Strathclyde InspireCase study - Dr Clare Daly
Dr Clare Daly is a Senior Teaching Fellow in the School of Psychological Sciences & Health at the University of Strathclyde. Working with Dr Fraser Lauchlan, Clare is developing ‘I am Dynamic’, an innovative online platform for learning, created for children and educators to achieve their potential and make learning visible. Their aim is to rethink learning and prepare learners for an ever-changing world.
Clare’s journey to co-founding ‘I am Dynamic’ began when she attended the Glasgow School of Art before moving to Glasgow Caledonian University to study Psychology, it was the merger of these two disciplines that initially inspired her to create new ways of learning. Clare subsequently completed a PGCE in Primary Education at the University of Glasgow. After teaching for two years, Clare applied to study the MSc in Educational Psychology at the University of Strathclyde.
Clare remained at Strathclyde as she undertook a doctorate in Education Psychology, focusing her work around developing potential and motivation for life success, as well as goal setting, while working as an Educational Psychologist at a large local authority. In 2019, she was appointed Director of the Doctorate in Educational Psychology at the University of Strathclyde.
Filled with a desire to develop the learning potential of all children and young people, Clare co-founded ‘Dynamic Assessment UK’ (DAUK) in 2018. A first of its kind, DAUK was designed for all educators working with children and young people. This three-level training programme was approved by the British Psychological Society (BPS) and endorsed by Education Scotland and the General Teaching Council, Scotland GTCS. DA is an approach to assessment and intervention, which considers the correlation between learner ability, mediator skills and environmental resources on learner potential.
Over the years Clare has worked with several tech-based companies globally, as a consultant psychologist specialising in behavioural change. DAUK are currently working with the Association for Nigerian Educational Psychologists and The Ukraine School (eschool). They are also working with Education Scotland to support Ukrainian refugees in Scotland.
Following feedback from stakeholders, Clare began work on ‘I am Dynamic’, a digital learning platform of specially curated, psychologically approved games directly linked to each user profile (users’ have a unique avatar). This is a tool for change that can be used at home and at school. Parents, educators, and local authorities can trust the content and mediation approaches on the platform due to the rigorous accreditation process ‘I am Dynamic’ undertakes.
After engaging with Strathclyde Inspire, Clare received a variety of support including funding for a prototype, access to events and introductions to Supporters within the Glasgow Innovation District. She was also invited to join Strathclyde Inspire’s Accelerator programme, which allowed her to receive more specialised support. Clare credits the team as essential in making her ideas a reality:
“Everyone has at least one great idea with in them. Before I got involved with Strathclyde Inspire, I knew we had a great idea, but I wasn’t sure exactly what to do with it. The team at Strathclyde Inspire do just that. They inspire you to take the next step and make your idea a reality. They take the time to understand your project and your individual needs. They encourage you to be bold. They connect you with the right people to enable you to progress to the next step, whatever that may be.”
In 2022, ‘I am Dynamic’ was shortlisted in the Create Change category for Converge, Scotland’s largest company creation and enterprise programme for the university sector. The Create Change Challenge is open to both product and service-based projects that have the potential to develop into sustainable businesses that deliver either creative, cultural, or social impact.
Clare is a firm believer that embracing failure is an essential attribute of a successful entrepreneur. Experiencing failure is the best way to learn what does not work and, importantly, what does. Clare offers some advice to those who wish to become an entrepreneur:
“Speaking to other entrepreneurs drives and inspires me, there is always someone who has been in your situation before and is willing to offer practical advice. Peer support among entrepreneurs is strong in Glasgow, I am constantly amazed at the generosity of others in this respect.”