VOC 12 – entrepreneurship

For this VOC theme 12 we were supposed to create a video about how to promote entrepreneurial values, so my example video can be seen here

As a second part of the assignment we had to contemplate how to promote entrepreneurship in my field of profession. I guess in the telecommunication field, the entrepreneurial values play big role in terms of creativity, and innovating new tools and business areas for e.g. wireless communications, such as Taneli Riihonen’s highly awarded dissertation about wireless networks’ data transfer capacity. Hence, for my personal viewpoint, it seems that creativity and entrepreneurship goes pretty much hand-in-hand, also mentioned by Randall Pinkett’s TEDx -video.

The telecommunication area is highly competed, and there seems to be many unwritten rules, such as cities and municipalities purchase their telecommunication deals always from big operators. But sometimes it isn’t so, as my employer recently won the bidding competition of all broadband-network connections for City of Oulu, as can be read here. So those aforementioned unwritten rules have to be challenged in a way to understand how they can be prevailed and therefore making new business opportunities.

In the videos, which my classmates made for the assignment, there were mentioned a number of personal characteristics which can be seen as entrepreneurial values, such as:

  • honesty
  • leadership
  • endurance
  • flexibility
  • personal growth

and I totally agree to those (such as Iikka’s video about healthcare and taking a role of the patient, and Eeva’s example about how to teach creativity) but nonetheless, it is totally up to the employing organization whether they will understand or nurture the benefits of having entrepreneurial employee. Sometimes experiences from other business fields may result in new viewpoints, and also understanding the nature of the industry, and in a nutshell, that’s one of the reasons why I began studying these teacher studies in the first place.


VOC 11 – Global and Multicultural Activities

Here’s my poster for VOC 11. First post of this year, and also first experience of using Canva for creating a poster. I found the original topic bit misleading in a way, so I had to modify it a bit but hopefully it doesn’t matter.


As a second part of the assignment, I was supposed to give a feedback about Mari’s poster, which can be found here.

Mari’s topic was “How to create suitable conditions for learning with a multicultural student group?” and Mari pinpointed examples as follows:

  • It requires attitude, knowledge and skills
  • Teacher has to know the learning processes
  • Equality, fairness, same playrules for all
  • Teacher should use creativity, sometimes some extra effort and have cultural knowledge, diligence, courage
  • Teacher should know and understand her/his own culture and her/his own cultural background
  • discussion, communication, openness, critical thinking

In terms of feedback, perhaps there was little bit of repetition with the found issues, and maybe the poster could be more graphical, but with the topic it’s quite close to what I would have been taken into my own poster of that topic as well. The cultural issues can sometimes be quite sensitive issues to handle, so of course it helps to have much information about concerning issues, and understanding cultural differences is very important skill for a teacher. Hence, the attitude, knowledge and skills.

Process-centric thinking helps also understanding students’ own learning thus being able to adjust the teaching accordingly. It’s also essential to have the equality among the students, and the openness and interaction with the students helps in building the trust and discussion.


EduSci part 5 and course plans for VOC theme 11-15

This blog post covers two online sessions: final EduSci-session and first online session for VOC Themes 11-15.

EduSci Part 5

The last EduSci-session was mainly about two group debates about computer-supported collaborative learning and measuring learning on vocational education level. Unfortunately I missed the very beginning of the debate, but it seemed that Eeva handled the debated from her part being against Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning and she was well prepared with slideshows and great comments. Although she didn’t have teammates to back her up, still she had collected enough evidence to justify her point of view. The opposing part also did their best to give their opinions for CSCL, and they also had slides with their speech (if I remember it correctly).

The CSCL seems to be familiar subject to all of us EduLAB-students, as we’ve been using that methodology with all of our collaborative studies. The only time when we didn’t use CSCL was in the very beginning of our studies, with the kick-off days. But after that, all of our study sessions as well as organizing our group work has been carried out by using computers and online tools.

