Innokas is a Finnish network of trainers and educators with a focus on digital skills who provide resources and support to educators nationally through ten regional centres.
Innokas, which is run through the University of Helsinki, aim to be “network and pedagogy-first” by making their training, materials and support relevant for practicing teachers in the field.
By holding different technology pilots, they establish what works in Finnish classrooms. In 2018, they ran a micro:bit pilot programme which incorporated the device into their training programmes for teachers nationwide. This which went on to be the largest and most successful technology pilot to date and the device has been proven as a great tool for creative technology which works excellently for the Finnish context. Innokas now incorporate micro:bit into their training toolkit for every training offer they run throughout Finland, via the ten municipally-run centres.
Lessons and pedagogy
The pedagogy offered through Innokas training is linked to “maker culture”, 21st century skills and thinking skills. The most common integration of micro:bit is through multidisciplinary learning modules which form the basis for the updated Finnish curriculum which was rolled out in 2016.
Innokas' central pedagogical tool focuses on the ‘Innovation process’ of ideation, brainstorming, prototyping and presenting. To support this approach, the team created 12 unique micro:bit lessons with additional training materials for online use.
These training materials and lessons focus on “teaching of 21st century competence, support the role of teachers and shared leadership principles through the building of collaboration networks, with emphasis on encouraging students, teachers and partners to take on a role in the planning and execution of school activity”.
Impact and results
- Through their training initiatives, the Innokas Network has trained more than 1,000 teachers, youth workers and librarians to use the micro:bit.
- In Finland, micro:bit devices are widely available for sale, with at least 10,000 sold into schools and communities throughout Finland in recent years.
- The micro:bit has also been adopted in by lecturers of applied sciences at the University of Helsinki.
A 2018 survey into a micro:bit pilot (100 teachers, 2000 students) by the University of Helsinki found that:
- 85% of teachers agree micro:bit could be spread as a national tool for programming
- 90% would use micro:bit again
- 80% of students said anyone could learn programming after using micro:bit
An academic study, Making with micro:bit, published by the University of Helsinki in 2019 indicated “a positive view of the maker-related Innovation Process and micro:bit technology as a way for both teachers and students to learn 21st Century Competences.” Find out more in the Research section.