Three Finnish schools from Innokas network had a change to take part in an Erasmus project with England and Denmark. The theme for this two year project is Time, Talent and Technology; the 3 T’s. The schools, which decided to apply, were SYK from Helsinki, Veikkola school from Kirkkonummi and Asema school from Hankasalmi.
During the first year of the project the aim is to observe the 3T’s in each country by visiting them and their schools. In June 2017 the Danish and the Finnish representatives visited Bedford in England for 4 days and during those days had a great opportunity of visiting altogether over 20 schools. Here are some of the observations the Finnish team made. The schools in the Bedford area were very interested to hear about these observations and use them to develop their schools in these areas.
– Anu and Kati from Innokas
The mystery skype turned out to be not so mysterious after all 🙂 The children from Rovaniemi recognized Anu from the springs Robo Cup -competition in Helsinki and the children from Espoo had read too well the papers on the classroom wall. For on the plan for this years activities and events said “Mystery skype Rovaniemi”. This plan was made in September when the Finnish Global Innokas teachers met in the University of Helsinki. So it only took about 5 minutes and we knew where the others are from. Last minute we remembered that Christmas was closing in and remembered to send greetings to Santa.
Work continued in each end. The children in Jalavapuisto Espoo were very interested in our new friends from Rovaniemi. How old they are and do they also study in a bilingual class. They enjoyed picking a friend to send a Christmas card to. These cards are now on their way and we hope they bring lots of joy to Ounasrinne school’s class 6C.
5K class, Jalavapuisto school, Espoo, Finland
We had night school. During night school we had a mystery skype. We called with skype to someone that we didn’t know (well the teacher knew). We could ask “yes/no”-questions from the other class and try to figure out where they are from.
“Do you live in Europe?”
“Is it 8 P.M. Where you are?”
“Do you speak another language than English?”
“Is it hot where you live?”
Just to name a few. We found out that our mystery skype class was calling us from Janesville, Wisconsin, America. Next we are going to get together in Edmodo and get to know each other better.
5K class, Jalavapuisto school, Espoo, Finland
This week our Global Innokas Network experienced global education in many angels. First, we participated in a state grant applicants’ seminar day organised by Finnish Board of Education. We heard speeches of global competences, how to grow up to be global citizen and new sights of language education. We also had an opportunity to connect with actors from Finnish educational field that implement global education in their municipalities.
Second, we had a meeting with Finnish Global Innokas teachers in the University of Helsinki. The teachers shared best practices from the last school year and planned this year’s activities and events. Fruitful face-to-face conversations and working together for the same goal is fairly important to teachers as well as us organizers. In such skilful and ingenious group, new kind of educational innovations can truly nourish!
At last Global Innokas -meeting teachers from different parts of Finland gathered together, had great conservations but also built mental bridges together. The idea of ‘Our Neighbour School’ started to grow in teachers’ minds: we decide to connect our classes here in Finland by FaceTime and Skype. We didn’t tell our pupils what part of Finland we were going to connect them; they had an opportunity to make up some questions to find out the city where the other class was.
So during past couple of weeks pupils in Helsinki have been searching Finland. Boys and girls have made little presentations about Helsinki and we will send them to both Oulu and Hankasalmi. Today we saw a wonderful trailer made by Hankasalmi teachers and pupils!
We had difficulties with Skype: weather we saw only picture or just heard voices. We’ll try again! But FaceTime worked fantasticly. Pupils in Helsinki were really exited to talk with pupils from Hankasalmi. This work will continue!
– Raini, SYK
On Saturday we had a sightseeing tour. Some of us went to the Great Wall. It was a very impressive experience considering both the amazing view and especially if you think the history of the Great wall. Half of the group went to the Tian’anmen’s square with two teachers from Janesville. It was a breath taking place to visit because of its’ history, huge size, monumental buildings and unreal security system. Even though the temperature (+37°C) and the humidity were high we all had a marvellous time!
Raini at Tian’anmen’s Square
Our local guide, young English teacher Steven, Anu, Minna and Tiina
In the evening we all GEC educators gathered together to have dinner at famous Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant. We all ate Beijing’s roasted duck with great appetite. The duck was absolutely delicious! It amazed us how carefully every part of the duck was prepared so well. This was a perfect way to end our conference week – eating with GEC family and sharing different sorts of dishes symbolizes our global cooperation.
Famous Beijing’s roasted duck
Part of our conference program was to get to know more of China and it’s rich culture. Finnish team got lessons on Chinese calligraphy, paper cutting and traditional music. It is wonderful how proud the pupils and the teachers are of their cultural heritage. Chinese calligraphy is part of the curriculum in China but paper cutting and playing an instrument are optional.
Tiina and Chinese calligraphy
Kati and Chinese paper cutting
Minna and Chinese traditional instrument
Eating with chopsticks was a bit challenging but we learned by practicing daily at the hotel and school’s cafeteria. For us the Chinese food was excellent: full of tasty vegetables, spicy chicken, fish, meat and pork, soups, dumplings and fresh tastes. As dessert there was always fresh seasonal fruits.
Drinking tea is part of Chinese culture and very popular in China. We were honoured to participate in Chinese tea ceremony in a very beautiful Tea House. We tasted many different kinds of teas and learned some health effects of them. We bought tens of tea packets from there.
Beth from Janesville and Anu at tea tasting