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Publishing Perspectives serves up an enticing selection of edifying edtech gifts for children young and old. If you’re getting fed up with the three-minute wonders that most Christmas presents are, then it might be time to turn to the world of ed-tech for inspiration. As Minecraft is kind of the new Lego then no Christmas ed-tech gift list can leave out this Scandi creation (since bought by Microsoft).
There is of course a free mobile app and in three steps your child could be a Minecraft sensation on YouTube – some of the mini-movies have more than 7 million hits. If you can dream it, you can create it with Ozobot – at least, that is the claim made by the manufacturers of these inch-long smart robots. Billing itself for the generation that “wants to create technology, not just consume it” (I’m not sure whose children they have talked to), the Kano computer kit by British startup Kano promises to enable your child to build their own computer, learn to code and enjoy over 1,000 activities – all with the help of the equally British creation Raspberry Pi.
If these don’t grab you, then there are many others doing similar things, like yet another British startup, SAM Labs, whose Science Museum Inventor Kit has children over the age of seven building gadgets and connecting them wirelessly to the Internet. Toca Boca is one of the most creative app developers for children around, with special emphasis on collaborative play, creativity and safety.
Toca Paper Creatures is a low tech play set that encourages imagination and creativity, designed in collaboration with Argentinian artist CHU. And when you and your children have played with these enough you can always download one of their impressive apps, such as Toca Nature and Toca Boo. If all this is starting to sound horribly expensive, then there is always the cheap, cheerful and very clever Google Cardboard, which allows you to experience virtual reality in a simple, fun, and affordable way by means of a smartphone. At the other end of the spectrum, you could pay for your children to go on a course provided by numerous organizations in the field of ed-tech.
Now, if you really want to position your little bundle of joy ahead of the pack then it may be time to buy a 3D printer.
And finally, if the tech is getting you down, then you can’t do better than Lego Technic, which was the inspiration for Disney backed award-winning Joel Gibbard, founder of Open Bionics, to create his revolutionary 3D-printed prosthetic arms.
They have created Schoolbag – a web-based student organiser through which students can record their homework, complete their homework online and submit it to their teachers for review.
The best thing about Schoolbag, according to Philip O’Callaghan, Managing Director of Learning Data, is that it “organises student learning, so if a student is out of school for whatever reason they can log into Schoolbag to access the latest notes and homework. Stuart Johnson, Technical Director of Learning Data, says that Schoolbag is transforming how students and teachers communicate. Student users are reporting that Schoolbag is helping them to learn as teacher notes can be accessed from home and it reduces the need to carry home a heavy bag. Schoolbag is currently being used in 20 schools in Ireland and Learning Data will be using the BETT Futures conference to launch the product to international schools.
I am very excited that Pearson English Business Solutions is being recognized for our focus on delivering outcomes that use our best of breed digital enabled learning experiences. Again, congratulations to our clients, and to the Pearson English Solutions team, for delivering on our promise of excellence in learning. Karine Allouche Salanon says online learning is a redundant term given we live in a “digitally-enabled” world now. KAS: What we do is to enable Fortune 2000 companies that are global to ensure their talent can operate, communicate and collaborate in English. KAS: Yes, we have about 90% of our business online because that was really the core of the company.

