Nordic EdTech News #22 : 2020-06-29

Your Week 25 & 26 update from the Nordic & Baltic EdTech ecosystems

As my social media timelines fill up with pictures of summer cottages, hammocks and Nordic lakes, it’s clear that summer holidays are here (at last!) for many across our ecosystem. This will, therefore, be the last Nordic EdTech News for a little while - we’ll be back towards the end of July with a round-up of news from the holidays.

Until then, there’s lots of news to catch up in the links below and you’ll hopefully have time to read these longer items as well!

  • Great wide-ranging interview with Eilert Hanoa, CEO of Kahoot! (Link) covering how to handle exponential growth, building new revenue models and the benefits of being a Nordic business. A must read!

  • Latest McKinsey research highlights education technology’s impact on learning. (Link) I love John’s Martin’s summary on Twitter - Empower the teacher first for better outcomes. Don't add technology without a plan. Stay away from tablets.

  • New OECD country education profiles released for Estonia, Finland, Latvia and Norway (Link) alongside national education reports for all 8 countries reviewing preparedness for supporting learning during the pandemic. (Link)

  • Fascinating review of Nordic impact start-ups and the barriers inhibiting their growth. (IMO EdTechs clearly fit the definition of impact startups.) (Link, Link)

  • Nordic countries lead the way in EU Innovation with Sweden on top. (Link)

If the lure of work gets too much to ignore, then please make sure you’ve completed your entry into the 2020 Nordic-Baltic EdTech 50. As per NEN #21, we’re working with HolonIQ to select the top 50 startups from across the region. Applications are now open and will close on 8 August 2020. Nominations are welcomed from EdTech companies, their customers and investors. Apply here.

Have a great summer!

Best regards, Jonathan

News from Denmark

  • 6th Grade students work together to create a computer game as part of Coding Class. (Den, Eng)

  • Aarhus Municipality pauses distribution of Chromebooks to schools as teachers express concerns. (Den, Eng)

  • BookBites (Den, Eng) and Pickatale (Den) report significant success in boosting time spent reading online during the pandemic

  • CanopyLab acquires Peruvian publisher YoPublico to help scale in key Latin American market. (Link)

  • How teachers are using KUBO to teach Maths. (Link)

  • LEGO Foundation launch new Children, Technology and Play study. (Link)

  • Sprogteknologi.dk launches to provide easy access to Danish language resources and to support the development of AI locally. (Danish)

News from Estonia

  • Great profile of Kadri Tuisk, Founder and CEO of Clanbeat. (Link)

  • HITSA announce plans for Chromebook procurement programme (Est, Eng) as their responsibilities are taken over by a new Education and Youth Board. (Est, Eng)

  • Don’t miss the online version of the new Life in Estonia magazine, which focuses on the national education revolution. (Link) 99Math, DreamApply, Lingvist and Tutor.id are all featured amongst others.

News from Finland

News from Iceland

  • Icelandic EdTech guru, Ingvi Ómarsson, offers his ‘8 things teachers want EdTech companies to know.’ Much to think about here. (Link)

  • Kara Connect’s CEO, Thorbjorg Helga, spoke to the BBC about how their system helps young people with mental health problems. (Link)

  • Great to see an EdTech company, Smáforrit, in the 10 startups selected for the Startup SuperNova Accelerator programme. (Ice, Eng)

News from Latvia

  • Catch up on all of the sessions from the Ed-Tech Evolution online event (Link) as the competition winners are also announced. (Link)

  • How Latvia’s Tava Klase (Your Class) television channels kept the nation learning during the pandemic. (Eng)

  • Latvian MOE announce pay rises for teachers as part of a package of education reforms. (LatEng)

News from Lithuania

News from Norway

  • 6 out of 10 students believe that their learning outcomes have got worse as a result of distance learning. (Nor, Eng)

  • Details emerge for new curricula in 16 subjects. (Nor, Eng)

  • Israeli company gains access to school student data. (Nor - €€)

  • Hubro Education outline the pandemic challenge for EdTechs - more users but not more revenue yet. (Nor, Eng)

  • Kahoot launch Kahoot! Academy - a global knowledge platform, content community and marketplace for educators, learners and publishers. (Link)

  • Ludenso outline new project in Germany. (Link)

  • Samsung celebrate their partnership with Lær Kidsa Koding by promoting the Hjemmekodeklubben learning platform (Nor, Eng) and detail their work supporting distance learning. (Nor, Eng)

News from Sweden

Thanks for reading and see you again soon!

