Hugo is the Co-Founder and CEO of Kognity. He thinks a lot about learning and how it happens, as well as company culture and growth.
Welcome to Kognity! As the company’s co-founder and CEO, I would like to use this first blog post to introduce Kognity – both how we came to exist and what we want to accomplish.
In 2004, I started Lanterna Education with Nicholas Johansson, my co-founder. Lanterna is a course provider set up to help students achieve their ambitions and to cater for their individual needs so they can really fulfill their potential. Lanterna has helped, and is continuing to help, many thousands of students at course centers across Europe, North America, and the Middle East.
When visiting schools around the world, we were struck by one thing. In every classroom, regardless of the country, the main resource that was used, and that defined what students must learn and teachers must teach, was the printed textbook. This is a learning resource that has – despite some improvements in aspects such as its layout, pedagogic approach and infographic components – looked essentially the same for a hundred years. And while students and teachers were glad to have all the materials they needed in one place, we observed that few of them actually liked the textbook from a learning and teaching perspective.
We thus started to think about new ways in which we could offer students and teachers value by reinventing the textbook experience from scratch in an online, interactive format.
Technology’s huge potential in improving learning
From our observations, it was clear that the billions of hours spent by schoolchildren globally aren’t as productive as they should be, and that the education sector has lagged behind in the technological revolution – a revolution that has otherwise brought incredible innovations to so many parts of our lives.
For learning, the medium of technology has many advantages over the static experience of printed text on paper. Content that can provide interactivity, immersion, simulation and visualization increases students’ levels of engagement, while technology’s enhanced capabilities for data-gathering, communication and automating activities such as marking and assessment can facilitate key processes for teachers. We therefore reasoned that combining all these possibilities into one product should naturally lead to vastly improved learning and teaching.
So we set out to make this happen by forming Kognity, and launching our product in September 2014, and since the outset we’ve had reason to feel confident that technology can dramatically enhance the learning experience for both students and teachers.
How far can we take this?
The unexpectedly rapid progress we’ve made since our launch just over a year ago has given us cause to be proud. Hundreds of schools across more than 30 countries have adopted Kognity’s digital textbooks. We have been invited to talk about our views on the future of education at various international conferences and events. We have assembled an amazing team with diverse backgrounds but a shared passion for our cause. And in a short space of time, we have already helped tens of thousands of students who use Kognity to improve their learning.
While the world has moved on from static one-way media, educational publishing has been left behind. However, the good news is that technology is now starting to transform how students learn, and Kognity is leading the way.
Our long-term vision is simple: We want to double the learning pace of the world’s school students. Kognity is nothing but a collection of hard-working individuals who are passionate about achieving this vision. I hope that you will want to follow us – or maybe even join us – on this journey!