ARTICLE PUBLISHED IN GOOD NEWS FINLAND 17.1.2017 BY DAVID J. CORD
A new Finnish company builds private social networks to ease the communication strain on daycares and nurseries. But this is only the first step.
Your daughter’s class is going to the zoo this week but you can’t remember what she is supposed to take with her. Meanwhile, your son says he needs to tell you something about the school play, but can’t find the letter which he brought home. A call to the kindergarten only results in more confusion. If you think it is hectic managing the schedules of your kids, imagine how it is for the teachers trying to communicate all this information.
“As we followed the kindergarten life closely and interviewed early education professionals and families, we started to wonder how we could help teachers make their life easier at work,” says Taina Mikkola. “Could there be some new digital way to solve some of the challenges and make daily routines smoother?”
Since Mikkola didn’t find anything to her liking, she decided to solve the problem herself. So TinyApp was born. It is a simple service which includes all the essentials for communication between a day care and family: calendars and reminders, messaging, profiles and status.
Currently, it is available as a mobile app for Apple and Android devices.
“We have been piloting the TinyApp communication tool in Finland and received very positive feedback,” Mikkola continues. “Now we are building the TinyApp learning service. Next we will take the first steps in the international markets and do market testing in selected areas.”
Internationalising Finnish education
The learning service aims to provide access to the best practices of Finnish early education to everyone working with young children. Finland’s education system is justifiably famous worldwide, and the foundation of that success is how Finland begins a child’s education. The small team is continually developing the app based on feedback they receive.
“The user experience is the most important,” Mikkola confirms. “TinyApp needs to support teachers and parents in their daily life in an easy and usable way.”
The idea has already received a lot of attention and the company was a national finalist for the StartUp Europe Award. This is all the more remarkable because the company has yet to really show its hand.
“Our journey started here in Finland, where we closely collaborate with Finnish nurseries to create a shared understanding of the best practices in early education,” Mikkola concludes. “We have already launched a TinyApp communication application for teachers and families, we have held online training and now we will make the best practices of high quality Finnish early education accessible worldwide.”