Preface at MIT App Inventor Summit 2019

It has been a busy summer for Preface — on top of coaching 300+ students in our Summer Bootcamps this year, our team has just returned from the MIT App Inventor Summit, one of the biggest developer summits in the world. During the 3-day summit, the Preface team interfaced with more than 1,000 developers and educators and presented the brilliant work of our students to the top technologists from all over the world.

Held by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) right on their campus in Cambridge, MA, the summit was an eye-opening event that showcased the most innovative tech projects developed by App Inventor students and educators. Preface was invited as a distinguished educator to host an educator workshop, showcase our student project, and present an academic thesis about the community impact of Preface Hackathon.

Preface Coder project: Tin Hau Now and Then

Preface was invited as a distinguished educator to present the community project created by our students — “Tin Hau Now and Then through Our Eyes”. The project takes its audience back in time to see how Tin Hau has developed from a small village into the present-day neighbourhood through a series of thematic games and animations. The event participants were amazed by the quality of this project. Many of them asked if they could meet the little creators in person! The Preface team also had a lot of valuable exchange with other educators in how to deliver quality coding education using App Inventor. This gave us a lot of ideas for our upcoming App Inventor batch starting this September!

Educator Workshop: How to build powerful apps with App Inventor Extensions

During the summit, the Preface team held a 3-hour workshop about how to utilise extension and connect external hardware to App Inventor for the coding educators. The first part of the workshop introduced some useful extensions that quickly expand the capacity of App Inventor as a mobile development tool, such as the Material Card Extension. The extension allows developers to put together an intuitive interface that involves significantly fewer blocks to build. While the audience was already familiar with the usual functionalities of App Inventor, they were impressed by how extensions can streamline development processes so simply.

In the second part of the workshop, the Preface team shared their experience of building the T-Rex Runner project with the audience. The project was an arcade game built with App Inventor and controlled via external hardware. The standard package of App Inventor does not offer an easy way for users to connect an app to external controllers. However, with the use of keyboard extension, developers can connect the control panel of the app to a set of external hardware keys with which you can perform different controls. The T-Rex Runner game is an example of how the original control as a simple tap on the touch screen is translated into a press on a big arcade button with the use of key extension which is especially useful for adding a dimensional experience to a software product.

Academic Presentation: The community impact of Preface Nomad Hackathon

On top of the hands-on workshop and product sharing session, our founder Mr Tommie Lo also took over the academic podium and presented a thesis on the community impact of “Preface Nomad Hackathon” as an indispensable part of Preface’s programming curriculum. While the 1-on-1 personalised setup of Preface Nomad lesson allows a 100% attention from teachers to help students learn, Preface Nomad Hackathon serves as a complementary learning tool that adds a social element to the learning journey of Nomad students. It serves as a chance for all solo learners to collaborate with others and use what they learn individually to solve real-world problems together. The curriculum of Preface Nomad is designed in a way that focuses on growing the individual strengths and characters of each student while giving them the opportunity to learn from their peers without having to compromise for individual progress.

Participating in the MIT App Inventor Summit was an invaluable chance for the Preface Team to share their vision in coding education on a global arena and receive feedback from educators of diverse background. As summer is approaching the end, we can’t wait to share what we’ve learnt in this summit with our students in the coming school year!

EdTechX Global

Preface Team Speaking at Europe’s Largest Education Summit

Experience sharing as 2018’s Award Winner

Tonight’s the night — Preface team is speaking at EdTechXEurope in London to share the experience of disrupting the global landscape of education as an innovative startup.

EdTechXEurope is one of the largest European education summits held yearly in London. Each year the Summit gathers more than 150 educational organisations as well as hundreds of speakers and opinion leaders to show how their projects are shaping the future of education. As the winner of EdTechX Global Award of 2018, Preface is invited to the event as one of the thought-leading speakers to share our vision as an industry disruptor about how the technology of Machine Learning will eventually retire the traditional classroom learning mode, why — and more importantly how — personalisation will become the ultimate future of education.

Words can’t convey how excited we are right now. Stay tune for more pictures and updates on how the night goes for us!

Preface @TEDx

Preface Nomad @TED Talks

The Power of Change in Education

Team Preface @TEDx

This is the moment we realised how far we’ve come in this journey of changing education.

Last week, Mr Tommie Lo, our Founder & CEO, was invited to deliver a talk on how Deep Learning technology will provide personalised education that the society truly needs — right on the stage of TEDx, an organisation that needs no further introduction on how impactful it is for spreading ideas among the global community.

It was an unbelievable experience for us, and we already know that there will be more to come. 2019 is looking amazing ahead.

