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

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