Nordic EdTech News #16 : 2020-03-30

Your Week 12 & 13 update from the Nordic & Baltic EdTech ecosystems

As the world grapples with the increasing impact and spread of Covid-19, global and regional EdTech businesses continue to extend their support for educators and learners. It’s particularly heartening to see continued co-ordinated action across the Nordics and Baltics. Most notably 40+ remote learning solutions have come together to support educators in a project initiated by the businesses themselves and by Estonia’s Education Nation initiative. Full details here and contact the team to get involved!

Other significant updates include:

Denmark - The edtechdonor.dk scheme continues to attract high profile attention (Link) and support including from Margrethe Vestager of the European Commission.

Estonia - Shakira has tweeted her support of Estonian EdTech businesses offering their products and services for schools to use. (Est, Eng)

Finland - Nearly 30 members of the Finnish EdTech community have now launched their response to the crisis with free resources available via the Koulu.me website.

Lithuania - Fantastic to see Lithuanian EdTech businesses pooling their resources and offering their resources to education. (Link, Link)

Sweden - Amazing co-ordinated response from key national authorities with new #Skolahemma initiative to support schools. (Swe, Eng)

The OECD’s publication of the TALIS Survey also emphasises the importance of such collaboration to address the Covid-19 pandemic (Link). The individual country notes here also make fascinating reading.

We’re already seeing the significant impact of Covid-19 on EdTech businesses with research from HolonIQ finding that more than half of global executives surveyed have negative future expectations. More locally, the Hub’s Nordic Startup Survey (Link) also clearly indicated founders’ concerns around future investment and sales.

EdTech businesses are now deploying a new range of business models (Link) to address these challenges. If you're a business leader or startup founder who’d like some support in adapting their business to these challenging times, I’d love to help. Please get in touch via jonathan@10digits.org.

Stay healthy and with best regards, Jonathan

News from Denmark

News from Estonia

  • Tõnis Kusmin, CEO of 99math on how the corona virus will transform digital education. (Link)

  • A group of Estonian startups and the Education Nation programme are organising a series of webinars to support educators and parents. (Link)

  • Great Estonian initiative to give children laptops for online learning. (Link)

  • HITSA report on the impact of the shift to digital learning (Eng) and outline increased usage of key resources/sites. (Est, Eng)

News from Finland

  • Five leading Finnish digital language solutions profiled here. (Link)

  • Great profile of Fuzu founder, Jussi Hinkkanen. (Link)

  • Funzi launch their Future Pack to give learners the skills to take charge of their lives and build a better future. (Link)

  • Fascinating profile of New Nordic School in Forbes (Link) as they launch new The Nordic Way Vlog series. (Link)

  • Kide Science announce new product for families with young children (Link) and announce partnership with Chinese learning centre network Oran Bear. (Link)

  • Panda Training won the Latvian Hackforce COVID hackathon. Congrats! (Link)

  • School Day have developed and launched their @Home product in under 3 weeks. Available to all educators in Europe and North America through June ‘20. (Link)

News from Iceland

News from Latvia

News from Lithuania

  • In response to Covid-19, Google for Education prepares for launch in Lithuania (Link) and their online training courses get underway. (Lith, Eng)

  • BitDegree offer free career courses / resources to support learners. (Link)

  • 130 Lithuanian schools have started using Sanako Connect’s online language learning platform as part of moving their classes online. (Link)

News from Norway

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 #15 : 2020-03-16

Your Week 10 & 11 update from the Nordic & Baltic EdTech ecosystems

The ongoing impact of the Covid-19 virus on global education is obviously the biggest story of the last two weeks and, I suspect, will be for the foreseeable future. The latest UNESCO reports suggest that the infection is keeping 1 in 5 learners globally out of school (Link, Link) with borders and schools shut across the Nordics and Baltics.

I’ve found it impossible to include all of the work individual businesses are doing, but will tweet as many as possible from here. I wanted instead to highlight the amazing work being conducted at lightning speed across our ecosystem by formal/informal associations/groups. I do also want to draw readers’ attention to Geir Sand Nilsen, who launched ‘Korona-dugnad for digitale lærere’, a Facebook group for teachers on 11 March and which now has nearly 48,000 members. Just fantastic! (Nor, Eng)

Denmark - EdTech Denmark have pulled together over 50 EdTech businesses and other supporting firms to support education at edtechdonor.dk .

