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In Conversation with… David Jackson, Market Development Manager, Edx Education

This month we speak to David Jackson from Edx Education. The company designs and develops innovative educational products and materials for a broad range of markets including early childhood, kindergartens and primary schools. Their product range covers maths manipulatives, early childhood active play, art & craft accessories and they are the largest manufacturer of maths manipulatives (3-11 years) in the world. Read to know what you can expect to see from them at GESS Dubai 2018

What does innovation mean to you?

Education is evolving, as Edx Education is on the forefront of manufacturing and supplying math manipulatives and early childhood educational products. We are always striving to innovate according to the global market. Innovation is modifying our physical products to offer the most value for students to learn whilst having fun. We have also identified that teachers require access to quality online information resources to develop lesson plans that improve the effectiveness of using manipulatives in the classroom. Edx continually works with educational professionals and industry leaders to develop written materials and videos that assist teachers.

Please tell us a little bit about Edx Education and your projects in education. What new and exciting products have you been working on?

Edx Education is an Australian owned Taiwan company that specialises in manufacturing and supplying very high quality and safe educational products for 3 to 12 year olds, to more than 90 countries worldwide in North America, U.K., Europe, Middle East, Asia, South America and Australia. Edx’s core product range is mathematics manipulatives and early childhood active play.

Edx Education have launched many new maths manipulative products that have been developed by Dr Paul Swan over the last few years. Dr Paul Swan’s Mathematics Manipulatives Reference Guide along with his latest range of books are very popular with early childhood teaching professionals mainly because of the activities and information the books provide for schools and teachers.

Our most exciting new product is our Rainbow Pebbles that were envisioned by our office General Manager. The Rainbow Pebbles are ideal for developing fine motor skills by engaging young learners to play and learn counting, sorting, stacking, colour recognition, shape recognition and creative development. We are also delighted with the positive feedback we have received from special needs educators and parents alike in their praise for the Rainbow Pebbles educational value.

You have been exhibiting at GESS for a few years now and have had a strong presence at our shows in Dubai, Indonesia & Mexico. We are thrilled to welcome you back for GESS Dubai 2018! What are some highlights of your experience at the show?  What makes you choose GESS?

GESS has been an amazing show to exhibit at, very professionally run from signing up to the delivery of the event. Over the years we have exhibited at GESS we have formed great partnerships with teachers, distributors, educational professionals and industry leaders. Highlights for Edx Education are demonstrating ou products to teachers, meeting educational professionals, and receiving direct feedback from teachers, which help Edx Education innovate our educational resources.

How important is it to introduce the right learning tools to teach students in schools and what is the right age to start?

Children learn best by active play. The right learning tools should be introduced from very early years. The right learning tools motivate students to engage in productive play, that extends young learners cognitive abilitiy, social interaction, gross and fine motor skills and many more.  For example, sand and water trays allow young children to develop their senses, foundation skills for science, mathematics, social interaction and communication skills through active play.

Math is one of those subjects that students either love or hate… How can teachers inspire their students to take a better liking in math in your opinion?

A good grounding in mathematics is developed by teachers using games and a variety of concrete materials (manipulatives) through active play, which creates an enjoyable introduction to mathematics and individual learning experiences. If students don’t understand a concept, it usually stems back to the foundations of mathematics not being well established from an early age. For example, making sets, establishing the concept of 10s, sorting for colour, size and shape, using mathematics manipulatives ensures basic concepts are established from an early age.

From all your years of experience in the industry, what are some of the trends in Education that you have noticed?

Individual learning plans are the biggest trend at the moment. Where students develop their learning at their own pace within the curriculum guidelines. There is also a lot more computerised learning programs these days. Which are great for young students to learn, although physical products such as math manipulatives are preferred by teachers and educational professionals to instill basic concepts at an early age through hands on learning (active play).

Can you reveal some of the products that visitors will be able to see at your stand?

Our product range focuses on early years and primary school educational resources. We will be exhibiting our sand and water (messy) trays, early childhood active play resources, mathematics educational resources, and showcasing Edx Education math-kits and lesson plans that have been developed by Dr Paul Swan! Edx Education have worked with Dr. Paul Swan in recent years to develop many new and exciting mathematics games that are used by students in over 90 countries worldwide. Dr Swan has identified through his many years of experience in early childhood education that classroom activities using manipulatives allow teachers to cater for all levels of learning within the classroom to develop young learners mastery in maths and basic early learning concepts.

Can you please share some tips for Primary school teachers?

Engaging students of all levels in the learning process through hands-on activities with concrete materials (manipulatives) greatly assists young students learning basic math concepts. For example, Dr Paul Swan has created and developed many fun ways of learning early math concepts through social interactions that involve thinking skills and using maths language. Dr Swan’s YouTube channel offers many tips for classroom based activities. Our Edx Education YouTube channel also offers tips and demonstrates how many of our educational resources are used in the classroom!

Who should visit your stand at GESS Dubai 2018?

Edx Education are very interested in talking to teachers about our educational tools and demonstrating how our products are used in the classroom. With our goal being to create Edx Education brand awareness amongst preK-6 educational professionals. We also welcome distributors from around the world to discuss distributing our products.