2018 EdTech Insights Hub Headerv1.png ET Insights 18 - Pivotal.png

Pivotal Software | United Kingdom | https://pivotal.io/

Share a short description about your company:  

Transforming how the world builds software.

What are the key trends you believe have the power to transform the way we learn?

I think the rise of machine learning will have ripple effects in education just like it's having in every other sector. Teachers aren't going to be automated out of their jobs, but a lot of the work that makes their jobs unsustainable (like assessment) could be taken off their plates by AI. I personally am particularly interested to see how AI influences early literacy instruction and assessment.

That said, ed is a notoriously difficult world to disrupt. Too many promising technologies have failed to live up to their promise in the classroom; no one should feel confident that the rise of AI in education is a given. It's not inevitable, it will take hard work from innovative educators and empathetic tech experts. I'll be watching them with interest and wishing them luck.

The theme of EdTechXEurope 2018 is ‘Eternally Learning’. What does eternal learning mean to you?

It means continuos learning, learning in iterations with fast feedback, learning infused through every experience we have. 

What should the rest of the world learn about EdTech in your country?

I was an ed tech practitioner in the US, and I think the most interesting thing about ed tech there is how decentralized the market is.  That can be a good thing, because schools and teachers have a lot of room to experiment.  But it also makes it incredibly difficult to capture and understand the data coming out of classroom tools.  When every classroom has its own set of 12 tools, it's almost impossible for leaders to get a data-driven picture of what's going on.

Why is it important for all players in the EdTech ecosystem to continuously connect, network and learn from each other?

I once heard Margery Mayer from Scholastic describe education as a "wicked problem."  A wicked problem is one that's difficult to solve because it can't be clearly defined and the problem changes as you work on it.  There's no way any one company, or organization, or school system is going to solve the big problems in education, because they're too complex, and they evolve constantly as we work on them.  We need to work together and understand things from multiple perspectives in order to have any hope of making progress.

How does your current role allow you to make a difference to education and learning space?

I'm actually not in the ed tech sector right now.  I joined Pivotal to learn the secret sauce for creating teams that work well together and build great software.  I think the ed tech sector needs people with their feet in both worlds - people who really understand the challenges of technical work, and also have experience with the very specific challenges educators and school leaders face. My long-term goal is to back to the education sector and use what I've learned at Pivotal to help students and teachers.

Who would you like to meet at the event?

People working on early literacy.

When you think about joining London EdTech Week and EdTechXEurope Summit this year, what are you looking forward to?

Meeting founders with amazing ideas.

Join Anna and our 100+ thought leader speakers at EdTechXEurope 2018 on 19 June 2018 - reserve your place now >>