Brock University and the District School Board of Niagara have partnered to create a unique hub. It’s where innovators, teachers and students can get together to help excel in the market, learn in the classroom and teach with high tech tools.
“It would totally influence me to play, go to school, play those games and help my learning.”
Those words from grade six student Alex Watson are exactly what start-up companies that create tools for learning and teaching in the classroom want to hear; companies like Vetica.
Co-founder Suraj Srinivas understands the value of it. “Having a hub like this in a school with access to teachers and students in a supervised environment is huge for us. Because we can create something put it out there to our potential users and get their feedback quickly which is so important to a small company like ours.”
Vetica has created Planboard. DSBN chief information officer Dino Miele says teachers can access it online to plan their lessons. “We help align it to the K-12 curriculum. That way the product that is being produced here is actually beneficial in the classroom and aligns with the Ontario curriculum.”
The educational research and innovation hub or I-hub for short, is designed to introduce brand new products to students, like a bracelet that kids can wear to monitor their heart rate when they play games like Prodigy. It helps developers like Steve Bergen.
“If the child is frustrated with the game content we can adapt it by producing a hint , introducing new concepts or even ease up on the content if the child is bored or not enjoying it.”
DSBN academy principal Lisa Nazar says “It’s exciting for our teachers. They’re quite eager to use technology in the classroom and to support student learning and be innovative. They’re always looking to refine their practice to meet the needs of kids.”
The I-hub is currently working with ten start up companies and trying out their tools. They’ll be mentored, given financial advice and when once they’re out on the market doing well, the I-hub will cycle in a new batch of innovators to try out even more classroom learning and teaching tools.