The second EduSci-debate was about whether “all learning at the vocational education level can and should have a measurable outcome” or not. I was in a same team with Charles debating for the measurable outcome, and Elina and Emmy was debating against us. On the contrary with the first debate, we didn’t have a slideshow backing up our side of the debate, but when we thought about the topic from the Vocational Education viewpoint, it was pretty obvious that for assessing someone’s vocational competence, it has and should be measured somehow. The topic itself didn’t say that is the “measurable outcome” e.g. time, or points, or a piece of work, or whatsoever but for my understanding it’s not possible to assess someone’s competence without something to measure or assess. The counter-team asked that is it possible to assess someone’s creativity. I think for the sake of debate and later reflecting with the topic the creativity probably can’t be assessed but it should be measured e.g. in terms of pass/fail -scale. So in a way, if someone participates to a hypothetical course of “creativity”, the outcome of the course can be measured by a portfolio of assignments, or time used for enhancing his/her creativity.

But nonetheless, the topics created good discussion and also were “light” enough for contemplating and reasoning with a common sense. Although as debates went forward the discussion went slightly off-topic but usually that’s when the most important discussion begins. Great debates and entertaining session!

Voc 11-15

The first session of VOC Themes 11-15 was mostly about our smaller group’s topics and releasing our lesson plans. Our team’s topic was about Vocational Special Needs Education and our lesson was planned to be done using slightly modified learning jigsaw -method, hence going deeper into the “meta-level”, as with this one-credit lesson we (me, Charles and Maria) are the teachers of the lesson, and we distributed the topic into four sub-topics and let them teach the sub-topic to us by using whatever method they feel it should be taught. That actually went pretty well, but that will be covered with next blog posting. The VOC-topics as per each of the groups were:

VOC Theme 11: Global and Multicultural Activities
Core content:
– How to create suitable conditions for learning with a multicultural student group?
– What are the ways that a vocational school participates in international activities?

VOC Theme 12: Entrepreneurship Education
Core content:
– What are the teaching and assessment methods that will enhance development of the student’s intrapreneurship?
– How to teach entrepreneurship and its goals in the best and most effective manner in vocational education?

VOC Theme 13: Interaction with the Working Community
Core content:
– What are working-life oriented learning environments?
– How is working-life oriented learning guided?

VOC Theme 14: Sustainable development
Core content:
– What does the term ”sustainable development” mean?
– How to teach and guide sustainable development in schools?

VOC Theme 15: Special Needs Education
Core content:
– How is the special needs education carried out specifically in the vocational education and upper secondary level?



Micro Lesson 4 (Eeva)

Lesson plan for 21st century Healthcare Innovations

At first maybe it would be wise to go through how the technology has changed the nature of healthcare innovations, and also in terms of innovation categories and how the trends have affected on the innovation due to their respective categories, e.g. medicine, monitoring a patient, predicting a health risk… Also not to forget activating the students, try to ask what of these aforementioned innovations are familiar to them. That takes around 15 minutes or so.

Then it would also interesting to think about the Gartner Hype Curve, and how the current innovations can be positioned to the hype cycle, or is it over all possible. And that might take some 15 minutes. http://www.businessintelligence.com.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/hypec1.png

I also think, that this type of lesson needs heaps of creativity, and how it can be quickly raised into ideas and discussion. So perhaps it could work to create e.g. idea cards of the innovation categories, types of devices and their affect on the patient, or something relevant, and randomly give the idea cards to smaller teams and they should try to innovate something out of that by combining the “factors” by themselves and present their findings. That might take easily 15 minutes.

And with relevant discussion, and also giving time for the students to introduce themselves, I guess that’s how I would imagine running the lecture.

VOC 10 – Pecha Kucha’s and vocational competence


For this Voc 10 – Pecha Kucha -session the aim was to think about how to describe the development of one’s competence using a portfolio. The topic itself felt bit overwhelming in the beginning, but after a while it all made sense – as we’ve been writing out thoughts and reflective posts throughout the whole autumn to our blogs, now it’s time to actually connect the dots and to think about how WE have been developed our competence and how to look back to our progress.

I guess I still feel, that my personal competence isn’t enough to do the actual teaching work yet, but when thinking back my own personal blog posting with all the varying themes and theories, possibly it’s not that far away at all. But instead of pasting my whole Pecha Kucha here with all the slides, perhaps it would work to write some of the notes and findings here.

