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Sharing Ways to Learn 21st Century Knowledge and Skills
Syötteen kokonainen osoite. 17 tuntia 6 min sitten

My reflection after visiting Finland primary school

Ti, 11/29/2016 - 09:18

At the early of November, I had chance to go to Finland primary school, this is the place where every basic educator aspire to. The first day in Finland, I had a chance to follow the teachers from Zhongguancun No.3 primary school to Helsinki University and have a conversation with Jari Lavonen and Tiina Korhonen. From this meaningful talking, I knew that the education system in Finland, the way of teacher training, the important qualities in 21st century, teacher cooperation , crucial ability of teachers in school life and so on . I learned that teacher is the very important part in this education system.

SYK is a historical school,and has its own long story,the basic values of this school is respect,trust and growth as a person. When we come to this school, we had chance to talk with the school principal who told us the background of this school, the school history and the management philosophy and characteristics of this school,they pay more attention on the value of open, equality, freedom. Every school has their own education culture. What impressed me the most is the school corridor. In this corridor, it is showing the pictures of school history, school building changes,and a special wall which exhibited the people’s names who make contribution to the country construction. This school share the history with students, it is also a very good education resource to encourage students to make greater progress. By understanding history, we can be better developed in every aspect in future life. I also saw the pictures which are very simple color and lines with the shape of door, the principle told us they used to encourage students should continue to progress, be brave, and have courage to open every door in their life.
In SYK, I spent one week to follow Raini to experience the real school life in Finland, it is very valuable chance for me to know the education in different country, although we have different language and culture background, but we have the same passion for better education and love for children. Raini taught me a lot and answered my questions very patiently,she tried her best to explain everything in her class, I am very touched! After I graduating from university, I want to be a good teacher and share my thinking with others.

In this school, I learned a new learning way is “Phenomenon Based Learning”, this learning way can combine subject knowledge with real life together, children can find the studying point which they are interested. Children enjoy learning, teachers are creative to use different ways to motivate students. Every teacher has their good way to teach,and all teachers can be trusted by school, family and society. In the process of learning,teacher will have a clear study plan, pay attention to every student, and give special guidance to children. Students can have their own choice to join in or not. In different project phase, the teacher will have different arrangement, teaching method and works exhibition. In this school, I saw all teachers and all children can be treated equally. The atmosphere here is relaxed and fun, but rules are also strictly required.

In Finland school, technology science is used widely. Every student has their ipad and phone. I had chance to join in a computer courses,we learned how to use an website called ’’Prezi’’ to make a topic presentation which they are interested. In another school, I saw teachers guide students to play an interesting “coding game”, the degree of difficulty according to their grades. They are having fun by learning. In Raini’s class, I saw every students be encouraged to solve the problems by using technology, search the information what they need. It is very good way to learn the knowledge what they can not learn in limited class. I asked a boy ”Can you control yourself not to use your phone and play games in school ?”, the boy answered me: ”I like school very much, I just use my phone when I am allowed to use.” So excellent answer! We should try our best to let children love school, it is the basic explanation for all question.

From my observation, I know that every teacher at SYK pay much attention on the topic of “environment protection”, from lower grade to higher grade, they all have environmental studies. In fourth grade, teacher led children to know nature in different way, like “nature watch”; in 9th grade, they had an expert teacher to teach them to promote the awareness of environmental protection by using shadow play; in their school activity, I was lucky to see their material recycling Design show, very interesting!They used very creative way to design the wasted material. This kind of learning related to our real life, the development of society and the world environment, very meaningful!
I think teachers are the most important part in Finland school. In SYK, I saw many nice, warm, talented and experienced teachers. Through talking with Tiina and practicing with Raini, I found that “teacher cooperation” is very useful way to have self-development for teachers. In Raini’s fourth grade, every Wednesday, four teachers will gather together to have a discussion,aim to make a new study plan,share expericences,solve new problems and so on. In Raini’s study project, she want to help children to know the different weather, temperature,plants and animals in different areas in Finland at the same time, she will cooperate with teachers in different areas, they use video, pictures to know each other, it is very informative way to teach with the way of teacher cooperation. In future work and study life, I will try to make self-improvement, strive to become a professional teacher, and provide better learning resources to my students. Thanks for Raini set a good example for me.

After half month visiting in Finland, I was deeply impressed by very nice teachers and students. I saw Raini apply drama in their literature study very well, I saw very creative children in the class. I am really grateful for this valuable experience happened in my life, it help me to have better progress. I will work hard in the future, and strive to become a good teacher!
BR, LiuJia,  Capital Normal University

Mystery Skype!

