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The Norwegian Classroom

Speech given by His Royal Highness The Crown Prince at the opening of the Norwegian Classroom in the Norwegian EdTech Pavilion at Bett Show, London.

ladies and gentlemen,

A few days ago I went to a Norwegian Primary School - Teglverket - and they are very good at using educational technology in their classrooms. Of course, I knew that the kids were good at understanding new technology and learn fast - what really impressed me was that their teachers were able to keep up with them! That was one of the things I learned when I was there.

One of the teachers demonstrated how Showbie is allowing for more adaptive teaching. When the pupils are learning how to read for instance, a typical assignment would be for each student to record themselves while reading a text. The recordings are stored in the system so that the teacher can follow the progression of each student and tailor the teaching. One might think that would be more time consuming for the teacher. And the teacher said “Yes, it is. But this way I get to hear all the students read, not just those who raise their hand.”

I thing this short conversation sums up the three lessons I learned about Edtech during my visit at the school:

Firstly, good teachers are vital for making Edtech work in the classroom. Edtech will change the way we teach in schools. And the tools work best when they are used according to an educational plan.  

Secondly, Edtech empowers all learners. When teaching becomes more tailored to the individual it becomes more inclusive and empowering.

Johan Brandt, one of the entrepreneurs behind the Norwegian Edtech company Kahoot! which is showcased here today, often underlines the fact that it makes education fun and empowering as one of the greatest benefits of Kahoot! Having struggled with learning difficulties as a child he knows how much it means to be empowered and included at school.

Finally, Edtech can give better access to quality education. In the classroom it transforms how teachers teach. And on a global scale new technology and digital tools make it possible to provide cheaper, better and more widespread access to education.

We are dependent on this for reaching the Global Goal on ensuring education for all. Today, 59 million children do not go to primary school - 31 million of them are girls.

Creative use of edtech solutions can even help us reach groups we haven’t been able to reach before – people in remote rural areas, refugees in camps and children living in areas affected by war and conflict.

I am convinced that Edtech will help solve many challenges in schools. That is why I am happy to see so many Norwegian Edtech companies at BETT! This is a relatively new industry, but there are already more than 60 Norwegian Edtech companies with more than 140 million users worldwide. That is about 28 times Norway's population!

I am excited to see that we have the innovation skills, the necessary technological insight and the right competence in Norway to play a global role in the field of education technology. It is my hope that the Norwegian presence here at BETT will continue to improve the future of education, and it’s therefore an honour for me to declare The Norwegian Classroom open.




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