In the beginning, there were lots of uncertainties with everyone of how the portfolio can help developing a vocational competence. Mostly my feels were about the “lines in the sand”-example, that something new that I learn, will most probably disappear after a while. But maybe having the diary might help thinking about something previously learned again in order to memorize things better. Some new technologies might be difficult to use at first, but they also have lots of potential to help developing new skills and fresh viewpoints.

After a while, when it started to get easier, writing also became faster, and maybe it was easier to actually reflect something. I feel, that writing isn’t that close to my personality, but some time later it became way easier. But with the writing and studying in general, I had some difficulties and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one from our class, but I thought that these “obstacles” are probably the best opportunities to learn something new, and also to work way out of the dead end. There will be lots of obstacles and mishaps with every teacher’s career, but in the end it’s up to how to deal with the problems by improvisation, or to embrace the change.

With the portfolio it’s also possible to assess the progress, and also to see the big picture of the learning, which happens in the background. For my personal experience, writing this type of online-diary, it also has big boost for motivation, as “someone might even read this” and perhaps because of the visibility and social aspect as well. I also thought, that with this online portfolio it is possible to think about the learning in a meta-level, so that it’s possible to learn from own learning, and also do some peer-assessment when needed (as we did few weeks ago).

But altogether, as the future is NOW, it’s is possible to use our online portfolios as time machines to look back where we were at this period of time, and also quickly check e.g. some theory of method that we might wonder upon later.

Take care!


EduSci Part 4

For this task, we (with Elina) chose two quite different videos from Timssvideo-portal. The videos were:

http://www.timssvideo.com/77 (USA, lesson about rocks)
http://www.timssvideo.com/57 (Netherlands, lesson about eye, stimulus and response and animal behavior)

With both examples the teachers had “traditional” teacher-centric teaching-approach, although there were number of quite big differences as well.

The first video was being recorded in a United States, and it was eighth-grade lesson in geology. In the first video, the teacher had lots of interaction with the students and it seemed, that the topic was really interesting for the teacher, as he displayed some of his personal photos relevant to the topic. There were lots of interaction, and he kind of lead the discussion towards the point, in which the student found the answer. The examples were really good and creative, as the layers of sediments compared to pages of a book, etc. The teacher also walked around the classroom, and had examples of real rocks which the students could touch and feel. In the end of the lesson, the students gave spontaneous applauds and I heard someone saying, “good lesson” or something related.

The other video was recorded in Netherlands and it was also eighth-grade about biology, and it also included the results of end-of-year tests. In the lesson, there were quite much disorder among students and some students arrived to the lesson late and without material. During the lesson, the teacher reported the test results in public, and it felt bit strange as everyone heard everyone’s test results. During reporting the results, there were also lots of disorder and hassle. In the lesson, the teacher also gave some tasks to do, and that also caused lots of distraction among students. Some students were working in pairs, and it felt like bit collaborative-type of approach. But in the end of the lesson, there were lot of hassle and students rushing to the door before the end of the class. But I don’t know wether it was during last few days of the semester, why the students were unmotivated, but it felt totally opposite comparing to the other video.

In terms of teaching methodology, both teachers used traditional lecture-based teaching, but with additional discussion. The video from the Netherlands was more teacher-centered comparing to the one from USA, as the student-centered methods such as class participation and group discussion were clearly there. Perhaps, according to the theories of learning, both were somewhat similar, but the lesson from the NL was more behavioristic due to test results (operant conditioning). The lesson from USA, although, was more constructivistic with real-life examples and inquiry-based type of teaching.

Altogether, it was fascinating to notice the differences in teaching, and how the teacher from the USA made the lesson interesting. I guess, the teacher from the NL was not unmotivated, but maybe the students were distracted by the presence of camera, or possibly it was a last lesson of the course (test results) which caused disorder in the classroom.

Assessment and evaluation – VOC Theme 9


For this week’s Tuesday’s session the themes were about assessing learning and competence, from the viewpoint of how I (as a teacher) can assess someone’s learning and competence. The session was filled with good presentations, interesting themes and a little bit of hassle + confusion and sadness.

