When Ultralab, the Chelmsford-based learning and technology research hothouse, disappeared from public view, most of its staff vanished too - but not for long. What was Anglia Ruskin University's loss became education's gain as a welter of highly experienced talent spread out to other projects.
One such offshoot is Cleveratom, created by Matthew Eaves, Hal MacLean and Alex Blanc, which is successfully developing learning spaces and ICT - it supported City College Norwich's award-winning RUGroom for learners with ASD (Autistic Spectrum Disorder). The work spurred Cleveratom to come up with a simple but powerful formula for effective learning places.
In an online interview on the Futurelab website, director of creativity Matthew Eaves explains that if you think of a learning space as a blank square, “The top left hand corner would be ‘pedagogy’, the right would be ‘people’, the bottom left would be ‘tools’ and the bottom right ‘space’. If they don’t all work together you won’t have an effective learning space.
“The RUGroom already had brilliant pedagogy and people, but they didn't have the tools and the space."
It's a model that is serving Cleveratom well in its work on school capital projects like Building Schools for the Future. And its development of ICT tools has led to the creation of bespoke software for collaborative consultations and even a new learning platform, Thought Park, that is being used by schools to support students working on diplomas.
You can read the full interview with Matthew Eaves, "Wrapped up in the underlay of learning at the RUGroom", on the Futurelab website.
City College, Norwich, Regional Centre for Learners with Autistic Spectrum Disorders
Cleveratom’s SPOKE software for collaborative consultaion
Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)