About the Company

Catalysed was founded in 2016, and is run and managed by Dr Richard Osborne, BSc PGCE PhD, whose doctoral research laid the foundations for the business. At the heart of the Catalysed approach is the APT methodology created by Dr Osborne, shorthand for the Alignment of Pedagogy and Technology.

Catalysed is a UK registered not for profit company based in the South West of the UK. The company is fully insured for both public liability and professional indemnity.

Dr Osborne has almost 30 years experience in commerce and education, working in fields as diverse as defence, management consultancy, the Internet and both secondary and higher education. He holds a doctorate in Educational Technology and a PGCE in Secondary Science from the University of Exeter, masters level qualification in User Experience from the Open University and a BSc in Psychology from University College London. He is a member of NAACE (the National Association of Advisors for Computers in Education) and a former Adobe Education Leader.

"You don’t have to be a fan of technology, but you do need to understand that it’s a catalyst for some exciting pedagogical changes."

Eric Sheninger, Senior Fellow and Thought Leader on Digital Leadership

A brief personal history from Dr Osborne

Why did I start Catalysed? I first joined education as an Internet specialist in 2001, after many years working in the defence industry and then digital technologies. To my surprise I found that educators seemed strangely obsessed with the power of technology to transform education, but for all my expertise in digital technologies I just couldn't see it. I thought it was because I didn't really understand education - so I decided to study for a PhD with the Graduate School of Education, researching the interplay between psychology, pedagogy and technology, in order to find out what all the fuss was about.

Dr Richard Osborne
Dr Richard Osborne

My doctoral research took a very situated view of learning, blending in new ideas of space and place and looking at how technology was understood on a theoretical level. My analysis of how technologies were used in real scenarios across multiple learning contexts suggested the big problem wasn't the technology, or the people trying to use it, but was more to do with the alignment between the two. Generic training programs to try and develop some broad type of digital literacy in staff don't focus enough on individual needs, whereas simply rolling out new technology to staff without integrating it into what they're trying to achieve just leaves new tech gathering dust in cupboards. Too many times schools either tend to focus on the staff, or focus on the technology, rather than understanding that the problem lies in the relationship between the two.

By taking an ecological approach to this problem, including both staff and technologies in one joined up model, my research in produced a solution; something I call the APT methodology. APT is shorthand for the Alignment of Pedagogy and Technology, it's a structured way of thinking about the differing components within an educational technology context, i.e. computers, networks, leaders, teachers, apps, students, safety, etc., ultimately designed to align the needs of teachers and learners with the specific affordances of individual digital technologies. It's all about getting the right technologies, in the right place, with the right people, at the right time - and through that process accelerating learning. In this way of thinking, digital technologies are like catalysts in a reaction - with the potential to reduce the time and/or energy required to meet specific learning goals - hence the name of Catalysed.

Digital technologies have a role to play in schools, they can improve learning outcomes for students, and potentially transform teaching and learning. But you need to get the alignment right, and pick the right catalyst for the right reaction. Just as a catalyst can accelerate a chemical reaction, so digital technologies can catalyse education - and hence accelerate learning. My aim with Catalysed is to help you to find the right catalysts for your reactions.