Estonia - There’s already a comprehensive list of EdTech businesses offering their products and services for schools to use here.

Finland - Watch out for further news on this later today (16/03) but in the meantime, there’s good lists of available resources here, here and here.

Latvia - The Ministry of Education has provided detailed advice for schools and a comprehensive list of support available. (Lat, Eng)

Norway - Oslo Municipality have prepared a list of useful EdTech resources (Nor, Eng) and there’s further information available here and here. (Links in Norwegian)

Sweden - The Swedish EdTech Industry have worked brilliantly with their members to coordinate national efforts in support of educators and learners. (Link)

In other times, the launch of Sparkmind.vc, “the first Nordic venture capital company focused on the learning sector” would have dominated this newsletter. As Sari Hurme-Mehtälä, CEO and Co-founder of Kide Science put it on Twitter:

This is awesome! Nordic and Baltic region has lacked a sector focused venture investor, not anymore! First education focused venture capital fund with €40M is a huge help to really make an impact.

Congratulations to all involved and particularly to the team at Fuzu, who have received the fund’s first investment. (Link)

As always, please reply to this email with any comments. Do also let me know if you’re supporting education in any way in these challenging and difficult times.

Stay healthy and with best regards, Jonathan

News from Denmark

  • Alinea acquires EduLab (Den, Eng) and sets up sofaskolen.dk. (Den, Eng)

  • Problems for Aula as users flood onto the system (Den, Eng) and as municipalities identify additional data leaks. (Den, Eng)

  • CanopyLab host new 2030 NOW, a UN SDG programme on their platform. (Link)

  • Eduflow publish helpful guide supporting institutions on how to pivot to online-first teaching model. (Link)

  • Students build a LEGO robot to encourage hand-washing (Link) as global sales rise. (Link)

  • KUBO Robotics argue the case for teaching computing (Link) and announce launch of new Coding++ TagTiles. (Link)

  • Significant updates to the Labster platform (Link) as they launch new Nucleophilic Addition simulation. (Link)

News from Estonia

News from Finland

News from Iceland

  • As expected, the Icelandic teacher community are supporting each other brilliantly through school closures via #menntaspjall.

  • Mussila and BuddyPhones announce new partnership. (Link)

  • How Kara Connect’s technology is supporting delivery of remote healthcare and eduation services. (Ice, Eng)

News from Latvia

  • Edurio provide Covid-19 survey tools to support parental engagement. (Link)

  • New “Kodē vai arī nē” coding workshops proposed from secondary schools. (Lat)

  • Great update on recent developments on the soma.lv platform. (Latvian)

  • Lots of support for teachers and parents from Uzdevumi. (Lat, Eng)

  • Zvaigzne makes their Māconis platform available to schools. (Lat, Eng)

News from Lithuania

  • BitDegree identified as Global Champion at the World Summit Awards 2020 in the Learning & Education category (Link) and announce February updates. (Link)

  • Qoorio announce as Startup of the Week by Startup Lithuania. (Link)

  • Solfeg.io produce online music teaching resources to help schools. (Link)

News from Norway

News from Sweden

  • BTS Group announce strong 2019 revenue performance. (Eng)

  • New research shows that IT problems affect many lessons, which will be a huge concern if schools are closed this week. (Swe, Eng)

  • Update on progress at Kognity (Swe, Eng) as they launch a Webinar Series to help teachers move to online teaching methods. 17 - 20 March. Sign up here.

  • Liber and Matteappen announce new partnership. (Swe, Eng)

  • Skolon announces new collaboration with Lexplore. (Swe, Eng)

  • Sweden spends the least of all Nordic countries on educational resources. (Swe, Eng)

  • Positive feedback from Uppsala on Swedish Edtest. (Swe, Eng)

  • Swedish EdTech Industry announce new ethical and market guidelines. (Swe, Eng)

Thanks for reading and see you again on 30th March!

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 #14 : 2020-03-02

Your Week 8 & 9 update from the Nordic & Baltic EdTech ecosystems

Two of the most interesting articles I’ve read over the last fortnight directly address a key issue for Nordic and Baltic EdTech - the scale problem.

