1 year ago Jay and I formed LearnMaker.
1 year ago we both left IT sales, we no longer wanted to be part of a system that said it provided the dream of 'revolutionising the classroom', but delivered very little.
1 year ago we were told by many people that we would fail, struggle to exist and have no impact on education. That our ideas weren't relevant, our systems wouldn't work. That the company wouldn't make a year.
We're not trumpet blowers...
Neither of us are every good at blowing our own trumpets, nor do we want to be. Our focus has (and always will be) helping educators make the most of their time in the classroom. But today, just once, I want to give ourselves a massive pat on the back.
Today I sit here having just signed the most pivotal document in my working life so far. My crowning moment so far as a teacher, as an entrepreneur, and as a person passionate about helping others...one year after co founding LearnMaker, I have some truly fantastic news...
As of this moment, LearnMaker Ltd is officially a contracted advisor to the Department for Education.
As of this moment, LearnMaker Ltd is officially a contracted advisor to the Department for Education. We are Educational Specialists. Having sent off CV's, provided evidence of our work, documented how we impact teaching and learning, detailed copious case studies, and provided numerous referee details, we are super excited to now be able to work on behalf of School Commissioners supporting Academies, Schools and Freeschools across the UK. By advising on best approaches to using technology, and supporting/developing leaders and teachers, LearnMaker Ltd will take a lead role in developing education in the UK.
This hasn't come about by luck.
This hasn't come about by luck. Our unique approach has meant that in the last year we have been recognised by Apple (being invited onto their Apple Leadership Tour Programme) as well as local councils, schools (both independent and state) and several leading universities. We have focused on strategy, long term impact, and theories of learning... we haven't focused on apps, wow meetings, or shout outs and hugs (although we do like hugs).
We have been invited to join with academic groups from across Europe, and work with them to develop ITT courses, events and resources. Working with leading professors and government bodies to look at how mobile technology can, and will improve teaching and learning processes around the world. Again, our focus is strategy, long term impact on teaching...not just at the chalkface, but where change has to occur - in the leadership and governance of education.
Over the last year we have been fortunate to meet many schools who have been willing to invest their time, money and trust with us. Without all the schools we now support (200+), our mentors, and friends, today's news would not be possible. Particular mention needs to go to:
Gavin Holden at Abbotbeyne school, for letting us develop an iPassport course with his staff, as well as trusting us to help guide his parent launch evenings.
Marie Corbett and Lindsay Scott who contacted us wanting an 'app project'. Within 2 weeks we had developed a project and delivered the whole Computing Curriculum in a 4 day project.
Jo Shaw and Parkroyal Community School who have been convinced by our approach and have allowed us to totally redesign their IT provision from the ground up.
Craig Smith for inviting me onto the Apple Leadership Tour, and allowing me to showcase the LearnMaker approach to iPad.
Today marks the start of a new chapter for LearnMaker, Jay and I. We now have the opportunity to really affect UK and European policies, and attitudes to mobile teaching and learning. We aren't going to go quietly, we certainly won't change our approach or direction. LearnMaker Ltd is on the cusp of something truly wonderful, and I personally can't wait!