Many thanks, Jonathan

If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share it with a friend or five! Please send them here to sign up - https://nordicedtech.substack.com

Nordic EdTech News #21 : 2020-06-15

Your Week 23 & 24 update from the Nordic & Baltic EdTech ecosystems

Although the summer holidays are nearly here, there’s loads to include in this week’s newsletter, so let’s get straight to it!

Firstly, this report from the Telia Company is essential reading for anyone working in EdTech across our region. They’ve surveyed over 7,000 students in 7 Nordic countries to find out about their experiences of studying from home. Too much to quickly summarise, but it covers everything from online access to learning resources and from digital wellbeing to online safety. (Summary here)

Plenty more evidence below that Nordic EdTech is doing well at the moment, so it’s unsurprising to see Labster and Kahoot leading the way in this analysis of the fastest-growing European EdTechs. Kahoot are now even better equipped to sustain this growth following their recent raise of $28m in new equity. (Link, Link) The news that Shape Robotics have published their IPO prospectus (Link) and that Playvation have raised €700k in a Sparkmind.vc-led seed round (Link) provides further evidence of a vibrant ecosystem.

On that note, Nordic EdTech News is proud to be teaming up with HolonIQ to produce the 2020 Nordic-Baltic EdTech 50. This will be HolonIQ’s annual list of the most innovative EdTech startups across the region and together we’re aiming to put a global spotlight on the incredible innovation we have locally.

HolonIQ’s Education Intelligence Team, together with Nordic EdTech News, will select the top 50 startups from the Nordic-Baltic region based on HolonIQ’s Global EdTech Startup evaluation rubric. For full entry criteria and details of how this rubic works, please visit.

Applications are now open and will close on 8 August 2020. Nominations are welcomed from EdTech companies, their customers and investors. Apply here.

Best regards, Jonathan

News from Denmark

News from Estonia

  • Amazing to see such strong growth for Estonian EdTech firms during the pandemic response. (Link)

  • The secrets of Estonia’s education and EdTech success via Bett Show. (Link)

  • HITSA Chair Heli Aru-Chabilan review national progress towards creating the school of the future. (Est, Eng)

  • More Estonian schools build digital skills through the DigiKiirendi programme. (Est, Eng)

News from Finland

News from Iceland

  • How Kara Connect supports wellbeing during lockdown (Link) and helps online counsellors. (Link)

  • Great to see Reykjavík University creating 150 summer jobs for students “…to assist with innovation in teaching through the development of teaching materials and teaching method focusing on innovative ways to teach.” (Ice, Eng)

  • Amazing collaborative EdTech projects to be funded through the Let Dreams Come True programme. (Ice, Eng)

News from Latvia

  • Edurio launch the largest study of Covid-19’s impact on UK schools. (Link)

  • Exonicus develop new virtual training scenario for using PPE with RSU. (Link)

  • Latvian MOE announce plans to create a single online virtual classroom. (Lat, Eng)

  • Solfeg.io wins the “Music Creation & Education” category at the prestigious Midemlab 2020 competition. Congratulations! (Latvian)

  • Details announced for the Technology Teachers Conference 2020. (Lat, Eng)

  • New survey demonstrates that Latvian society values ​​teachers and their work. (Lat, Eng)

News from Lithuania

News from Norway

  • Codeandgo join forces with Learnlink to create code courses for children this summer. (Nor, Eng)

  • Read Erlend Øverby from Hypatia Learning on the importance of global standardization for learning, education and training technologies. (Link)

  • Nice summary of how Norwegian EdTech helped schools during the Covid-19 pandemic. (Nor, Eng)

  • 9 out of 10 teachers say they have gained better digital skills during the pandemic. (Nor, Eng)

  • Lively debate on whether Norway was right to close its schools. (Nor)

  • Startup Extreme is online this year - register now for next week’s event!

