Tech Spaghetti are crowd funding a radical new approach to teaching kids innovation skills. The concept for the Young Innovator’s Toolkit was born in late 2013, when Elliot and Leah started having conversations about how to develop innovation and creative thinking in children aged six to twelve.
We caught up with them to find out more about their indieGoGo campaign and where they want to go next.
Elliot is an entrepreneur with a consultancy, operations and project management background. He is responsible for company development, growth strategy and operations. Elliot moved to Berlin, Germany, from New Zealand two years ago.
Leah’s background is in the Arts and education and she has been teaching internationally for eight years. She is responsible for product development and education work. Leah comes from New Zealand and now lives in Berlin, Germany.
Alex handles the social media campaign, marketing strategy and assists with business development. Originally from Australia, he has cultivated a diverse background as a business analyst, project manager and hospitality consultant. He now lives in Berlin, Germany.
Now seems to be the time for education startups, particularly in the US. What makes your concept different?
The key for us has been to think about the type of working environment we need to prepare children for. We know there is a long-term trend away from routine-oriented work and toward creativity-oriented jobs. This means we need to move away from a model where children learn one subject at a time, like reading, maths, or even technology and coding. Instead, we should deliver cross-curricular learning where children develop creative high-order thinking skills, rather than completing subject-specific tasks. Our innovation is that instead of delivering an outdated single-subject model of education through a modern platform, we combine the two: a modern cross-curricular learning model and a modern delivery channel. This is in line with the latest educational thinking and we are pioneering it in the digital realm.
Tell us more about the concept of the Young Innovator’s Toolkit.
Those of us in the workforce today are finding out that the nature of work is changing. Automation means that there is an increasing need for people to be innovative and entrepreneurial in the new work environment. When we think about how this applies to children, we realise the vast unexplored potential for them to be entrepreneurial very early on, when they are still in their teens. This is the concept of the Young Innovator’s Toolkit – what are the skills we need to give children so they can start their first company, philanthropic project or creative endeavour by the time they go to high school? Our lessons centre around developing these skills.
What are the main features of your first products in 2014 and when will they be available?
Our first series of lessons are centred around communicating through digital media and engaging an online audience:
- “And then…… there was a sound that nobody was expecting!” – in this four-lesson series children learn how to bring a story to life using sound to build moods and engage an audience, as well as how to use recording software. The end showpiece is a soundtrack, a story with music, that children can share with their friends and families.
- “My Secret Life…..Shhhhhh, Don’t Tell!” – this series six-lesson series children learn cinematography techniques, such as storyboarding and shot composition, as well as filming and using video editing software. The end showpiece is a short film for children to share.
Are the lessons for home or school? And how much support is required for children to complete the lessons?
We are developing lessons for both home and the classroom. The classroom lessons will be available slightly earlier, starting from August, while the home lessons will need a lot more technical work to deliver well – we are working very hard to bring these out by Christmas! All our lessons are designed to be completed independently by children aged eight and up, while six and seven year olds might need a little bit of help from a parent or teacher. If you have a look on out website at www.techspaghetti.com you will see soundtracks and films that children made independently in our pilot programme.