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The future is self-managed learning

When ‘chalk and talk’ needs to go back to the blackboard and rethink it’s design


Pearson Education are the largest educational book publisher in the world. Up until a few years ago, if you picked up a text book in any class room around the world it was likely to be a Pearson book.

Their problem was that as the rest of the world moved forward digitally, they were still primarily producing text books.

They had tried to innovate themselves, but the culture of a 100+ year old company was not set up to be agile or lean. IT projects had taken years and often went nowhere.

We were engaged to help. Firstly, with the set up of an innovation lab that would deliver a Minimal Viable Product (MVP) in 12 weeks. The labs were set up in a number of schools, including one progressive school in Essex where all kids carried out self managed learning (using iPads more than text books).

This approach was very different to traditional ‘chalk and talk’, where teachers write on the whiteboard and talk at the kids. In self-managed learning, the responsibility shifts to the kids. At the beginning of year they get the curriculum, choose the order and then have to learn it; researching the internet, asking friends, with teachers as the last calling point.

Together, we developed an app that helped this process, building the MVP in school with teachers and kids, then launching it at BETT (the educational tradeshow) with great success.

This was a massive culture change for Pearson, in that they could deliver agile and lean methodologies getting a project to market, fast. In itself, the vessel to winning hearts and minds in the organisation.

Delivering a way to do work online, where kids are enabled to learn in a way that suits them, moved Pearson to a customer focused brand for today, well set up for the kids of tomorrow.


The TEN Difference: Bringing those experienced in the past, to appropriate methods of today, for future proofing tomorrow.