Eduten Playground in Vietnam, Interview with Henri Muurimaa
– by Quyen Cao, 29.07.19
Henri Muurimaa is the Eduten’s Chief Executive Officer. In this role, it is Henri’s challenges to make innovative thinking, user comprehensive and strategic vision indispensable elements for global educational development. Eduten Playground is a digital learning platform with scientifically proven impacts on learning results and grades, with Finland as the country of origin combined with Finnish educational excellence of gamification and artificial intelligence. In the interview, Henri gave a broader understanding of Eduten and shared his opinion on the expansion plan.
‘ We believe that the platform is genuinely useful for both teachers and kids, bringing the promising benefit in improving the learning impacts.’ – Henri Muurimaa
As the CEO of Eduten, can you share with us what in the market you discovered that inspired you to establish Eduten? And can you tell us about Eduten’s motivations and ultimate goals?
That is an excellent question. The background of Eduten started nearly 20 years ago, from the research of the University of Turku, focused on figuring out what the best teaching methods are and how to improve the way teachers imparting their knowledge to students. And we recognized at that time, teachers spent a lot of time on paperwork and assessment. For that reason, we quickly wanted to start a tool making teachers’ lives easier and also improving students’ learning results and grades.
That being the case, Eduten Playground is a better way to teach and learn derived from our research. The user of Eduten playground is doubling every year, by now, there are 40% of Finnish schools using Eduten Playground, and the number is steeply increasing.
In the beginning, there were a lot of schools/ delegations from other countries came to Finland with the desire to know how Finnish schools and teachers possess excellent teaching methods. They saw that in Finland, education is fun for kids and easy for teachers and they wished to know how we get this. Due to high demand from those delegations, Eduten was established in 2018 and with the mission to provide Eduten Playground internationally. The first international customers started in August 2018, and in April 2019 Eduten surpassed more than a million calculations per month outside of Finland.
Providing this of the highest standard system to all students around the world is for good and all the ultimate goal of Eduten. As we believe that the platform is genuinely useful for both teachers and kids, bringing the promising benefit in improving the learning impact.
You already introduced Eduten Playground to Nigeria, Namibia, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, UK, Belgium, Sweden, Romania, Estonia, Russia, Iraq, Oman, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Nepal, India, Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia – why is Vietnam now in your sights?
Our mission is to help all students over the world attain their academic potential. In order to expand Eduten Playground globally, we need to work in close collaboration with our partners, and GOI Finland is an important one of them. Starting the partnership with GOI Finland at the Eduten in Nepal project, we now continue with Vietnam as GOI Finland has a deep comprehension of the local function and how the market works. GOI Finland introduced to us new local partner, which is Song Ngan Ltd to be in charge of activities taken place in Vietnam. Furthermore, Vietnam is now paying much attention to education management and improvement; hence, I think Vietnam has room for Eduten to grow and enlarge.
So, we think that Let’s do Vietnam. For your information, at the same time, we are expanding Eduten Playground to other countries as well.
Vietnam is promoting educational development and facing challenges for innovation and modernization in teaching methods. How can Eduten support Vietnam in its transformation?
Vietnam is not alone in this challenge to improve and renovate the way to teach and learn. As far as I am concerned, plenty of countries are now seeking for opportunities to ameliorate their education performance and now Eduten is attempting to frame what Eduten Playground has done in Finland to those countries.
However, we know that there are hybrid systems between Finland and Vietnam, so Eduten Playground is doing its utmost to modify and adapt so as to distribute the best learning program for VN.
Proven that Eduten is the working example of modernization, our platform makes teachers’ lives more comfortable with automated lesson planning and learning analytics. Eduten Playground achieves all this by combining Finnish educational excellence with gamification and AI.
Finnish education has been ranked among the top globally, and it can be a catalyst to Vietnam’s transformation. Consider the scale difference, how best can Eduten Playground be introduced to Vietnamese market?
As I mentioned before, the role of partners who have deep insights into the markets is the critical key that bring Eduten to Vietnam. In collaboration with GOI Finland and Song Ngan, we are effectively delivering the whole message to Vietnam. We let schools experience the pilot programme in 6 weeks, and usually, it happens that teachers say they get the instructions and the way it works as well as their willingness to use it in long term period. We believe this scenario keeps happening in Vietnam.
The significant barrier in Vietnam in particular and other countries generally is that our programme is in English, so we find it challenging to bring Eduten Playground to all schools. The effort to customize the languages is possible, and we are seeking for the improvement.
Could you tell us more about the services Eduten Playground offer?
The core of our services is to make sure that teachers, students, and parents have an engaging experience with Eduten Playground. We have 3 primary services which are supporting, training, and curriculum designing.
For any questions related to our platform, we engage a global network supported by certified professionals to assist customers. At the starter workshop, schools are supported by the team from either Eduten or one of our certified partners, an information package and contact details are included which allow them to get in touch with us in person or video call with highest quality manner.
Eduten Playground has been designed to be very easy to use, so the training requirements are minimal. Before getting started, you’ll join a short workshop that briefs you on the usage of Eduten Playground and leveraging its pedagogical benefits with your students. Our certified trainer team can arrange a workshop for you locally, or you can join one online, and afterward, you’ll get a certificate for completing the workshop. In collaboration with the University of Turku, we also provide courses to help teachers and school management to benefit from Finnish educational expertise. Topics include, for example, Finnish pedagogy, applying digital tools in education and learning analytics.
Curriculums from schools using Eduten Playground are customized and adapted to Finnish education expertise altogether.
How do you see edutech’s development potential in the changing world where technology is evolving and spreading day by day?
Technology has immense potential to improve many aspects of education, and I see it as the next great disruption for education system around the world. There are very good and impactful edutech solutions in use around the world already, and leveraging these experiences is a great opportunity for other places to develop their systems quickly.
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