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Reimagining the Education System - S3 - Episode 2
Episode 228th October 2020 • Social Lights • Kate vanderVoort
00:00:00 00:40:59

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In this episode of the Social Lights Podcast, podcast host and Social Mediology founder Kate vanderVoort chats with Eddie Blass, CEO and Founder of Inventorium.

About Eddie and Inventorium

Having grown up in Central London and in a comprehensive school where white was the minority, she still came out on top, even with minimal interest in schooling. This experience taught Eddie much about white privilege.

Inventorium began as a passion project because Eddie truly felt that the education system was favoring some people over the others, which has driven all her life. Designed by a group of academics, teachers, and corporate professionals, this learning space is slowly able to create a major shift in the way people think about and deliver education.

The former full-time academic and teacher is the brains behind the concept design and the curriculum writing in the Inventorium. 

BIG IDEA 1

“It’s not about everyone being the same. It’s about everyone having the same opportunities—because then people can make what they want with the opportunities.” (1:44)

Eddie has been focusing her life on how to address the inequalities that stem from diversity. Inventorium partners with schools and providers to provide education to children who cannot operate within a traditional school environment. These children include those with severe anxiety, those who have been bullied, those with autism, and children who hate school and are rebellious.

While she admits that Inventorium is not perfect, they do have a blueprint of how the education system could be fit for the 21st century. The curriculum that they have written supports the students to understand their identity. The children learn to understand their identity, learn how to be a great citizen, and learn about necessary employability skills. They also learn about cyberbullying, and other matters that children should be aware of.

BIG IDEA 2

“The system is so broken. Something needs to be done.” (2:23)

According to one report, the rate of high school dropouts is at least one in four. Eddie shares that if you watch TED talks on education, everybody is saying the same thing—but no one is actually doing anything about it. No one is creating a system that works. With Inventorium, Eddie took on this challenge and passion project, thinking, “Could I create it, and would it work?”

With a 100% retention rate over two years, Eddie shares the three key points that allow them to be so successful with their students: First, the students have one teacher who sees them through everything. While they do have access to other experts should they need to get advice on certain topics, that one teacher is always there for them. Second, the learning happens at the pace of the student, and so they can slow things down when the students need a break or get stressed out over things. Third, because the students are given freedom to choose what they are learning about, the subject matter becomes highly relevant to them.

With such method of learning, the children become in charge of how to use their time, and when they use their time. “They learn how to manage themselves, their time, their ambitions, their aspirations, and how to learn.”

BIG IDEA 3

“There needs to be more control and choice for parents and for individuals as to what they want to see.” (28:20)

When it comes to social media, Eddie generally feels that there is generally a negative impact on young people. While these platforms enable people to keep connected, she feels that the negative self-view they develop on themselves can be quite strong,

What Eddie would like to see, among other things, are options for individuals such as block/delete functions on social medial platforms. If someone sees something that makes them feel bad, they should be able to block individuals so as not to get any more negative feedback. When watching advertisements on YouTube, there should be options for parents to choose the categories of advertisements that their children can see.

In relation, Eddie also questions why national broadcasting channels have standards and codes of conduct—but why anyone can post anything online. There exists an infringement of an individual’s privacy that needs to be challenged. Individuals posting things online are also publishers, and should therefore also be held to publishing standards.

Episode Links

You can find Eddie Blass and more on Inventorium at:

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You can connect with us on Facebook at @SocialLightsPodcast and find future episodes at socialmediology.com.au/sociallights.

Thanks for your time and stay inspired,

Kate vanderVoort

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