This Melbourne-based startup is making a serious mark on the EduTech community.
Started in 2014 by Colin Wood, Verso Learning is a skill and training platform for teachers.
To provide teachers with greater training and development to implement more effective learning programmes in their classrooms.
The platform utilises high impact learning strategies as well as unique ways to analyse a students progress, to encourage deeper and more effective learning techniques as well as providing practical support and personalised guidance to teachers.
How does Verso Learning work?
Verso Learning works by giving teachers step by step guides that help teachers design the most effective learning experiences for their students, through developing collaborative classroom structures and using key vocabulary to greater inform student conversations in the classroom.
Utilising intuitive and easy-to-use interfaces, Verso Learning encourages a much more collaborative learning process.
The platform also allows for precision analytics of a students progress, allowing for the further creation of more specific learning strategies that can be tailored to the student and classroom.
Learning is key
Verso Learning has already been warmly embraced by many in the Australian educational sector, with the platform active in New South Wales and Victoria as well as being granted NESA accreditation by the NSW Dept. of Education, allowing teachers across the state to utilise the Verso Learning Platform.
We’ve come a long way from the early days of educational technology, where the benefits of classroom tech were unknown. Now, however, in an increasingly digital world, it is important that young students learn to interact with technology as its role in our day to day life is only becoming more significant.
Verso Learning is ensuring that this is reflected in the modern classroom experience.
Furthermore, research now shows that greater student interaction with technology ‘strengthens specific skills, fosters creativity, problem-solving and enhances the writing process, as well encouraging students to work with one another‘, and that its place in the classroom is now more important than ever.
We sat down with Verso Learning COO, Tom Davies to ask him a few questions about Verso and the future of the platform.
How important is it to integrate technology and education and how important is the Edutech industry?
Unfortunately, to date, technology rollouts around the world have delivered little improvement except in the areas of administration. We believe for technology to have the impact in Education it does in other sectors, the key to success lies at the intersection of the teacher and the technology.
The Edutech industry is critical to bringing new tools to education that empower teachers and help transform learning opportunities for students. With classrooms and students more digitally enabled than ever before and a need to build skills (the 6Cs) in our students that haven’t traditionally been the focus of schooling, the Edutech industry has an enormous opportunity and responsibility to drive that change.
At Verso, we think the technology for the classroom needs to be reliable, simple to use and pedagogically designed.
Where did you gather the Verso teaching strategies to be implemented in the app?
The Verso Teaching Strategies form part of our framework for high impact teaching. This framework has been created at the intersection of some of the worlds leading educational thinkers. We’ve been very fortunate over the years to have worked with and in some cases develop close partnerships with experts including Melbourne University’s own Prof. John Hattie, Alan November (US) and Prof Michael Fullan (Canada). The Verso Learning framework has been created in-house by our education team led by our brilliant Chief Academic Officer, Phil Stubbs.
Phil’s experience started in the classroom over in the UK and has developed through Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, Australia and across the US. Phil believes his contemporary educational expertise comes from constantly travelling and being in classrooms, developing new strategies, refining established methods and really understanding how to solve teacher’s problems. Feedback from our teachers tells us the challenge they find the hardest is to take the high-level strategies that have been shown to have the greatest impact on learning and make them transferrable to a grade 7 social studies classroom, or a year 10 science class, or a year 3 primary classroom.
The question we always ask is; how can we make it easier for a teacher to implement the methods of teaching that will really change a student’s academic performance?
What’s next for Verso Learning in 2018?
2018 will be a big year for us: we are launching our new platform, Verso 2.0 with lots of new features and functionality; we are focusing on building our global content library to provide teachers with high-quality exemplary content for their subject area.
We’ll also be pushing hard to grow our US business. The US district model is delivering some fantastic success stories, where we’re building collaborative networks of teachers across multiple schools and transforming teacher practice by providing them professional development in the classroom for their students, helping to deliver better quality lessons and increase student academic achievement.
Since raising $2 million in Series A round funding in June of 2017, the launch of the Verso 2.0 platform in 2018 will mean further growth into 2018.
And, with the platform already being accessed by more than 40,000 teachers in some 12,000 schools worldwide, it looks like Verso set to change classroom learning for the better.