Collaboration is a powerful practice that helps us grow, be that personally, professionally or emotionally. Within education and edtech the sharing of ideas and working together to achieve goals is paramount not only to our success but also our students’. As a part of this we spoke to our Top 3 Collaborators in Edtech and asked them what it means to them to collaborate together:
Sue Williamson, SSAT CEO
Sue Williamson is CEO of SSAT, an organisation that is dedicated to raising standards through creating a community of schools, teachers and students sharing ideas and collaborating on a large scale. We wanted to ask Sue what ‘collaborating together’ means to her:
‘Throughout my career in education, I have valued collaboration: working with other history teachers to develop resources to challenge students of all abilities; as a new headteacher sharing ideas and practice for school improvement with other headteachers; and now as Chief Executive of SSAT seeing the benefits of school to school working. At SSAT we want to provide the best possible service to schools, but we cannot do it all ourselves. It is essential that we collaborate with other organisations that have particular expertise. Effective collaboration enables each organization to improve the quality of their work.
In a school-led system, I believe it is essential for schools – whatever their designation – to collaborate in order to ensure high quality education for all students. Collaboration provides challenge and engagement - practitioners no longer feel isolated. If this can be achieved, we will truly have a world–class education system.’
Ty Goddard, CEO Edtech UK
Ty Goddard is the CEO of education think tank Edtech UK, a strategic body set up by the Education Foundation to help the growth and acceleration of the edtech sector within the UK. We asked Ty what collaboration means to him and Edtech UK and the impact it has:
‘Collaboration is crucial to us developing as an industry and driving edtech forward. In order to ensure that we are all working towards the future, we need to be sharing ideas and moving away from purely sectional interest to working in new ways, but most importantly, together.
Bringing all stakeholders together means we can create a culture of collaboration and work at making UK schools, colleges and universities the most connected institutions in Europe.
The Education Foundation’s journey has been one of learning, exploring and experimenting. We have built on The Education Foundation’s Edtech Incubator - the UK and Europe’s first accelerator programme. Our trade missions are dynamic, open and have UK skills, jobs and growth at their heart. Our community building events across the country are vital to growing confidence and belief. Our edtech surgery drop in’s share expertise and advice.
This EdtechUK ‘Vision 2020’ discussion document is a contribution to policy development and growth of this ‘jewel’ of a sector. This ‘white paper’ attempts to focus thinking and action on the next steps for the education and learning sector. There is still much to learn and indeed recognise.'
Ross McGill, Teacher Toolkit
Ross McGill is TeacherToolkit, the 'most followed teacher on Twitter in the UK' and award-winning Deputy Headteacher. We asked Ross what collaboration means to him:
Teacher Toolkit’s Ross McGill has been able to grow his company on the basis of collaboration. What started out as a simple Twitter account, intended ‘to share ideas and school resources is now an amalgamation of “Teacher” knowledge and a “Toolkit” of advice’. Teacher Toolkit today is its own brand and company with over 180,000 followers on various social media platforms, as well as a blog that has reached 5.5 million views across the world in 219 countries. The role of collaboration has in part played an instrumental role in this growth: "Collaboration has opened countless doors and understanding the importance of reciprocation across the community, is key to surviving and thriving in the classroom. There is value in giving to others. People respond well to other people, when the 'rule of reciprocation' is followed, and when seeking to grow your own brand identity, consistency, clarity and reciprocation are critical to one's success.'