‘Edtech 50’ unveils the shining lights of edtech in the UK

The list was produced from hundreds of public nominations and an independent judging panel

In a world that’s increasingly defined by all things digital, it’s no surprise that the education sector is rife with emerging tech solutions and innovations.

Launched at the end of February, the annual Edtech 50 list highlights the people, products and projects that are invigorating teaching and learning in schools across the UK.

Published by Edtech UK in partnership with The Education Foundation, Jisc and Amazon Web Services (AWS), this year’s list recognises the movers and shakers who have positively impacted the nation’s edtech sector within the last 12 months.

“The Edtech 50, now in its third year, celebrates the work going on across the vibrant and growing edtech sector to support great teaching and enhance learning,” said Ty Goddard, co-founder of The Education Foundation and chair of Edtech UK. “Supported by sponsor Amazon CWS and with partners Jisc, ISC Digital Group and TES, we shine a light on edtech champions, great products and projects creating new approaches and reaching out into our communities across the UK.

“The richness and commitment to supporting our teachers and learners across England, Wales, Scotland and N.Ireland is uplifting – real stories of optimism; people going the extra mile to inspire, share knowledge and nurture new skills,” added Goddard.

“The edtech sector is growing and needs to believe in itself, focus and share how it is shaping our education nation for the good.”

The ‘Edtech 50’

The people

Al Kingsley – managing director of NetSupport; governor at Dogsthorpe Infants School, Peterborough; Employer Ambassador for the East of England Apprenticeship Ambassador Network; and host of schooltrustee.blog.

Malcolm Wilson – IT curriculum development officer for Falkirk Council Education Services, and blogger on digital technology and e-safety.

Andy Caffrey – regional director of EdtechTeam UK, training teachers to use technology to support teaching and learning in the classroom. He also helps to deliver Google Certified Innovator Academies on behalf of Google for Education.

Sarah Knight – head of change, student experience at Jisc, influencing culture change in the HE/FE sector with @CANagogy and the CAN (Change Agent Network) events. Key driver of the Digital Teaching Professional Framework (DTPF) which has now been adopted by the FE sector.

Russell Prue – broadcaster, author and educator who designs and builds live education radio stations for schools worldwide.

Nick Madhavji – edtech entrepreneur, CEO and founder of Joskos Group – an award winning, specialist provider of high-quality ICT equipment and support services. Former Executive Council member for BESA.

David Adam – class teacher at Dedridge Primary School, Livingston, uses the art of film to assist a class of mixed ability ASD learners with their writing.

Esam Baboukhan – e-learning manager at City of Westminster College.

Becki Bawler – lead teacher for ICT at Risca Community Comprehensive, Newport, blogs regularly from @BeckiBawler.

Abdul Chohan – founder of the Olive Tree Free School; former CEO of the Essa Foundation Academies Trust.

Sarah Clark – trainer and fellow at Queen Anne High School, Dunfermline, Fife, empowering people to explore edtech at local schools.

Kierna Corr – Early Years teacher based in Belfast who regularly updates her own blog, nosuchthingasbadweather.blogspot.com.

Nic Ford – deputy head (academic) at Bolton School, inspirational leader, writer, pedagogy expert and general tech geek.

Laura Griffin – Greater Horseshoe Special School, Newton Abbot, leadership team and licensed practitioner of Thrive.

Steven Hope – head of independent learning, driving change at Leeds City College.

Edtech 50
Celebrating the UK’s greatest edtech innovators

Greg Hughes – vice principal at The de Ferrers Academy, Burton-upon-Trent, responsible for curriculum design, websites, learning technologies, ICT resources, and online safety.

Catherine Jessey – assistant headteacher, Peacehaven Community School and member of the GEC: Edtech Collective Leadership Panel.

Claire Jones – deputy headteacher, Layton Primary School, Blackpool, inspiring her team to harness tech to transform classroom teaching.

Dr Sarah Jones – deputy dean (computing, engineering and media) at De Montfort University, looking at how different narratives play out within VR, AR and emerging technologies.

Simon Luxford-Moore – a VR champion at ESMS (Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools), Edinburgh.

Jon Neale – digital learning leader at Halcyon London International School, a true ambassador for purposeful integration of technology in UK education.

Tony Newland – committed and the creative use of music and media tech with pupils at SWAAY, Berkshire.

Simon Pile – assistant head, Anson Primary School, Brent, and publisher of the Why Use series.

Rachel Smith – digital leader and foreign languages teacher at a secondary school on the Isle of Man.

Gary Spracklen – headteacher, Prince of Wales School, Dorset, a leader with a long history of innovative edtech use.

