When Tony Blair was re-elected back in 10 Downing Street on 7 June 2001 after a landslide victory for his Labour party, his first speech at the University of Southampton reiterated his top priority, “education, education, education”. In short, his speech highlighted his party’s commitment to investment and reform in Britain’s lagging education sector, which had suffered under the “neglect” of the Conservative Party. His speech, I believe, rekindled the public interest in education — and also became one of his most memorable soundbites. Although I don’t support the Labour Party or their principles, I do credit Mr Blair for awakening the dormant giant that is education — and it shows nowadays.
Almost every major technology company has a page of their corporate website dedicated to education, touting how their products will “change lives” and “enhance basic classroom activities”. Microsoft‘s, for example, demonstrates a variety of its products, such as Microsoft Office 365 and Windows 8, whereas Apple opts for a more device-orientated page, touting how its products such as the iPad and Mac allow pupils to “tap into their potential” and have “inspired learners”. OK, so it’s a bit cringeworthy, but you get the point.
And now, there’s a new area to focus on: educational videos. Sure, we’ve all heard of the likes of TED and the Khan Academy — both of which offer excellent material — but now, there’s a new kid on the block that wants to give these two a run for their money. Mobento describes itself as a “video learning platform” which not only has an outstanding database of videos for your viewing enjoyment but it also allows you to search within videos for the actual words spoken. To help me understand a bit more about this amazing product, I spoke to Sumner Murphy, the founder of Mobento — here’s what he (and myself) had to say.