The topics were as follows as per each of the group:
Topic 1 (Grapes) – Principles of assessment and evaluation
Topic 2 (Stars) – How does assessment promote the learning process? How do different assessment methods work?
Topic 3 (Alpha) – Self assessment and peer assessment
Topic 4 (LabRats) – Feedback or assessment? What’s the difference?

The pre-tasks for the session were pretty different when comparing with previous topics, few prezi-presentations and self-learning, but also to give feedback as well as peer review to few fellow students. I guess the session itself went alright, first part was a Kahoot – quiz done by our group, and for me it seems that the tool works better every time we are using it with these sessions. Our topic was about assessment and evaluation, and I guess classmates understood the key ideas from the given material although as I studied the topic for making some of questions for the Kahoot, some of the principles felt kind of common sense, as – of course – the assessment methods should be fair to everyone, and accessible as well. When I was searching for suitable information I stumbled upon useful a framework for assessing someone’s competence, done by the Government of Western Australia, and it also helped creating the questions for the poll as well.

Pre-task for Edustars’ session was to watch a Youtube-video about Summative and Formative Assessment, and basically how the theories differ. The video itself was quite difficult to watch, as the narration was done by an automated text-reading robot. But anyways, it was possible to pinpoint the differences and after watching the video, I was able to reply the quick poll about the differences. The session itself also was about the dichotomy of Formative and Summative Assessment methods. And also it became obvious, that different types of assessment methods should be used also for assessing the quality of teaching as well.

Topic three started with assessing a fellow group members’ input for the group work, and assessing personal input as well. For the session, I was unfortunately in wrong room – hosting the virtual session in the grapes’ room – but in the end, as I did my pre-tasks, is was possible to recap the session, which I was absent from via the recorded videos. The topic itself – peer assessment – seems to be an effective method for students to activate one another, and also the information given by fellow student has bit different approach to it, comparing with information from teacher’s viewpoint. Peer assessment has been working very well with our studies as well, although I kind of forgot how I was supposed to improve my blogging, but as other fellow student mentioned similar things about my writing, I will try to concentrate more on my own reflections and ideas.

Fourth topic was about the difference between feedback and assessment. The pre-material was really well made, and it made it easy to understand the topic. And for my understanding, assessment is the way to comprehend the elements of learning, and feedback is the tool for reflecting it towards the student. But in the end, I guess feedback is always happening in one form or another in the school environment, so the methods for giving good feedback are always good to have.

And it was the last session of our group work since June, hence it feels quite sad to begin working with other people, but I’m pretty sure it will be just fine.

Micro Lesson – Collaborative Learning in your professional field

According to number of articles, such as Constructing Knowledge Together by Melinda Dooly, or Learning Iniative by Diaz, Brown and Salmons, the Collaborative Learning can be explained to be “an instructional method in which students can produce the individual parts of a larger assignment individually and then “assemble” the final work together, as a team”, or if a person asks e.g. help from classmate with homework, that as well can be understood to be an act of a collaborative learning. There are few differences when comparing to co-operative learning, as we found out with VOC theme 7, but altogether in many sources, such as study.com, and this post in Online Learning Insights, the difference is being drawn in the terminology as “Work teams Cooperate; learning teams Collaborate“.

Wikipedia also had it being put quite similarly, as “Collaborative learning is a situation in which two or more people learn or attempt to learn something together. Unlike individual learning, people engaged in collaborative learning capitalize on one another’s resources and skills (asking one another for information, evaluating one another’s ideas, monitoring one another’s work, etc.). More specifically, collaborative learning is based on the model that knowledge can be created within a population where members actively interact by sharing experiences and take on asymmetry roles. Put differently, collaborative learning refers to methodologies and environments in which learners engage in a common task where each individual depends on and is accountable to each other. These include both face-to-face conversations and computer discussions (online forums, chat rooms, etc.).”

Here’s also short video of Collaborative Learning in general:

and great TEDx-talk video about collaboration itself:

As this Micro Lesson was to think about how the Collaborative Learning helps the learning process in your vocational field, please after thinking about it for a while, answer this quick poll – thank you!


