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Future of Platforms for Learning

This session was held Thursday, 21 April via Zoom. Watch the video above or use the links below to jump to a specific topic or question.


2:36 The Socially Connected Teacher – Ross Morrison McGill

16:43 Evidence for EdTech – Iman Beoku-Betts

29:43 Adapting to the future with practice sets – Genevieve Stahl

44:41 The Cambridge Teacher Research Exchange – Patrick Carmichael and Alison Twiner


1:00:15 Do you think it’s harder for someone to establish an online presence now than it was previously?

1:04:00 How does the EdTech Hub define evidence?

1:05:45 When students get stuck or lose confidence, are you using AI?

1:06:33 What opportunities are there to bring together academics, practitioners, and potentially industry, to address challenges in education?

1:11:25 Are there any plans to allow instructional designers and programmers to work with expert teachers on pedagogy?

1:13:30 How is revenue generated by blogging?

1:18:15 Issues of safeguarding, the Internet, and EdTech

1:19:15 How can developed nations continue to support low-income countries in digital education?

Session description

Countless EdTech platforms aim to connect teachers, students, or parents and carers, usually within a class group or school. DEFI looks at a new generation of platforms to understand how they may connect people across organisations and even around the world. Our panellists will explore opportunities to advance research, dialogue, inclusivity, and more through advances in the capabilities and application of technology.


Iman Beoku-Betts

Iman Beoku-Betts

Analyst (Open Dev. & Ed.) and Co-Country Lead (EdTech Hub)

Ross Morrison McGill

Ross Morrison McGill

Teacher Trainer and Author, @TeacherToolkit

Genevieve Stahl

Genevieve Stahl

Product Manager, Google for Education

Dr Alison Twiner

Dr Alison Twiner

Research Associate, Camtree

Patrick Carmichael

Patrick Carmichael

Managing director, Camtree


Session advisor

Dr Peter Dudley

Dr Peter Dudley

Founder, Camtree

Julia Citron

Julia Citron

Head of EdTech Solutions, Cambridge Univ. Press and Assessment

About the panellists

Ross Morrison McGill

Insights from 16 Million Teachers
How I started my blog, why, the ups and downs and what I’m currently doing…

About Ross
Ross started teaching in 1991; a school leader for 20 years, he has worked in some of the most challenging secondary schools in London. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the ‘500 Most Influential People in Britain’ by The Sunday Times. He remains the only classroom teacher to feature to this day. Today, he works with pupils, teachers and school leaders across the world, supporting teaching and learning, workload and teacher mental health.
Iman Beoku-Betts
EdTech Hub: Empowering People by Giving Them The Evidence They Need to Make Decisions About Technology in Education
This presentation looks at what EdTech Hub is, what we do and why and where we work. It will look at how and why EdTech Hub was formed, how the platform has adapted over to meet demands of the EdTech space around the world and where EdTech Hub is hoping to go in the future
  • What EdTech Hub is, what we do and where we work
  • How and why EdTech Hub was formed
  • How EdTech Hub has evolved and grown since it was created
  • What’s next for EdTech Hub

About Iman

Iman is an analyst at Open Development and Education and works as a co-country lead for Sierra Leone at EdTech Hub. In 2019 she completed her MSc in Statistics at the University of Southampton where her final project looked at analysing enrolment rates of females in secondary schools in Sierra Leone. She also holds a BSc in Mathematics from the same university. Following her Master’s, she relocated from the United Kingdom to Freetown, Sierra Leone where she began personal maths tutoring for secondary school students. Prior to joining the team, she worked at the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education as a Data Analyst in the Minister’s Delivery Team.
Genevieve Stahl
Google for Education: adapting to the future with Practice Sets
Google for Education began with a mission to empower educators and students to teach, learn, and collaborate from anywhere. Now, as our technology advances, we continue to support the connection between educators and students with new tools to help amplify educators’ impact. A new Classroom feature, practice sets, lets teachers transform their existing content into engaging and interactive assignments. Educators can use practice sets to automate grading, identify concepts that need review, and provide students with built-in hints and resources to support them as they work.

Participants will…
  • Learn Google for Education’s mission and where we’re headed
  • Get a demo of practice sets, Google Classroom’s unreleased new adaptive learning feature
  • Hear what has been a surprise and what has gone as expected for me while working on education at Google
About Genevieve
I am a former science teacher that unintentionally left the classroom to work at an edtech startup, where I built a learning app for students. The app, Socratic, won Google Play’s Best App of the Year in 2018 and was later acquired by Google. I’m now a product manager building Google Classroom’s new adaptive learning feature, practice sets.
Patrick Carmichael

About Patrick

Dr. Patrick Carmichael
Managing Director

Patrick Carmichael is Managing Director of Camtree. Originally a school teacher, he has worked in teacher education and education research, and has particular interests in the role of digital technologies in education systems. As Head of Evaluation at the University of Cambridge’s Centre for Applied Research in Educational Technologies from 2005-2008, and then as Professor of Educational Research at Liverpool John Moores University, he directed a number of projects that explored the potential of the semantic web (‘Web 3.0’) and linked data technologies to enhance teaching, learning and research.

He was then Professor of Teacher Education and Director of Research Development at the University of Bedfordshire until 2018. His most recent research has explored how higher education systems might respond to the changing world of work.

Dr Alison Twiner

About Alison

Dr Alison Twiner is a Research Associate with the DEFI CamTREE team, based at Hughes Hall. She has keen research and development interests in the educational use of various digital technologies; supporting effective communication in teaching and learning interactions; and supporting teachers’ developing pedagogy. Alison is a member of the Faculty of Education’s Cambridge Educational Dialogue Research Group (CEDiR), and associated TechCEDiR.

Alison joined Hughes Hall in 2021 when she was based in the Faculty of Education, engaged in two research and development projects working to support and embed links between the world of work and secondary education: Virtual Internships, and Gaming2Development.