To, 11/10/2016 - 10:49

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

Autumn greetings from Global Innokas!

Pe, 09/23/2016 - 09:30

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!

Skype call to Indonesia

Ti, 09/20/2016 - 13:34

53 students from Metsokangas Comprehensive School had a Skype call to their new friendship class from Indonesia. During the first call students from both countries presented their country, traditional food, dance and daily life. All students were very excited and eager to learn from each other.

Children from Indonesia presented their traditional dance with the traditional costumes and properties.

The Finnish students presented the traditional song of Finland.

The Skype connections will be continued. Next time our students will present acrobatic show to their new friends.

– Petri and Jaana from Metsokangas Comprehensive School –

Global Innokas Friendships

To, 09/15/2016 - 11:45

At the Global Innokas network meeting I met teachers from Helsinki and Oulu. We decided to get familiar with each other’s classes and schools as well as different sides of our country. There would be a school from the capital city (3rd grade), a small school from the countryside (1st grade) and a big school from a town in Northern Finland (5th grade) involved in this partnership. We decided to set FaceTime and Skype connections between the schools. The classes made questions for each other to try and guess the location of the other school and they were only allowed to answer with “yes” or “no”. My class was the first grade and luckily they had the easiest job to figure out the location of the other schools since they were located in big cities. The other two classes had a tougher time trying to guess our location. We also prepared ourselves for the video call by filming the surroundings of our school with iPads and compiled them into an introduction trailer.

The other classes also sent introductions of their hometowns for us to see. We’re planning to continue our collaboration in autumn by sending our ‘friendship classes’ presentations we’ve been making in our environmental studies and Finnish classes.

Heli, Hankasalmi Asema School

Planning the project plan and starting the collaboration

Ti, 06/28/2016 - 13:05

Raini and Sienna, Minna and Kathy and Jaana and Yiwen kept in touch during the Spring 2016 via WeChat. WeChat was the best option, because it worked both in China and Finland. It was also possible to use the Web WeChat with the computer, so it made communicating and sending attachments more convenient.

In China the volunteers also created the Finland-China chat group, that we used to communicate and share information about the conference. Tiina, Raini, Minna and Jaana also had their own group, that was easy way to keep in touch and share pictures while everyone was in the different school building.

All Finnish-Chinese co-worker pairs wrote their project plan together about the theme that was suitable for both countries, for the students of both teachers and also for professors and team leaders in both countries. During the Spring all pairs chatted, sent attachments, shared ideas, improved the project plan many times and also Minna and Raini had a few Facetime voice calls with their partners before the Finnish team arrived in Beijing.

After arriving in Beijing the Finnish team meet their Chinese partners for the first time. It was exciting moment for them all! After talking and getting know each other a little bit better, pairs started their work with students. All 25 students were at first very excited, because they didn’t know each other or even the Chinese teacher. That’s why on the first lesson we had to get to know each other by playing different kind of “getting know each other” games. The students also made the name tags by using their English name.

All teachers and students worked together in Beijing for 3-4 days before the demo lesson. During working Chinese professors and Tiina gave them advices how to improve their project and also told them how well all pairs worked together. It was nice to get positive feedback, because all teachers worked hard before and after arriving in Beijing.

Click to view slideshow.

After every hard working day we had dinner with Chinese or Americans. In Beijing we got a chance to have a dinner in Mongolian Hot Pot restaurant. Guali ordered us the traditional Chinese food, f. ex. boiled chicken legs – that was new for all of us. During the dinner time we enjoyed also a traditional Chinese performance and saw how the noodles were made longer and longer. On the another evening we had dinner with our Chinese teacher partners. Then we tasted the Beijing roasted duck – it was so delicious and we also liked a lot of the dessert called “Bomb”.

The 4th GEC Conference in Beijing

Ke, 06/22/2016 - 21:23

The 4th GEC Conference was held in Beijing from 15th to 16th of June 2016. The Finnish team arrived in Beijing on 9th of June. They had one day for sightseeing and from 10th to 16th of June they worked with their Chinese partners. Minna’s partner was English teacher Kathy from Shenzhen, Raini’s partner English teacher Sienna from Beijing and Jaana’s partner English teacher Yiwen from Beijing. They all worked in pairs with the group of Chinese 5th Graders. Tiina took part in the conference as keynote speaker, interviewer and commentator.

