How Learnlink Uses Whereby to Make STEM Fun for Over 4,000 Kids
Read more about Learnlink, a Norwegian born platform, that brings STEM subjects in fun and engaging ways to online learning classes here.
When Tellef Tveit, Johannes Berggren, and Jonas Hyllseth Ryen began to hatch a business plan while studying together at university four years ago, their vision was simple: “We wanted to build what we didn’t have when we were young,” says Tellef.
Specifically, Tellef and his friends believed that STEM subjects could be taught to kids in a fun and engaging way, using the games and programs they already loved, like Roblox and Minecraft. And so Learnlink was born, a company that does just that.
Today, Learnlink has run more than 100,000 online learning sessions for over 4,000 children across Norway. This success didn’t happen overnight, though: it took some trial, error, and time to find the right mix of factors that enabled the company to grow.
Right plan, wrong platform
Before moving the business online, Learnlink operated as a mobile tutoring service that travelled to childrens’ homes. The business model didn’t scale easily, however, and the in-person aspect felt unnecessary. “We saw pretty quickly that moving online was better suited to kids’ needs,” says Tellef.
There was just one problem: “There were no good online tutoring platforms.” Given the team’s background in coding, this was a relatively easy problem to solve. They decided to build their own platform, which included an in-house video conferencing solution. While the solution wasn’t perfect, it allowed the team to run their business online, as planned.
This setup worked well for a while, but some cracks appeared in the foundation as the company grew. “Our tech team had to field quite a few bug reports, which was stressful,” says Tellef. “We wanted them to be able to focus on larger issues, but it was difficult with the setup we had in place.”
These bugs and stability issues weren’t just annoying to deal with; they also threatened to compromise Learnlink’s reputation. “Our priority is to make sure video meetings are stable, reliable, and safe for kids,” says Tellef, “And the solution we were using was neither fully stable nor reliable.”
An opportunity to outsource
Luckily, Tellef soon realized that the solution to this problem was in plain sight. Learnlink’s team was already using Whereby to run team meetings internally, and noticed that it had everything they were currently missing with their in-house solution. “The software really sold us,” says Tellef, “And we knew it would integrate easily with the tools we were already using, like Miro.”
Eventually, the team found themselves at a crossroads. “We could either continue developing our own platform, or we could let go and have it all managed for us,” says Tellef. After consulting with the tech team, the choice was obvious. “Using Whereby would free up a lot of the team’s time and allow us to keep scaling.”
Up and running in record time
When it was time to make the switch, Tellef and his team were pleased with how easy it all was. “It was one line of code and then we were all set,” he says.
From the students’ side, no adjustment was necessary, and in the year since Learnlink migrated to Whereby Embedded, things have been going even better than planned. “Having a video solution that’s stable and reliable is great for our students, too,” says Tellef. “Without a solid foundation, it’s harder to build a meaningful relationship between students and teachers. We don’t have to worry about that now.”
Whereby Embedded is also able to support Learnlink’s rapid growth. “At one point during lockdown, we had 50,000 teachers using the platform to connect with their kids, and we were able to do that without concerns about whether the system would hold up,” says Tellef.
Overall, Tellef is confident that Whereby will help Learnlink continue their current growth phase with ease. “At the pace we’re moving, it sometimes feels like we’re building the car as we’re driving,” says Tellef. “But partnering with Whereby gives us the confidence to keep our foot on the gas.”