Monthly Archives: July 2015

Bingel Spans Age Levels

On July 15th 2015, I spent a nice summer day in Pori demonstrating Bingel to random passers by. We shared a booth with our partners from Bitartic and Fantastec, as well as another Finnish edtech company Skillpixels.

Me and my colleague gathering insights from future Bingel users.

Me and my colleague gathering insights from Bingel testers.

Our event was co-located with the popular SuomiAreena, which had education as a specific topic this year. Our stand was swarming with kids trying out Bingel and giving us valuable feedback as a result. I learned something new about Bingel that day.

I already knew that one of the most important competitive advantages of Bingel is that it is carefully tailored to fit the age level and the respective curriculum. Also the visuals and stories of the Bingel world are matched with the grade level. We are going to start with 3rd grade materials after the summer, and were demonstrating only those.

My learning? I was pleasently surprised to see that kids from preschoolers to 7th graders were eager to try out our Bingel instance which only had 3rd grade materials in it. Preschoolers stuck to decorating the avatars, whereas two 7th graders competed who could answer the easy exercises faster. Sometimes we got siblings, who helped out each other.

All this is good news to me. Exact alignment with curriculum is important and reassuring to the teachers. However, having also elements and use cases spanning age levels helps in spreading the news about Bingel beyond 3rd graders & their teachers and parents. We are merely starting with the 3rd grade, but going to expand to the whole primary education.

You can find further description of Bingel (in Finnish) here.

Is Edtech Hype Over?

I visited the Edtech Europe conference in London’s Kings Place earlier this year. It was organized for the third time, and has doubled in size each year (this time with 650+ participants).

Coffee break outside the beautiful Kings Place

Coffee break outside the beautiful Kings Place

I recommend the event: it is a convenient way to get an overview in one day of what’s going on in educational technologies. Many edtech events are in the US, but this one in London, which makes it especially suitable for Europeans.

Of the three parallel tracks I took mainly part in startup sessions. I got many interesting insights and ideas, but now, after letting the event sink in for a couple of weeks, I think the main theme of the event was that there was no main theme. For the past years, there has always been a flavor of the week everyone is talking about at edtech events, be it MOOCs, LMSs, learning games, personalized learning, or whatever.

There were mentions of all of the above, mind, but nothing stood out more than the others. To me this is a good sign. It means that the worst hype around educational technologies is over and it is maturing as a business.

Another signal indicating of the maturity was that many of the companies I encountered have solid user bases and even make revenues. For example Brainly, one of the startups, reported having 40 million active monthly users. Another company, 2U, makes a whopping $30+ million in quarterly revenues.

Expecting to see more such success stories in the years to come!