Tackling education through technology

Co-founder of Paper Video Christopher Mills doing his pitch at the EdTechXEurope summit in London.

Paper Video, the CBD-based online platform that allows high school pupils to access assisted learning resources and videos from experienced teachers, was selected as one of five African EdTech start-ups to showcase their innovative solutions to education challenges in London last week.

EdTechXEurope took place from Monday June 17 until Monday June 24.

Co-founder Christopher Mills went up against some 28 start-ups from around the world and had 90 seconds to pitch the work they do – the application of technology in providing pupils with access to learning resources.

EdTechXEurope is a summit which brings together investors, innovators and industry influencers from European and international education companies.

EdTechXEurope 2019 connected over 900 global attendees and feature over 150 speakers to showcase EdTech innovations and perspectives from around the world.

Daniel Sacchelli, global events director at EdTechXGlobal, says Paper Video emerged as the winner of the Cape Town pitch in February this year because it demonstrated a tangible offering for the African education market.

“Answering multiple critical problems such as delivering content in areas of limited or no connectivity, having a solution that has relevance beyond the confines of Africa, and being in a position as an organisation to benefit from the prize and exposure to the wider audience, it was unanimously decided that Paper Video was the worthy winner.”

And although they did not place in the EdTechXEurope pitch, co-founder of Paper Video Paul Maree said they were happy that they had put Cape Town on the map. “It was good to see that Cape Town was up there competing with other countries, and that the issues we face with technology are somewhat similar to those all over the world.”

Mr Maree said that while winning competitions is a good way of creating awareness among potential sponsors, the positive feedback received from beneficiaries is what matters the most.

The CapeTowner last year reported that Paper Video had now made maths and physical science subject maps free for Grade 10 pupils. Subject maps are made up of each concept that needs to be taught during the year in the maths and physics curriculum for Grade 10, with each concept linked to a video lesson by one of the Paper Video teachers (“Free online tutoring for Grade 10s”, CapeTowner, August 2 2018).

Mr Maree said they were continuing the subject maps to fill the curriculum, and are busy making Grade 11 and 12 maps for maths.

However, they were still looking for a corporate sponsor to develop the Grade 11 and 12 subject maps for science.

He said they were also pushing to get the resources out in Afrikaans and in Xhosa to reach as many pupils as they can.

“We are now creating Afrikaans resources for maths and science and we want to start with bilingual ones. In partnership with the Educational Trust of the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA), Paper Video has over the past four years provided more than 15 000 learners from low income households across the country with technology enabled tutoring in mathematics, the sciences and accounting.”