Writing in Sifted, Gauthier Van Malderen, Chief executive and founder of Perlego, identifies four reasons (market size/opportunity, teacher resistance, government support and investment) that inhibit the growth of European EdTechs. Meanwhile Toby Mather, Co-founder & CEO of Lingumi argues that making teachers, students AND technology active participants in learning can best deliver “transformational teaching experiences at exponential scale”.

Given the size of national markets in the Nordics and Baltics, these perspectives are vital when considering how best to scale our technological and pedagogical innovations to build sustainable, impactful businesses. As always, I’d welcome your thoughts on this - just reply to this email!

Best, Jonathan

Regional news

  • Details announced for the Nordic Learning Analytics Summer Institute in Stockholm, 20-21 August 2020. (Link)

  • Great to see the Nordplus Junior project pulling together students from across our ecosystem! (Link)

  • Detailed national PISA summaries now available via OECD - great reading for Baltic and Nordic countries. (Link)

  • Thoughtful analysis in ‘The Geography of Europe’s Brain Business Jobs’ where the ‘Nordic nations are top performers.’ (Link)

Global trends

  • Lots of coverage about EdTech’s response to coronavirus - whether that’s home study (Link, Link, Link) or new online courses to aid public understanding. (Link)

  • Plenty to think about in David Perell’s thread on the future of education. (Link)

  • Navitas Ventures review the global EdTech investment themes of 2019. (Link)

  • How EdTech innovations are helping to fix education in Nigeria. (Link)

  • The UK’s Institute for Ethical AI in Education published its interim report with a blueprint for ethical design, development and use of AI in education. (Link)

News from Denmark

  • Denmark’s Laeringsfestivalen is next week. Look forward to following all of the outputs, particularly Thomas Illum Hansen’s final report on the impact of technology in education. Some early comments available here (Den, Eng)

  • Great insights and feedback from last week’s Danish EdTech Showcase in London. All the best bits are here.

  • The Danish Agency for IT and Learning launches new login technology to increase security for schools (Den, Eng) as parents voice data security concerns. (Den, Eng).

  • Useful insight from Labster about moving science courses online (Link) as their CEO, Michael Bodekaer, is featured on the XR for Learning Podcast. (Link)

  • Learn more about Lego Ventures (Link) as they announce new investment in FreshGrade. (Link)

  • Detailed blog post about block based programming from Shape Robotics highlighting its benefits in education. (Link)

News from Estonia

  • 99Math included in EU-Startups list of Estonian startups to watch. (Link)

  • This definitive technology review for Estonian schools is a comprehensive, must-read plan for future EdTech provision. (Est, Eng)

  • The Good Deed Education Fund provides business internships for school principals. (Link)

  • Learn how Estonia supports its youngest learners via NCEE. (Link)

  • Government CIO Siim Sikkut shares the vision for AI to deliver Estonian public services. (Link)

  • Detailed 2019 review of the Estonian startup ecosystem here.

News from Finland

  • Amazing Finnish presence during Dubai Education Week (Link, Link), as the Finnish model proves a compelling proposition in the UAE. (Link)

  • Immersive teaching techniques and their benefits in vocational education, via 3D Bear. (Fin, Eng)

  • HEI Schools announce their first Summit in Helsinki this May. (Link)

  • How does the city of Helsinki act as a giant learning environment? (Link)

  • Eduten’s Finland Math proposition is now used in 37 countries (Link) and receives good coverage for its Belgian research pilot. (Link)

  • Kide Science launch paid-for online STEAM teacher training resources (Link) and secure agreement to work with the City of Salo. (Finnish)

  • School Day launch web app (Link) and demonstrate how their data helps schools. (Link)

  • Following a pilot, Tampere University of Applied Sciences will be running courses on Viope’s platform from this Spring. (Link)

News from Iceland

News from Latvia

  • Raccoons host a 48-hour student hackathon on 27 - 29 March in Riga. (Link)

  • This podcast is well worth a listen! It features Andris K. Berzins of Change Ventures and his perspectives on the Baltic startup scene. (Link)

  • Further progress announced in developing Latvia’s higher education system. (Link)

News from Lithuania

News from Norway

  • Ludenso announce investment from Kahoot Founders (Nor, Eng) and are identified as one of the Top 3 businesses in the Creative Tech Hunt. (Link)

  • Norwegian Data Inspectorate to examine Google’s use of school data. (Nor, Eng)

  • Kahoot! publish latest quarterly figures (Nor, Eng) and introduces new student-paced game mode. (Link)

