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9 Scottish education technology companies to watch

02 Jun 2020 • 11 minute read

With growing demand for innovative technology solutions in education, Scotland’s ed tech companies give the support you need.

Man working at computer

With growing demand for innovative tech solutions in education, Scotland’s smartest edtech companies are rising to the challenge, supporting schools and education providers worldwide.

This is particularly relevant during the Covid-19 pandemic, where technology is providing a bridge to online learning and everyday communications. It can also help with issues such as teacher shortages, workload, pupil behaviour and improve factors such as inclusivity, mental health and children’s online safety and security.

It is a fast-growing sector with schools in the UK alone currently spending about £0.9 billion on education technology. Consultancy, HolonIQ opens in a new window , has projected that by 2025, global edtech spending will have increased to $342 billion (£275 billion), more than double the spend in 2018.

Dynamic ecosystem

Scotland’s edtech expertise has been steadily growing with a dynamic ecosystem of 70 companies covering a range of technology solutions to help:

  • Improve teaching practices
  • Process assessments efficiently and effectively
  • Reduce administrative burdens
  • Support easy, flexible, life-long learning to both teachers and students
Man programming educational robot  called Marty

"Marty" the educational robot being programmed

Scotland's innovative edtech leaders

An industry-leading learning platform based in Edinburgh that equips companies to manage their digital resources and on one learning system it enables:

  • Storage of all documents, learning content and catalogues
  • Distribution of multiple types of learning content including ILT, vILT, blended, and eLearning
  • Alignment of budget with resource planning
  • Utilisation of customers own templates to create courses
  • Automation of communications, workflows, notifications and tasks
  • Reporting to support business decision making
  • Increase training delivery without additional staff resource

Administrate website opens in a new window  

Gecko Labs have two edtech products that are potentially useful for educational establishments and companies.

The first of these is an AI-powered conversational messaging platform. It came about when they started making Higher Education chatbots for event management of student recruitment days.

The use of these chatbots grew to support Universities to be able to communicate with students both on a one-to-one basis but also through using their AI-powered conversational messaging platform to speak to many and answer their questions, capture leads or register event attendees.

The second product is a school showcase platform, which offers a student visit experience platform and takes students on a sophisticated digital journey to encourage them to enrol as students and the school or university. It also provides a useful tool for admissions staff to efficiently organise events.

Gecko Labs website opens in a new window  

ICS Learn have been undertaking distance learning for over 100 years and provide flexible online training courses for customers anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

ICS Learn website opens in a new window  

Klik2learn is an award-winning Glasgow-based startup whose Digital Learning Hub accelerates online English Language learning. In 2020, the company secured £93,000 Innovate UK funding to evaluate the impact of online learning on students during and beyond the Covid-19 pandemic. Klik2learn’s data analytics project includes the development of learning analysis software to support better educational outcomes for students.

In 2020, Klik2learn won a British Council ELTons award in the Digital Innovation category against international competition. It also won the College Development Network award for Digital Learning with its partner, City of Glasgow College, and has been shortlisted for the PIEoneer Awards 2021 - Digital innovation of the year - learning Award.

Klik2learn's learning management system, The Digital Learning Hub, gives tutors and organisations a platform to teach, assess and track student progress. Klik2learn’s provides solutions to close the employment gap – by helping speakers of other languages reach their full potential in the English-speaking world.

Klik2learn website opens in a new window  

MindMate started off life with three young adults caring for those with cognitive decline. It set them on a course to develop more resources to support caregivers which resulted in their mobile MindMate App.

Supported by Dr Terry Quinn from the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, they took contemporary research in Dementia care and translated it in to an action oriented platform.

The App can help curtail cognitive decline through a combination of exercise, nutrition, social interaction and brain games.

MindMate App website opens in a new window  

Robotical have created Marty, a real robot designed to help teach coding to kids (including Scratch, Python, JavaScript and Raspberry Pi) for the price of a smart toy. ​

Marty comes as a kit or pre-built, so you can either choose the fun of building a robot, or to just jump straight-in to playing and coding with your new walking robot companion. ​

Marty the Robot makes learning about coding, electronics, and engineering a fun, challenging and engaging process with the end result being that you can control what Marty does and how he reacts.

Robotical is working with South African NGO, Got Game, to deliver education to previously disadvantaged youths in South Africa.

Robotical sell to schools and individuals around the world. There are Martys in more than 60 countries. The company also sells to educational technology distributors and tutoring companies.

Robotical website opens in a new window  

Developed initially as a classroom project in school to solve meeting room issues, SchoolCloud has gone on to develop software solutions to improve how schools operate and is used in over 4,000 schools around the world.

Their technology solutions support not only room bookings and management but also the digital handing of parent’s evenings, clubs and event bookings.

SchoolCloud website opens in a new window  

Skoogmusic makes easy-to-play musical instruments for iPad, iPhone and iOS devices called the Skoog and the Skwitch.

They are music ‘boxes’ connected to a free downloadable app which works with Apple Music, Spotify and other music services.

It makes music fun for kids and it can teach coding at the same time. The app automatically tunes your Skoog instrument, so you learn as you play and need no musical skill.

Skoogmusic website opens in a new window  

Sumdog uses an online platform to make learning maths and English more fun. It’s already used by millions of children in the UK and the US.

The platform captures a detailed understanding of each child’s strengths and weaknesses and then tailors their learning accordingly. The results have been spectacular. Recent research shows that primary school students who use Sumdog regularly progress significantly faster than those that don't.

Sumdog is designed engage all pupils – especially those who haven’t found learning easy. Their adaptive learning engine targets questions to each individual, letting everyone find success. While students work, Sumdog’s educator tools identify areas for their teachers to address, and reports on their progress.

Sumdog helps teachers to deliver mastery learning. Their learning engine progresses pupils automatically through the curriculum. By motivating pupils, we build them into confident learners, and help make sure there are no gaps in their learning.

Sumdog website opens in a new window  

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