Vision: healthy and functional school communities
A brand new EdTech company emerges from the co-creation spaces at Helsinki Education Hub as Edulyzer officially starts their business.
Teuvo Sankila and Tero Rynkä are a common sight on Runeberginkatu, on the fourth floor of the former School of Business. They know all the corridors and conference rooms and brew coffee for the office staff in the morning, and now they are sitting down to talk about their project with laid-back professionalism. For the past six months, the duo have been working here in the premises of Helsinki Education Hub, often from dawn to dusk, on their next data-based tool for the challenges of school communities. Both entrepreneurs are very familiar with these challenges, as they both have a long history in creating innovations and learning materials.
“We both have a burning passion for learning and school. To us, the important thing is the core idea of learning, that everyone has an opportunity to do well and realise their potential through learning,” Sankila explains.
But how could this passion be utilised and channelled to benefit the education system while also producing worthwhile business activities? Sankila and Rynkä began to identify an important theme: utilising the school community’s relevant data in decision-making and development operations.
“There is never too much talk about psychological well-being, strengths and things like occupational well-being among the teacher community,” Rynkä comments.
The pandemic has placed learners and teachers alike under new challenges and pressures, and even though information is being collected from schools, that process is not always very efficient or low-threshold.
An idea of an application that collects real-time data with regular questions directed at different groups within the school community began to take form. The app was given a short and to-the-point name: Edulyzer.
“Everything is based on the idea of wanting learners to enjoy themselves, feel like a significant part of the community and have an opportunity to focus on their learning. For teachers, the work community is functional and not too stressful, and guardians are also able to support children or young people on their path in a more diverse manner,” Rynkä explains.
Knowledge-based management for schools
Edulyzer is a new tool for the managers of schools that facilitates quick reactions to and even anticipation of potential problems. The topics and contents of the questions were selected by an esteemed group of researchers so that the data can principally be used to support decision-making.
“We can recommend different functions, but the decision on how the data is ultimately utilised is made by the management of the school or educational operator,” Sankila says.
The usefulness of the application extends beyond the management level, too. Accumulating data points can yield information on how municipalities and ultimately the entire country are doing in terms of education. But there is also help available at the grassroots level.
“The basic objective of the Finnish national core curriculum is to have young people graduate from school with self-knowledge and know-how. Edulyzer enables us to shed light on things that help individuals be individuals. Individual pupils are also needed as part of the community, as everyone plays an important role in it.”
Physical facilities and work community worth their weight in gold
Edulyzer will officially launch on Wednesday 12th of January, but as the idea and the business have been growing, the application has been under constant development over the course of the autumn and winter. Sankila and Rynkä say that Testbed Helsinki, the co-development platform provided by Helsinki Education Hub, is the next step in the process. It presents an excellent opportunity to have practical experiences with the service.
“Our working facilities here on Runeberginkatu were also a great help to us in the initial stages of the project. We have an extremely energetic work community here that in a way drives us to go even further,” Rynkä describes.
“We have an opportunity to interact instead of just staying home. The Hub is a safe environment for spitballing and pitching ideas. The coffee is excellent, too,” Sankila says with a chuckle.
The duo discovered Helsinki Education Hub through social media channels.
“I believe I first came across it on LinkedIn. When we were invited to the opening event, we also found out about these fine working facilities. This has been a great resource for us, and I can definitely recommend coming here in person to future growth companies,” Rynkä commends.
The future is yet to arrive, but the vision for Edulyzer is clear. The entrepreneurs are aiming at the European market through international pilot projects.
“When we collect data from different countries, we are of course also able to compare data sets and see what kinds of similarities and differences there are between countries. We can then later examine what the underlying causes are,” Rynkä concludes.
Check out Edulyzer’s new website here!