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LessonApp is a mobile tool for teachers to design quality lessons

LessonApp

location_on Tampere, Finland
LessonApp has Finnish pedagogy packed in a compact form. It includes activating teaching methods which promote learning. Use ready-to-teach lessons or plan your own with the help of lesson blocks. LessonApp is not tied to any curriculum.
Co-Founders
Our mission is to help teachers, the key players of quality education, and ultimately provide every child with the chance of experiencing the joy of learning!

Co-Founders

Overview

HundrED has not validated this innovation

Anyone can submit their innovation to HundrED Open. All information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been checked by HundrED. Innovation page has been created on June 4th, 2019
Key figures

Innovation Overview

3 - 18
Age Group
1 100
Children/Users
15
Countries
2018
Established
For-profit
Organisation
433
Views
Updated on January 28th, 2021
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about the innovation

LessonApp is a mobile tool to design quality lessons – the Finnish way.

What we do?

Quality Education for all is hard to achieve. Majority of teachers lack high-quality pedagogical expertise especially in emerging countries. There are recruitment and training needs for 70 million new teachers worldwide. How to train them in a cost-efficient way with quality results? 

LessonApp is a mobile lesson planning tool designed to help teacher around the world. We want to raise the quality of education by empowering teachers: we have wrapped high-quality pedagogy, activating teaching methods and ready-to-teach lesson plans in a mobile app. It enables users regardless of the earlier experience to design and deliver versatile and inspiring lessons. LessonApp is reachable for everyone: it can be used on a mobile phone, computer, online, offline.

Latest news:  Language versions coming soon!  There will be Burmese, Portuguese and Romanian at first and later on Russian and Spanish!

Why we do it?

A teacher in a dim classroom with too many students. No resources, except for an old blackboard and a piece of chalk. The teacher gives the lesson the only way he knows: the teacher talks and the students listen. Every lesson continues the same way. Learning results are poor, frustration level high. This reality hit us when our teacher trainers were working abroad.

We were taken aback by this kind of a reality when travelling in emerging countries and training local teachers. Many of the teachers we met were doing their best, but without proper training and a higher quality pedagogical knowledge, it was impossible for them to do better.

Coming from Finland, a land of excellent learning results and a strong ethos of equality, this seemed fundamentally unfair to us. We have been training teachers in various countries around the world and we strongly believe that every child should be entitled to a high-quality education regardless of where they live.

This is the question that haunted us:

How is it possible that during this era, a time of an unlimited flow of information and efficient communication technology, we cannot offer basic pedagogical knowledge and tools for all teachers around the world?

After several passionate discussions over this question, we were suddenly struck with a realization: even in the most remote, unprivileged areas teachers very often have mobile phones. Even if they lacked all the basic resources required for teaching, they would still have a smart phone sitting in their pocket. Could we, then, share our knowledge of planning high-quality lessons with all of them?

Our mission was clear: we were going to create a mobile app for teachers around the world to help them deliver better lessons!

With the idea of the app, we soon realized that what we wanted to do was to equip the teachers with an understanding of the learning process and the necessary tools for planning efficient, inspiring lessons themselves. We wanted to empower the teachers in unprivileged areas while bearing this quote in mind:

“You give a poor man a fish and you feed him for a day. You teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime.” (Chinese proverb)

So how to turn this vision into reality? We realized that we needed to combine the pedagogical knowledge of Learning Scoop, Finland, with app development expertise. Team LessonApp was born .

Initially, LessonApp was created to help the teachers in emerging countries, but it turned out that teachers working in high-quality education systems also wanted to use LessonApp. They told us that LessonApp would help their work by providing them with new ideas and inspiration, as well as saving valuable time.

What we need is mutual learning and a global teacher community to support each other.

Our mission is to help teachers, the key players of quality education, and ultimately provide every child with the chance of experiencing the joy of learning!

