The University of Helsinki’s Innokas network launched a cooperation project with the Micro:bit Foundation on Monday, 3 April, including a BBC micro:bit pilot with 50 Finnish schools and a study on the impact of the pilot.


Several Finnish schools suggested the Innokas Network , coordinated by the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Educational Sciences, as a partner for the pilot. Innokas promotes the use of digital technology in teaching, and its network of teachers enthusiastic about the topic spans throughout Finland. This is exactly what the micro:bit needs: an extensive and active teachers’ support network for its teaching tools.

The small but powerful micro:bit is already in use at 15 schools around Finland, and when cooperation launches this autumn, 50 more schools will join in. Micro:bit’s CEO, the Finnish-American Zach Shelby , hopes that some day all schools will offer the best teachers in the world the opportunity to use simple teaching tools for coding and robotics. And since the micro:bit is backed by a foundation, its goals are not commercial: it wants to have a positive impact on girls and also boys and pupils from rural areas in coding and robotics.


In the UK, a million seventh-graders are already using the micro:bit teaching tools with their teachers. Digital technology is a perfect match for Finland’s national curriculum, but there are no easy tools for teachers, so enthusiasm may soon flag. The easy tools can help pupils code, build robots and make music.

“Throughout our pilot, the Innokas Network will study how the teachers and children work and at what age pupils are most receptive to the micro:bit,” Shelby explains. “It’s very popular in the UK.”

According to studies conducted in the UK, it is easier and more fun to learn computer skills at comprehensive schools using the micro:bit, and 87% of teachers said that their pupils learned how to code. The teachers also said they learned a great deal. Nearly all of them want to keep using the micro:bit.


Lauri Parkkonen , a class teacher by training, now works at the Joensuu Media Centre as an ICT instructor and a coach for the Innokas Network. He has been waiting for a long time for a device like the micro:bit, which solves many practical issues at once.

“The micro:bit is affordable, easy to use and versatile, it’s not tied to a particular platform, and it can be programmed using a block-based JavaScript editor or Python,” Parkkonen lists. “In addition, it can be used throughout comprehensive school, from primary education up until secondary education, as is specified in our curriculum.”

In his pilot project, Parkkonen has used the micro:bit with first-graders, by integrating contents from visual arts and mathematics.

According to Parkkonen, the micro:bit’s main strength is its versatility as part of phenomenon-based learning: for example, pupils can create their own compasses to study directions and then go for a forest walk for environmental studies. Mathematics can cover the programming, but the micro:bit can also be part of crafts – pupils can create e-textiles, such as a “compass glove”. Other features can be added to use its sensor capabilities, and separate sensors can be added, for example, temperature or light sensors, making the device a versatile research tool to support learning.


The Micro:bit Foundation became an independent non-profit foundation in October 2016, originally envisioned and established by the BBC , with other founders including ARM , Amazon, The British Council , the IET , the University of Lancaster , Microsoft , Nominet and Samsung

The main partner in Finland is Innokas Network and other partners are MeHackIt and Etteplan , who has helped sponsor the pilot.

More information about the pilot in Finland


Head of Innokas Network Tiina Korhonen , tel. +358 50448 6933, email [email protected]

If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

A man wanted in connection with a suspected arson attempt on a home in Helsinki’s Käpylä district was remanded into police custody on Sunday. The Helsinki district court has remanded a man suspected of attempted arson and attempted murder into police custody, ending a short-lived manhunt, police said on Sunday. The 25 year-old is suspected of using a Molotov cocktail to cause a fire at a flat in Käpylä, Helsinki last Monday. The apartment was completely de...
Helsinki Central Library Oodi will opened its doors to the public on 5 December at 8am, a day before Finland’s 101st birthday. Designed by ALA Architects, this library of a new era is an ode to Finnish culture, equality and freedom of expression. Oodi offers everyone an open, public urban space at Kansalaistori Square, right opposite Parliament House. Central Library Oodi is an active and functional meeting point with 2.5 million expected annual visitors....
The teacher was convicted for nine incidents of sexual abuse that took place between 2013 and 2017. A teacher at a Swedish-language school in Helsinki was slapped with an 18-month suspended prison sentence for the sexual abuse of students in his charge. The court also ordered the defendant to pay damages amounting to 1,500 euros to one of the complainants and 1,200 euros each to four others. The court found that the offences occurred between 2013 and 2017....
Four projects will focus on resident services, data and AI, infrastructure and enablers and it aims to promote a culture of experimentation. Helsinki is continuing its drive to make the best use of digitalisation with four new projects focused on resident services, data and artificial intelligence, infrastructure and enablers, and a culture of experimentation. The Finnish capital is striving to be the world’s most “functional” city and to achieve its aims...
Police suspect a fire that destroyed a flat in Helsinki Monday night was ignited by a Molotov cocktail thrown through a window. No one was hurt in the incident. Authorities are investigating a case of suspected arson and attempted murder in Helsinki related to a fire that broke out shortly before 8 pm Monday, ravaging an apartment in the city's Käpylä neighbourhood. Police suspect that a burning Molotov cocktail, also known as a petrol bomb, was thrown thr...
The ministry also wants the national communications regulator to determine whether Trafi's other consumer services can be safely restored on Wednesday. The Ministry of Transport and Communications has asked the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority Ficora, to assess data privacy and security on the web services of the Finnish Transport Safety Agency, Trafi. The request follows a recent public backlash to Trafi's decision to open an online database wh...
Taking a train between Finland and Estonia will be possible by Christmas 2024, says the entrepreneur behind one of two massive tunnel projects being planned. Last week the FinEst Bay Area Helsinki-Tallinn tunnel project received 100 million euros from a Dubai-based construction group ARJ Holding – the first external financing made towards the estimated 15-billion-euro effort. Peter Vesterbacka - a man who made a fortune as a marketing boss at mobile gaming...
Several protest marches took place in Helsinki on Thursday evening. Police intervened to forcibly remove swastika flags from Neo-Nazi demonstrators. Police said on Thursday that they will open an investigation into neo-Nazis flying swastika flags in downtown Helsinki. Four protesters had reportedly been taken into police custody. Two processions made their way through Helsinki city centre Thursday evening. The neo-Nazi Kohti vapautta ('toward freedom') dem...
Most of Friday’s papers focus on Thursday's gala at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki where Finland's movers, shakers and honourees were invited to celebrate the nation’s 101 years of independence. Traditionally, media attention has centered on the best-dressed guests and this year was no exception. According to tabloid Ilta-Sanomat, among the most elegant invitees this year was MP Jaana Pelkonen, who wore a bright yellow sleeveless dress by French desig...