  • Securing the use of Norwegian language text in Higher Education. (Nor, Eng)

  • Digital solution needed to verify students’ police certificates. (Nor, Eng)

News from Sweden

  • ABB and Tillväxtverket roll out ‘Robot in school’ programme to upper secondary schools around the country. (Swe, Eng)

  • New guidance issued on national digital writing tests. (Swe, Eng)

  • Schibsted increase investment in coding and programming education for young people. (Swe)

  • How SchoolSoft uses AI to best support municipalities and schools. (Swe, Eng)

  • The Swedish Government proposes changes to the law to improve distance learning provision for school-age students. (Swe, Eng)

  • Real-world maths resources from Teknikföretagen win acclaim. (Swe, Eng)

  • Fascinating research from University of Gothenburg highlights differences between using maths textbooks and digital learning resources. (Swe, Eng)

Thanks for reading and see you again on 16th March!

Best regards, 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 #13 : 2020-02-17

Your Week 6 & 7 update from the Nordic & Baltic EdTech ecosystems

Hello from the very snowy north of Sweden and welcome to today’s newsletter!

As always, there’s lots of news to share, so let’s get started…

Best, Jonathan

Regional news

  • Nordic companies are well represented in the EU-Startups list of EdTechs to watch in 2020. (Link)

  • NY Times article puts education at the heart of Nordic success. (Link)

  • The State of the Nordic Region 2020 report is a must read as part of the vision to make the Nordics the world's most integrated region by 2030. (Link)

Global trends

  • Entries are open for the Europas Tech Startup Awards 2020, including hottest EdTech start up. (Link)

  • The first cohort of nine start ups join EduSpaze in Singapore. (Link)

  • Latest HolonIQ research reviews 20 years of global education stocks. (Link)

  • How does EdTech respond to the increasingly demand for soft skills? I think that there are interesting opportunities to explore in this McKinsey report. (Link)

  • YouTube announces $100m investment in content that “..inspires children to develop life skills and pursue their passions.” (Link)

News from Denmark

  • Don’t miss the Danish EdTech Showcase in London on 27th Feb. Details here.

  • An honest assessment of the challenges of using technology in schools. (Den, Eng)

  • Important research from EMU on experimental school approaches to teaching technology skills. (Den, Eng)

  • Hopspots won an European Enterprise Award (hosted by EU Business News) for "Best Interactive Children's Education Company - Scandinavia.” (Link)

  • New lesson resources from KUBO on the earth’s systems. (Link)

  • Labster release new lab simulation focusing on the reactivity rules of organic chemistry. (Link)

  • Forbes article suggests that ‘LEGO is the biggest education company on earth’. (Link)

  • Tiimo have developed an app to support people with autism and ADHD and have raised over €350,000 via crowdfunding including from Kahoot’s founders. (Link)

News from Estonia

  • BeED ecosystem included in the renowed e-Estonia briefing centre. (Link)

  • Drops launches ​Droplets, an app to teach 8 - 17 year olds foreign languages. (Link)

  • Estonian schools and local EdTech businesses work together to develop new digital solutions. (Est, Eng)

News from Finland

News from Iceland

News from Latvia

  • Edurio have concluded a £450k investment round led by Practica Capital to support their rapid growth. Congratulations! (Link)

  • This is beyond my language abilities, but this article on Latvian maths teaching looks worth a watch. (Latvian)

  • As Accenture Latvia creates MathScape game to boost interest and skills in the subject. (Latvian)

  • Thoughtful analysis of Latvian higher education system (Latvian) as FILCIL calls for change. (Lat, Eng)

News from Lithuania

News from Norway

  • How language learning app, Capeesh, works with industry to help non-native speakers improve their skills. (Nor)

  • Change at the top of itsLearning as Steve Tucker is appointed CEO. (Link, Link)

  • MakeKit prepare to go global. (Nor, Eng)

  • Medietilsynet survey highlights popularity of Snapchat and YouTube with young people (Nor, Eng), as children reveal their fears about being online. (Nor, Eng)

  • Newschool announce grant funding to launch four new projects in Poland. (Link)

  • Encouraging to see 35 national agencies and businesses working together and committing to implement measures to protect children online. (Nor, Eng)

News from Sweden

Thanks for reading and see you again on 2nd March!