If you’ve missed the live TEDx talk, here’s a quick recap of our presentation:

  • Classroom as a form of knowledge delivery was a legacy from Prussian Model of Education in the 1800s to meet societal needs resulted from the Industrial Revolution.
  • The classic model met the needs of the society perfectly when standardisation was sought after, but is failing hard in the present day society where uniqueness and creativity are the focuses.
  • The “1-teacher-to-many-students” model is a catalyst for communication gap: few students progress quickly while a huge number are left far behind.
  • Preface Nomad uses Deep Learning technology to tackle this problem: using feedback data collected from each lesson, Preface Nomad provides personalised lesson materials in a much more cost-effective manner, making it possible to adjust the teacher-student ratio to 1:1. Instead of spending too much time in preparing personalised lesson materials for every single student, teachers can focus their time on doing the actual teaching, and greatly improve the learning experience of every student.
  • Personalisation is the key for effective education; 1-on-1 learning model will replace the traditional form of classroom, in a speed we couldn’t imagine before the time of Deep Learning technology.

Our participation in TEDx is only a start. Stay tune for more exciting announcements in this space.

To learn more about our personalised Ruby-on-Rails web programming course, head to here or chat with us.

Preface’s Big Win in F8

Team Effort Attracted Huge Interests in Facebook’s Annual Tech Conference

Preface Team

Earlier in May, the product team of Preface was invited to join the F8 Conference in California, one of the biggest annual tech conferences that gathers top-notch engineers and entrepreneurs to learn about the up-and-coming technology that Facebook will put in the hands of consumers. The Preface team took the chance to meet with many talented engineers, professors and tech experts coming to this event.

Preface team received valuable feedback for Nomad, our teacher-student matching system that makes personalised learning truly effective and possible. Through this event, the team has gained useful insight about how to improve the product beyond the alpha test period. We are getting closer and closer to our beta launch scheduled to be in July. Stay tuned for more product updates in this space!

Facebook’s F8 Developer Conference at a Glimpse by Preface…

Being a tech-driven education company, Preface follows newest trends and technology developments closely. Preface’s founder Tommie, along with Carmen and Edwin, attended the recent 2018 Facebook Developer Conference in San Jose, California during early May.

‘Despite the earlier negative coverages on privacy issues of Facebook, the conference event was still impressive. Facebook’s latest technologies brought them another step closer to achieving their mission of bringing the world together and connecting the community,’ said Tommie.

He then mentioned that one of Facebook’s highly invested technologies is AR (Augmented Reality), which makes it possible for users of certain applications, such as video chats, to create their own personalized figures instead of being compelled to engage in a face-to-face conversation. In response to the growing concerns over privacy issues, Facebook will also be rolling out a function to allow users to clear all browsing history.

Apart from the keynote announcing Facebook’s new technologies, their up-and-coming educational workshops are another main highlight. Facebook’s product experts shared and taught how the technology can actually be applied and merged into our daily lives.

Data isn’t everything

Working in the strategies and planning team, Edwin focuses not only on Preface’s business strategies, but also users’ strategies, performing tasks like data mining and user’s engagement and feedback analysis of Preface’s products.

‘In Facebook’s latest omni-channel analytics, businesses can now track time sessions spent on certain pages and apps, as well as the entire user flow and propensity toward specific behaviours, across various platforms and devices,’ said Edwin.

He noted the importance of implementing such versatile tool in Preface’s users’ analytics for the finest education products and plans.

‘Education should not solely focus on how much time is spent on learning certain topics, but the whole journey of every single learner on how they pick up each concept and understand the relationships amongst them,’ Edwin added.

Designers aren’t just artists but creators of innovative process change

Preface’s design and production team differs from typical design teams in other companies. Apart from daily design tasks for promotional materials, app interface and centre layouts, Preface’s team puts even higher emphasis on the true virtues of designs which are to help to improve situations and solve issues.

Leading the design and production team, Carmen oversees a variety of projects, ranging from designing every tiny detail like colour combinations and graphics used in the products, to redesigning the entire learning process with design-thinking skills to enhance students’ learning experience in Preface’s learning ecosystem.

‘Being open-minded to feedbacks and understanding the needs of customers are crucial in the design thinking process,’ Carmen said.

In that event, Carmen works closely with Edwin to frequently obtain statistical data for UI and interaction improvements.

Preface Going Global

“There isn’t a thing that cannot be learnt.”

Indeed, it’s true; and Preface lives by this motto to re-innovate a global learning ecosystem for not only kids, but also adults to engage in. Today, Preface is one step closer to being a key influencer and making global impacts — being the international winner of the world’s most anticipated EdTech event, EdTechX.

An International Recognition from Tech Giants

Preface took glory earlier last year with her immersive and all-rounded learning ecosystem being spotted and valued by the Tech Giant Google, and Asia’s largest online technology media firm Tech in Asia. Going forward, Preface is honoured to celebrate her dominance in the world with another international prize.

