A CENTURY guide to successful international school pilots

Posted on 27th January 2023

Posted by CENTURY

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes


A recent UK government research paper on the successful implementation of education technology in schools and colleges highlighted the importance of piloting EdTech.

Pilots are especially important as they allow schools and colleges the time and space to explore the effectiveness of the technology and its impact. These trial periods also help organisations understand and then deal with the inevitable challenges of change management.

They can include just staff, but we have found pilots that include staff and learners to be the most effective, especially when those in the trial represent a range of confidence with using technology. Longer pilots also give fantastic opportunities for organisations to try different models of use to give them the best picture of CENTURY’s impact and capabilities.

We currently offer a number of pilots which can be tailored to a specific school’s context. It is possible for pilots to be adapted to different usage models of CENTURY, as some schools prefer to use it in the classroom for blended learning, others as a homework tool, others as a revision platform and so on.

Similarly, the pilot can be tailored with a school’s implementation goals in mind. Pilots could be run for an organisation to evaluate the platform and their usage model, or to generate buy-in from different groups of stakeholders (teachers, learners or even parents).

We have run a range of pilots from one to six weeks with organisations previously. Though some of our shorter pilots have been successful, we highly recommend a longer pilot of about four to six weeks, roughly the duration of a half-term.

The crucial part of all our pilots is that every school receives a similar level of support and guidance from our dedicated Customer Success team as they would with a subscription to ensure the pilot is as close as possible to the full experience.

This involves personal onboarding and training sessions in advance of the pilot commencing, real time support with troubleshooting in the event of any questions, a check-in session to troubleshoot any issues, and regular updates with insights and analytics from the school’s usage data.

During the initial onboarding call a dedicated CENTURY account manager will guide a school through their method of use, advising them from our wealth of experience of working with schools in a plethora of contexts with different individual needs around the globe.

Schools can use CENTURY to support learning in the classroom, as consolidation or revision at home, and to support independent learning. Teachers will learn how to regularly set nuggets (micro-lessons) for each subject, and how to use the data from the platform to guide interventions and stretch learners that need it.

At the end of the first week the school will receive an illustrated update on their usage, giving them insights of how the pilot has started. Halfway through the pilot, CENTURY’s account manager will have a virtual meeting with the school’s pilot lead to check in with how they are doing.

They will talk through the usage data, providing feedback, insights and analysis to help the school gain the most from piloting the technology that they can. This is also an important opportunity to identify any roadblocks or challenges and troubleshoot them, for example if an individual teacher needs guidance on the correct course to assign based on their examination board.

In the third week another illustrated usage update will be provided, with an accompanying survey to gather learner feedback. At the end of the fourth week, CENTURY’s account manager will arrange a virtual meeting to wrap up the pilot. The account manager will deliver a presentation to the school’s team giving an overview of the number of nuggets assigned and completed, how many questions have been answered, and if the platform has been used in different ways or with varying regularity by English, maths or science departments.

The account manager will also provide data on the number of learners engaging with the platform, and will give insights based on how many nuggets they have completed by using the recommended path, illustrating how much they are using and benefiting from the AI. They will also show the school team how many learners are engaging with the learner dashboard, which provides learners with a 360-degree view of all their learning, demonstrating how CENTURY supports learner agency.

The presentation will end with a summary of the learner feedback from the survey, some quotes about how they have found using the technology and how they have engaged with it, and, especially for primary schools, some of the emotion data recorded by the app showing when learners felt "happy" or "proud" of their achievements.

With the pilot completed and all the data and insights presented to the school, it then rests with the school to make their final decision. If they have felt the pilot was a success, as many do, then CENTURY is able to assign an account manager permanently and continue using CENTURY with a seamless transition from the pilot.

Book a pilot for your school here.