In 2016 Dan and Ben were teachers at a secondary school in Accrington, in the north west of England. It was there that they first entered the world of educational technology. Discovering the Google for Education tools was a revelation! They were RE teachers what other word would they use? They immediately realised the power that these cloud tools had to transform learning, reduce teacher workload and maximise school budgets. Little did they know that just over the Pennines in Leeds Steve had embarked upon a similar journey at the college he was working at.
Ben and Dan began to train their students and colleagues in edtech and within a few months were certified Google for Education Educators and Trainers. Their first ever external training session came weeks later when they were asked to lead a training day for trainee teachers for United Learning. In 2017 they formed The EduTech Project to train educators in edtech. They also launched a podcast about educational technology called 'In the Studio with The EduTech Project'. These episodes are still available if you scroll all the way back to the first episodes on our podcats channel.
With a healthy podcast audience Dan and Ben decided to host their first ever large scale event in 2018 which they called 'The EduTech Summit'. Educators from around the UK joined them to share best practice, ideas and connect. It seems strange from the perspective of 2021 and schools moving online becuase of COVID-19, but edtech was still quite niche. This didn't deter them as they thought it an imperative to spread the word about how edtech could transform learning and help prepare our students for the future world. At the summit Ben and Dan met Steve who had submitted a proposal to talk at the event about the amazing work he was doing at Leeds City College.
The podcast continued to grow! On a regular basis they were talking to thought leaders from around the globe about education. Soon their conversations branched out from edtech to the future of education. It was these conversations about how education could be that started to excite them. They discovered stories of schools that were thinking outside the box. Schools that were preparing their learners for the future world through innovative education. Schools that weren't afraid to take risks and reimagine what learning could look like. The podcast grew into a continued conversation about how to revolutionise education. In light of this they changed their name to 'Edufuturists'.
After the BETT Show in 2019 Steve joined Edufuturists. Steve's experience of transforming learning at Leeds City College and his insight into the changing face of education made him a natural fit. Also he had a beard, which was a deal-breaker! In the sumemr of 2019 we decided to continue to host a summit but also celebrate innovative educators and institutions by launching the Edufuturists Awards. The event was a huge success and was covered in local media.
The 2020 online awards was another huge success, attracting delegates and speakers from around the world. The Edufuturists now regularly host educational events for partner companies such as C-Learning and Google for Education. Their ability to host events, train educators and provide authoritative content means that the Edufuturists are continuing to spread the word about the future of education. Ben, Dan and Steve continue to host their weekly podcast where they talk to the most amazing innovative educators from around the world. They continue to do what they do because they believe that certain parts of our education system have ceased to evolve so that learners are prepared for the world and that a revolution is needed. A revolution powered by innovation and vision that will enable students to be lifelong learners with the skills to create, collaborate, critically think and communicate in this ever progressing world in which they will live and work.
Who are we?
Ben is an Educational Consultant working with a number of clients on both digital and cultural transformation. Prior to this, Ben has worked for 15 years in education as an Assistant Principal and Curriculum Manager, focusing on Apprenticeships and formerly in his subject specialisms of Religious Studies & Sociology. He is a governor at a primary school and a trustee of a local charity. He tweets at @itsbenwhitaker
Dan is the Strategic Lead for Digital Skills at Education Partnership North East and Director at Edufuturists. He is a certified Google Trainer, Microsoft Innovative Educator and an Apple Teacher, with an M.A. from Durham University. Over the last few years Dan has led training on cloud technology in education and industry. He has a background in leadership, media, stand-up comedy and school governance. He was recently named as a Top Educator and Expert on Twitter. he tweets at @danfitztweets
Steve is the CEO of C-Learning. C-Learning is a google premier partner and a leading specialist in education focused cloud based solutions serving several thousand clients in over 30 countries. Prior to this Steve worked in Further Education for 17 years in many roles, with his last role being Head of Independent Learning at Leeds City College. Steve is a chair of Governors at a Primary school in Leeds.