Best regards, 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 #12 : 2020-02-03

Your Week 4 & 5 update from the Nordic & Baltic EdTech ecosystems

It’s clear from innumerable conversations at BETT and from the feedback I received from Educa that Nordic and Baltic EdTech are in rude health. The news and updates below, including investments, partnerships and international expansion serve to reinforce that perspective!

If you weren’t at BETT, then I’d recommend these three excellent summaries (Link, Link and Link), whilst OAJ have provided detailed follow up on Educa here. Next year, thankfully, the dates don’t clash (BETT will be Jan 20-22, Educa will be Jan 29-30), so I’ll look forward to attending both events!

Thanks for reading and for your support. Please reply to this email with any feedback!

Best, Jonathan

Regional news

  • N8 Co-Founder Märt Aro calls for Estonian and Nordic education businesses to improve global education with innovative learning solutions via FoundME. (Link)

  • Nordic Sounds website launches providing teachers with “..traditional music, dance, songs, games, rhymes and lullabies from the Nordic countries.” (Ice, Eng)

  • The CEOs of Matteappen and Seppo feature in the excellent Best of BETT podcast series from Soundtrap. (Link)

  • Strong Nordic presence for the GESAwards Final at BETT (Link) and in the Kids Judge BETT competition (Link and Link)

  • Powerful research (in Swedish) studying the link between digital media and young people's mental wellbeing in the Nordics. (Link)

Global trends

  • Google (Link) and Microsoft (Link) outline their ambitions and plans.

  • Svenia Busson shares her insights on European EdTech via EETN. (Link)

  • Two interesting reports emerged from the World Economic Forum on education for the fourth Industrial Revolution (Link) and the influence of play and technology on learning (Link).

  • WISE launch a new Global Education Barometer focusing on young people’s thoughts on their education and their future. (Link)

News from Denmark

  • Compelling new research studying the role of digital resources in Danish language teaching in schools. (Den, Eng)

  • The Minister for Education and Research gives DKK 45 million to strengthen HE educators’ digital skills through nine new schemes. (Den, Eng)

  • More municipalities have been reported to the Danish Data Protection Agency following breaches of student personal data security. (Den, Eng)

  • Lego Foundation’s global partnership expands to Vietnam. (Link)

  • Launch of Schools’ Wellbeing Day announced (1 March 2020). (Den, Eng)

News from Estonia

News from Finland

News from Iceland

News from Latvia

  • New app launched for students to report bullying (Lat) as government launches coordinated effort to tackle the problem in schools. (Lat, Eng)

  • Inspiring stories of educators at work in Riga (Lat, Eng) as the nation’s best chemistry teachers are recognised. (Lat)

  • Latvian Government launches new teacher training initiative. (Lat, Eng)

News from Lithuania

  • BitDegree have launched micro-scholarships for learning online and over 120 requests have been funded already. (Link)

  • Reach for Change Lithuania launch Game Changer campaign offering investment and expert support for business ideas improving children’s lives. (Link)

News from Norway

  • Loved the Norwegian Classroom at BETT - a great showcase of Norwegian and Nordic EdTech. (Link)

  • National solution recommended to support municipalities and schools in protecting children online. (Nor, Eng)

  • Fascinating profile of the work and team at Ludenso. (Nor, Eng)

  • Norwegian universities explore collaborative online solutions for storing and distributing content. (Nor, Eng)

  • Expansion announced for online bilingual education in maths, Norwegian and science for newly-arrived students nationwide. (Nor, Eng)

  • Students identify security breach in Visma’s school management system. (Nor, Eng)

News from Sweden

  • There are still opportunities for EdTech business to test their products and services with Swedish Edtest. Register your interest here.

  • IT-Pedagogen asks if brighter times are ahead for producers of teaching materials. (Swe, Eng)

  • Learnster announce new agreements across restaurant sector. (Swe)

  • The businesses behind NEXT LEVEL (Admentum, Advania, Canvas, DigiExam and Matteappen) announce their next event on 5th March. (Swe, Eng)

  • New event from SKL Kommentus looking at the digital school. (Swe, Eng)

  • ICYMI - Total Specific Solutions expands its presence in Sweden by acquiring Ping Pong AB. (Link)

  • Verbling, a Swedish-led language learning platform has been acquired by Busuu, in a multi-million dollar deal. (Swe, Eng)

Thanks for reading and see you again on 17th February!

Best regards, 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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