Collaborative Research Activity
The coordinating body of Innokas Network, the Faculty of Educational Science at the University of Helsinki, conducts educational research in the network in collaboration with the regional coordinators, schools and partners. Our research is focused on the learning and teaching of 21st century skills, on the Innovative School model that provides key enablers for learning and on network activity in the Innokas Network. We collaborate on research activity with other universities such as Stanford University, with other educational institutions and with various companies. Our research methodology is predominantly based on Design Research, where the researchers work in close collaboration with teachers, students and school partners in order to identify school challenges and to develop innovative solutions to address the challenges. Research activity is integrated as a part of the daily school activity, supporting practical school development at the local school site.
Innokas Network is a partner in the Growing Mind research project funded by the Academy of Finland. This project, active in 2018-2022 aims to develop 21st century school activity and to study it in the framework of the digitalization of the society. The Growing Mind project studies the wide landscape of 21st century learning and the holistic development of the school.
The Learning and Teaching in Digital Environments training is a long-term form of training for classroom and subject teachers. It provides skills for professional development and specialization for teachers who have already been working. The training focuses on the latest teaching and learning practices and development models based on research and development information, as well as digital applications, learning environments and materials. Read more here.
The project develops a digital learning and teaching network that supports the development of digital expertise and knowledge sharing among teachers. The activities are based on the DigiErko training provided by the Universities of Turku, Helsinki and Eastern Finland, and the networking of expert teachers working in them. The project’s activities can be viewed on its website.
Earlier Research Projects
The aim of the InnoPlay project (2018–2021) was to develop pedagogical methods that integrated learning areas in crafts, environmental education, technology education and mathematical skills through play, research and expression. Learning arising from the interests of the child was promoted as a multidisciplinary STEAM-themed technology learning entity. The project was coordinated by the Department of Teacher Education of the University of Turku and involved the University of Helsinki’s craft teacher education and the Innokas network, as well as the University of Tampere’s early childhood education training. The project was funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Read more here.
AI in Learning
The Innokas network worked as a partner in the AI tutor for demanding expertise work package of the AI in Learning project, funded by Business Finland. The work package examined the use of AI technology for expert training in virtual reality (VR). The aim is to enable the development of training technology based on immersive VR self-study and products built on it. The study was carried out in the AIVR, or IIVARI, laboratory built at the University of Helsinki, where the participants were acquainted with VR learning in intelligent immersive training solutions implemented by Upknowledge. Read more on the project’s website.
Uutta luova asiantuntijuus (ULA) – Innovative Expertise
Innokas Network is a partner in this development project for teacher training, funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. The project is active in 2017-2019 and aims to develop new structures and content to link both new teacher and in-service teacher training in new ways that emphasize participant expertise and engagement. Read more here.
In 2012-2015 Innokas Network was responsible for the implementation of the Innovative School subproject in the Finnable project, founded by Tekes. The subproject studied the school and its surrounding community as a complex of network of learning environments. New practices utilizing technology were developed for the Innovative School, including new ways to use digital technology to support the students of today and tomorrow. A special focus was on the versatile use of technology to support personalized learning and home and school collaboration. Read more about the Finnable project here.
Innokas Network was a partner in the Co4Lab research project funded by the Academy of Finland. The goal of the project was to develop 21st century school activity and to study the activity in the context of the digitalization of the society. The main focus of project activity in 2015-2019 was on the Innovation Education approach, its practical implementation and its various dimensions of impact.
In 2017-2018 Innokas Network, in collaboration with the Micro:bit Foundation, conducts research on the teaching and learning of programming and robotics using Micro:bit.