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Meet our members: Leap Learning

Published: 4. March 2019

Leap Learning offers more than 200 educational apps covering logic, literacy and numeracy, combined with hands-on games in a new learning area with 9 dedicated stations (The Learning Lab). We caught up with Marit Linnebo Olderheim, CEO, to talk about their operations in more than 15 different countries, becoming a finalist at Nordic Edtech Award 2018 and their next big steps.

 

Can you describe briefly what Leap Learning does?
Leap Learning is a Norwegian edtech company with more than 10 years of experience working with educational solutions. We have developed a new educational method using technology to enable children to learn how to learn, wherever and whoever they are in the world.
With more than 200 educational apps covering logic, literacy and numeracy, combined with hands-on games in a new learning area with 9 dedicated stations (The Learning Lab), we will ensure that all children learn at their own level and in their own pace.

How does your product work? or What type of services do you offer?
Leap Learning offers the complete set-up of a Learning Lab with the apps, tablets and games. We also provide the training, and in some cases we run the lab for the customer. We also sell tablets with our app-collection pre-installed. Our apps are sold on App Store, Google Play and on our self-hosted Leap Store (for Android). The apps and the Learning Lab concept are available in several languages, such as Norwegian, English, French, Somali, Portuguese, Swahili and soon Spanish, and with content in line with local curriculum. The apps can be used in parts or as a whole on all smart phones and tablets for both Android and iOS.
The customers are either schools or private persons downloading our educational apps, or companies, NGOs etc that would like to buy the complete Leap Learning Lab setup. We have great experience with partnering with schools, NGOs and foundations as well as running CSR projects for private companies. Then we offer a complete set of apps pre-installed and organized into categories on tablets, as well as the Learning Lab inventory, hands-on games and training of facilitators.

What do you want to change?
We are aiming to impact the global educational scene. All children learn in different ways and are on different levels. With technology and by challenging the normal class room setting, we are able to cater for that and in so doing changing the way foundational skills are learned in a context where they don’t have access to proper school systems and qualified teachers. With operations and Learning Labs in more than 15 different countries in Africa, Asia, South-America and Europe, we have seen how active learning through the Learning Labs have had major positive effects and impact on both students and teachers as well as the local communities.

Why did you choose EdTech?
To provide a scalable solution, edtech is the enabler to reach out globally. We also emphasise the combination of edtech with hands-on games to give the best learning outcome.

What do you see are the biggest challenges in this market?
Our Learning Lab concept is innovative and different from a normal school setting. It takes time for some actors to understand the impact of it, and that it really can work. For example, in the African market, people are used to paying for education, but they are not aware of, or used to paying for, good educational edtech tools. Therefore, it requires us to be in the market for some time, to provide evidence and awareness of the impact and quality of our product. Then the market will respond positively. So, to sustain a small start-up for any length of time is challenging!

What are your next steps or ambitions?
We are now established with pilots in 15 countries. Our next step is to become a major player in the education scene in the leading markets in both Kenya and Uganda. We did a commercial event together with Innovation Norway in September ’18, where a lot of possible customers and stakeholders attended, and we hope by this to go for the bigger scale.

In what way has being a member of Oslo Edtech Cluster made a difference for you?
It is great to have a platform to gather stakeholders and players in the region involved with edtech. We are so proud to have been chosen to represent Norway in the final of the Nordic Edtech Award 2018! We acknowledge in the future it would be optimal to have strategic partnerships so that we together can reach new markets. We hope that more people in Norway will learn what we are doing and our collective vision.

How many employees do you have?
We have 5 full-time employees and, in addition, we have a number of freelancers working on different projects.

Which stage do you say your company is at? Growing? Well established?
We are a well-established company in the sense that we are already in the market, our apps are being used in 200 Norwegian schools, and we have more than 25 learning Labs in more than 15 countries. However, we see a huge potential in, and need for, our products and, consequently, are in the process of expanding our business.