Click to view slideshow.

Global Education Community (GEC) organised the international conference in the new school campus of Zhongguancun No. 3 Primary School. The new campus was opened only 100 days before, so we were invited to visit a brand new school. We liked the architecture of the school much as well as we were happy to see how much group working spaces they had, how well they had paid attention on co-working by having the openable walls between two classrooms and also how they had moved teachers’ desk next to each other so teachers were able to work together in the common lobby.

The view from classrooms was also beautiful and through the wide windows the sunlight came inside. Outside they had also a nice garden where the students could learn to take care of plants, flowers, vegetables and trees. On the second floor they had also a big sports arena where the students played football.

To improve the air inside they had also thousands of plants. On the second day we got to know that every student has his or her own plant and it was their job to take care of the plants. We also got to know that all plants were risen by students. That’s why we saw many cuttings all over the school.

Click to view slideshow.

Raini, Jaana, Minna and Tiina also visited other schools nearby. Those schools were older, but for us they offered a lot to see and it was also nice to meet other students and talk with them. Almost all spoke very good English and they also translated well, if someone didn’t understand. In one of the schools 6th Graders’ had also a show, where they song, danced, had a talk show in Chinese and played traditional musical instruments. For us it was nice to notice that old traditions were very important also in Chinese schools.

In the schools students used iPads, but BYOD method was totally new thing for students, because they were not allowed to bring their own mobile phones or other devices into school. However, for us the most interesting device was found in the library: students were able to load e-books on their own devices by using a QR code. Great idea! This could be suitable for Finnish schools, too.

Sightseeing in Beijing

Ti, 06/21/2016 - 14:04

During the 4th GEC Conference in Beijing Minna, Tiina, Raini and Jaana had one day and one afternoon to go sightseeing. At first they visited the Forbidden City.  The temperature was around +30 Celsius Degrees and the sun was shining. As a great surprise for everyone the sky was bright and we could see the clouds, too.

Click to view slideshow.

The Forbidden City was amazing and huge! We loved all the old buildings, the beautiful decorations and paintings and also the history of the area was interesting. During the tour our guide translated the history information into English that helped us to understand the history of the area better.

Click to view slideshow.

On the another afternoon Minna and Jaana visited the Lama Temple. In the Lama Temple their guide told a lot of Buddhism and they saw many different Buddha Statues. The highest one was 18 metres high. Their guide also told that it was one of the highest Buddha Statues in Beijing.

Click to view slideshow.

After visiting the Lama Temple Minna and Jaana took a short, 15 minutes tour in Hutong area. Their guide told them that usually people who have small shops or restaurants nearby live in Hutong area. Their guide also recommend to taste the speciality called Honey milk. It was delicious, sweet and sour at the same time!

During these tours the volunteer students from Beijing Universities helped conference visitors and told us information about sights, Beijing, China, Chinese traditions and helped us also to find a taxi back to the hotel. Sometimes we also took a riksa taxi and yes, it was enough big for five people.

Volunteers also recommended us the good restaurants and the traditional Chinese food. It was a great opportunity to taste different foods and get to know more about the food traditions.

Planes and gliding

Ti, 06/07/2016 - 18:17

On the last school day 53 students from Metsokangas Comprehensive School worked with the project with the theme of planes and the flying effect. During the introduction we watched together a picture about the plane. Teachers asked students to think and answer which parts are the most important while the plane is in the air. They answered wings, elevator and rudder. Then we talked a little bit why the elevator and the rudder are important, how the plane can land, how does to shape of the plane affect to the flying effect, which forces affect to plane and also  we talked about the shape of the wings. All students made a wing by using their hands. Almost all students knew that the bottom of the wing is straighter and the top of the wing is curved. Then we rehearsed how the air moves above and below the wing and how it is related to the flying effect.

After the introduction teachers told students what they will do next. They had heard before that they will have a possibility to fold planes on the last school day, but before they started to fold their planes they watched one example video. After that teachers told them about the schedule and they started their action.

At first all students had to decide which material they would use. Almost all decided to use printer paper that was easy to fold and it was light enough.

Students were allowed to use their own phones to find ideas how to fold planes. The most of them found instructions from Google or YouTube. After getting an idea what kind of plane they designed their own plane and folded it.

During folding the planes they were also allowed to test their planes in the PE class where the final competition was organised lately. After testing they knew how their plane glided and got ideas how to improve their planes. Many students folded several planes and tested them to get to know which one is the best.

After one hour planes were finished and decorated. For us as teachers it was nice to notice that almost all students liked more to fold planes than to decorate them. They used a lot of time to make their foldings better and they tested their planes many times before the competition instead of colouring them.

The competition with only one throw per student took 20 minutes with 53 students. However, this project worked well and students learned many new theoretical things about planes and the flying effect.

Next Jaana will implement the same kind of project in Beijing with her chinese co-worker Yiwen.

– Jaana, Petri and 53 students, Metsokangas Comprehensive School, Oulu, Finland –

The Project of planes and flying

Ti, 05/31/2016 - 19:18

Students from Metsokangas Comprehensive School has been working with the theme of planes and flying during the past two weeks. At first all students got a few questions about the theme. Then they found knowledge by using their own devices. All founded knowledge they wrote down on the mind maps on Popplet. After that they shared their knowledge and we made together a common Popplet mind map and some students also wanted to add a few pictures and YouTube-videos into the map to give more information.

Our co-workers in Beijing has done the same last week. The next step in Finland is to fold planes and measure how far they fly. This will be organised this week before the summer break.

Jaana from Metsokangas Comprehensive School

Co-operation works well!

Pe, 05/27/2016 - 10:49

It is a fine opportunity to work with a colleague and a class from China. My students have asked lot of questions from their new friends, like: How long are your school days? What is your favourite movie? What hobbies do you have? It is good to see that there are things that are pretty much the same in both countries but also to see and to understand the differencies. My students were quite amazed about schooldays in Beijing: 5th graders have eight school hours per day!

My students have made A3-sized postcards to their friends in Beijing. I will take them to China as a souvenir from Finland.

Raini Sipilä, SYK

A Wonderful Conversation

Ma, 05/09/2016 - 14:31

A lot of things has happened this spring between Helsinki and Beijing. I have got WeChat -messages nearly everyday from my Chinese colleague Sienna,  my class has worked well with the theme Nest and now Sienna’s class in Beijing has started the project aswell.

Today we finally met: a FaceTime call let us talk face to face. I think it is marvellous how technology helps us to build relationships between people from different parts of the world. I and Sienna had a wonderful conversation about our schools, our jobs as teachers, and about becoming GEC Conference. We decided to meet at least twice before our teaching demo. We also decided to make another FaceTime call on next Monday so that our students could see each other and ask some questions. It is nice that the same project is happening in Finland and in China at the same time!

Raini from SYK

Helsinki – Beijing – connected!

Ti, 04/12/2016 - 12:27

Co-operation with Chinese colleagues has started slowly. I think the main problem was that I didn’t success to create a GEC-email account – so my Chinese colleagues perhaps thought I was too lazy to answer their e-mail. But as the summer – and the GEC Conference – gets closer the more we chat  – by WeChat.

My Chinese colleagues are Ms. Xiaoshuang Xi and Ms. Haijing Du from Beijing Zhongguancun 4th. Primary School. I have chatted mostly with Xiaoshuang (Sienna) and we have thought our project based learning unit. At the moment it seems that our topic will be a Nest. It will be marvelous to see what will happen in Helsinki and what will happen in Beijing. This is a fine opportunity for me to see how things work in China and how I and my Chinese colleagues will build a project together.

My 3rd graders have made video and Power Point -presentations about Helsinki. I have tried to send them to China, but for some reason I haven’ t succeeded. But we keep on trying!

Raini Sipilä, SYK

The Finnish Education Conference in Hong Kong

Ti, 03/22/2016 - 12:44

Innokas Network was invited to take part to the Finnish Education Conference in Hong Kong in February 2016. There were up to 10 representatives from cities and comapanies from Finland.

The Conference was hosted by FinnCham’s Education Committee and it was the first ever in Hong Kong. There were over 120 guests including local media. We were welcomed to the Event by Stuart Patton, Chairman of Education Committee, Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Jari Sinkari, Finnish Consul General to Hong Kong & Macao.

There were three key note speeches, Innokas Network was one of them. The presentation was based on the Innovative school model and it covered experiences and best practices in innovation and technology education and 21st century learning all over Finland.  As part of Espoo delegation the presentation also covered some best practices and projects in Espoo schools. There were two other key note speakers, Kristiina Erkkilä, Director of Development for the Education and Cultural Services from Espoo and Hanna Wirman, Research Assistant Professor, School of Design from Hong Kong Polytechnic University.


