Wakefield-based YPO is helping schools across the country discover and evaluate new education technologies, with the launch of an innovative new solution.
“Edtech Impact” developed by Innovate My School, is an online platform that will guide teachers and school leaders through the vast choice of edtech products, by evaluating their specific needs and accessing the impact of the solutions available.
YPO, the UK’s largest public sector buying organisation, has provided investment to develop the new platform which will lead the way in edtech innovation. The organisation has been supplying schools and the public sector for 44 years and sees this as an opportunity to “add even more value to schools”.
YPO’s managing director Simon Hill said: “The edtech landscape is constantly evolving. Each school, even each class within the same school, can need something completely different from a piece of software to help them deliver a lesson, set homework or assess performance. It’s no wonder it can be a tricky task trying to navigate your way through all the different choices on offer.
“We’ve been helping schools achieve great value and make efficiency savings since 1974, so we’re proud to work with Innovate My School to offer a solution to tackle today’s and future edtech challenges.
“This unique investment from our 13 owning councils is proof of how local authorities are adopting new and innovative ways of thinking in running a commercial organisation like YPO.”
In August, the Department of Education challenged the tech industry to launch an education revolution for schools, colleges and universities. Only a minority of schools are currently optimising opportunities to utilise state-of-the-art technology to bring education to life, and also reduce the time teachers spend on administrative tasks.
Edtech Impact has been developed in direct response to this, in a bid to transform the world of education technology and how impact is measured.
Schools and multi-academy trusts are echoing Mr Hinds comments.
United Learning Trust’s director of technology Dominic Norrish said: “Schools are spoilt for choice in edtech, but don’t have access to reliable information about what would most likely work in their context. A tool which aggregated robust evidence from schools across the country could save the sector money and deliver replicable impact.”
The platform has been built with the team behind UCL’s EDUCATE programme, which supports edtech providers in measuring the efficacy of their products.
Innovate My School’s founder and chief executive Michael Forshaw said: “The traditional routes to market for selling edtech software are becoming increasingly saturated. Providers, especially edtech start-ups, need a more effective way of gaining new customers. Schools need a transparent view of the edtech marketplace to make a more informed purchasing decision. This is the first platform that helps schools to evaluate for themselves, which edtech product is right for them.”
“Pobble” is an edtech company, used by teachers to access writing resources and deliver inspirational workshops for children, staff and parents.
Pobble’s chief executive Jon Smith said: “EdTech Impact will allow us to gather robust evidence of this impact directly from users, enabling us to enhance our product further and demonstrate its effectiveness and value for money to others. It’s a definite win-win for schools and suppliers.”