Leon Cych

By Pete Roythorne
You could say that Leon Cych is the innovator’s innovator. A truly independent ICT consultant, Leon travels the length and breadth of the UK – and beyond – iPhone and video camera in hand, capturing innovation in action and spreading the word, often streaming it straight to the internet.

“I visit teachers, thought leaders and people that are actually innovating in the classroom in their day-to day practice: I look at what they are doing and then try to disseminate that as widely as possible,” he explains. “By the same token, I look at technologies and see how we can best use them within the current education system.”

Josie Fraser talks to Stephen Heppell about ingenious schools and the 'culture of incrementalism'

Stephen HeppellStephen Heppell: 'Learning needs to be seductive and engaging'Josie Fraser: "Let's start with a bit about you Stephen. What are you working on at the moment?"
Stephen Heppell: "I have this rather interesting life now, as Professor of New Media Environments [at Bournemouth University]. I'm on the BAFTA Council and sit on SkillSet's board, helping steer qualifications and training in the creative industries. I still have a strong geek streak and have always been involved in really pioneering work – with CD-Roms, with the early days of the World Wide Web, Google APIs and phones now, and so on.

By George Cole
Angela McFarlaneAngela McFarlaneSometimes, when you create an innovative product, you don’t always get the reaction you expected. Back in 1990, Angela McFarlane and her colleagues took some Windows-based data-logging software they’d developed to an educational computing conference in Denver, USA.

Representatives from Microsoft were astonished. “How on earth did you know how to do this,” they asked, “when you’re not even an approved developer?”

Picture: David Lewis Photography

Annika Small

By John Galloway

Annika Small (above) clearly relishes the challenge offered by guiding nascent organisations in their development. Having taken Futurelab through its independence from NESTA to become an institution with a worldwide reputation for innovative research into education and the use of technology, she is now with The Tony Blair Faith Foundation (TTBF) as its director of education.

Despite the continuing comitment to working with young people learning with ICT,  the two outfits have quite different approaches.

Lizbeth GoodmanFuturelab's Lizbeth Goodman: 'fail better... and better'By John Galloway
Innovation is the constant in Professor Lizbeth Goodman's career, whether in the arts, academia, the media or new technologies where she has always been driving in new directions. Having founded SMARTlab Digital Media Institute (now at the University of East London), and then MAGIC (Multimedia and Games Innovation Centre) she turned her attention to the world renowned, blue-skies research establishment, Futurelab, where she was, until recently, research director.

Along the way her diverse activities have ranged from creating collaborative multimedia tools for students and artists to systems for women with disabilities to use mobile phones and GPS to report problems with getting around Newham, the London borough hosting the Olympics.