Patrick McGrath

Becoming Learner Centric @ Academies Future Summit 2018


The most frequently used word at the Academies show?  -  ‘challenge’. If you think about it though, it's not all that surprising. Within the Academy structure, there are many challenges ranging from procurement through leadership to data tracking, safeguarding and technology. It’s a complex maze of decisions and strategy...


Student studying on computer

Thankfully though, the Academies Future Summit demonstrated that there are solutions. There was a solid procurement approach from the DfE ensuring schools can make the most of their funding. Others looked at centralised systems to create efficiencies, while the use of ‘Big Data’ presented some innovative ways to track and monitor pupil progress.  

Personally, one of the most encouraging themes of the day was the focus on ‘skills’. At times, we can place too much emphasis on the ‘digital’ part of skills, but it was clear at the event that our notion of ‘21st century’ skills is changing. A range of speakers were keen to point out that these skills are now essential, must be nurtured and developed, and stressed the importance of using technology as a now fundamental part of learning.

In our session, ‘Becoming Learner Centric’ we opened with a simple question by asking our attendees to identify their biggest individual challenge in embedding technology within their school. The answers? Budget, skills, seamless integration and staff. 

At Texthelp we hear these same, recurring themes from educators across the world, and our approach is a simple one - empower students with technology. Technology that they can relate to, and, crucially, technology that allows them to ‘make learning personal’ - to take charge of learning and tailor how, when and where they use it to support their individual needs. As educators, we can then start to build reflective learners, deliver greater learning opportunities, and provide engagement in an approach that’s intuitive and a natural extension of how technology is integrated into pupils' everyday lives.

For us the event was about making learning personal and encouraging school leaders to build a toolkit of technology that addresses the needs of every pupil - leveraging their skills to build their own personal learning journey. 

Take our Read&Write toolbar - working across all platforms it’s a simple yet empowering set of tools. There when pupils need it to support literacy, reading, writing, comprehension and studying. Powerful enough to be used by every student at any level and flexible to allow students to draw on right when they need. Combine this with EquatIO and you start to build a solid foundation to support literacy and maths, school wide.

Sometimes, it’s all about the coffee. That rare opportunity for great networking when teachers and educators get together and have meaningful conversations, and when companies like Texthelp get to show the genuine impact we can make - we had some great conversations which we are excited to build upon in the months ahead. 

Overall for us, the takeaways were simple - build the toolkit, create the opportunity and allow everyone to make learning personal. Why not reach out to us here at Texthelp and we’ll show you how?

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