Betwyll was shortlisted at Reimagine Education, the Oscars of Education, for Best Educational App. Here’s our CEO’s account from London.
“Oh, I love London Society! It is entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics. Just what Society should be.”Oscar Wilde, An Ideal Husband
Coming to London, in whatever moment of your life, gives you the impression of returning home, back to something familiar, which we somehow belong to. Coming there in winter affects your emotions and sensations even more. The crisp wind, reminding you are in the middle of the sea, the clouds high in an immense sky and the gloomy atmosphere lightened by the city lights are a warm blanket, full of smells, colours and sounds that are typically British but at the same time extremely familiar.
Reimagine Education, the community of “reimaginers” – brilliant lunatics who dream to transform education – is this: a place attended by startuppers, professors from the most prestigious universities worldwide, CEOs of big EdTech companies, teachers and entrepreneurs working on the future of teaching and learning. Reimagine is thus the future, where you feel at home, though, and part of a larger project for the development of education and, therefore, of society.
An occasion to put in touch those working in the education sector, mainly with a social goal, since – as stated in one of the panels – education is a long-term project, not a product. It has therefore to focus on people, considering the context they live in and the communities they interact with. Nowadays, digital technologies can be a tool to widen the opportunities to listen and to cross the silence threshold behind which too many institutions are hiding. A way, then, to be closer to the needs and urgencies of an ecosystem which may be far from big investors, but close to our needs as human beings. Betting on education might be typical of idiots or brilliant lunatics, but it is what will make the difference between being human or not.
Next year Reimagine will be held in San Francisco, another city for dreamers and pioneers and we at Betwyll won’t miss it.
The awarded sections
Besides the two overall Oscars for Education and EdTech, the competition assigned further awards for specific regional areas, disciplines and categories. In particular, disciplines included: Arts & Humanities, Engineering & IT, Life Sciences & Medicine, Natural Sciences e Social Sciences. Among the categories, instead: Artificial Intelligence; Distributed/Online Program for nurturing 21st-century skills; Innovation in Blockchain Technology; University-Employer Partnership; Cultivating Curiosity; E-learning; Educational App; Hybrid Learning; ICT Tools for teaching, learning, and services; K12; Learning Assessment; Nurturing Employability; Presence Learning & Teaching; Science of Learning; Sustainability; Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality. The shortlisted candidates for each category had 7 minutes to pitch their project and vision, before the final evaluation phase.
Our category: Best Educational App
For each section a Gold, a Silver and a Bronze Award were assigned. The winner of the Best Educational App category – in which we competed with other 11 projects from all over the world – was Digital Giza. This is an “educational telepresence” experiment by Harvard University, combining traditional archaeology with cutting-edge virtual reality technologies to let students from all over the world explore the pyramids. The silver and bronze awards were assigned to two Pakistani projects improving learning and literacy in schools with limited resources and in the rural and remote areas of the Country: Muse by SABAQ and Taleemabad Learning App by Orenda.
The Oscar for Education was assigned to Cybathlon, an international competition in which people with physical disabilities compete against each other to complete everyday tasks using state-of-the-art technical assistance systems. The Oscar for EdTech went to Lyfta, a platform promoting global citizenship through immersive environments telling the stories of inspiring people to encourage reflection on one’s role in the world.
We are also pleased to highlight the awards assigned to two xEdu alumni, both from Finland: Qridi, which won the Silver award in Europe with its learning analysis and formative assessment platform for students, teachers and administrators; and Four Ferries, one of the startups accelerated with us last spring, winning the Bronze medal for Natural Sciences with its step-by-step math checker.
Here’s the complete list of the winners for each section: congratulations to all of them!