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ThingLink claims UNESCO prize

Student documenting nature with ThingLink’s learning tool at Savonlinna, Finland.Aleksi Komu

Finnish virtual engagement tool ThingLink has won the UNESCO King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for the use of ICT in education.

The prize was awarded to ThingLink and the Dutch Can’t Wait to Learn programme for using “innovative technologies to deliver quality education for vulnerable groups”. ThingLink was applauded for its low threshold and inclusiveness. According to the company, over 30 million people interact through the tool, used mostly in visual and digital learning, on a monthly basis.

“By documenting their local environment and knowledge in the cloud, teachers and students are building a global virtual school, and we give them the tools for that,” saidUlla-Maaria Koivula, the founder and CEO of ThingLink.

Ulla Koivula was named among the world’s 100 most successful female founders in 2016. Image: ThingLink

“New technology can greatly contribute to solving challenges in global education, such as the need for qualified teachers,” she continued. “For example, together with our partners we are currently exploring the possibility of bringing Finnish teacher education to the cloud.”

Koivula has taken the startup from its early funding rounds to a present-day customer base of over six million teachers, students and other education professionals in 190 countries.

ThingLink’s solution has evolved from an image and video editor in 2011 and 2014 to include a virtual reality editor that was launched in 2016. The CEO was also was listed by The Hundert among 100 successful female founders in 2016.

By: Samuli Ojala