News from Sweden

  • Controversy over Sweden’s improved PISA performance. (Swe, Eng)

  • Teachers believe that technology solutions have worked well for them and their students during the pandemic (Swe, Eng), but are feeling the pressure. (Swe)

  • Stockholm-based activist investor Cevian Capital has acquired a 5.4% stake in Pearson. (Link)

  • Gleerups work with MS Teams to improve support for schools. (Swe, Eng)

  • Reorganisation of publishing operations at Natur & Kultur. (Swe, Eng)

  • Studi begin collaboration with Skolsynk (Swe, Eng)

  • Swedish Edtech Industry support schools to select the right digital learning materials (SweEng)

  • Schools in Västerås head towards a digital future and recognise importance of upskilling teaching staff. (Swe)

Thanks for reading and see you again on 29th June!

Many thanks, Jonathan

If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share it with a friend or five! Please send them here to sign up - https://nordicedtech.substack.com

Nordic EdTech News #20 : 2020-06-01

Your Week 21 & 22 update from the Nordic & Baltic EdTech ecosystems

Although the ‘What happens next?’ post-pandemic question continues to dominate much of the EdTech world, there’s clear evidence that Nordic EdTech is well placed to thrive, thanks to its renowned pedagogical and technological innovations. Two great examples of this were in the news recently - Shape Robotics are preparing to join the Nasdaq First North Growth Market in Copenhagen (Den, Eng) and that Kide Science have raised €1.5m in a seed round led by Sparkmind.vc (Link).

Last week’s comprehensive Industry Report from the Swedish Edtech Industry (Swedish) also highlights an industry characterised by optimism. But it also identifies key issues that need to be addressed locally and regionally to ensure EdTech’s long term future. (Swe, Eng) These include obsolete technology in schools, limited strategic planning, challenging budgets, unhealthy competition, poor procurement and learning from the Covid-19 pandemic. All will resonate widely, I suspect. As always, do let me know what you think - your feedback is really welcome.

Finally, if you’re looking to equip your business to take it to the next stage, then check out the EdTech Evolution online accelerator running later this month. Registration is open until the end of the week.

Stay healthy and with best regards, Jonathan

News from Denmark

  • CanopyLab host interview with Professor Thomas Ryberg on transitioning to remote teaching at Aalborg University. (Link)

  • Eduflow launch new discussion functionality (Link) and consider the future for online learning. (Link)

  • Great podcast with Aviaja Borup Lynggaard, CEO of Hopspots (Danish) as they secure 600 000DK Innobooster funding. (Danish)

  • Labster supports new Biogen and MIT Virtual Learning Lab. (Link)

  • John Goodwin, CEO, The LEGO Foundation, argues that students need new skills to tackle future challenges. (Link)

  • Students have to download monitoring software to take university exams. (Den)

  • Lessons from Denmark’s successful reopening of schools. (Link)

News from Estonia

  • Clanbeat’s recent webinar on reopening schools is available online here.

  • HITSA release details of how they are ‘Preparing for the Future’ with new initiatives and programmes. (Link)

  • INNOVE deliver new e-assessment tool for high school entrants. (Est, Eng)

  • Noordify help pull together agreement between Coventry University and Mexico’s Universidad Anáhuac. (Link)

  • Schools and kindergartens receive almost €300,000 for technology training through the ProgeTiiger program. (Est, Eng)

News from Finland

News from Iceland

  • Seedtable have published a great review of the Icelandic tech ecosystem here. It’s written by Kiddi @ Northstack.

  • New Icelandic startup accelerator, Startup SuperNova, launched - apply to join by 10th June. (Ice, Eng)

  • Useful online resources for learning Icelandic here.

News from Latvia

  • Digital teaching tools extend their reach into Latvian preschools. (Lat, Eng)

  • The IT Education Foundation launch new teacher training courses to prepare them for the new curriculum. (Lat, Eng)

  • Latvian parents launch O-skola.lv to support online distance learning.

News from Lithuania

News from Norway

  • New resources to keep children safe online during Covid-19. (Nor, Eng)

  • Data security issues identified in schools in Stavanger and Sandnes. (Nor, Eng)

  • Inspera Assessment and University of Bath join forces to run a webinar series on digital examinations. Fascinating programme and great speakers. (Link)

  • Ingrid Skrede from Ludenso introduces ‘Human Algorithms’ as the theme for this year’s ODA Inspirasjonsdagen 2020. (Nor)

  • Kahoot! appoints Lars Erik Grønntun as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Marketing Officer (Link / Nor, Eng) and confirm new Teams integration. (Link)

  • Skooler highlight support for parental engagement (Link) and summarise recent developments in their May update. (Link)

