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Expanding the Horizons of Innovation in Education: Introducing Comet!

Safeguard student data, enhance pedagogical practices and unlock the future of education with our new AI-powered tool, Comet.

Hero SMS Blog - Expanding the Horizons of Innovation in Education - Introducing Comet

In the ever-evolving landscape of education technology, staying ahead of the curve isn't just a goal—it's our mission, it is essential for our business, but also for our heroes in schools. As pioneers in the EdTech industry, we’re driven by a relentless pursuit of innovation and a commitment to revolutionise the education experience for learners.

In this blog, Chief Innovation Officer and Hero Co-Founder, Paul Sibson unpacks the details, challenges, considerations and smart innovation that has shaped the delivery of our new AI-powered feature, Comet!


The Double-Edged Sword of AI in Education

There is no denying the transformative power of AI in education, and with the influence it holds, it is very easy to jump on the bandwagon and say, ‘let’s do some AI’ but the challenge with this is understanding the risks that come alongside it.

In this context, when we think of AI, we are talking about large data sets using machine learning to analyse and feedback useful information. Platforms like ChatGPT are large language models that can sort vast amounts of data (that they have been trained on) to understand patterns and see what is coming next.

From personalised learning paths to automated grading, there are an endless number of ways AI could be used in education, however just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should.

Then comes the question of privacy and security. As an EdTech company, we understand the paramount importance of privacy and security, especially when it comes to student data.

“We never put student or school data into any publicly available AI platform, because as soon as you share it, it becomes part of the dataset used to train other models.”

There is of course some information in schools that is not private, and already in the public domain, such as the curriculum. 


Meet Comet

That is where Comet comes in - our first foray into the world of AI! Comet represents a carefully considered approach that leverages the power of artificial intelligence while continuing to safeguard student and school data.

An innovative tool embedded directly within the Hero app, Comet is designed to empower educators with fresh, goal-aligned activities for learners to elevate their pedagogical practices. By operating within strict parameters, Comet ensures that sensitive information remains protected while still enabling transformative AI-driven enhancements.

How does it work?

Schools can visit the goal-setting page for any student or group within Hero, to see all learners who are working towards a particular goal or objective within a topic.

Comet - AI

The theory here is, “Well, what if we asked AI to give us some sample activities for a teacher?”. This is particularly helpful for new teachers who may need support or inspiration on how to teach against subject areas and goals.

By selecting one of the goals, for example, ‘Using a Tripod Grip to Hold a Pencil’, it will bring up the little Comet button. Clicking on this, will automatically generate activities that can then be used by educators to plan the learning for students and help individuals to understand what they are learning.

“The nice thing about this is that it works for any goal. You can go to any goal in your site, click the little Comet button to generate, and then it does the magic for you.”

Comet - Generate Goal Plan

Unlike anything else we’ve done, Comet offers cross-school sharing, meaning no matter what school you are from, if you’ve got that goal in your system, by clicking on the Comet button, you’ll see the activities that have been suggested for that particular goal and their associated ratings as reviewed by other heroic educators.

Comet - Community Star Ratings


“Collective feedback creates a constantly evolving library of the most effective teaching methods, and ensures the most beneficial resources rise to the top.”


A Measured Approach

We are committed to a thoughtful, deliberate and measured approach to AI integration, prioritising efficacy and security. 

Comet has recently been trialled with a small number of schools that we have been working closely alongside to get valuable feedback on the quality and usability of the feature.

“We have been asking these schools, is it any good? Are the AI-powered results you are getting useful? It needs to be useful, it can’t just be a nice little toy, it needs to work properly and be useful to schools and its users.”

User feedback is a critical part of the process, helping us to refine the feature based on real-world experience, and shape Comet into a powerful tool that directly addresses the needs of educators.


The Road Ahead: A Future Filled with Innovation

The launch of Comet marks a significant milestone in our journey and we’re confident that this AI-powered tool, along with future innovations, will have a profound impact on the way education is delivered and experienced in New Zealand schools and beyond.

Hero has always held the philosophy of driving innovation and leading the way in the implementation of new technologies, tools and processes to help schools, students and families connect more effectively. While we never stand still, we prioritise the stability of our solutions for schools. Our future plans involve measured growth, to extend on innovation whilst still ensuring the security of everything we do.


Stay tuned for further updates as we bring Comet into the Hero atmosphere for all schools, and continue to push the boundaries, exploring new horizons in educational technology.



Paul Sibson

Paul Sibson

Paul is a former Teacher and Primary School Principal (UK, NZ) with an unwavering passion for supporting student learning through technology. Frustrated by the lack of a suitable system to meet his school's needs, he developed his own - founding Hero in 2013.

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