Edutech companies, Fun Academy, Mobie Oy, xEdu, Carbon to Soil, Solu, Skillpixels & Headai presented Education Technology Perspectives from Finland.

During the travel we visited some schools and after school tutoring company in Hong Kong. It was very interesting to experience a very different school culture. Assessments are in a very big role in Hong Kong and there is a need for a reform. Especially parents are worried because of the pressure of exams. They feel that children do not have time enough to relax and play and they are all too exhausted. Some schools have already began the reform process and they are making learning more joyful.


During the travel there were many conversations on possible ways to integrate Finnish edutech tools into Hong Kong, and how to collaborate and learn from each other moving forward. One possibility in school level is twinning between schools. Jalavapuisto School in Espoo as part of Global Innokas Network was planned to begin a partnership with The Mission Covenant Church Holm Glad No. 2 Primary School.


In March two visitors from Hong Kong, Stuart Patton, Chairman of Education Committee, Finnish Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Nicholas Wang from EDiversity Committee visited Finland and there was a possibility to visit Jalavapuisto school. Teacher Hanna Mäkynen gave a tour around their school and discussion on partnerships was going on. We’ll stay on waiting to hear more of this school partnership.

Best wishes from Hong Kong and Global Innokas,

Innokas coordinator Minna



Helsinki meets Oulu and Hankasalmi – thanks to Facetime and Skype

To, 02/11/2016 - 12:43

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

Collaboration across the Atlantic Ocean

Ti, 02/09/2016 - 21:27

Metsokangas Comprehensive School, Oulu, Finland, and Jefferson Elementary School, Janesville, USA, have been collaborating for a year. During this collaborative project students have got pen pals, made a presentation video of their schools, sent Christmas Greetings videos, had a Skype chats on their spare time and also they have started to make a common video about similarities and differences between their cultures and students’ everyday life.

And all this will continue. Keep on waiting for the next step. :)


Minna, Petri and Jaana + 80 students from Metsokangas Comprehensive School

Global Innokas 2016

To, 01/28/2016 - 13:58

Global Innokas started year 2016 in a meeting with Global Innokas Teachers from all over the Finland. We are happy to have new teachers involved in Global Innokas – warmly welcome to global adventures!


In an educational event teachers shared their experiences and good practices in global partnerships. It was really enthusiastic to hear how various kinds of ways students have been involved in global partnerships. Starting points in partnerships have been in getting to know each other and each other’s cultures and ways for living. Technology was used innovatively in partnerships. There were many ways to send greeting to each other. Emails, chats, blogs, shared videos, Skype and various platforms were used to get friends with students all over the world.

Moreover, becoming term is planned and ideas are shared; welcome Global Innokas Networking 2016! We are waiting for news for becoming ways in partnering. Go teachers and students, you are making a good job!

With Global Innokas Greetings,

Minna, Tiina and Kati


Christmas Greetings from Oulu, Finland, to Janesville, USA

Pe, 12/18/2015 - 21:55

Class 5B in the Metsokangas Comprehensive School sent Christmas greetings to their pen pals to Janesville, USA, by making a Christmas play called Secret of elves. Students filmed this play by themselves. They used their own iPhones and edited movies with iMovie. After all, the movie was subtitled into English.

Classes 5CD made also Christmas greetings by using digital camera and shooting their play from four different directions during the Christmas Festival. All parents of seven classes came to see their play and after that night the movie was edited by Final Cut Pro X. Students also composed music by using GarageBand and at last the movie was subtitled into English.

We wish you all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2016!

– Jaana, Petri, Minna and 80 eager students –

Global collaboration seminar in Tampere, Finland 25.-26.11.2015

To, 12/03/2015 - 23:07

National Board of Education organized global collaboration seminar 25.-26.11.2015 in Tampere, Finland. Global Innokas participants Petri and Jaana from Metsokangas Comprehensive School, Oulu, took part in this seminar.

During the first day we heard an interesting presentation about teacher and student exchange programs. Via exchange programs teachers and students could have shorter and longer exchange periods in Scandinavia and Europe.

Speakers also told us why it’s important for schools to have international connections and offer their students international co-operation and friendship during the school years. The main idea was: the more contacts you have during your studying in the primary and secondary schools, the more courage you will have to use your language skills. This motivates you to study languages. Also the different cultures become more familiar and you get friends from different countries.

In one of the workshops we also got to know about a co-operative project between school from Finland and Africa. They had f. ex. made a photo book of children’s every day lives in Finland and Africa. Actually, the idea was almost the same than we are going to do with our students’ penpals from Janesville, USA. The world is so small and ideas so similar between teachers.