  • Emerging work in the QUINT (Quality in Nordic Teaching) programme at the University of Oslo looking at Covid-19’s impact on teaching and learning. (Link)

News from Sweden

  • How Sweden ‘wasted a rare opportunity’ to study Covid-19 in schools. (Link)

  • Digilär and ILT announce new collaboration around reading support. (Swedish)

  • Gleerups announce new resources ready for the Autumn term. (Swe, Eng)

  • Hilde Benno Vaage named acting CEO for IST. (Swe, Eng)

  • Swedish Edtech Industry announce new names on the Board of Directors. (SweEng)

  • Unikum announce new Support resources to assist pre-schools. (Swe, Eng)

Thanks for reading and see you again on 15th June!

Many thanks, Jonathan

If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share it with a friend or five! Please send them here to sign up - https://nordicedtech.substack.com

Nordic EdTech News #19 : 2020-05-18

Your Week 19 & 20 update from the Nordic & Baltic EdTech ecosystems

With schools beginning to reopen, attention is now focusing on the pandemic’s long-term impact on education systems. There’s no shortage of optimistic speculation from experts, investors (and here) and others who expect the pandemic experience to transform education and individual EdTech products. Certainly the clear feedback from learners (Link, Link) is that they’re not looking to return to normal, ‘new’ or otherwise.

In fact the Nordic EdTech market is already responding to the significant changes that the pandemic has caused. In response to the rising use of digital content, the Norwegian government has committed an additional 140m NOK in such resources (Nor, Nor) It’s also apparent that the funding landscape remains in rude health, with last week’s news that School Day had raised €1.1m in a seed round led by Sparkmind.vc (Link). (For other startups seeking funding, check out the Startup Capital online matchmaking event on 18th June.)

Last week’s financial literacy PISA test results contained great news for our region’s four participing countries with Estonia and Finland taking the top two spots, with Latvia and Lithuania both in the top 10. (Link) Finally, it was great to see so many Nordic and Baltic EdTechs recognised in the 2020 EdTech Awards (Link).

Stay healthy and with best regards, Jonathan

News from Denmark

News from Estonia

News from Finland

News from Iceland

  • ICYMI - How Kara Connect are supporting student wellbeing during the crisis. (Link)

  • Further details emerge of online and live Utís events. (Ice)

News from Latvia

  • As part of the CrisisLab programme, students from 17 Latvian universities and colleges presented responses to the Covid-19 crisis. (Lat)

  • Exonicus develop virtual training scenarios for doctors aimed at reducing spread of Covid-19. (Link)

  • New teacher recruitment campaign launches #Mācītspēks. (Lat, Eng)

  • Your Class’ educational resources used by Latvians in over 70 countries. (Lat, Eng)

News from Lithuania

  • Latest April update from BitDegree. (Link)

  • New survey shows significant increase in parental engagement in education and increased use of educational platforms during the pandemic. (LithEng)

  • Masters studies announced for teachers and school leaders. (LithEng)

News from Norway

  • Diku stress the importance of networks to share high quality digital learning resources. (Nor, Eng)

  • University of Southern Denmark select itslearning as its LMS. (Link)

  • Kahoot! start 2020 with a strong Q1 (Link) and announce Kahoot! EDU Summit on June 17. (Link)

  • Lær Kidsa Koding launch new YouTube channel. (Link)

  • No Isolation featured in a CNBC report on tackling loneliness. (Link)

  • My Norwegian isn’t good enough to understand this podcast on digital education, but a great line-up of contributors nonetheless! (Link)

  • Skooler demonstrates how it can supports strong communication during distance learning (Link) and announces new toolbox feature. (Link)

News from Sweden

Thanks for reading and see you again on 1st June!

Many thanks, Jonathan

If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share it with a friend or five! Please send them here to sign up - https://nordicedtech.substack.com

Nordic EdTech News #18 : 2020-05-04

Your Week 17 & 18 update from the Nordic & Baltic EdTech ecosystems

An excellent recent webinar organised by Heikki Rusama (CEO & Co-Founder of Freeed.com) saw John Martin (ex-CEO, Sanoma Learning) sharing his views on the impact of Covid-19 on the EdTech industry. It covered many of major challenges companies are currently facing, particularly around sustainable business models (Full summary here). This mirrors issues in Sweden where Jannie Jeppesen, CEO of the Swedish Edtech Industry, has been highlighting the challenges associated with long-term free use of digital resources. (Link) Ongoing government procurement programmes in Denmark have also attracted some concern (Den, Eng), so it’s great to report deals being done (see below) as well as a significant €4m deal, led by Soprano, to export Finnish educational expertise. (Finnish)

Even as governments across Europe begin (or plan) to reopen schools, research is starting to emerge about the impact of school closures (Link) and the new priorities for school systems (Link). The following articles from PEW and the WEF also begin to usefully focus attention on what might happen next.

