The Southern Africa Innovation Support needed visionaries to rethink the business ecosystem in the region. We attended their call.

In August 2020, the Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS) opened a call for “projects to pilot and validate solutions to make Southern African startup ecosystems more resilient and better able to face an uncertain future”. The context of the call was the fact that Covid-19 has revealed flaws in the worldwide innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. They challenged applicants to find these flaws and offer solutions to the innovation business ecosystem in the region, so it would become stronger and more resilient against adversities.

Promptly, Glowdom and Eduix, supported by the EDUDITRA project in cooperation with Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences started the discussion to create a consortium. Over the year, the group had already organized a webinar series to discuss about digitizing education ecosystem in Namibia. The webinar “Education in the world 4.0: bridging the gap between education and the market” counted with the participation of Hasekiel Johannes, the Innovation Officer of Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII). The moment we remembered how well aligned the webinar discussions and participation were, that was the start of our project consortium.

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Developing museums’ resilience by digitizing archives and operations

Institutions that store and protect cultural heritage, such as museums and archives, are vital resources for mental health, well-being, social cohesion, and cultural learning. Today, more than ever, the importance of culture and creativity for society is clear. During the Covid-19, those with access to the Internet have constantly resorted to online cultural production provided by institutions and private initiatives. Who, during the past months, has not watched a live session with their favourite singers, read an e-book temporarily available during the months of lockdown, or visited a museum “walking” through its digital corridors in a 360-degree view?

Unfortunately, the lockdown measures over this year and the impossibility of physical visiting have caused massive loss of revenue for cultural institutions such as museums and archives. In addition, the digital gap due to lack of Internet accessibility in many regions around the world have increased largely and strongly affected those institutions that cannot resort to such resources, especially the smaller and private initiatives in small cities or rural areas.  

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Scaling up our digital ecosystem in Namibia …

… The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as digitalization in general, are putting pressure on the schools’ curricula and education, and it is challenging for them to support the digital leaps in the society.

The digital transformation in schools requires constant and close support, and to be beneficial, local school processes and practices have to be understood and taken into account.

To achieve sustainable solutions, the local edTech solutions and ecosystem supporting them have to be available, and this kind of local ecosystems should be possible to be set and scaled up agilely.

Read more about it in the Glowdom blog

eExams – today

By Johanna Kiviranta

“We can’t organize the course exam as a mass event with everyone in the classroom. The exam will be organized online. How that happens, well, to me that might be an even bigger mystery than to you. I will get back to this, when we have come up with a solution.” 

This is a direct quote from my professor in one of my university courses at the beginning of the semester. This is just one course that has been monstrously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiply this by the amount of courses and the amount of education institutions around the globe, and we can say that the education sector is facing huge challenges and a pressing need for re-organization due to the current crisis. 

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Schools are reopening – now what?

Now that a new academic year/semester is about to start, the hot topic of the past weeks has been how to proceed with the reopening of schools amid the Covid-19 pandemic, taking into consideration the implications of it for the population health and education. Among teachers, parents, school leaders, and academic researchers there seems to coexist opposite, but also complementary, opinions.

So far, children who attend kindergarten and initial years of primary education seem to be the safest cohort of pupils to come back to school routines thanks to the shared evidence that the vast majority of them do not suffer from hard symptoms due to the virus. Additionally, parents with younger children might need a faster return of them to school activities, so parents can have better conditions to work. However, although younger children are safer to be exposed to physical and face-to-face socialization, they can also be potential carriers and spread the virus among family members, affecting mostly the ones who are in the risk groups (e.g. grandparents who take care of them).

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Webinar Series: Glowdom and Eduix leveraging the digital ecosystem for education in Namibia

Glowdom and Eduix have joined forces to provide a national-grade education digitalisation ecosystem for Namibia. Eduix is the leading education software ecosystem in Finland. Glowdom has in-depth knowledge about the opportunities in Namibia and a hands-on experience on delivering local solutions. Our goal is to completely and rapidly change the way school and student management and related services are done in the country.

In order to share our experience with all our contributors and partners (that is, you!), we decided to organize a webinar series to share what we have learned and connect with relevant stakeholders to join efforts in bringing Namibia education to the next level.

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How schools can become change agents in the community by implementing edutech solutions

Opinion article

The education sector has been one of the most affected amid Covid-19 pandemic, with over 1.5 billion students around the world experiencing significant interruption in their learning routine (UNESCO). School closure, and more recently reopening, has posed new demands for rethinking the school system, such as increasing the role of online pedagogical tools, reforming the curriculum to adjust to the “new normal”, and dropping teaching practices that cannot be integrated to a hybrid format of education, among others.

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Meanwhile in Namibia

The co-operation project with Haaga-Helia, Eduix Ltd. and Glowdom has progressed to first concrete pilot tests.

During February, Altti Lagstedt had a very busy time in Namibia, together with Sebulon David of Glowdom. They met interesting groups, refined the Ahaa ecosystem model and planned the pilot tests of both Formjack and Wihi products with education representatives. They also attended the Python conference “PyCon Namibia 2020”, where Altti was a keynote speaker and Sebulon had a “light talk” presentation.

Read Sebulon’s blog post on Ahaa! blog.

Photo by Mickael Tournier on Unsplash

An exciting cooperation agreement

On the 17th of January 2020, Eduix Ltd. and Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences (UAS) started a very special cooperation. From the Eduix-business point of view, partnering with a research institution is a new approach towards software development. From the Haaga-Helia higher education point of view, this cooperation opens new possibilities to conduct economically effective research.

This kind of privately funded research concept with clear business objectives is not typical among Finnish universities. As a result, the cooperation concept itself has aroused interest and eagerness from observers, potential partners, and clients.

The main target of this innovative partnership is quite exciting: finding sustainable ways to digitize education processes in emerging markets. Such an ambitious target aims at addressing two main challenges.

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