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Welcome to the first interview of our EdTech SuperHeroes with Jade Parkinson-Hill.

Jade Parkinson-Hill is the creator and energy behind the STEAM project, a UK based Video and Learning platform that supports the STEAM learning approach. She is an expert in creating, engaging and forward-thinking LIVE events and online education programmes. With this skill set, Jade assists education companies in creating #futureready education programmes, specialising in STEAM and live-learning.

Interview

Q: What is the first thing you do in the morning to get your day going?

It’s a very British thing really; I have a cup of tea. I can’t function properly without having a cup of tea. I’m a bit of a news geek even though I wish I was less of a news geek because it takes up way too much of my time. But definitely, a cup of tea and the news is part of my daily routine. I really do want to be one of those people who tell you that every day they get up and do yoga and a bit of meditation but no it’s a cup of tea and the news for me. 

Q: Do you have a big breakfast in the morning by any chance? 

Well, again I’m going to say that I’m very British so I usually just have some toast.

Q: What music artist would you say best describes how you work/ your work ethic?

I’m setting up a new project – STEAM Schools. STEAM Schools is a video and learning platform that is being run by British schools and some international schools. It’s brilliant, all the way through lockdown I have been searching for something to take on. Something that’s a bit lighter, something that’s about empowering people and helping them with their businesses with a particular focus on education.

I think over the past twelve months we’ve all been coping with so much. We’re at home with our families all the time, we’re managing kids and businesses and managing the stress and general overwhelm of being in the middle of a pandemic. Perhaps through that process, we’ve become more acquainted with who we are, what our talents are and the beauty of balance in our lives. I think lots of businesses will pivot over the next 12 months. I would love to help them share their talents, get visible and grow their business with live streaming. I have a theme tune for this new project, it’s Let’s Get Loud by Jennifer Lopez.

Q: During these rough & uncertain times, what inspires you to continue working every single day and to continue to pursue everything you want to achieve in your career? 

I have a ten-year-old boy called Ted. We’ve got two dogs and we’ve got a cat. So I have a really busy life and as an entrepreneur, I want to give my son the best life possible. He is a really talented rugby player and what I love about watching him play is the resilience rugby gives you. You get knocked down and you get back up again.  Resilience, grit and determination are so important for an entrepreneurial lifestyle.

Q: Are you team Google or are you team Apple?

Is it possible to be both? I have an Apple phone and I’m totally dedicated to it. I will never have anything different other than an Apple phone. 

As for Google, my business migrated everything onto Google this year. The only thing that we haven’t left is Zoom. We tried Google Hangouts then decided to go back to Zoom. Google is just a wonderful way to work; I love it. It just really facilitates collaboration. I think of all of the big companies; Google has really done a good job in the way they have stepped up and supported education this year.

Q: What are your thoughts on this year’s theme for Women’s Month (Choose to Challenge) and what way women in the education industry can take this theme and carry it out through the year as they go?

I think it’s a great theme. Firstly I think we should always choose to challenge ourselves as women, as it’s how we grow. I think what this past year has done for education and women is that we’ve removed a lot of the perceived barriers or the barriers that have stopped us from succeeding as education experts in Edtech. 

“This time has been a really good time to choose a challenge, to choose something that you want to create and build that thing that you’ve always wanted to build.”

As a global community, we’re now all used to working at home. So you can have the kids in the background and be a CEO at your desk. I’ve had offices for three years, my team is scattered all over the UK. My intention is to end the lease on our office, so I can be here at the end of the school day, still be here for my son and still make it to rugby training three times a week at night. 

“I think that there’s never been a better time for women to choose a project that’s going to really challenge themselves and to have an aspiration to make a difference in the world of education.”

I think although these times have been a challenge for the education community as they have had to learn to do things differently really quickly. It has been a challenge and people’s experiences have been really mixed but what the last twelve months have done is opened the door for acceleration for change in education. It’s so exciting to see what will happen in the next twelve months/two years/three years. I think that there is going to be a massive change. 

Q: What is your mantra for the year?

My mantra for the year is similar to the Let’s Get Loud theme tune. It’s about hypervisibility for me and my business and for what I want to achieve. STEAM School has been around for the last three years. In that first year, we were really building our audience and the revenue to fund building the platform. Then the pandemic happened and that changed our plans somewhat. We’ve seen amazing results from schools in our community during these challenging times. But everyone has been coping and surviving for the last twelve months so for me now as we’ve come out of lockdown, my plan is to be really hypervisible and to really express and share my expertise with as many different people as I can. 

About the Steam School

Steam School is an award-winning virtual club for future inventors and tech entrepreneurs. They connect students to some of the biggest names in technology via their weekly school broadcasts. Previous guests have included Instagram, Pokemon Go, Fortnite and the makers of Star Wars, Industrial Light and Magic. They host six missions every year, exploring real-world science and futuristic technology. Learners can journey through each mission by participating in weekly broadcasts with STEAM experts and choose from 18 different challenges to complete as scientists, engineers, artists, digital makers and entrepreneurs. Schools use this programme in a variety of ways including in the classroom, enrichment programmes and home learning.

Discover more about STEAM schools here and the awesome work that Jade and her team are getting up to!

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