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Sino-Finnish Learning Garden Meeting in Beijing: New learning solutions and technologies are needed for Chinese basic and vocational educationApr 15 2014
On 10 April EduTech meetings were organised in Beijing for planning the SFLG development with MoEC, and with Beijing Normal University (BNU), the leading education university, and with BNU Publishing Group, a leading educational publisher in China.
In the meetings with Mr. Mika Tirronen, Counsellor (Science & Education), Embassy of Finland, the key cooperation areas were discussed, including both basic education and vocational education areas that are currently in focus in China and considered for renewal based on learning from best practices and solutions in other countries. Finland is a recognised partner in these areas.
The role of local authorities is of prime importance. Cooperation with Beijing Municipal Education Committee (BMEC) and Shanghai Municipal Education Committee (SMEC) has been initiated. There is interest in linking schools directly to the SFLG activities in these cities and with the corresponding cities in Finland. The sister city relationship of City of Espoo and City of Shanghai and the relationship of the City of Helsinki and City of Beijing will help to facilitate the linking of corresponding education authorities and schools. There is already ongoing cooperation among the schools, including headmasters and teachers, as well as visit programmes.
When considering the role EduTech Ecosystem and Research Forum, we see the technology based solutions helping to boost the collaboration and learning of new practices and solutions both ways, and bring the physical space and the ritual online space together. To support the cooperation, the concepts of “Joint Learning Labs” and “Finland Classrooms” have been discussed with the involved universities and companies in Finland and in China.
Meeting with CEREC representatives, Mr. Yuzhou Cai, and a delegation from the University of Tampere, was organised at BNU to jointly plan the cooperation with CEREC in the SFLG EduTech area and in the China-Finland ICT Alliance. CEREC and the corresponding center at BNU, the Finnish Education Research Centre (FERC), have already established cooperation and can support in several areas including learning administration, quality assurance, teacher training, and guidelines development.
At BNU, Ms. Jun Wang, Deputy Director, Office of International Exchange & Cooperation, hosted a meeting with Mika Tirronen, Matti Hämäläinen and Jani Kaarlejärvi from the Finnish side and Prof. Shengquan Yu, Director, the Joint Laboratory for Mobile Learning, Ministry of Education – China Mobile Communication Corporation, and Ms. Xi Xie, Beijing Normal University Publishing Group (BNUPG) to discuss the research and business pilots cooperation planned to be launched during 2014.
BNU is in a position to become a key hub for EduTech research and as well as facilitate EduTech Ecosystem business pilots in selected test schools to help understanding the requirements of the local schools as well as those set by the national and local curriculum. When relevant content and digital solutions have been identified, BNUPG will consider involvement in their focal areas respectively. BNUPG has been recognised as a higher education publisher and they also indicated interest in Kindergarten area solutions and content. It was agreed that follow-up meetings all be organised in June and joint workshops to be planned for the October-November time frame when high-level land expert delegations will visit China (possibly to be organised to coincide with the PURE Finland events).
In addition to introducing the solutions form Finland, a key area in the EduTech cooperation will be joint development and testing of new learning solutions and learning environments. This can involve mobile learning, ubiquitous access, wearable technologies, augmented reality and related technologies that help bridge the physical and virtual world. This may take place in the Joint Lab that BNU has set up with China Mobile (CMCC). The next step is to start planning of concrete the cooperation in development, testing and piloting of education technology solutions and services as well as joint research, including e.g. learning analytics, sensing technologies, and others.
For EduTech the next step will be identifying the potential pilots for BNU and BNUPG to discus with the selected Finnish companies. BNU has already a good experience in working with Finnish approach in the GraphoGame case, developed by the University of Jyväskylä (Prof. Heikki Lyytinen and his team). The potential solutions to be piloted include educational games for maths, languages, and other skills, including music. Also, new learning service platforms and technologies (e.g. ultra low energy e-paper, NFC and other physical world /digital world interaction) are potential candidates.