EDUCATE Ventures enters collaboration with Sweden’s first research-led EdTech accelerator
EDUCATE Ventures has entered a collaboration to launch the first research-led EdTech accelerator in Sweden.
The organisation is partnering with Swedish Edtest, the national testbed for the use of technology in education, and the trade association, Swedish EdTech Industry.
The long-term goal of the collaboration is to provide better digital products for students, educators and schools, and eventually to develop a Nordic hub for evidence-based EdTech, in collaboration with EDUCATE.
Professor Rose Luckin, director of EDUCATE Ventures said: “The collaboration with Sweden moves our company into the international sphere and strengthens its reputation as the leading research-led accelerator globally.
“We all have much to learn from each other in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the increase in EdTech use around the world, and this is an ideal start to that journey.”
As in many countries, the Swedish education and tech sectors are examining the effects of increased technology use on learning in the past year, and education leaders and EdTech companies believe they need to be better informed about what is high quality EdTech and what effect it has on teaching and learning.
The pilot will begin in the autumn, when EDUCATE Ventures will link the Swedish education and EdTech sectors with high quality research, to ensure that the resources being used are of high quality, are effective and fit for purpose.
Dr Becky Sage, EDUCATE’S director of acceleration, said: “We are very excited to be launching the first international EDUCATE accelerator with Swedish Edtest, whose programme is already doing such great work to bring together EdTech companies with educators. Our work really compliments what they are doing.
“Using the EDUCATE acceleration methodology we can add value to Swedish EdTech enterprises by helping them develop evidence-informed EdTech alongside educators, providing connection across the education ecosystem and even greater benefit to learners.”
Hanna Elving, who leads Swedish Edtest — an organisation with 13 partners comprising some 700 preschools and schools — and is running the pilot, said: “For us in the Swedish Edtest testbed, the collaboration with EDUCATE is part of our work to develop quality in both the range of digital learning resources and their use on a scientific basis.
“Currently, Sweden lacks a context where researchers, educators and companies can meet and together drive quality and development. We aim to fill that hole and see this collaboration as a first step.”
Ms Elving said that while digital learning services have been used for decades in the Swedish education system, the research around its use and efficacy has not kept up with technological advances, meaning that research reports quickly become obsolete.
As a result, the research is not as supportive of the sector as it could be and cannot be used to inform educators on the quality and effects of tech use in schools. The lack of good quality research means teachers find it difficult to determine what is effective and high quality EdTech and have little information about the product development of EdTech companies.
Jannie Jeppesen, CEO of Swedish EdTech Industry, believes that the collaboration is a way to help Swedish EdTech companies develop evidence-based products and to take responsibility for their role in the education sector’s ecosystem.
“The collaboration with EDUCATE is a way of helping Swedish EdTech companies not only to develop evidence-based products, but also to attract capital, to grow and provide opportunities for more people to use their products,” she said.