Winning the EdTechXGlobal Rise Award from the largest international EdTechXGlobal Summit in June 2018, Preface out-competes all other education companies around the world. Being identified globally as an EdTech institution that shows the most significant innovation and growth in the education industry, Preface strives to entertain both the local and global community with advanced and emerging knowledge through her innovations in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technology; as well as the perspectives from re-designing the mindsets of learning.

What’s in Preface Ecosystem?

Preface recreates learning efficiency and experience through reinventing conventional textbooks, exercise books, tutorial notes and dictionaries into AI-powered apps for better personalised learning; these free apps boost learner’s engagement into our education-ecosystem and gather crucial study-behavioural data to our AI system to provide every user with an accurate learning journey with Preface education services — both online usage and face-to-face teaching.

Speaking to the founding team, “It’s our motto that pushes us forward. This recognition drives us to strive harder to be the game changer we have to be, the influences we need to bring and the move we want to make in education. We believe we are closer to causing an impactful change not only to China and Japan, but also other global regions.”

The EdTechXGlobal Summit

EdTechXGlobal is the world’s largest Education Summit held across the Globe every year, with stops in Asia, Europe and Africa. It brings together investors, innovators and industry influencers; global leaders from different education segments, such as publishers like Pearson, Macmillan and McGraw Hall; tech Giants’ education branches from Google, Baidu, Apple and Chan Zuckerberg Initiative; as well as unicorn EdTech companies from the US and China like EdX, Coursera, Da Da English (噠噠英語), and 17zuoye (一起作業) participate to promote a global learning ecosystem.

Preface Workshops — A space to kindle your interest…

A myriad of specialty coffee shops have been emerging in the city over the past few years. As Preface’s concept store, Preface Coffee stands out with the operation of its space that subtly blends the pleasures of savoring a whiff of freshly brewed Arabica and enjoying a free flow of up-to-date knowledge provided at Preface Workshops. In a sense, Preface Coffee is building a school in a coffee shop; in another sense, it is redesigning the notion of education and schooling.

Preface Workshops at Preface Coffee

Acknowledging the eternal evolving nature of knowledge and the limitations of academic curriculum in schools, Preface Workshops aspire to immerse the most timely knowledge and discussions in the community.

During the day, customers can enjoy the carefully crafted coffee and work on their new ideas in a free seating environment. After seven, when the hectic day of most working individuals ends, Preface Coffee transforms into an afterwork symposium in where Preface educators or guest speakers share their expertise, so participants can refresh their minds with not only coffee aroma but also mind blowing ideas from all walks of life. Through Preface Workshops, the Ed-Tech company strives to spread knowledge in a different, thus, a better way.

Preface Workshops on Education, Technology and Design

Powered by Preface, a technology and design driven company, Preface Workshops endeavour to educate the like-minded creatives on the topics of education, technology and design. Preface believes that technology is not merely grim theories, nor is design just a terminology for colours and patterns. On that account, Preface Workshops spark keen learners with open conversations on the topics of latest technologies and methods of design thinking used in project management.

Innovative workshops held for both kids and adults are mainly related to, but not limited in, programming knowledge, artificial intelligence and design thinking. Beginner courses (from level 101 to 105), like Artificial Intelligence, Ruby on Rails, Python, Data Science and Design Thinking, are open alternately throughout the year at Preface Workshops.

Artificial Intelligence 101–105 and Design Thinking 101–105 are offered this summer and fall. The former series focuses on the evolution of key AI technologies and the way they can be engaged in businesses and industries; whereas the latter engages the idea of systematic approaches to new product development as well as the rationale of customer-centred problem-solving processes.

Advanced learners or individuals who have taken a particular 5-level beginner course can further enrol in the advanced courses at Preface centers. It is in the right place at the right time to reignite the interests of eager folks in mastering skill sets needed in the 21st century.

Unstuck Your Minds in the Free Environment

Preface Coffee sits on Lau Li Street in Tin Hau

Preface Coffee sits on Lau Li Street in Tin Hau, a neighbourhood brimming with great restaurants and foodie’s favourite local street stalls. Preface Coffee is a space hard to miss. Its modern earth tone exteriors and open environment flooded with sunlight stand in stark contrast to the authentic buildings in the area, making it an inspiring place to stop by.

Attending Preface Workshops is no longer the same as that in traditional classrooms where students are bounded by chairs and tables. The design of auditorium seatings embodies the value of learning and open discussions. There, learners can grab a cup of drink, sit on the podium and indulge in the flowing of ideas when attending the workshops.

Learners are encouraged to ask questions proactively and exchange thoughts in pursuit of inducing ideas. Folks, as a result, are able to interact with one another and receive relevant information in the industries. Preface Workshops are reckoned as a place where learners can build the network to interchange materials and views. The tranquil atmosphere of learning is freed up at Preface Coffee, so as the individuals’ minds at Preface Workshops; and yet, Preface treasures free minds as they are the essence of quality education.

Its motto of ‘There isn’t a thing that cannot be learnt’ extends past the grey walls.