Jisc to fund student’s edtech idea

Hertfordshire student scoops coveted grant from Jisc's Summer of Student Innovation competition to develop edtech idea

University of Hertfordshire student, Johnson Oluwadele, has won a national competition which encouraged entrants to come up with ideas for new digital tools and apps for learning.

Johnson, an MSc Software Engineering student in the School of Computer Science, will receive funding and support as part of Jisc’s Summer of Student Innovation.

The Student Ideas competition invited technology ideas that could improve the student experience across further or higher education and the skills sector.

Based on the fact that our brains are better image processors than word processors, Johnson’s idea centres around creating a FunStudyApp which leverages students’ interests and hobbies to transform lecture notes into animations, poetry, music, mnemonics and social network drama. This could then lead to improved memory retention and mitigate technological distractions.

“The FunStudyApp helps students to integrate existing empirical knowledge from hobbies and interests with lecture note content to create more interesting digital content which can be shared with the public or friends,” said Johnson. 

We chose these entrants because their ideas were innovative and exciting, whilst addressing new opportunities in educational technology

As one of just 15 winning ideas, Johnson has been awarded £2,000 funding and will receive support from Jisc experts to work on his concepts during a series of workshops over the summer. Jisc will also continue to support the most promising ideas and take them forward for development into products. 

Paul Bailey, senior co-design manager at Jisc, said: “The Summer of Student Innovation competition is now in its fourth year, but the fantastic ideas just keep on coming, proving that students are a great source of invaluable on-the-ground knowledge and innovation when it comes to edtech. 

“As usual, we received many exciting and innovative ideas and choosing the winners was a difficult task. We chose these entrants because their ideas were innovative and exciting, whilst addressing new opportunities in educational technology. They also offer potential ideas we can develop into products, and have real potential to offer a genuine impact in learning, teaching or research. Johnson should feel very proud to have been named as one of the winners. I look forward to seeing how his concept develops over the coming months.”

Professor Amanda Jefferies from the School of Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire, commented: “Johnson developed a professional and attractive elevator pitch to promote his innovative idea for FunStudyApp. This was accompanied by a very informative webpage explaining the rationale behind it. His idea quickly attracted over 300 public votes in the preliminary stage of the competition. We are extremely proud of his achievement in gaining a coveted place on the Jisc 2016 SOSI programme, with its core of expert advisors to support him in developing his idea further.” 

W: www.jisc.ac.uk