448 Studio wins big investment
... and we couldn't be more excited! Read all about it in our press release below:
A Scottish education/technology (Edtech) company is set to exploit the huge changes in university teaching made essential by the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is being backed by £100,000 of Scottish Enterprise investment in the form of a Smart:Scotland grant, just announced.
448 Studio, based in Renfrewshire but with a workforce around the world, was formed just four years ago, but has already received substantial backing from the Scottish Government.
Universities throughout the world have battled to maintain their teaching programmes while faced with the restrictions imposed by health authorities to keep students safe. This has meant a huge shift to online learning platforms.
Now 448 Studio is to conduct a feasibility study of a hybrid learning and teaching platform for the higher education sector in the UK. It will have live video streaming and recording at its core.
In effect it will be a virtual campus for students and their teachers.
The aim is to develop a robust platform that is simple to use for lecturers, easy to access and engage with for students, and integrates fully with a variety of learning management systems already in use.
Since the onset of the Covid 19 outbreak, the 448 team has seen a massive shift to online adaptations of traditional, offline courses. As ‘normality’ begins to return very slowly, the methods for learning and teaching disciplines have totally metamorphosed as students expect to have a variety of options that fit their learning needs and meet the expectations of their lecturers.
The project has already had endorsement from two major players: the University of Glasgow and its School of Education and from Glasgow Caledonian University.
Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli, the Principal of the University of Glasgow, said:
“The way we teach and interact with students is evolving rapidly. Traditional methods of teaching are being challenged, and the implementation of emerging technologies to underpin learning on a global level are incredibly important.
“Studies such as the one planned by 448 Studio are crucial in the improvement of the student learning experience and in providing lecturers with adaptable and intuitive teaching tools.”
Prof. Margaret Sutherland, the University of Glasgow’s Director of Partnerships, Communication and External Engagement, said:
“There are a variety of video streaming tools available, however, none of them have been designed and created specifically for the sector.
“A video streaming tool with hybrid capabilities that integrates with our existing learning management system would certainly be welcomed. Ensuring our classes are accessible for all is a key priority, and so a system that considers students with disabilities will provide equal access to learning for all students.”
A further endorsement came from Professor James Miller, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Glasgow Caledonian. He said:
“448 Studio understands the higher education sector and the team is in a strong position to develop and deliver a unique platform for academics that facilitates the move from what has been an emergency move to online learning, towards hybrid mode of learning and teaching being business as usual.”
448 Studio’s Founder and CEO, Dan Marrable, said:
“We aim to commercialise the platform we’re developing within 6 months of completing the feasibility project. Thereafter we hope to target up to eight UK academic institutions initially for sign-up at a discounted price to enable the development of early adopter programmes.
“We are hugely grateful to Scottish Enterprise for their faith in us. 448 Studio’s marketing strategy will be fully integrated with the project giving updates on progress across social media and newsletters to existing clients of our event platform.
“Longer term, we aspire to engage with the angel investor market to secure investment to enable the product launch and growth of our technical development team and our own commercial team of marketing, sales and customer support specialists.”
Earlier this year 448 Studio received significant support from the Scottish Government to help it further develop the ground-breaking Forumm product which is a fully automated virtual events platform. This lets 448 facilitate multiple, simultaneous events not only in the UK but internationally.