Maths website voted teachers’ favourite at TES Labs Live event

An ed-tech start-up that helps teachers spot which of their students has understood certain concepts was voted as best product of the day at a TES Labs live event.

Diagnostic Questions, a company set up by teacher and TES maths specialist Craig Barton, was chosen by a group of teachers who were given the opportunity to experiment with some cutting-edge classroom technology.

The event was staged by TES Global, the parent company of TES, and Emerge Education to give a handful of start-ups essential feedback from frontline teachers, while also giving practitioners the chance to bring back innovative ideas to their classrooms.

It forms part of a venture called TES Labs, which enables teachers to speak directly to tech companies and help them design applications for use with pupils. The project also allows teachers to talk about what they are lacking in the classroom and how technology could fill that gap.

The companies will then be able to act on the advice they are given, tweaking their designs or taking their nascent products in completely new directions.

At the live event on Saturday, the teachers were able to try out products such as A Tale Unfolds, which aims to provide teachers with high-quality resources to boost literacy among primary pupils by getting them to produce their own films. Other companies included included Learn Forward, Drum Roll, CV Plus, Bibblio, Doodle Maths, Mr Glue Stories and Pi Top.

But it was Diagnostic Questions that gained top votes from teachers and walked away with the largest share of a £5,000 prize pot, with the rest being shared among other ed-tech start-ups. The concept of Diagnostic Questions is to help teachers quickly and accurately evaluate whether their students understand topics they have been taught. Students’ responses to carefully formulated questions and the reasons behind those responses are logged on a website.

Data from students’ answers and reasons for their answers can also be analysed, meaning that teachers can use detailed breakdowns of pupils’ performance to improve their own teaching.

The start-ups also picked their favourite teacher on the day to receive a mixture of free access to their products and training.

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