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Newsֱputs people at the core in approach to EdTech

ֱputs people at the core in approach to EdTech

ֱunveils ֱLabschools: Our new epicentres of Edtech and AI Innovation

29 November, 2023

As tech leaders converge at the AI World Congress this week, we’re thrilled to launch our ground-breaking EdTech initiative that focuses on our people – ֱLabSchools.

Centred around empowering our teachers and students, ISP’s approach to EdTech, and our LabSchools initiative, will help us create a learning environment where education, technology and AI are not just tools, but partners for our teachers and learners.

Emily Porter, Group Chief Education and Innovation Officer, outlined the importance of our holistic approach to EdTech: “We are on a journey, and we want our whole community to feel reassured and confident about how EdTech is used in our schools to enhance both the learning experience and teaching approaches. Emerging technologies such as Generative AI are topics that are sparking big debate in the education industry and beyond. EdTech solutions can have huge benefits for our community, if we know how to use them safely and responsibly, and how to leverage their impact. Our priority is to start with our people. We are implementing a comprehensive strategy focused on our group culture of continuous learning and improvement.”

We spoke with Stuart Briner, our Group Head of EdTech, to find out more.

THIS IS ABOUT MORE THAN TECHNOLOGY. IT’S ABOUT PEOPLE.

When we talk about transforming education with technology at ISP, we’re really talking about empowering people. We’re not just talking about classrooms, devices or whether one new EdTech app is a useful tool. We’re aiming for something much more meaningful. It’s about making sure that everyone — teachers, students, and administrators — can use these tools to create a better learning experience.

Our mission is to craft an educational environment where technology complements and enhances the human element of teaching, fostering a collaborative relationship between educators, students, and technological advancements. The establishment of our ֱLabSchools marks a significant step in this direction, fostering a culture of flexibility, rapid learning, and adaptation to innovative educational solutions.

ֱLABSCHOOLS AS EPICENTRES OF EDTECH AND AI INNOVATION

With our ֱLabSchools initiative, we have selected 11 schools across our global network with a student body of around 10,000. We are transforming these schools into dynamic environments for experimentation and learning.

Our LabSchools, spanning the USA, Europe, Iberia, Mexico, Central America, South America, the Middle East, India, and Malaysia, serve as testing grounds for new EdTech solutions. Each school is focused on a specific ֱlearning pillar, ranging from academic achievement to language acquisition and life skills, offering unique insights and perspectives on the integration of technology in education.

Our ֱLabSchools are centres of innovation, offering unique insights that enrich our collective understanding. They will allow us to dive deep into what works and what doesn’t in educational technology, providing us with diverse perspectives to test EdTech and AI across different educational scenarios.
Our approach is methodical, data-inspired, and purposeful. Solutions that meet our learning needs are prototyped in actual classrooms. This allows us to refine and adapt these solutions in real educational settings, before scaling up and embedding them across the group. Crucially, we ensure that our educators are well-trained and comfortable with these new tools.

Educational technology and artificial intelligence are beginning to transform the learning experience for ֱstudents. Schools integrating EdTech solutions are seeing improvements across key areas – attainment, progress, curriculum coverage, personalised learning, engagement, and retention.

THE ROAD AHEAD: BUILDING A COMMUNITY

The crucial phase is the next step – ensuring these solutions aren’t just successful in a pilot but can be adopted across many schools. We’re committed to supporting this by providing professional development that mirrors the experiences and learning from our LabSchools.

We’re not just rolling out new hardware and software, we’re building a community of educators who are skilled and confident in using AI and EdTech. By the end of this journey, we’ll have a set of core applications that are proven to support all aspects of learning, from academic achievement to wellbeing.

It’s about creating a future in which technology in education is as natural and effective as writing on a blackboard used to be.

We are providing AI education for all our educational staff. We’re focusing on building our teachers’ confidence and curiosity, supporting them to embed AI as a valuable tool alongside their existing expertise.

At the same time, we will be supporting students and families to feel comfortable and confident in how technology is enhancing the learning experience at their ֱschool.

Finally, we have also established an ֱEdTech Guild formed of representatives from across ISP’s network, a community of practice that includes leaders from both our LabSchools and other schools in our network, alongside EdTech and AI promoters, early adopters, and experts. This Guild will serve as a think tank, a support network, and a place for sharing and promoting impactful practices.

ֱLABSCHOOLS – FUTURE-PROOFING OUR LEARNING

This isn’t a one-off project; it’s a digital transformation within our existing culture of continuous learning and improvement. By providing support, structure, and the right tools, we’re on a collective journey to empower our educators to actively direct the future of learning and teaching.

By collectively embedding technology into our teaching approaches, we are both mastering the art of leveraging tech, while defining the role of future-proofed teachers. This innovative approach ensures we continue to put students first – nurturing their curiosity, boosting their confidence, and fostering the joy of learning now and in the future.