“Promoting a Life-long Love of Learning through Interactive Games.” – Tomáš Bárta, Czech Republic
For entrepreneur Tomáš Bárta, the most important discussion about education is, “…if the word ‘education’ is even the proper word. Education seems to connote something passive, boring, annoying, and most of all, not creative,” he says. “The biggest inspiration I had in life was striving for personal development: gaining leadership skills, improving my character, developing my strengths and weaknesses, and trying to perfect my knowledge in multiple areas. And that’s something I am trying to apply in all of my companies. I try to motivate all the people around me to adopt this positive outlook on self-development.”
When Bárta – who is also owner of EMTC, which he started 11 years ago – first launched Lipa Learning, a learning “system” designed to promote organic growth, meaning children mature academically while learning essential life skills through online games-based learning, it was because of his passion for using tablets in education.
“Five years ago, I realized that the whole world is revolving around mobile technologies—parents on vacation, in restaurants, and basically using tablets, smart phones and upcoming mobile devices everywhere – to easily amuse their children,” says Bárta. “When I saw the kind of content that’s available for kids on tablets, I decided to start a business that brings tablets and childhood development together in a beneficial way.”
Lipa Learning’s philosophy is that a fun, interactive learning environment helps children gain new skills without even realizing it, promoting a lifelong love of learning. Lipa’s curriculum encompasses five key learning principles across five skill sets: Fundamentals, Language, Math, Science and Creativity. The goal: to change education for early learners through play.
As CEO, Bárta doesn’t like to think of himself as an educator per se, “…but I would love to consider myself as a person who inspires others to achieve their own full potential.”
Enjoy today’s Daily Edventure with Tomáš Bárta!
What was a defining moment in your career when you felt proudest to be an educator?
I actually have two of them. The first was when we decided to create content for the target area of children younger than six. I think this period of life, ages 0 – six, is one of the most beautiful and also one of the most important. It’s the age when we all should laugh, have fun, dance, celebrate, play to our heart’s content, and especially to not think of consequences. Just to be free. And it’s the age when we’re like sponges; we’re able to absorb enormous amounts of information, learning anything almost immediately, and that means we develop very quickly.
The second specific moment came when we invested in our own preschool. We play our games with children in many preschools, but we wanted to have one of our own, because Lipa strives to be a leader in the changing concepts of preschool learning. And the moment when you see 30 children learning…it’s like the best spiritual catharsis and promise of a better future. So that’s the reason why acquiring the Lipa Learning preschool was the second important moment.
Why do you feel passionately about innovation and technology in the classroom?
Our approach is actually quite simple. We just expect new technologies to offer children an equal quality of development. We cannot be a united world with different levels of education. If someone experienced worse educational conditions than I have, or than you have, or has had no chance for an education at all, we will all have a hard time understanding one another. Education and the whole of modern teaching methods rely on teachers.
We all can agree that the quality of teachers and quality of schools around the world will never be equal. We can all agree that the quality of tablets for children’s development around the world can be equal. Therefore, if we can all receive the same quality of education, or possibilities to develop, and we can access this in beautiful games, then the biggest outcome of technological innovation could be the possibility for children to have the same level and quality of development. And that’s what I consider will be the biggest positive impact of technologies on humanity; maybe in the whole world history.
Whether it’s a day-to-day challenge or larger problem, what’s the biggest obstacle you or your country or region has had to overcome, or will have to overcome, to ensure a quality education for students?
The global system should understand that we can use technologies for development, and therefore fundamentally improve the whole system together at the same rate. I think this could be a potential obstacle, but I wouldn’t call it an obstacle—it’s mostly a question about time. The world needs to realize we can truly use tablets for better development and not just for work, social media and wasting time. And what about the millions and millions of trees saved? Do you know how much paper we use in schools around the world every day?
In terms of education innovation, what are you most excited about for the future? What is your biggest hope for today’s students?
My biggest hope, thanks to our tablets, smart phones, and the Lipa Learning system, is transferring boring rote memorization—what people often call “education”—into a creative, fun, and enjoyable event. That means if we can change the whole “educational system” into “creative development” by using entertaining games, then we will have truly a perfect promise for the future of the world.
About Tomas Barta
CEO and Investor at Lipa Learning
Prague, Czech Republic
- Blog URL: http://lipavillage.com/ www.lipalearning.com
- Website I check every day: Wikipedia, idnes.cz
- Favorite childhood memory: Don’t solve, have fun, smile, and always play.
- Favorite book: All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten (Fulghum, 2001). Book of my childhood was Jaromír Jágr (Jan Šmíd, 1995).
- Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: Word, Excel
- What is the best advice you have ever received?
- “Change yourself, and you will change the world.”
- “The way you vibrate, you resonate.”
- “If you trust yourself, you’ll always get the truth; if you don’t, you’ll still get the truth.”