Nordic EdTech News #50 : 2021-09-20
Your Weeks 36 and 37 update from the Nordic & Baltic EdTech ecosystem
One topic that always comes up whenever I speak to EdTech businesses or education customers is GDPR and the security of student data. It’s clearly becoming an increasingly important factor when institutions and municipalities are making buying decisions and national regulators are now beginning to show their teeth to ensure that standards are being met.
Earlier this month, Datatilsynet (the Danish Data Protection Agency) made “serious criticism” of Helsingør Municipality in a GDPR ruling (Link), warning that the municipality will have to stop using Chromebooks and other Google products if the issues are not resolved. The ruling could force up to half of Danish municipalities to rapidly review their use of the same products to ensure the appropriate protections are in place (Link). Similar concerns have also been raised recently in Norway (Link) around the potential commercial exploitation of children’s data.
Of course, this issue matters to every EdTech business that handles student and teacher data, but Google’s sheer scale invariably puts them in the spotlight. This is reinforced by recent US research from LearnPlatform, which reviewed the EdTech products most frequently used by learners and educators between 1st September 2020 and 31 May 2021 (Link). Eight of the top ten products are from Google!
There’s two other important points to note from this research. Firstly, it’s brilliant to see Kahoot! flying the Nordic flag as the 7th most accessed product during the period. It’s also amazing to see that US school districts use an incredible 1,449 different EdTech products in an average month!
This obviously has significant implications for any EdTech looking at expanding into the US market - it’s vital to understand how to build a differentiated proposition that can stand out in these circumstances. Particularly given that according to a recent report on international growth from Brighteye Ventures, the US is “the single most popular single destination for expansion” for European EdTech businesses!
Whilst on the subject of Nordic EdTech’s globalisation, it’s great to see the significant partnership deal signed between Estonia and Kenya to “transform education digitally.” Read the full story here.
As always there’s lots happening across the ecosystem. Three notable events to bring to your attention.
Applications for HolonIQ’s 2021 Nordic-Baltic EdTech 50 are still open. For full entry criteria and for a comprehensive review of how all of last year’s Top 50 are progressing, click here. Applications are welcomed from EdTech companies, their customers and investors and can be made here. The closing date is 8th October 2021.
Finally, the sharp-eyed among you will have noticed that this is the fiftieth NEN. Many thanks to everyone who has provided stories and feedback or who has liked and shared this newsletter with their networks! Here’s to the next fifty!
Best regards, Jonathan
News from Denmark
Discover the Music, a new digital platform to increase interest in classical music, has been launched. (Link)
Strong EdTech presence at Tech BBQ (Link). Will post a recording of the EdTech presentations when available.
News from Estonia
Join this year’s EdTech Hack, run by Startup Estonia and EdTech Estonia. Full details here!
Apply now to join Estonia’s digital testbed framework and build a proof of concept for your EdTech innovation. (Link)
Education is at the heart of Estonia’s stunning presence at Expo Dubai. (Link)
News from Finland
Five Finnish Education companies have been nominated as finalists at the GESS 2021 Education Awards: Claned Group Oy, Isku Interior Oy, GraphoGame, Playvation Ltd / Moomin Language School and MoovKids. (Link)
News from Iceland
News from Latvia
Latvian cities turn to EdTech solutions to prepare young people for the world of work. (Link)
News from Lithuania
Representatives from EdTech Lithuania have started working on an advisory board for the government’s newly-formed Education Digitalisation Project. This aims to ensure that rapid development, public-partnerships, openness and impact are all brought to Lithuanian Education sector. (Link)
EdTech (and Turing College) also features prominently in TechCrunch’s recent review of Vilnius’ rise as an international startup hub. (Link)
News from Norway
Increased focus on science announced in Norwegian upper secondary schools - an extra NOK 248 million has been allocated to introduce an extra hour of science per week. (Link)
News from Sweden
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