The Edtech Sofa Sessions: event roundup

On Thursday 25 June, Education Technology hosted its first digital event…

Sponsored by Barco, the event featured interviews and panel discussions with some of the leading voices in the edtech sector.


Priya Lakhani

Priya Lakhani OBE is the founder and CEO of CENTURY. Priya spoke about her career and perceptions of the sector, delving into the topic of AI in education.

Vivi Friedgut

Vivi Friedgut is the founder and CEO of Blackbullion. Vivi spoke about her path from finance professional to global edtech founder.

Laura McInerney

Laura McInerney is an education journalist and co-founder of Teacher Tapp. Laura spoke about her transition from teacher to edtech trailblazer.

Bob Harrison

Bob was formerly Toshiba’s Northern European Education Advisor for 16 years. Here, he shared his knowledge on how the pandemic has changed teaching.

Kimberly Bryant

Kimberly Bryant is the founder and CEO of Black Girls CODE. She spoke about her experience as a woman of colour in tech and her campaign for increased diversity.

Sophie Bailey

Sophie, founder of The Edtech Podcast, shared her views on the year so far in edtech and how she’s been approaching her work during lockdown.

The discussions looked at the role of technology in the future of education and covered topics from how to bridge the digital divide, to the future of student recruitment, and female representation in tech.

The teachers’ take on the remote learning model

Edtech Sofa Sessions

The first panel of the day looked at how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected teaching and the role of remote learning. Featuring Matthew Pullen (University of South Wales), Justin Collins (UCL), and Neelam Parmar (Ashford School), the panel discussed how remote learning takes place in the home and elsewhere outside of the classroom.

The digital divide: why it matters and how to fix it

Edtech Sofa Sessions

The next panel featured Abdul Chohan (Think Simple Ltd), Nathan Snider (ICTC) and Ruth Drysdale (Jisc). The discussion focused on the challenges faced by schools and students when it comes to ICT inequity. To succeed, students need access to suitable devices, suitable workspace and a reliable internet connection.

Student recruitment – competing in a buyer’s market

Edtech Sofa Sessions

In this expert panel, Harjiv Singh (BrainGain Global), Laura Rettie (Studee) and Mary-Francis Coryell ( discussed how UK universities need to market themselves, particularly to international audiences. Technology is key to this effort and provides institutions with opportunities to connect prospective and current students so they can share their experiences.

Breaking the bro barrier: inspiring a female digital workforce
edtech sofa sessions

The final panel discussion of the day included Chloe Barret (Immersify Education), Rosie Bennett (SetSquared) and Geseth Garcia (NearLife). As leaders in the edtech community, the three women shared their experiences of a traditionally male-dominated sector, contrasting the differences for female entrepreneurs in the UK and the US, and sharing the challenges they faced.

To catch up on the exciting panel discussions and interviews featured in The Edtech Sofa Sessions, you can watch it all for free on-demand at And while you’re there, don’t forget to download our exclusive report, COVID-19: How the Pandemic is Affecting Teaching.


Leave a Reply