Rory Steel – head of academy at Digital Jersey, previously transformed Beaulieu Convent School, Jersey, into a 1:1 gigabit cloud-connected school.

Dr Amanda Taylor-Beswick – social work academic at Queen’s University, Belfast, “transforming social work digital professionalism”.

Elaine Topham – senior learning technologist, contributing to the digital transformation of the Grimsby Insititute.

Matt Warne – head of computing at the Royal Grammar School (RGS) Worcestershire, spearheading the school’s technological metamorphosis.


SISRA Observe – a bespoke system that streamlines and simplifies the observation and self-evaluation process.

EdShed – offering a range of exciting products such as The Literacy Shed, Spelling Shed and Maths Shed.

Enhance Digital Teaching Platform from ETF – designed to use tech to develop teaching and training practice across the FE and training sectors

Sparx Maths – blending first-rate maths content with data science and an easy-to-use tech platform to support maths teaching in schools.

SpyQuest – interactive game that hopes to to inspire a love of reading among students.

Canvas Learning Platform, Instructure’s VLE, Canvas – a cloud-based learning management system, widely used across FE.

2Simple – creative educational software used in primary education.

Little Bridge – international online platform to support English learning, used worldwide for more than a decade.

Lyfta – a computer- and tablet-based platform to support teachers in tackling complex subject matter in class.

Mindful Education – learning platform for media-rich professional courses and apprenticeships.

Edtech 50
Edtech in the UK offers an abundance of opportunity educationally and professionally

Now>press>play – fuses wireless technology with drama and sound to create unique primary learning experiences.

GoBubble – a child-safe social media platform.

Avantis ClassVR – a VR headset specifically designed for the classroom.

Wakelet – a visual content curation platform.

Apple Pencil/iPad, Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom – revolutionary products recommended by educators nationwide.


Digi Ladies – highlighting female artists in the digital space.

Techpathways London – increasing educators’ knowledge of digital opportunities in London.

Lessonvu at Aston University Engineering Academy – video lesson observation, review and reflection technology.

London Design & Engineering UTC Student Projects – students performing at professional levels in the design and implementation of innovative digital/engineering projects.

Barton Peveril Sixth Form College – revolutionising the college library through the introduction of G Suite for Education.

The Penrith Hub – a cluster of nine schools that bring together people and resources across the Eden Valley.

SmartSTEMS – hub events, plus industry/education sector outreach to encourage students into STEM.

Foundation for Digital Creativity – advancing the education of children and adults, inspiring them to create, invent and learn through digital making.

Digital Learning: student teachers leading in schools – student teachers from the University of South Wales deliver sessions about edtech integration.

#Femedtech – hashtag networking feminist critical digital educators.

The mTech.Academy Smart Cities Challenge – students research global smart cities to develop smart solutions for their region.

UCL Educate Accelerator Programme – accelerator programme that supports edtech innovators in their development of products and services.

Digital Innovation Roundtables – community of practice hosted by London-based FE colleges.

Steam School – broadcasting interviews with trailblazing figures from the STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) communities.

The Plus Apps Project – an app development initiative at Manor School Sports College.

Edtech 50
 Educational apps are growing in popularity

Code the Future Project – a North Ayrshire Council project seeking to assist schools and libraries in the running of code clubs and STEM events.

Petroc College Learning Tech and Library team – showcasing all things edtech, promoting the use of Google apps and introducing VR into the FE classroom.

The Creative Computing Club – granting Suffolk-based youth the chance to learn new digital skills in a fun and informal environment.

Hodder Education Historic Environment Webinars – VR site tours of historic settings.

Harlow College Digital Strategy – promoting the integrated use of tech across all areas of delivery and training.

Mini Game Jam – a transition cluster event, encouraging in-person teamwork from primary to secondary school.

Recreation Road Infant School Digital Team – Year 2 digital leaders.

MFL Twitterati Podcast – showcases the voices of modern language teaching in the UK, Ireland and beyond.

Night Zookeeper SpyKids Challenge – a digital ‘power of storytelling’ learning tool which moves from the classroom to the TV.

Castlemilk Family Learning Centre – digitally-enabled nursery for children aged six weeks to five years.

The BCoT Maths website – used across the UK, this website offers a range of free GCSE and Functional Skills maths resources.

Making Space: Spark Lab, Howard Junior School, the AmmA Centre and Spark Penketh High School – three projects that are making and creating physical and intellectual space for STEAM to flourish across the UK.

Bolton College: Chat Bot, Ada and FirstPass, Bolton College’s Formative Assessment Project – supporting students and teachers with the assessment of open-ended formative assessments.

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