Birmingham EdTech MyEd wins funding to develop Open School in response to pandemic

Birmingham EdTech MyEd wins funding to develop Open School in response to pandemic

MyEd, an EdTech based in Birmingham, has secured a second round of funding from Innovate UK (IUK) to further develop its unique prototype online learning app, Open School. Due for launch in early summer 2021, the app is designed to be usable by children as young as 4 and will provide a full range of tools for teachers in one place.

During lockdown, schools had to quickly start using web-conferencing tools designed for adults, such as Microsoft Teams and Google Classroom. The primary sector – especially Key Stage 1 (Reception-Year 2; ages 4-7) has struggled to use these successfully, citing safeguarding concerns, embryonic literacy and the need for heavy involvement from parents/carers as major obstacles.

Existing learning platforms and content providers that have been designed for children don’t offer a full range of tools for teachers. Using multiple tools for teaching, homework, resources and communication is contributing to teacher stress and burn-out. A recent Times Education Supplement (TES) poll found that well over a third of teachers felt their stress during lockdown had been ‘unsustainable’.

Open School’s simple interface will enable very young children to access key areas of the app with minimal adult intervention. The app is also designed to make it easier for teachers to spend their time teaching. It offers a broad range of teaching, homework and communication tools, and uses Artificial Intelligence in a unique way to cut down the time teachers need to spend searching for appropriate learning resources. (Teacher interface pictured.)

Another benefit of the app will be the ability to easily configure it to be accessible via any connected device, including smartphones. Ofcom estimates that between 1.14m and 1.78m children in the UK have no access to a laptop, desktop or tablet at home, making smartphone access the only way some children can stay connected to education during a school closure or isolation period.

With up to 11% of UK school pupils now away from the classroom on a regular basis, a bespoke remote learning platform such as MyEd Open School is as important as the availability of an effective vaccine during this very difficult time in our history.

CEO of MyEd, Professor Upkar Pardesi OBE, commented “This grant from IUK will enable us to deliver a robust and fully-tested remote teaching tool offering educational continuity to all pupils learning from home, at no cost to parents. We are confident that Open School will be a game changer for the many pupils who were left behind during the last national lockdown, allowing them to stay connected to the classroom and successfully continue their education at home whenever the need arises.”

For further information, a high-res image, or to arrange an interview with a member of the MyEd team, please contact Joy Krishnamoorthy, Research and Communications Manager: