Finnish Embassy’s education webinar delved into the future of education

Finnish Embassy’s education webinar delved into the future of education

Finnish education is world famous with Finland continuously claiming top spot in international comparisons. How did the transition to distance learning succeed in Finland and what have we learned from schools being forced into remote learning due to COVID-19 pandemic? The Finnish Embassies in London and Dublin brought together different perspectives from Finland, the UK and Ireland to discuss lessons learnt and digital education models for the future. The event was organised in collaboration with Business Finland, Education Finland and the Finnish Institute in the UK and Ireland.

The webinar combined expertise from three different countries and from the fields of research, public policy, diplomacy, teaching and the business sector. The discussion included Finnish perspectives from Marjaana Sall, Ambassador for Education at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Director General at Finnish National Agency for Education and Katariina Salmela-Aro, Professor of Education at the University of Helsinki. The British view was offered by Laura McInerney, an education journalist and former teacher. The Irish perspective was given by Michael Hanley, the Head of Education & Knowledge Services at Innovation Value Institute in Maynooth University. The Finnish Embassy’s Press Counsellor Heli Suominen moderated the discussion.

This event was organised in collaboration with Business Finland, Education Finland and the Finnish Institute in the UK and Ireland.

Our speakers included:

Marjaana Sall  is Ambassador for Education at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland since September 2019. She has extensive experience in Africa having served 12 years at diplomatic positions in Africa. Before taking up the position of Ambassador for Education, she served as the European Union Ambassador to the Republic of Mauritius and to the Republic of Seychelles.

Michael Hanley is the Head of Education & Knowledge Services at Innovation Value Institute in Maynooth University, Ireland and a visiting scholar at Tokyo Institute of Technology. He is an expert on digital transformation and technology-enabled learning as a path to unlocking peoples’ abilities. 

Laura McInerney is an education journalist, former teacher and renowned keynote speaker. She has written for publications including The Guardian, The Observer and the New Statesman. She has also co-founded Teacher Tapp, a daily survey app for teachers.

Olli-Pekka Heinonen is the Director General at Finnish National Agency for Education. He has influenced Finnish education sphere for years as the Minister of Education among other roles. He is known as a frequent keynote speaker on digitalisation of education at international conferences.

Katariina Salmela-Aro works as a Professor of Education at the University of Helsinki, specializing in combining education and psychology. She is also the Finnish Head of Youth Skills, a Europe-wide programme focusing on what kinds of skills are needed among children and youth so that the long-term positive impact of the digital environment can be maximised.

Finnish edtech companies:

  • QRiDi, Jenna Silveri and Markus Packalen, Experts in Learning and Assessment. QRiDi is a digital pedagogical tool that turns learning from passive to active and supports personal growth.
  • Code School Finland, Kaisu Pallaskallio, CEO. Code School Finland helps educators to implement coding, robotics and AI into the curriculum.
  • Kide Science, Sari Hurme-Mehtälä, CEO. Kide Science provides playful online science lessons for young children to improve scientific thinking, which predicts better learning outcomes later in school.

Programme:

Tuesday 26 January 2021

10:00-10:05: Introduction: Press Counsellor Heli Suominen

10:05-10:15: Welcoming words, Ambassador of Education Marjaana Sall

10:15-10:55: Reinventing Education after the Pandemic: How to Ensure Future Skills for all?

  • Michael Hanley, Head of Education, Innovation Value Institute
  • Laura McInerney, Education Journalist and Founder of Teacher Tapp
  • Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Director General, Finnish National Agency for Education
  • Katariina Salmela-Aro, Professor, Department of Education, University of Helsinki

10:55-11:10: Finnish EdTech Solutions, Company introductions

  • QRidi
  • Code School Finland
  • Kide Science

11:10-11:25: Q&A

11:25-11:30: Final words, Press Counsellor Heli Suominen