The past two years have seen major challenges in organising education and teaching and a significant increase in the role of digital technology. The need to use more technological tools in schools has increased the importance of educational technology services. In the winds of change, it’s high time to think about new smart solutions that can effectively support learning, and here, Estonia has the ambition to be an example to others.
Inga Kõue, Startup Estonia; Krislin Raik, EdTech Estonia
The answer to the question of what future education will look like is of global interest. Successful learning is a time-consuming process that involves effort, mistakes and making connections with what you learned. However, creating learning experiences and organising education doesn’t have to be time-consuming. A good education, together with effective learning methods and digital solutions, should be available to all. And it is solutions that support smart learning that Estonian EdTech companies are offering at the EXPO 2020 Dubai world’s fair.
Estonian educational solutions in Dubai
Visitors can get to know Estonian educational technology services at the Estonian Pavilion until the end of March 2022. Among the companies represented in Dubai are Opiq for digital learning materials, Schoolaby education management system and augmented reality service Mobi Lab. Those interested are also welcome to familiarise themselves with the concept of an open learning space developed by Kuubis in cooperation with Standard: modern learning not only uses technology wisely but also creates smart links to the physical and virtual environment.
On 12-18 December, EXPO 2020 Dubai’s Knowledge and Learning Week will take place. Representatives of Estonian education and research will present our solutions and opportunities at the Estonian Pavilion. The key events of the Estonian Education Week programme are Educational Technology Day, University Day and RewirED Summit, where the Minister of Education and Research Liina Kersna, former President Kersti Kaljulaid and the Director-General of the Board of the Estonian Research Council Anu Noorma will participate as honorary guests.
Educational Technology Day at the Estonian Pavilion
One day of our education week will be dedicated entirely to Estonian education start-ups: On 16 December, former President Kersti Kaljulaid will open Education Technology Day at the Estonian EXPO Pavilion. Researcher Grete Arro will be leading discussion groups where Estonian educational leaders and school heads will discuss how effective learning is done with the help of digital technology. Among other things, participants are looking for the answer to the question of whether we really are learning more effectively these days or if it only seems like that to us. Couldn’t it be that, upon closer inspection, we might see that although we are using 21st-century technology, we are still learning in a way that is based on 19th-century understandings?
Education inspires entrepreneurship
Estonia is a good example of how public and private sector cooperation can offer digital solutions that support learning. EdTech companies have consistently increased their contribution to our education over the years. New challenges inspire the creation of even newer educational services. An average of seven new players is added to the Estonian field of educational technology each year, with the sector growing by nearly 20% per year. The highest number of new solutions have been those that support the well-being of learners.
As of October 2021, EdTech Estonia has more than 30 private companies providing educational services. Eight of them are introducing their EdTech services at EXPO 2020 Dubai: ELIIS, Opiq, Mobi Lab, Clanbeat, Speak TX, Schoolaby, Tutor.id and DreamApply. There is something for people of all ages, from kindergarten to adulthood, to facilitate the work of teachers, involve learners with interactive solutions, provide emotional support for learners and solutions to support learners with special educational needs.
Support for the expansion of EdTech solutions
Above all, EXPO 2020 Dubai creates export opportunities for companies. Several of the companies participating in the Dubai world’s fair have already expanded outside Estonia. Expanding outside of Europe will provide entrepreneurs also with useful feedback, which helps us assess the suitability of our solutions for users from different cultures.
The field of educational technology is projected to grow to 400 million dollars over the next five years (HolonIQ 2020 report). This also means that now is a critical time for businesses to lay the foundations for effective product development in cooperation with the public sector. By supporting the globalisation of Estonian companies, we support a future where global learners can use solutions to support smart learning that were developed in Estonia.