Five podcasts celebrating the women transforming EdTech

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Photo by Matt Botsford

March 8 is International Women’s Day and this year’s theme is #PressForProgress. To celebrate, we’re taking a look at some of the women who are using technology to transform teaching and learning, and to improve outcomes for students around the world.

Throughout these podcasts you’ll hear from inspirational women and take a look at the many issues they and other women working in technology face, and the stories of how they persisted to create change.

Nevertheless is a podcast that celebrates women both inside and outside of Pearson who are using technology to transform teaching and learning and improve outcomes for students.

Episode one: Garbage In. Garbage Out.

This episode looks at how diversity in teams shapes the ethics of products and the challenges organisations face in erasing bias. There are many examples of how software products have gender and racial bias built in. In this podcast episode scientists, engineers and start-ups discuss what they're doing to produce ethical tech products.

“Diversity can’t just be this extra-curricular thing in people’s heads. We see it as necessary as part of the product development cycles and teams.” 

- Chuin Phang - Diversity and Inclusion, Pearson

Episode two: The Future of Learning

How do you bring young people into the design process to shape future classroom tools? Bethany Koby, an edtech innovator, discusses how her team are bringing young people into the product development stages to test how they engage with certain skills.

“Technology will enable different ways of learning better ways of learning; more distributed ways of learning, faster ways of learning. However products in themselves will not deliver better education. It is an experience that has to be about relevant engaging content that kids care about.” 

- Bethany Koby Technology Will Save Us

Episode three: Building a tech company that enables career progression for all genders

Can the workplace of the future be a flexible, exciting, enticing place for women, women of colour, for LGBT people, for older people, and for all?In this podcast episode Rose Luckin, professor of Learner-Centred Design at University College London talks about the workplace of the future and how employers need to take more of a holistic approach to understanding the needs of its employees.

“It’s not going to be that robots take over my job. It’s going to be that automation is going to change my job. Or I’m going to be working with something automated.” 

- Rose Luckin from University College London

Episode four: The Right to Learn

What is the most effective way to bring education — a key human right — to the displaced and those in conflict zones around the world? This episodes speaks to the women taking this question on in innovative ways around the world - from software companies battling it out for $15 million global learning funding, to the low-tech approach to teaching training in Lebanon by a non-profit backed by Syrian expats.

“There’s always a lot of creativity in how education is delivered. A school could be under a tree, could be inside someone’s home. It could be in a mosque or a church, it could be anywhere young people can gather safely with adults who can instruct them.” 

-  Rebecca Winthrop Brookings

Episode five: When good intentions aren’t enough

Often, it’s not just about diversity of teams that leads to products people don’t want being made. It’s a result of designing products without ever consulting the people they are intended for or even inviting any of them into the design process.Sanskriti Dawle, one of the minds behind Annie – a product that makes self-teaching of Braille possible, discusses how designing a machine for a specific community, without input from that community, is a bad idea.

“A team of sighted individuals developing a product for the blind is like a team of men developing a feminine hygiene product.”

- Sanskriti Dawle, Project Mudra

We’d love to hear from university learning technologists on the challenges you’re overcoming and the innovation you’re bringing into higher education.

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Want to hear more podcasts like this? Subscribe to Nevertheless on iTunes for series two.

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