EdTech Champion Lingokids: Innovative Early Language Learning For Kids
Great ideas often stem from one’s own experiences. When Marieta Viedma, the founder of Lingokids, couldn’t find appropriate early language learning resources for her young child she and her brother Cristobal Viedma took matters into their own hands. They created an immersive, self-directed and fun learning environment. Using AI, the activities are assessed and customized to provide the best possible learning experience for each kid. Read on to learn about their success story and job opportunities at this pioneering company.
1) The Success Story Of Lingokids
Please introduce yourself briefly. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Luis Alejandro and I am the Business Development Lead at Lingokids, a platform for early language learning. My job is to foster strategic partnerships with leading private and public entities in order to grow our international business.
What motivated you to work in the field of online language teaching for children? How did this project evolve?
A few years back, Marieta Viedma couldn’t find suitable and safe digital resources for her young child to learn English. What she found was either boring, unaffordable or unsafe for kids. She and her brother Cristobal Viedma (co-founder and CEO) took matters into their own hands and build a fun and interactive language learning experience for children. A few standalone educational games to learn English or Chinese were the starting point to this adventure. In early 2016, the Lingokids platform was born – creating an immersive, self-directed and fun learning environment for children that includes live online classes with native teachers. After the app topped the charts in many countries and with more than 2.5M users worldwide, Lingokids is only just getting started!
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Perhaps the biggest challenge so far has been working with educators from all over the world. Teachers and educators want top-notch learning platforms, and they let you know what they like and what they don’t like about your solution. Here at Lingokids, we take their feedback very seriously, and this really makes us raise our quality bar every day. I’ve been amazed to see how they apply their clinical eye to our product. As much as this has been a challenge, it is an enormous privilege working hand in hand with them as well as with our own amazing team of educators.
To what extent do you interact across the world and how important are the international markets for your company?
Lingokids has a global outreach with families from +200 countries using our platform. Indeed, we have a broad geographical spread and Latin America and South East Asia are the largest markets for Lingokids. On top of this, our live online classes connect children from anywhere in the world with native English teachers, creating a global learning community.
Why is now the time to start working on new technological solutions in education?
Technology is revolutionizing the way we do literally everything in life. To thrive in this globalized and changing society, we need education standards to be higher than ever before. The EdTech field must align educators’ needs and values with society demands to build innovative solutions. Innovative EdTech-based projects are booming nowadays because educators perceive the added value they bring and the new window of opportunities for the classroom environment
2) On The Appeal of EdTech
How will the online educational services evolve in the coming years?
The trend looks clear. Online tutoring services and mobile platforms are blossoming. As smartphone penetration and access to internet keeps growing both at home and in schools, the demand will skyrocket. I think EdTech start-ups are now paving the way forward, but it won’t take long before all universities or big corporations follow this path. Let’s be honest, being one click away from taking a live lesson from a world-class international university from my couch in Madrid, is a very exciting prospect.
How will your company development in the next few years? What is your vision and what is needed to achieve it?
It’s only been 20 months since Lingokids was launched and there are already more than 2.5M users. We’re not only backed by this remarkable traction, but also by the track-record of our team, industry awards, strong strategic partnerships and prominent international investors. Lingokids is growing to become the platform of reference for early language learning. In this sense, our ambition is clear, and this is to reduce the barriers for children to accessing high quality language education.
How do Lingokids’ services innovate the EdTech sector?
Lingokids avails of our proprietary AI algorithms to assess what activities – e.g. interactive games, videos with minitests, songs, audiobooks – perform better for each child, and customize the learning experience to the individual pace of learning, preferences and history in-app performance of each user, presenting the right activities at the right time for each child.
Where do you see the major problems of the occupational field of the educational sector and what countermeasures would you suggest?
There’s an evident distancing between the traditional methodologies and the most recent disruptive digital solutions. Sometimes this dilemma may be perceived as a black-or-white situation, with many educators turning their backs on long-standing and valuable principles of education. This is an exciting time for a necessary debate and disruption in the education sector, listening to the experts and leveraging the resources technology brings at their disposal.
3) Chances For Jobseekers At Lingokids
Which basic qualifications should an employee fulfil to get employed at your company? What are basic requirements to get started?
We look for strong team players, creative and autonomous people who can think out-of-the-box when tackling a problem. Most of all, we look for people who believe in what we do and who can make an immediate and visible impact. Most importantly: we’re hiring! Check out our website and LinkedIn profile for job openings.
What careers and fields of knowledge are most in demand your company, and how do they all cooperate?
We have an amazingly multidisciplinary team with a wide array of backgrounds and roles. Serial entrepreneurs, SW developers, experts in digital marketing, educators or engineers, are some of the main profiles in the company. Virtually every project and task involves cross-talk amongst members from different teams. Apart from enjoying a workplace that prompts crossed-team collaborations, we make the most out of state-of-the-art tools and online resources to enhance this communication.
What skills do your employees gain from working in Lingokids that they won’t get from any other company?
I am sure that some of my colleagues from overseas would answer this by talking about how much they enjoyed working and living in a city like Madrid! Jokes aside, the opportunity to have the chance to work so closely with such a multidisciplinary team is invaluable. Ours is a very fast-paced and challenging work environment. I feel that everybody here learns how to adapt to changes and come up with innovative solutions! On a personal level, Lingokids truly is like a great family, and as someone passionate about language learning and cultural identity, I love working with such an internationally flavoured team!
Luis Alejandro, thank you so much for these insights into your work and the company, and sharing your learnings!
If you have come thus far, you must really be into edtech startup interviews! We applaud this and invite you to check out our conversations with other thought-leading edtech champions like
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