Media

See this innovation in action

Is teaching a simple act to copy and repeat?
LessonApp had the privilege to take part in Next Billion EdTech Prize in Global Education and Skills Forum organized by Varkey Foundation in Dubai. The Varkey Foundation aims to ensure that every child gets a good education and works with a good teacher.  “The Next Billion Prize was created to shine a light on those gifted entrepreneurs that are not only ingenious, but also bold and persistent enough to bring forward the revolutionary ideas that are desperately needed to transform education in those parts of the world where there is limited access to high quality teaching” says Vikas Pota, Group Chief Executive of Tmrw Digital, which runs the Next Billion Prize. For LessonApp it was a huge honor to be chosen among the 30 finalists out of 800 EdTech startups to take part in the competition. It was also incredibly inspiring opportunity to meet education leaders and influencers and fellow EdTech start-up entrepreneurs from all over the world.  As Varkey Foundation states: ”Too often, teachers are not trained or supported to be effective – and that means pupils are not learning. One recent study from the World Bank showed that only 9% of teachers in sub Saharan Africa had the minimum required knowledge of pedagogy to effectively teach the curriculum, and only 7% could correctly mark a year 4 test on spelling and comprehension.” And this is the case in many other emerging countries, too. Many EdTech companies have found different ways to tackle this problem of inadequately trained teachers.  Many have decided to produce quality content to teachers to cover different subject areas. On the other hand, many companies have decided to create solutions that reach out straight to the students to provide learning opportunities via technology without teachers needed. These all seemed like interesting ways to provide new possibilities to raise the quality of education. We also stumbled upon solutions that aimed to provide teachers ready-made solutions basically anybody could apply. The idea was to give teachers, no matter what their pedagogical level was, detailed, prefabricated instructions, what to do. While this can be helpful in some cases, there lies a fundamental problem, too. Teachers are easily seen as bare instruments transmitting someone else’s plans. In this model there is little room for teachers’ professional growth or faith in their ability to develop.  Our solution, LessonApp, is based on a different view. We believe, that all teachers, no matter what is the level of knowledge they start with, have an ability to grow and develop professionally. We believe, that all teachers, if given quality knowledge, models and tools, can develop their own professional expertise, gain deeper understanding of learning and teaching, and be able to provide better lessons for their students. That’s why LessonApp provides quality pedagogical knowledge, easy-to-apply model to create meaningful lesson structure and a lot of well-instructed teaching methods for teachers to choose from themselves. If teaching is based on coping ready-made models, there is a great chance, that the prefabricated plans don’t work as intended. If a teacher is lacking deeper understanding, why certain things are done, she/he may instruct the students poorly and learning results are unsatisfactory. In this approach the teacher is also not capable of modifying the plans, if the learning situation changes anyhow. To our mind, quality teaching is never a mechanical act. Instead, it is an intentional, creative interaction, based on deep understanding of learning. Our aim has never been to offer teachers shallow ready models to just copy and repeat. Our goal is to help teachers to gain professional understanding and increase their expertise. Instead of giving a fish, we want to teach how to fish yourself.
Feedback from Principal
"It is like creating a Finnish lesson in the Mediterranean." Dr. Kenneth Vella Headmaster, Malta 
Duquesne School of Education
"This App can totally revolutionize the way in which we train teachers in USA. It could also help teachers in less developed countries improve their teaching." Dean Cindy M. Walker University of Duquesne, USA 
Teacher feedback
"In the daily crunch, an app like LessonApp would be a gold mine. The fact that I can store my lessons, browse others, and then easily tweak them to match my current needs makes this app very appealing." Satu Muja Teacher, USA
Reference from Research Group of Educational Psychology
"In this application it has been successfully packed in a simple form what Finnish teachers do every day in schools." Erika Maksniemi Research Group of Educational Psychology University of Helsinki, Finland
Introduction to LessonApp
Tutorial video how to use LessonApp

Milestones

Achievements & Awards

June 2019
Kokoa Standard Evaluation
June 2019
Innovation page created on HundrED.org
March 2019
Varkey Foundation Next Billion EdTech Prize Competition, Dubai
March 2019
SDG Action Awards Nominee in category “Connector”
February 2019
GESS Awards finalist 2019 in Best free app -category
December 2018
The Yidan Prize Summit, 2nd place. Hong Kong
September 2018
The Scandinavian GESA, Nordic semi-finalist of the Global EdTech Startup Awards
February 2018
xEdu, business accelerator program for ed-tech startups in Finland
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