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Nordic EdTech News #92: 2023-07-03
Your Weeks 25-26 update from the Nordic and Baltic EdTech ecosystem
Nordic EdTech News is the best way to keep up with the EdTech ecosystem across 8 Nordic and Baltic countries. I curate it from company updates and a wide variety of international sources. It’s a passion project of mine - the rest of my time is spent advising / consulting the companies who lead the future of learning. If you’d like to find out more, drop me an email.
Hello, good morning and welcome to today’s Nordic EdTech News.
It’s a bumper edition as many Nordic EdTech businesses get their deals done and news out before the summer break. If you’ve missed any newsletters in 2023, you can catch up via the web archive here. Let’s get started!
The last two weeks have seen an unprecedented flurry of acquisitions featuring EdTechs across our ecosystem.
Sweden’s TimeEdit confirmed its first acquisition, buying Vorsen, a Dutch EdTech (Link). The move highlights a new stage in the company’s development as it moves “from a scheduling software provider to a comprehensive Academic Operations platform.” In covering the news, DI also reported that TimeEdit’s turnover is now SEK 64 million.
Sage Publications, the leading global academic publisher, has acquired Hubro Education, a Norwegian EdTech. Hubro Education “develops business simulations for academic institutions, corporations, and individual skill development.” (Link, Link)
In Denmark, Schultz and Blueprint Learning have combined to buy LearnLet (Link). LearnLet currently provides over 150 courses to help support educators to handle daily challenges that arise in the classroom.
Shape Robotics announced that it has entered a non-binding Letter of Intent to acquire Skriware, the Polish EdTech company (Link). The ambition is clear: “two highly specialised EdTech companies plan to jointly embrace the fast-growing market in Poland and the rest of Europe.”
These moves sit against the context of an increasingly challenging investment market. HolonIQ’s latest quarterly analysis shows a further reduction in global EdTech investment - down to $707M for Q2 from $1.1B in Q1. As they comment: “Gone are the mega-rounds and inflated expectations, replaced by a 'back to basics' approach, focusing on tangible, evidenced outcomes.”
The phrase ‘back to basics’ perfectly sums up the Swedish Government’s current thinking. They have now proposed that textbooks, teaching aids and teaching tools should be more tightly defined in the Education Act. This bill also strengthens students' right to textbooks and is “part of the government's ambition to reduce the influence of screens in Swedish schools and strengthen access to real books” according to Education Minister, Lotta Edholm (Link).
A more nuanced approach seems to be gaining ground in Denmark. Minister for Children and Education, Mattias Tesfaye, confirmed he has no "plans to introduce a ban on screens in school." Rather he’s keen for school leaders to take the lead and has asked experts to draw up guidelines to support their thinking.
With increasing global focus on EdTech evidence, it’s notable that EdTech Impact has launched an ambitious framework and certifications to drive up quality. Developed with schools, industry experts and researchers, it aims to increase trust, transparency and accountability for EdTech worldwide. Join their launch event on 11th July at 12pm (GMT +1) to get the full story.
Applications to join the second edition of NextEdu from Finnish accelerator xEdu close today - 3rd July 2023.
I was very pleased to contribute to the first episode of Carnegie Learning’s new podcast series - Clear Conversations. We discussed identifying EdTech innovations worth implementing versus mere trends, the role of social media and AI in the classroom, and the best ways to support teachers.
I’ll be taking a break over the summer, so the next newsletter will be published on 7th August 2023. I’ll cover any breaking stories on Twitter, so do follow updates there!
Have a great holiday and see you again in a few weeks!
Thanks for reading, Jonathan
News from Denmark
Still no decision in the landmark Chromebook case after 3.5 years! (Link)
Schools in Odense no longer have a central learning platform, saving DKK 2 million. (Link)
News from Estonia
Interesting review of Estonia’s iHub4Schools and the digital innovation it supports in schools.
Good to see Estonian EdTech companies showcasing their solutions at London EdTech Week. (Link)
News from Finland
News from Iceland
News from Latvia
New research identifies that “skilled teaching occurs in 42% of lessons.”
Parents complain about the lists of teaching materials they’re expected to buy before the new school term. (Link)
News from Lithuania
A group of Vilnius University researchers have investigated teachers' motivation in adopting “technology-enabled educational innovations.” (Link)
10,000 students and 230 schools have been involved in a national EdTech testbed programme. (Link)
The National Education Agency's EdTech Centre aims to train another 3,000 teachers this autumn. (Link)
News from Norway
Five municipalities risk fines for errors in digital teaching aids after Digdir carried out an inspection. (Link)
Oslo municipality is rolling out a pilot programme that gives pupils and staff access to a separate Oslo schools ChatGPT. (Link)
Kahoot! and McGraw Hill launch new learning content on Kahoot Academy to explore history, science and more. (Link)
News from Sweden
If you want further insight into the views of Lotta Edholm, then this podcast (in Swedish) is a good place to start.
Influential research network argues that: "The preschool needs a digitization strategy."
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