofounded by a research professor at Stanford University. So was Coursera. These “education entrepreneurs” are part of a larger movement, opening up education to new influences, new ideas and new interests.

“More” is their keyword, and more quality, more innovation, more accessibility is certainly what education needs.

The way the entrepreneurs describe their project visions and missions says a lot about their conviction, their confidence and their ambition.

Nothing seems out of their reach. They want to:

  • Enable teachers to manage behaviour and increase engagement in the classroom.
  • Allow teachers, consumers, librarians and curriculum buyers to find resources at the right age level, reading level, theme, context, vocabulary level, and more.
  • Help middle and high school teachers easily connect their classrooms to engaging cross-cultural learning experiences.
  • Create free learning environments that grow with the users.
  • Help companies train their employees more effectively.
  • Create strong internal motivation in children to study.
  • Break educational data free from silos in order to help educators explore patterns and communicate insights faster and easier than ever before.
  • Enable, help, manage, find, create, break… these verbs are progressively changing the face of education.

Their projects are “more”: “larger”, “more specific”, “faster”, “more social”…

“More” is what we need for education!

One Response to “ ““More” is what we need”

  1. I do agree with the idea of ‘MORE’ is what we need. More freedom I guess in how to design education, in how to think of it. Freedom to dream big and see ways as the “Open Education Challenge” to bring those dreams to reality enhancing education, specially changing the role students play in the learning experience. Students have to be part of this process!!
    But we have to be careful in not transforming education in a ‘to commercial’ thing. We do need fresh ideas and entrepreneurial energy, but education has to remain something that is granted for everyone. It must be a right and not a commodity. So I think that in any initiatives that are taken, priority must be given to people committed to education. People who really know about education, teachers and researchers who have worked with mysticism and have a special devotion to education. Professional who believe in education as an inner value. I am afraid people will just see the business behind it and so the ethics that underpins the process will be lost some how.
    Bravo for the Open Education Challenge!! BRAVO!! I love it!

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