Under the bonnet: A review of EdTech testbeds in Europe

The field of education is constantly evolving. Students require dynamic, relevant content, while lecturers aim to optimise their teaching, making use of a variety of resources. Meanwhile, the government adjusts the focus of education in response to developments in society. In all of these developments, technology is sometimes regarded as the holy grail: it can solve society’s problems by achieving the necessary level of efficacy and/or improving education. How can the technology sector best respond to this?

Over the past few decades, technology in education has become a major accelerator of innovation in the sector. To understand more about EdTech developments in education in the rest of Europe, the EdTech for Educational Innovation working group reviewed EdTech projects from Sweden, Estonia, Belgium, UK and Finland. These initiatives are diverse, from inventing to using and through pilots and experiments. What do all these methods entail? What can we learn from them?

What is a testbed?
While searching for various initiatives in the field of inventing, developing and evaluating EdTech, you pretty quickly come across the name ‘testbed’. A testbed is a platform for rigorous, transparent and replicable testing of new technologies, among others. This can be either a physical or virtual platform. The aim is to use these structured testbeds to increase the success rate of deploying EdTech within education and thus better harness its potential.

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