The word on everyone’s lips last week was: design.
The top teams of the Open Education Challenge met at the Design Factory at Aalto University Helsinki for the first residential workshop of the European Incubator for Innovation in Education. The theme of the workshop was (you guessed it): Design and Education (Learning) Design. Design makes learning simple, as Pierre-Antoine Ullmo concluded.
If you just want an overview of the event, scroll down to our Storify timeline. But it was an intensive four days of deep learning, and there are some highlights we just can’t help but talk about!
Field trip to Idean
Helsinki is home to a vibrant design community. In fact, the city was named the World Design Capital in 2009. We got to tap into some of the city’s best talent in a field trip to Idean, a global user experience design agency. Mikko-Pekka Hansi, one of the founders of Idean, gave us a warm welcome and then Ulla Holma and Roope Karki filled the afternoon with valuable learning opportunities for the teams. We also had time for more intimate conversations and networking with the Idean team.
On Thursday evening, the OEC teams got a chance to present themselves to the Helsinki startup community and education stakeholders. We held a public showcase event where each team had space to show, explain, and demonstrate their project in a relaxed and informal setting.
Personalised coaching sessions
The real hidden gem of the whole week, however, was the personalised coaching sessions we scheduled for each of the teams depending on their individual needs. These private meetings let the teams get into the nitty-gritty of their projects with highly qualified mentors and get valuable feedback. Here's a list of the fabulous mentors who joined us in Helsinki:
- Santtu Toivonen, Development Manager at Sanoma Pro
- Sotiris Makrygiannis, Founder and CEO of CBTec (the company behind Eliademy)
- Ekaterina Gianelli, Director at Inventure
- Mervi Jansson, Director of Education Partnerships at Omnia
- Paolo Borella, Advisor at 10tracks, Master of Control (Director) at AppCampus, and Advisor at ePythia
- Pertti Siekinen, previous Chairman of the Finnish consortium for learning competence – flow of learning, former EduCluster Network
- Tapio Koskinen, Head of Infrastructures for Learning and Research at Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture
- William Florance, Head of Outreach, Emerging Markets at Google
- Harri Kiljander, currently leading an internal startup at F-Secure