And should you have any questions, please send them to me via Facebook, email (matti.honkala@gmail.com) or leave a reply below.

Self-assessment of my group work input (pre-task for VOC 9 topic three) + including assessment of Eeva’s group input

Because of the pre-task, I made self-assessment due to my group work input, so here it is:


at target level


at target level


room for development


at target level

Works efficiently

room for development


at target level

In addition, assessment of Eeva’s group work input:

above target

at target level

above target

above target

Works efficiently
at target level

above target

Curricula and creating lessons – VOC Theme 8 (+ EduSci part three)


The contents of this session were: What is competence-based curriculum? (LabRats) What does ECVET mean? How does it affect vocational education? (Edugrapes) How to design and carry out teaching? (Edustars) How do you find the core content of the curriculum? How can teacher personalize the teaching content to different students? (Alpha)

The pre-task for LabRats’ session was to get familiar with the concept of competence-based curriculum. The pre-material was well conducted and the concept was also very straightforward. Our group’s pre-task was to think about doing vocational training programme abroad from a Finnish student’s viewpoint, and what should be taken care of before, during and after the mobility. The pre-task for EduStars’ session was to get acquainted with material of how to design and carry out teaching, and think about how to design a course based on a curriculum from the teacher’s viewpoint.The pre-task for Group Alpha’s session was to find information about few vocational education’s curriculum, and submit key findings from the curriculum via poll.

During the first lesson, LabRat’s used Socrative-online tool for a quick quiz about the topic. Unfortunately I was bit late of the session, and I had to start from the middle of the quiz. I think the session was filled with relevant questions in regards to the topic, and because of the pre-material being well-conducted, it helped understanding the concept and also made it easy to interact during the session. From my personal background, I’ve been fortunate to have such great tutors and teachers that I’ve been able to compensate some of my studies with my working experience and previous studies, so understanding the topic was easy, due to personal experiences.

The second lesson was about the “role play” of our group. The roles in terms of our room was that Mari played the before-mobility role, Iikka played the during-mobility role , and Elina played the after-mobility role. I thought, that the pre-material was mostly for understanding the ECVET-framework from three respective viewpoints, hence I didn’t demand using the role of Anna during the session. In addition, we had the pleasure of having Tanja also participating our session and she had first-hand experiences of doing work practice abroad, and it created good discussion during the session. The ECVET-framework was also found out to be relevant and widely used in the EU, and also the material was easy to find from Internet.

The third part of the session was about creating a syllabus, and to think about the characteristics of a good syllabus from viewpoints of a teacher, student and administrative person. The different viewpoints were thoroughly discussed upon, and it was surprising to notice that there were many overlapping things from viewpoints of teacher and a student, such as schedule and motivation, etc. But nonetheless, the session was great, informative and concise.

Fourth part of the session we had in the main room with a Halloween-theme. The pre-task for the group Alpha’s work for me was impossible to perform, because I wasn’t able to find a sports assistant’s curriculum from anywhere, and also I didn’t understand the pre-task well enough in the beginning. Maybe I was too tired, or my head was full of too much redundant work-based information, and I wasn’t able to process the task first. The session itself was fun due to the Halloween-theme, and due to the theoretical part of the session the members of Alpha group presented curriculums from different degrees and from the viewpoint of a person studying the degree. Overall fun session, but I feel that the theoretical part was bit narrow in a way, comparing to other online sessions.

This blog post also covers the EduSci-session of 3rd of November, hence the photo. As our task for the part three of the Edusci-course was to find a photo of Ideal Learning Environment, I pondered about doing different types of approaches to the task, although due to constructivistic theories people add new information “on top” of the previous information, and reflect to the information obtained from the past, I chose the photo from around 15 years ago from my old school and I’m there in the photo myself (second row and on the right side). The photo was really hard to find, but luckily I was able to find it via Web Archives. I feel that those days when I was able to study something I was good at, and very motivated, I feel that I would like to teach in same type of environment someday. Also as my school at the time (Oulaisten Instituutti) was a vocational school, I have some personal experiences studying in that level also. And I feel, that those “hands-on” studies are still something I use everyday with my day job.

So, something different this time and bit “blast from the past” as well 🙂