About two months ago, we inserted a virtual advisor to a bundle with all online services and we have enrolled 5,000 new learners in two months now with advisors. Karine Allouche Salanon, CEO of Pearson English Business Solutions, also underlined the need to prioritise the student experience. Allouche Salanon was drawing on her own experience from curating online career development training at Pearson. Since becoming CEO in 2013, she has taken the division from negative to double digit growth and the division saw its course completion rates soar from 11% to 76%, after it introduced a digital counsellor to help students on its online programmes. Read the entire post, How is English language learning within corporates being disrupted?, at Hot Topics.
Read the entire article,  Ed tech promises ‘gigantic wave of change‘  at Education Investor. I’m very excited that my first article as a TechCrunch contributor was posted yesterday. When thinking of business “turnaround,” names like McDonald’s and Samsung come to mind as they struggle to navigate the changing market and waning consumer interest. During this time I had to decide which role I would take as the leader of a troubled company.
The first challenge I faced was deciding whether to speak first with unhappy or happy customers.
I then focused my attention on the organization’s key influencers to ask them the same questions. Then I reviewed the wider market and major trends at play that would impact future business decisions, noting any recurring themes that required more attention. Each entry is carefully researched and covers details list investors, user numbers, founders etc. Edtech gifts can promote creativity, aid collaborative play and help your children learn some useful skills without realizing it – and just might turn them into the next Steve Jobs.’Tis the season for turning your tablet into a play facilitator, and one of the safest bets for 5–13-year-olds must be Osmo. Players in Minecraft build virtual worlds out of 3D building blocks and then go on adventures or fight equally virtual zombies.
Their starter pack goes some way to proving it as it comes with Ozobot, the all-important stickers and everything necessary for more than 20 different activities.
This is a collection of lights, switches and buzzers designed to be squashed into their special conductive dough to create some rather fun electronic circuits. I rather like the DIY Speaker Kit, which turns any object into your house into a speaker; and for older kids the DIY Gamer Kit with the strap line “Make it. Well, the next gift on the list challenges our idea of what technology is and what it should do. The box contains 49 unique and colourful cardboard pieces that can be combined into thousands of different creatures. Although the technology is still in its infancy, some interesting apps are already available: via the New York Times, for example, your children will be able to experience the first attempts at virtual reality journalism in the paper’s VR film The Displaced. In the UK, FireTechCamp run courses for children and teens ranging from Minecraft world-building through to video game design.
There are a number of 3D printers on the market, but XYZprinting’s compact da Vinci Junior 3D printer, which works with Windows and Apple machines, looks like a good one to go for.
Denis Canty, Tyco Innovation GarageAugust 18, 2016 Lightbulbs, Alarm clocks & Smart Phones. Futures is the designated space at this internationally attended conference, for thirty of the world’s most inspiring educational technology start-ups.

Teachers can also issue learning resources to the students, thus reducing the need for paper and accelerating the digital transformation within classrooms. Schoolbag is a software platform that significantly increases student productivity and also places the digital device (tablet, phone or desktop) at the centre of student learning. He says that he loves creating technological solutions which make life easier for the user and he is excited about the opportunities for Schoolbag. So we work with them in partnership across the talent management ecosystem, from recruitment onwards. PIE, which covers News and business analysis for Professionals in International Education, posted What works offline doesn’t work online: edtech stakeholders, late last week.
They are learning to get a job, they are learning to find their next opportunity,” she said. Yet, a business at any stage of growth may require a turnaround, or ‘pivot’ on its core strategy. I left a comfortable role at Microsoft and chose to take on the challenge of becoming the CEO of a newly acquired business within a larger corporation. I found that I had to be both a doctor and captain, and that there are five key steps that led to turnaround success for my team, our customers and myself. Instead of selecting this group from company performance rankings and HR records, I spoke to the individuals who I heard had the largest influence and credibility from across the group — making sure I had representation from across marketing, sales, operations, product, support etc. For example, I found that we excelled in the level of service provided to customers — something that we would need to maintain, and also use to our advantage, through PR, awards and case studies. This is a great-looking accessory for the iPad that turns your table top into a playing field through a mirror attached to the top of the tablet and a base for it to stand on.
However, rather than go for one of the many versions of the game itself – or indeed the Lego Minecraft range, which is getting a bit too intertextual for me – my eye is caught by the Minecraft Stop-Motion Movie Creator Animation Studio which threatens to turn your son or daughter into a Minecraft Spielberg and your home on Christmas Day into a production lot in Tinseltown. It is keenly priced, won’t take over your desk and is easy to use – promising to make the printing of more complex models much more straightforward. When there is a talent gap, we fix that gap with different learning modalities for the employees, through virtual classrooms, or executive coaching. The children use numbers, letters and wooden pieces that come as part of the kit to play Osmo’s creative and learning games. It allows your children to create their own Minecraft movies by giving them 15 props, four mini-figures (three of them are exclusive) and four backgrounds to shoot the production in front of it.
There is also an online community for children so they can find and share plans for themselves. The solution we recommend will depend on how fast, or what type of outcomes they’re expecting from the learning. To obtain the most pertinent information, I asked a few key questions: What are we doing well?
From this initial group I then asked them to name two further individuals they held in high regard.

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