One of the main topics during both days were refugees and how we can take them into consideration in the school. We also talked a lot of multi-cultural and school environment and how we could give students and teachers from diffirent cultures a possibility to share their knowledge about their own culture with other students and teachers. Many of speakers emphasised the value of meeting refugees. If they come to schools as visitors, it would be great way to learn from their countries and would also dispel preconceptions.

On the other day we got a new point of view after participating the workshop under the topic ”Education of peace”. This presentation waked us up to notice that how important is to support every student to reach their own target – they don’t have to have similar target’s or way’s to reach their targets, because they are individuals and teachers role is to find the best way with the student, not on behalf of the student.

Last but not least we got a task to write down our ideas of global education in groups of four. In our group we thought that global education should be

  • an encouraging possibility to meet people all over the world
  • broad-minded, curious and equal collaboration between people from different countries
  • a way to make people understand what kind of changes Finnish School and Labour Market will face in a near future
  • a way to understand what kind of benefits multicultural environment will give all people in Finland and abroad
  • a way to notice that the word ”we Finnish people” mean all people in Finland, not only people who look Finnish or speak the same language, but also people who live and work here and feel the Finnish beat in their hearts


Jaana and Petri from Metsokangas Comprehensive School, Oulu, Finland

Collaborating with our friends in Canada

Su, 11/22/2015 - 18:04

I had the privilege of meeting Jonathan So this Summer in China. We both took part in the Global Educational Summit amongst other teachers from China, Canada, Australia and Canada. Jonathan works as a 6th grade teacher in Ontario Canada and I am a fourth grade teacher in Espoo Finland. We decided to bring our kids together. The theme for this years GEC is “Our school -our neighbors school” and it gives us tons of possibilities working with the kids. From past experience we decided that working together is easier after they had met first. And that’s how it started…

Because of the time difference we decided that I would have night school with my children and Jonathan would have his kids in school normally. My kids got super excited about spending the night in school and had a long wait from August to November 19th. We also had to have the fire department come in and check the premises so that they were safe for sleeping over.

My kids first had a normal day at school and then returned to school at 17.00. The level of excitement was touchable :) At 18.00 we used Skype to contact Jonathan’s class. We had some technical problems in my class -of course- and ended up with 18 children around an iPad trying to see and hear. In the beginning the kids had to try to figure out where the other class was located at. Asking questions like: “Do you speak French?”, “Do you play ice hockey?”, “Is it Germany?” they quite quickly figured out where the other class was at.  Then everyone introduced themselves by telling their name and an interest of theirs. A lot of giggling and laughing and excitement and 1 hour later we were done.


“Skype was fun although it was a bit long. But we could talk to other people almost at the other side of the world.”

“The Skype was very nice. We had a mystery class we were talking to but we found out were they live. It was my best day ever with my class.”

Jonathan’s kids went to French class and we went to computer class. I had created an Edmodo group for us before hand. Jonathan had sent us a video of their school. A video the kids had filmed earlier that day. My class watched it and commented and after posted lots of question about school life in Canada. Now we are eagerly waiting for responses.

After Edmodo we took a head start on Hour of Code.  has launched two new coding hour -exercise. One with Minecraft and the other with Star Wars. My class worked intently with which ever one they chose to do.

The night was long and one needs food. Pizza at school was a treat that we seldom have.

And beds than? We slept in the gym. Boys on one half and girls on the other. We made our beds ready and found the gym mattresses handy :)

“The pizza was excellent! Unfortunately ate mine very fast. it is very nice to get pizza at night school.”

“You could sleep very well in the gym.”

“I didn’t sleep well but I still loved the night school!”

“Sleeping was booring.”

At 22.00 we were ready for what turned up to be the most exciting thing about night school: A game of police and robbers. The 2 police had flashlights and the robbers each had a reflector of some sort. The school was totally dark and you had permission to run down the dark corridors. Even though we extend the time twice it ended up too soon. I had 19 very sweaty kids on my hands.

“My favorite thing was police and robbers game.”

“I loved the police and robbers game!”

Everyone quieted down quickly and even the teacher slept quite well. In the morning we had a breakfast prepared by our kitchen and got ready to go home as the others were just arriving to school.

“The night school was super duper!”

“The whole night school was super exciting and fun!”

Collaboration with Jonathan and his class has now officially started. Stay tuned to what we do next.