Estonia and 7 other Nordic countries to share their digital education solutions for free
Estonia and Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden have pooled their solutions together and are humbled to share all of their digital education tools to support other countries’ education systems during the Covid-19 crisis. The complete list of internationally-accessible solutions that have joined this initiative will be updated over time as new offers are made.
Estonia announced on Monday that the country will to support the international community with its digital education tools. Now, thanks to very positive feedback from other countries, a cross-regional initiative has begun to offer education solutions from the entire region for free to support the cause.
Schools in an increasing number of countries are being forced to close their doors, but this does not necessarily mean that learning needs to stop. Based on Estonia’s experience, education can successfully switch entirely online.
“As of today, 102 countries have closed schools and educational institutions impacting over 849 million children and youth (UNESCO monitoring). Tens of millions of additional learners will experience education disruption in the coming months. Now more than ever is the time to open up resources and share experiences to support the continuity of learning for all – and it is heartwarming to see many organizations, individuals, and countries are already doing just this. By spreading the learning solidarity as far and wide as we can, we will come out of the crisis as stronger learners empowered by digital technologies,” said Tiina Neuvonen, Thematic Lead in Education at the United Nations Technology Innovation Labs.
Märt Aro, co-founding member of the European EdTech Alliance, states that thanks to the Nordic’s general adoption of digital technologies in education, there are tools that can also be applied to support other countries’ distance learning. They are typically co-created between schools, universities, and companies. “A number of tools are prepared for international usage and the numerous companies developing them have also kindly agreed to support other countries in need. The aim of this initiative is to support distance learning and work in the education sector during this time of crisis. Many of the solutions also enable an increase in the social aspect of distance learning and do their best to motivate learners,” explained Aro.
“Technology is often seen as a tool for learning and teaching, but Estonian EdTEch companies have also contributed to high-quality and contemporary content creation,” said Birgit Lao, CEO of Innove. “Considering the vast diversity of different learning methodologies, the use of technology will help learners find the most suitable way to personalise their experience.” Innove also provides webinars on how to organise distance learning.
The co-founder of the Good Deed Education Fund and ride-hailing unicorn Bolt.eu Martin Villig noted Estonia’s general readiness that comes from a well-developed digital society:
“Estonia is globally known for its digital society and e-services, and thanks to the solutions, Estonia is somewhat better prepared for this crisis. I am humbled to see companies coming to support schools and universities this quickly and also organising free webinars to support educators in achieving the best possible results.”
We are also inviting all other countries to open up any resources they can to help minimise the impact of crises and to share expertise that could support other countries.
The initiative is supported by Startup Estonia and co-organized with the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research, United Nations Technology Innovation Lab, Estonian Union of Educational Technologists, Good Deed Education Fund, Innove, HITSA, and Education Nation.