There is a good natured buzz in TAMK’s Floworks premises. Small, international groups are screenwriting and filming short videos with tablets and applying Designer Jarmo Vihmalaakso’s tips. The video workshop is part of TAMK’s Vocational Teacher Education’s and RDI Services’ joint international week programme.
– Digitalisation is a current theme in both the development of education as it is on the project side, states Educational Designer Emma Roinila, who is visiting the workshop and who has been responsible for the week’s arrangements.
In addition to workshops dedicated for digitalisation and projects, the programme consists of visits to interesting learning environments. The 23 participants, who have arrived from ten European countries, have found a connection already from day one, when the guests spent the evening enjoying the smoke sauna, swimming in the 10-degree Lake Näsijärvi and playing the classic Finnish game Mölkky.
The most out of videos and applications
Media Educator Verena Ketter films with a tablet, while German Teacher Olga Schirmer tells the camera about the Floworks premises’ project work. Learning technologist Conrad Webbe takes care of the lighting and audio.
– I came to the workshop with an open mind. I want to learn to utilise videos and applications in education, explains Webbe, who works at the University of Coventry, UK.
The video is filmed quickly and the group is able to cut their production with the My Movie application. Schirmer, who teaches in Germany at the Saarland University, is familiar with cutting videos.
– I cut and shorten videos for my own needs. It has worked for me, because I have time to make videos.
”A lot takes place during education, and Finns have the courage to do things in a different way. ”
Vihmalaakso, who is leading the workshop, trains TAMK’s staff and knows that the main challenge, for utilising a new technology, is the lack of time. The possibilities of digitalisation do, however, interest the staff a lot.
Today, unfortunately, technology also fails. When cutting the video, Schirmer, Ketter and Webbe realise that audio is missing in some of the clips. The working group re-films the clips super-fast.
Right before the end of the workshop, the group succeeds in uploading their video, which was filmed and cut twice, on to the YouTube channel, where the videos are watched together.
A moment later, the project workshop “Open and innovative learning in the digital era” continues in the same premises. The aim of the four-day-long workshop is to create new, international events.
– We generate ideas of themes, and at the end of the week, the aim is to have two or three more polished ideas, which could be presented to the others, explains Designer Jussi Hannunen.
During the previous days, themes that interest the participants, such as e-learning and international student collaboration, have been written down on the flip board. The participants are divided into groups and begin to discuss their own experiences and ideas. The aim is to find people, who would like to work with similar themes.
– Networks are created in a special way, considers Olga Schirmer, who also participated in this workshop. The language teacher, who is enthusiastic about education and e-learning has come to TAMK, specifically, to exchange ideas with people, who have similar interests.
“Finns have the courage”
After the lunch break, the participants hop on a bus and head to the old Finlayson factory area. The afternoons are dedicated to different learning environments. Part of the group visits TAMK’s Proakatemia in the area, which coaches students in practical terms towards entrepreneurship.
– Particularly the Proakatemia model and the student projects implemented at TAMK arouse enthusiasm and interest, says the week’s organiser Emma Roinila later on about the participants’ feedback.
Olga Schirmer, who is heading to the Finnish Labour Museum Werstas located in the same historical area, praises TAMK’s teaching premises, which she has gone around the previous day. The devices utilised in education, such as tablets, are also appreciated by the German teacher.
– Finland is an advanced country. A lot takes place during education, and Finns have the courage to do things in a different way. Projects are founded with practice at the forefront, wonders the language teacher.
During the museum visit, Schirmer and other participants hear from Museum Director Kalle Kallio, in how many ways even a museum can operate as a learning environment. Varied ideas of different learning environments receive specific commendation from the participants of the international week, when the week finally ends.
TEACHER AND STAFF EXCHANGE
- TAMK is active in teacher and staff exchanges, both incoming and outgoing.
- TAMK arranges several international weeks for the staff of its partner institutions every year.
- Check the upcoming international weeks and other exchange possibilities at TAMK!
TEXT: SABINA MÄKI
PHOTOS: JOEL FORSMAN