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Periodic Reporting for period 2 - LEA (LEARNING TECHNOLOGY ACCELERATOR)

Reporting period: 2019-09-01 to 2020-06-30

In spite of the digital transformation during the last decade; to date the application of learning technologies in the European classrooms has been slow, the educational systems still remain relatively closed and we experience decreasing learning results compared to the rest of the world. The EU funded project Learntech Accelerator (2018 – 2020) answers to these challenges with a joint ambition to accelerate transfer of knowledge and awareness rising on innovation public procurement in Education.

Based upon previous pre commercial procurement (PCP) project IMAILE the LEA partners experienced that joint procurement budget can steer learning technology towards user-driven solutions but also create a bigger business and jobs for innovative learning technology companies. Innovation procurement also opens up schools for innovative application of learning technology in the classrooms, which will have positive impact on European learning outcomes.

In brief, innovation procurement tools such as Pre commercial procurement (PCP) and Procurement of Innovations (PPI) have proven powerful to develop technology co – created by students and teachers responding to their needs. Based upon these findings, LEA project aimed at;

• Exploit and share the lessons learned from IMAILE
• Provide transfer of knowledge and capacity building actions on PCP / PPI
• Unify a Buyers network of learning technology in Europe
• Increase the value co-creation between schools, buyers and suppliers of learning technology
• Prepare one future PCP and one future PPI
• Speed up awareness rising of innovative procurement
During this period LEA built exploitable results, which will remain at LEA stakeholders use in:

LEA Buyers Network, LEA -N and LEA followers

To reach the objective of a unified European buyers network the work was divided into several steps. The first step was to engage any learntech stakeholders to become a LEA follower with a newsletter signup. As of June 2020, 375 people are signed up as LEA Followers, including 89 procurers, 116 suppliers, 113 schools and 125 learntech experts. Of these, 295 Followers are located in 27 EU Member States, plus 80 Followers from 21 non-EU countries. As of the 30th June 2020, 72 procuring organisations have actively participated in LEA-N activities, from 16 EU Member States

LEA Network tools

LEA created a procurement idea tool, an online course on innovation procurement, country procurement profiles of Europe, LEA Experts list and a lot of video materials for procurers and suppliers interested in procurement of learning technologies can use. All this content can be found from LEA website.

LEA identified needs and demand in Europe

The buyers network needs to join forces around common needs and demand. This analytic work was implemented by surveys, workshops and desktop studies involving 320 teachers and 1045 students from 7 countries in one questionnaire, results from 100 teachers performed “Balancing our Needs” workshops and additional and 200 teachers provided their input in a workshop representing all EU MS. Up to date the outcomes have been used for the baseline of one PPI and on PCP.

LEA pre- study on PPI on Personal learning environments

To proceed from IMAILE PCP, LEA has developed a PPI pre study. This study includes identified updated needs, methodology to implement the process, committed buyers from Italy, Finland and Portugal with a joint investment of 1 million euro and the legal documentation. The updated need analysis contains several functional criteria as a vision of how new Personal Learning Environments (PLE) for primary, secondary and upper secondary schools should support teachers and students:

• Measures learning (AI, learning analytics)
• Supports teachers to reduce time on planning and administration
• Supports each student to reach and control their own learning goals based upon creativity
• Provides peer support/matching on EU level for teachers
• Provides detection, alerts and contingency on early drop outs

LEA pre – study on PCP on new technology for transversal skills

A PCP working group was created in December 2018 and a complete PCP pre study was implemented during the following three months. The buyers group consisted of Spain, Portugal and Finland that are partners of LEA but also adding a new procurer from Greece. Based upon the need’s analysis, a new PCP definition was agreed to challenge the market to develop innovative learning technology to meet an increased demand of teaching and learning transversal skills to better prepare the next generation of Europeans for future jobs and careers unknown today.

LEA school labs for co – creation

The LEA school labs up to date existing 6 countries and have been used to identify and compare needs as well as to discuss learning technology within focus groups of each country and among the countries. The school labs also have been promoted as venues for conformance tests.
LEA capacity building seminars, industrial think tanks and webinars

To transfer knowledge about innovation procurement in education several tools have been developed and implemented during this period; LEA website, Capacity building seminars (CBS), webinars, newsletter to followers, industrial think tanks, Prior Information Notice (PIN), Open Market consultation, and different EU events.

Up to date LEA organized both internal and external CBS eventsand two Global Edtech Think Tanks at BETT show in London in January 2019 and Torino in December 2019. In addition, thematic webinars were created and implemented with a periodicity of twice per month (24 total). Most webinars are open for all public on youtube under Learntech Accelerator account.

LEA awareness campaign resulted in 1296 followers on social media channels, 1162 Newsletter subscriptions and 39 articles (49 blog posts) published. LEA was present at over 30 EU events with a total of over 1500 stakeholders present. Over 1000 leaflets distributed,1800 procures informed and 568 companies reached.
On second period, LEA has created an Action plan and amendment to propose additional value of the grant by creating extra exploitable results. LEA website was be turned into a Learning technology procurement support hub, which will provide added value for LEA-N members and general public. Guidelines, methodologies, learning materials, tools etc. are be freely available. There is also exclusive content to LEA-N members. LEA experts can also be used for consultancy service beyond the project duration. New exploitable results included:

1. Learning Technology Country demand profiles
2. Buyers profiles
3. Key concept videos
4. Online course on: “innovation procurement processes for learning technology”
5. LEA procurement challenge tool to broker common demand
6. EDULABS –guide for schools

All this innovative material was presented LEA-N webinar series in the Spring of 2020. These concrete and exploitable results together with the actions will lead to a more sustainable development of learning technology where schools get the opportunity to buy technology they really need and suppliers get the opportunity to develop solutions that first customers are ready to buy.
LEA Network map
LEA promitional picture