Key Takeaways from the “Learning and Mind” Forum

 On October 23-25, the Sino-Finnish Joint Learning Innovation Institute (Jolii) “Learning and Mind” Forum was successfully run by Jolii, Academy of Finland, Ministry of Education and Culture, Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai, and Beijing Normal University. The forum explored state-of-the-art future education in the internet era, children and adolescents’ well-being and fun learning, quality assurance in Sino-Finnish education cooperation, and future learning and future teacher at beautiful International Center of Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai. The Forum attracted more than 200 college faculty and administrators, instructional designers, researchers, undergraduate students, graduate students, K-12 teachers, and enterprises representatives from China and Finland. They had in-depth discussion on four themes in one and a half day. After the forum, committee members discussed organization and future plan of Sino-Finnish Joint Learning Innovation Center in the afternoon on October 25.

The opening ceremony was hosted by Professor LIU Jia, the director of Jolii (China). Opening ceremony speakers were: Doctor Mika Tirronen, Counsellor of Education and Science Embassy of Finland, Beijing. Doctor Risto Vilkko, Program Manager in the Academy of Finland. Professor ZHOU Zuoyu, Vice president at Beijing Normal University. Professor TU Qingyun, President at Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai. 

1.       Open Cooperation and Win-win Development

Professor Zhou believed that “Sino-Finnish Joint Learning Innovation Institute is the positive result of cooperation between China and Finland in the discipline of education with the aim of ‘open cooperation and win-win development’. Beijing Normal University and University of Helsinki are the learning coordinating institutions of China and Finland respectively. We invite institutions and enterprises in education industry to participate in platform construction. With the support of the government, we cooperate in researches, product development, teacher education, school development, etc. to promote cooperation and exchanges; research and innovation in education.” Sino-Finnish Joint Learning Innovation Institute, Zhuhai was launched after opening ceremony.

Picture 1: Sino-Finnish Joint Learning Innovation Institute, Zhuhai was launched

There were eight keynote speeches in the morning on October 24 and 25. Keynote speakers were: Professor Anna Mauraen, Vice Rector at University of Helsinki. Professor REN Youqun, Vice president at East China Normal University. Dr. Pilvi Torsti, Former State Secretary at the Ministry of Education. Professor LIU Baocun, Dean of Institute of International and Comparative Education, Faculty of Eucation, Beijing Normal University. Professor Hannele Niemi, Chair of Sino-Finnish Joint Learning Innovation Institute, University of Helsinki. Professor ZHAO Yufang, Deputy Director, Faulty of Psychology, Southwest University. Professor Jari Lavonen, Dean of Teacher Education, University of Helsinki. Professor WANG Zhenhong, Dean of Psychology, Shanxi Normal University.

2.       Researchers across Contexts

Professor Anna Mauraen advised that “collaborations between education researchers across contexts is crucial, and this is the particular strength of the collaborative network in China and Finland on learning research that are manifest in the Sino-Finnish Joint Learning Innovation Institute (JoLii).”

Rethink the Relationship between Learning Science and Instructional Practice

“In the past a quarter of a century, learning science contributes various theories, models, and learning environments and tools, which promotes the development and transformation of learning and instruction dramatically. Additionally, the nature of instructional practice is multi-dimensional, complex, and always involved in a context, which provides continuous research questions and challenges to learning scientists. Therefore, is needs to analyze and rethink the relationship between learning science and instructional change from a perspective reflecting the ongoing interaction between them.” 

4.       Educational Ecosystem in Finland

Professor Hannele Niemi shared “an overview of how the Finnish educational ecosystem has strived for equality and high quality.” “The new national core curriculum was accepted in 2014 and schools started with their local based curricula in August 2016. One area in which the idea of an ecosystem is growing more important is digitalization and the use of educational technology in teaching and learning.”

5.       Big Ideas from Enterprises

Seven enterprises were invited, they were: China Mobile Government & Enterprise, Education Innovation Center; NetGragon Websoft Inc.; IFLYTEK Co., LTD.; Tstudy Co., LTD.; EduCluster Finland LTD,; Dalian Great Miller Technology Co., LTD.; and Beijing Jetsen Technology Co., LTD. Inviting enterprises to attend the “Learning and Mind” Forum showed a new Double Quadrangle model of Jolii, which governments, universities, schools, and enterprises from both China and Finland tackle key problems in learning collaboratively. 

China Mobile through the most advanced technology of Internet of Things to solve arising problems in educational informatization and to explore possibilities in the interaction between home, school, school security, and smart devices, etc. Now China Mobile has promoted infrastructure construction in 31 provinces, built partnership with 476 kindergartens, and registered 90 million users. Infrastructure would no longer restrict sharing high-quality teaching and learning resources with disadvantage areas in China.

NetDragon focused on implementing immersion Virtual Reality (VR) in teaching and learning. The technology of VR could build a relatively ‘real’ leaning environment for students. In such environment, abstract knowledge became visible. Teachers may design their own VR lessons by software or application developed by NetDragon that leaded to engagement, individualized learning, and fun learning.

iFLYTEK took the lead in recognizing speech content, speakers, language and other information. Speech assessments supported by iFLYTEK has been approved by the Naitonal Language Committee and used in large scale. For example, the technology was officially applied in proficiency test of speaking standard Chinese (PSC) across 31 provinces, tested over 22 million people. In addition, Oral English Evaluation Technology has been applied to 10 million people in Senior-high School and College Entrance Examination. Technology helped schools to set up new evaluation and assessment platform.

In general, leading researchers, K-12 teachers, and enterprises representatives presented up-to-date researches and practices in education. Here are some takeaways that attendees identifies as particularly relevant and impressive.

Picture 2: Speakers took picture together
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