Classroom innovation in Finland and Estonia

Technology is moving apace; in fact, it’s accelerating. Increasingly, prospective employers of high school and university graduates ask for new types of “literacy” and problem solving – paramount among these is computer literacy. This global professional learning opportunity focuses on coding, gaming & robotics – CGR. Educators who take part will acquire the perspectives necessary to leverage CGR for ideal student outcomes.


The trip will position you to encourage your students’ natural interest in coding, gaming and robotics. You will use your new knowledge to support your students’ use of these tools. Embedding CGR in your curriculum will catalyze your students’ critical thinking – and their access to high-quality university experiences and job prospects as young professionals.

During this 4-day professional learning experience, you will explore best practices in modern teaching from university-level teacher trainers. You will also focus on the relevance of ‘future learning’ as an alternate model of education delivery – and its significance as a concept that incorporates certain societal trends, embedding them into national policy. The ‘future learning and leadership’ model can itself effect change, and influence future trends in business and across the economic sectors.

Program Overview

On Monday morning in Helsinki, we’ll “set the table” with a dialogue on Finnish national education policy – then over the course of the subsequent 4 working days in Finland and Estonia we’ll make school visits tailored to the needs of all 3 levels – early years, middle years, and high school. You’ll discuss and observe vocational education, special-needs education, the importance of play, and teacher training. This 4-day PD features two broad categories of activities: Workshops that focus on Finnish teacher training, and observations that reveal how Finnish teachers design and deliver their lessons. All activities will include visuals with tips and strategies for enabling your classroom for STEAM, especially around coding and robotics. Slide presentations and lesson plans are shared; you can use these plans to embed CGR into your own curriculum. Activities include learning how to teach coding to young children using Bee-bot robots, and encouraging joy in the coding process!

Major Takeaways

Throughout, you will explore why Finland and Estonia lead the way on tech-in-the-classroom, how they deploy CGR in elementary and secondary curricula, how they measure success, and why they consider CGR-embedding to be of the utmost importance. You’ll hold roundtable chats with Education Ministry officials, and you’ll learn from the students themselves! By week’s end, you’ll prepare to return to the United States with a wealth of new ideas for curriculum integration, for your own growth as an educator, and for how you may support all of your students! You will dialogue with academics, students, families and activists. You will visit world-famous historical and cultural sites. And you’ll get involved in the hectic everyday life of modern Helsinki and Tallinn. You will not want to miss this professional opportunity!

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