GL Education CTO, Ian Tufts, discusses a new approach to learning with Tech Talks podcast

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Posting date: 17 May 2019

Three months into his role as CTO of GL Education, Ian Tufts has been an incredibly busy individual, setting out a technology road map for a platform evolution to help further their impact on education.

Ian found some time in his active schedule to sit down with Dave Savage of Harvey Nash’s Tech Talks, speaking candidly on why captaining this vital piece of work was too good an opportunity to turn down and why this industry in particular resonated him from the off.

Tech Talks is a podcast produced by Harvey Nash, interviewing IT leaders and industry experts to provide invaluable and honest insights into technology and the challenges that face senior IT personnel.

Ian Tufts is in very distinguished company, with guests who hold senior positions in Nandos, Wipro and eBay, to name a few. In the 3 years since they were established, Tech Talks has earned a formidable reputation in the industry, which has resulted in sought after tech leaders actively looking to get involved.

Ian, who has had an illustrious career at the helm of various successful organisations, spoke to Dave on the importance of education and training in his own life and how this was a programme of work he was keen to take the wheel of.

As part of his MSc in Computer Science in 1994, Ian developed an online assessment and training programme for his sister, a Physics teacher, and it was here where an interest developed in how computers could play a part in education.

“Technology hasn’t changed in education as much as it has in other sectors and we haven’t seen it realised yet. It’s something that’s always interested me over the last 25 years,” Ian stated.

“We’re looking at how we can help technology drive education, make teachers’ lives easier and give them more insight to help every pupil be the best they can be.”

As Ian spoke passionately about the importance of education, he went into detail with Dave about how GL Education can realise his vision. 

One of the company’s key USPs is how their assessment data is used; it’s paramount to everything their assessments provide. 

 “The value of it all is in the data we produce,” Ian told Tech Talks.

“When we get all of our assessment data together into one place, we can compare and contrast it, so it shows us whether a pupil is achieving to their ability – and if they’re not, we can look at the reasons why and what’s holding them back. This is incredibly powerful information for teachers.”

A pillar of their digital transformation is how they can implement highly sophisticated data analytics procedures and Ian is enthusiastic about how they can further enhance the learning experience once their data platforms have been fully evolved.

“When we’re at that point, I’m keen to explore what we can do with machine learning, how can we use AI to help refine the statistical methods we’ve got?”

Ian spoke ambitiously about the future of data analytics in helping teachers provide a truly personal and learning experience for their students..

“We’re already able to help teachers spot anomalies in an individual’s learning  that might not have been expected – but soon, we’ll be able to do this more effectively and with even more insights to help the teaching and learning process.”

It is certain to be an exhilarating programme of work for anyone of a tech inclination or an interest in education and you can be certain that GL Education will have a team to match the drive and ambition of Ian’s targets.

The Tech Talks podcast is available on iTunes or directly from the Tech Talks site. https://www.tech-talks.co.uk/podcasts

You can also see how you can get involved in a career GL Education by viewing the roles we have an offer via our microsite https://microsites.harveynash.com/gleducation/