Jukka Vesterinen from the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture
The seminar was held for the first time in Tampere and the event was hosted by Tampere University of Applied Sciences.
Digital International Collaboration in Education was the main theme for the seminar which showcased different projects that had been possible with Nordplus funding. The Nordplus programme aims to strengthen educational collaboration between the Nordic countries. There were participants from all of the countries and some of the Baltic countries were also represented, as new additions.
Before the actual project cases were shown, a presentation was held by Olli Vesterinen from the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. He explained where Finland was going regarding digital education. After Vesterinen finished, there was a speech from Project NEMO’s Team Leader and Researcher, Katri Saarikivi from the Cognitive Brain Research Unit of University of Helsinki. The NEMO Project aims to bring empathy to the digital environment and possibly solve the issue of the mean and inhuman atmosphere surrounding internet behavior and social media. Even with the very complex neurobiological terms and theories, Saarikivi’s speech was both very understandable and enjoyable to listen to.
Katri Saarikivi promoting the emotion hack day 16 for the NEMO project
Many interesting educational projects were introduced and some of them were quite complex. One of these was the interactive multilingual book for comprehensive school. The successful idea behind this project was to teach children different languages of Nordic countries. They created an online educational book which was then translated into different languages. You could read and listen to it side by side to see the differences in pronunciation and words.
One of the newer things among the projects helping digitalization is the MOOCs or Massive Open and Online Courses. This could potentially bring thousands of students, parents, employees or otherwise interested people to learn new and interesting topics with the magic of Internet and fast networks at their own convenience. All these people could learn from their own homes while the teacher could be on another continent. These virtual learning tools will give great possibilities to many people as technologies develop.
A new technologies presentation given by Gytis Cibulskis
Gytis Cibulskis from Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania explained some of the new technologies such as VR or Virtual Reality and 360 degree cameras that could capture everything in the classroom or during an event, such as a conference.
At the end of the seminar a panel discussion was led by Nordplus’s Main Administrator and Special Adviser, Henrik Neiiendam Andersen from the Danish Agency for Higher Education. He and the seminar participants asked various questions regarding topics discussed for the panel consisting of Nordplus members from different Nordic countries.
Overall, the seminar gave new ideas and topics to the participants. For some, the MOOCs, VR and digital interactive books were new things they never heard of before. These seminars spread great ideas we’re developing in Nordic countries with help from Nordplus.
PowerPoint presentations and other material can be found on the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture website.
Text & Photos: Aleksi Jolkkonen