Monthly Archives: March 2015

SYK – Building a Mental Bridge to Old People’s Home


Pupils started to write profiles of their senior person. They discussed, how they should write an interview which is at the same time personal, respectful and informative.



When all the profiles were finished teacher read them to pupils in 5A. The stories of senior citizens’ lives were touching and real.

On our second visit to Old people’s home pupils gave profiles they wrote to their senior person. They continued the interview by making more questions about plays seniors played on their childhood. First of all it was good to see how happy seniors were when they had an opportunity to meet 5A’s pupils again. Pupils heard lots of stories, but they also realized that it is hard to remember things which have happened so long ago.


– Raini Sipilä

Building GEC, conference day in Finland

Innokas Network and the Department of Teacher Education at University of Helsinki had the great pleasure of organizing the Global Educational Community (GEC) Finland conference day on March 6. During the conference day we promoted GEC to the wider audience in Finland, reflected on previous GEC experiences, and built and modeled GEC in practice.

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During the first session we introduced participants to Global Educational Community background, goals and practice. We also had the opportunity to hear GEC educator and musician Chris Kohn perform his own song “Building Bridges”. GEC leaders Professor Guoli Liang from Wisconsin University and Professor Ann Lieberman from Stanford sent their video greetings, followed by an open mic session between GEC teachers from Australia, USA, China and Finland. GEC teachers learned from each other about the great projects they are doing with students in schools.

Video greetings from professor Guoli Liang

Video greetings from professor Ann Lieberman

We also had the honor to welcome Counsellor of Education Paula Mattila from the Finnish National Board of education as our visiting lecturer. She facilitated a discussion on global education as part of the Finnish National Curriculum and on global education in general.

After the opening sessions, conference participants formed global teams, with the task of starting to “model the GEC”. The idea behind the task was that each global team would get to know each other, have an opportunity to discuss the day´s topics and would start to model GEC by using Innovation Education materials and tools. The global teams were so focused in building their GEC models that they almost forgot lunch!

In the afternoon professor Jari Multisilta ran a great presentation about ICT in Global Education, and Professor Jari Lavonen talked about linking the Innovative School model with global education. Tiina Korhonen, the Head of Innokas Network, summarized the Innovation Education idea and challenged all GEC educators to make learning and operational innovations and share them globally.

In the last session, each global team finalized their models and presented them, complete with accompanying stories. The models and stories about GEC highlighted the day – what a great idea and needs sharing moment it was! We agreed to share these moments with the larger GEC community.

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It´s a great to be part of GEC and to build it together with you. The next step is to build strong partnerships with schools, teachers and students to make global education a part of everyday school life. We’ll have our next meetings next summer in China (summer conference) and a GEC Finland meeting in September.

If you are interested in joining GEC please don´t hesitate to contact us!

Tiina, Kati and Minna

GEC Conference in Helsinki

Last week, Innokas Network hosted the Global Educational Community (GEC) Conference at the University of Helsinki. During the week, collaborators from China, USA, Australia and Finland built deeper knowledge of each country’s educational practice on many levels.

The program of the week was based on the Innovative School Model, which emphasizes the role of school stakeholders as innovators. The Innovative School model was present throughout the week, with additional presentations on innovation, creativity and Innovation education. We had discussions also on the best project based learning practices, on 21st Century Skills, and on collaboration with nearby community. To get our hands dirty on the subject, we also run hands-on sessions on everyday technology and robotics.

Building Flying objects     Lets start coding

Professor Jari Lavonen presented the Finnish education system, curriculum and evaluation practices. We also had an amazing opportunity to visit schools (Saunalahti School in Espoo, Mäntymäki school in Kauniainen and Normal Lyceum of Helsinki), the Embassy of the United States of America and the Museum of Technology. On each visit, we were warmly welcomed, and we learned about the valuable work on 21st Century Skills these collaborators do in their own field

Saunalahti Tekniikanmuseo

Tweets were flying (#GEC2015 #innokas2015) and blogs were posted throughout the week. We all learned so much from each other and we are looking forward to continuing our collaboration. Now we all are better equipped to help our students in becoming global citizens!

Kati, Tiina ja Minna

Electric circuits with seven-year-olds

We had a great joy to get a visitor from Boston in to our class. And not just a random visitor but a friendly, ethusiastic physics teacher Stacy who actually knew a Little Finnish!:)

First we studied how the circuits work and made some tests.Kids were thrilled!They weren’t afraid of trying  and they didn’t even realize that they were studying physics.

After studying we applied the things we’ve learned into real life by making cool gadgets as “the answering light” or “space”. The answering light is very useful in the classroom because by using it, students won’t have to raise their hands anymore. (According to the professional opinion of a 1st grader.) One just switches on the light that stands on her desk and the teacher sees it. In this particular gadget, the switch actually consists of two parts: a teddy-bear and a car. When the teddy is placed on the car , the light lights up! See the picture below.


As a teacher, I hope that the future learning and future school could be more like the two days’ experience we had: Full of joy without having the fear of failure even when facing new challenging things to study.

I’d like to see my class bubbling creativity and enthusiasm again!

Class 1.A and teacher Anna-Kristiina,

Ylikylä School, Rovaniemi


Making a mental bridge, SYK Finland

At Helsingin Suomalainen Yhteiskoulu (SYK) 26 pupils from the 5th grade have worked on a theme BRIDGE. In our class the theme is seen as a mental construction – we are building a bridge to Old People’s Home and to our partner school Janesville.

We started on working on our drama lessons by thinking somebody’s circle of life. What could have happened in person’s life when she/he was a child, a young person, an adult, an old person? Afterwards pupils made up 10 questions they would ask when we visited Old People’s Home.


Pupils worked on pairs and in groups



Pupils were very exited about the visit, because they didn’t know what to expect. Reactions were different depending on the answers they got. After the visit we went back to school and instead of Math lesson, pupils talked and talked about their experiences. Pupils were amazed, happy, schocked about the answers.of four. We hoped to get 13 interviews, but in the end only seven persons wanted to answer pupils’ questions.

Yesterday pupils started to write a profile of their senior person. When their profiles are ready, pupils will take it to their person and have a conversation about it.

– Raini Sipilä