To support Nordic and Baltic EdTech businesses through these challenging times, the Nordic EdTech Forum (N8) has launched a new mentorship programme (Link) and will also be running a series of webinars for members. Further details on the latter will be included in the next newsletter, so please sign up here to join the group.

And if you’re looking to learn a new skill during the pandemic, the Elements of AI course is now available in Norwegian (and English, Estonian, Finnish, German and Swedish).

Stay healthy and with best regards, Jonathan

News from Denmark

News from Estonia

  • DreamApply announce new marketing tools for student recruitment (Link) as Co-Founder Märt Aro shares best practice advice. (Link)

  • Great feature on language learning app, Drops via Forbes. (Link)

  • ‘A step ahead: Estonia emerges as a leader in worldwide distance learning experiment’ via National Center on Education and the Economy. (Link)

  • Estonian startups continue to grow at the start of 2020 (Link), although many identify future challenges as a result of Covid-19. (Link)

News from Finland

  • 3DBear announce new funding round (Fin, Eng) and join the Google for Education Integrated Solutions Initiative. (Link)

  • Don’t miss Olli Vallo, CEO Education Alliance Finland on these podcasts from Atea Finland. (Link - in Finnish)

  • Very interesting results from a survey by The Swedish Teachers' Union of Finland, FSL, on their members’ experience of teaching in a pandemic. (Fin, Eng)

  • Finnish schools prepare to reopen from 14 May - here’s the plan. (Fin, Eng)

  • Fun Learning have recruited and trained 20 Ambassadors from across Africa. (Link)

  • Grib have been nominated for an Auggie Award in the category of ‘Best Creator & Authoring tool’. Congrats! (Vote here)

  • Learn more about Milla Kokko , CEO of HEI Schools here. (Link in Finnish)

  • Sanoma Learning forecast no significant impact on financials as a result of school closures. (Link)

  • Seppo reach 5,000 games in the library (Link) and develop new games focused on the circular economy and sustainability. (Link)

News from Iceland

  • Recently updated list of leading Icelandic EdTechs, via Tracxn . (Link)

  • I’d love to include more Icelandic EdTech news, so please email hello@10digits.org if you’ve got something to include.

News from Latvia

  • Fascinating to read these descriptions of how Latvian schools (Eng, Eng) are responding to the challenges of delivering online learning. HT Gatis Narvaišs.

  • Must-read report from Edurio (with MOE) surveying 60k pupils, parents, teachers and school leaders across Latvia post switch to online delivery (Link) as CEO, Ernest Jenavs, shares his experience of leading a startup. (Link)

News from Lithuania

News from Norway

  • Great news that the AWS EdStart programme is now open in Norway. (Link)

  • How pre-school in Norway has changed post-lockdown. (Link)

  • Kahoot! are working with Cambridge English to help “young learners practise English and build their language skills.” (Link)

  • Skooler and Acer announce new partnership to deliver learning platform tools to education institutions across EMEA. (Link)

News from Sweden

  • How Swedish universities have tackled Zoom’s security problems. (Swe, Eng - ££)

  • ILT and Skolon launch collaboration. (Swe, Eng)

  • Great video case study from Microsoft Sverige showcasing Älvdalsskolan’s use of technology. (Link in Swedish)

  • Further detail about how Sana Labs’ AI is training New York’s nurses to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. (Swe, Eng)

  • Stellar speaker line-up for Skola Hemma’s online conference this Thursday highlighting lessons for the future of education. (Swe, Eng)

  • Studi launch new Covid-19 teaching resources in record time. (Swe, Eng)

  • Unikum hire Bo Kristoffersson from Lexplore. (Swe, Eng)

Thanks for reading and see you again on 18th May!

Many thanks, Jonathan

If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share it with a friend or five! Please send them here to sign up - https://nordicedtech.substack.com

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