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National Virtual Education conference in Finland

Wednesday, 5 December 2012
National Virtual Education conference in Finland

The National Virtual Education conference in Finland was this year arranged for the 10th time. The Director General of The Finnish National Board of Education Mr Aulis Pitkälä opened the conference. His speech concentrated on national and international research results into the exploitation of ICT, which has not reached the desired level in Finland. He emphasised the point that in the near future, Finland has to concentrate on improving this exploitation as well as on teacher skills, usage of ICT in education and eMaterial. The international keynote speaker was Dr Anne Looney from the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment in Dublin.

In her presentation, she concentrated on social media and statistics amongst other matters. She addressed four different points: making sense, making connections, making meaning and making a difference. She put forward her belief that interactive portfolios are the future and reminded the audience that students come to school for social interaction – learning takes place after that.

During the two day conference the audience was partly divided into different work groups, that concentrated on different educational levels. Interesting subjects included, for example, technical solutions when two large vocational educators are merged, virtual education solutions in comprehensive and upper secondary schools, learning games, discussions on whether students/teachers can use their own devices, games in education and many others. In the afternoon of the second day the audience was brought back together to listen to the last two keynote speakers: principal Jukka Sormunen from Kuopio concentrated on the future of schools, with the emergence, for example. of cloud services. The other keynote speaker was Peter Vesterbacka from Rovio Entertainment Oy (creator of the Angry Birds game) - his presentation concentrated on games on education. VISCED was also represented at the conference. Brochures were distributed, as well as paper slips with VISCED web addresses and webinar info. People were especially interested in the VISCED recommendations. Hopefully many Finnish operators will participate on the VISCED webinar to hear more up-to-date information. Most of the conference materials are published (in Finnish).

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