Day 2 #Bett2016: New businesses like @GetKahoot collaborate. What are schools waiting for?

‘Collaboration’ has been a buzz word in education for a few years now. Schools say that they want their pupils to collaborate. Are some being a bit hypocritical?

@GetKahoot epitomises what tech ed is really about. Technology in learning is most effective when it extends the reach and access of learning. It is not about regurgitating content to present it in a multimedia fashion. It is about heightening pupil engagement in and enjoyment of learning.

Kakoot were present at two stands at @Bett_Show this year. One with @ClassDojo (please read this post to find outhow effective this can be in schools) and another impressive stand branded The Norwegian Classroom.

There I met Johan Brand, the co-founder and CEO of Kahoot. His personal experience of education has directly affected the creation of this app. His principles and passions are, therefore, genuine and credible; not merely a sales hook.

The word ‘collaborator’ was the main during our chat today, with Norwegian ministers addressing the mass congregation in the background. In fact, his collaborators from the United States were standing united with him. He mentioned that Kahoot was now at a stage where they were able to work constructively with companies who they wanted to work with. What decides the companies Kahoot works with? The vision.

The good, new Edtech companies are convincing me that their existence is not purely to make money but to ignite some sort of change…whilst making money!

Brand, I believe, is choosing collaborators that match his vision. After all, as Mark Willems (@Mark1vd) a highly interesting Belgian National Educational Think-Tanker told me on the tube back home that day, your vision is what you pin yourself to. Every school should have a vision they pin itself too and every member of the community needs to be aware of it.

When that vision is established, collaboration opportunities come closer. Schools can link up with schools that share similar or complimentary visions. Most schools today guard and lock-in their strengths; mimicking business ethic of many years ago, where the notion was your qualities are your differentiator. This makes establishments, including schools, insular. This affects change. Change is then only affective in a small community. Why not make your vision your differentiator?

I hope I work in a profession where the majority of members are in it because they want to make things better. If I do, then will it be whole heartedly agreed that the merging of schools and collaboration between them is only a positive thing?

Over a hundred years ago, Henry Ford stated,

Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” 

So, if business cottoned onto this a century ago, and companies like Kahoot recognise it and are establishing this in today’s world, what are schools waiting for? Establish a vision, stand by it and then let’s work together and successfully generate real change that could potentially benefit more pupils within a larger, maybe even global community!

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