New York teachers get support in virtual teaching from Finland
COVID-19 pandemic has forced teachers to move to virtual classrooms. New York teachers now receive support from their colleagues across the Atlantic – Finland, where online learning has long been used in school environments. The online teacher coaching sessions take place from August to October. Finnish EdTech companies offer teachers free extended access to their virtual learning services.
The Consulate General of Finland in New York presented New York City with a plethora of EdTech solutions for distance learning in response to a general request for assistance made by the Mayor’s office earlier this year. All solutions come with an extended complimentary period (some up-to 12 months) as a way to bring easy access and instant relief specifically to teachers and students hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the participating companies, 3DBear, took an extra step and offered a 1-on-1 coaching program for teachers. During the coaching sessions – given by fellow teachers in Finland – participants look at the challenges of a virtual learning from a logistical, pedagogical and technical perspective. Participants have a chance to address specific issues for their environment and discuss best practices with their assigned coaches.
As soon as the coaching program was announced, seats filled up quickly. Teachers from several Districts through New York City signed up. The coaching program runs from August 1st until October. “Although we can’t scale the operation as a complementary service, we are looking into opportunities in providing a similar service as an add-on to our products”, says 3DBear COO Jussi Kajala.
“The COVID pandemic has had a profound impact on schools across the globe and we are truly all in this together as we work to prepare for the upcoming school year,” said New York State Education Department Interim Commissioner Betty A. Rosa. “The efforts of the Consulate General of Finland to assist with preparing New York City’s teachers for remote learning at no cost is a remarkably generous gift that is reaching teachers in one of the areas hardest hit by this pandemic. I thank the Consulate General and their partners for their contributions.”
Please feel free to reach out to the following contacts for more information:
Imran Ahmed, Counselor for Commercial and Trade Affairs, Consulate General of Finland in New York. Imran.ahmed (at) formin.fi, (646) 468 2665
Jussi Kajala, COO 3DBear, Jussi (at) 3dbear.io
Kari Honkonen, E-learning specialist, Keuda, Finland kari.honkonen (at) keuda.fi
Jared C. Vitolo, Director of Advanced Academic Access, Manhattan School District, Office of Superintendent Vivian Orlen, JVitolo (at) schools.nyc.gov