Digitalisation is a part of everyday life in Helsinki schools, and its role is increasingly significant. However, teachers feel that the existing solutions do not always meet the schools’ needs. At the same time, it has been difficult for companies to respond to these needs as they have not been aware of them.
Now, the 6Aika Smart Learning Environments for the Future project has created an operating model where companies are made aware of the schools’ needs and companies can offer solutions to meet these needs. The project has listed the following digital challenges identified by Helsinki schools:
1. Evaluation and feedback
How can schools make feedback and evaluation more versatile and motivating.
2. Third-party spaces
How can schools regularly find versatile learning spaces outside the school environment.
3. Immersion, AR and VR in learning
How could AR glasses free up learning resources? What kinds of extra resources do immersive spaces bring to learning?
4. Socio-emotional skills
How can schools better support the development of socio-emotional skills?
5. The job-seeking skills of students in upper secondary schools
Next, all interested companies may present their solutions to the schools’ challenges on The New Era of Learning website.
Companies co-develop solutions for schools
The solutions offered by the companies will be co-developed further during four-month trial periods in the autumn of 2018 in Kalasatama, Jätkäsaari, Hiidenkivi, Aurinkolahti and Ressu comprehensive schools and the upper secondary schools of the City of Helsinki. The trials will allow schools to test new solutions and evaluate their usability and pedagogic effectiveness. The co-development stage will be facilitated, and financial compensation may be available.
As a result of the trials, participating companies gain references, user experiences and third-party effectiveness assessments on the use of their products as part of the Finnish school system. One of the goals of the project is to generate exportable learning technology products. In Helsinki, the project is implemented by the City of Helsinki and the City’s innovation unit, Forum Virium Helsinki.
“This project, where schools and companies develop solutions together based on the schools’ challenges, is the first of its kind in the world. It’s great that we’re doing this in Helsinki and in Finland. The teachers can challenge companies to develop new products that meet the actual needs of the schools,” says Niko Lindholm, the project’s manager in Forum Virium.
The open challenges of the schools were published in Helsinki on 16 May. Companies can find out more about the challenges and submit their solutions on the New Era of Learning website.
Photo credit: Riku Pihlanto / City of Helsinki