Day 9 of the Quebec - Finland Expedition: educational research for the benefit of businesses

Day 9 of the Quebec-Finland expedition: There is often talk of educational research in Finland and, naturally, it is contextualized in the school environment. However, the Finnish business community is very interested in the digital aspect in education, and this is having a definite impact.

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Our collaborator Marc-André Girard is on an educational expedition to Finland and documents it here!

The Finnish school environment is closely connected with the university research community in education. And for good reason: all teachers have a master's degree in education. They all therefore have the profile of an educational researcher and, to do so, they had to carry out research themselves under the supervision of a professor or a researcher. The bond uniting school and university as well as that uniting teacher and researcher is solid and well anchored in Finnish school culture.

What is surprising, however, is that the business community is just as interested in educational research! In fact, should we be surprised? The teacher Heli ruokamo exclaims: “everyone learns, right? ". The latter heads the Center for Research on Media Education, which studies the contribution of digital media in pedagogy, in addition to addressing the development of 21st century skills among teachers and students as well as digital citizenship such as than experienced by them.

Beyond the contribution of the research of the team of this center, which already broached this subject ... 21 years ago (!), Professor Ruokamo and her colleague, Professor Marjanaa Kangas, observe annually the increase in the interest of the business community towards their research, in particular with regard to three fields related to education: artificial intelligence, virtual reality and augmented reality.

According to them, artificial intelligence will notably make it possible to reduce the teaching task by relieving it of other related tasks that prevent the teacher from exercising his teaching expertise. For example: homework help, data entry, preparation of certain documents, etc. As for virtual and augmented realities, they will allow employees to practice better in contexts where simulations are closer to reality, all from a perspective of feedback and the development of professional skills.

Research in these areas is heavily funded by the business community through Business Finland, a government agency funding initiatives aimed at fostering innovation in the Finnish business world. Clearly, the impact of this research has enormous potential in terms of professional development and continuing education, not only for employees of the granting companies, but also for the strength and competitiveness of the Finnish workforce as a whole. .

The Research Center works on several axes:

1. The potential of digital media in teaching and learning;
2. The role of these media in society and the development of a critical mind;
3. Digital media and the well-being of learners.

While Professor Kangas mentions the importance for students to be thinkers, creators, to be critical and to collaborate to solve complex problems, the fact remains that employers are also looking for the same attributes in their employees so that they are autonomous and responsible in their tasks and that they show initiative, with an innovative aim.

Educational research, particularly that related to media literacy, arouses keen interest in all learning environments, including the business community. Quality continuing education is a guarantee of success for companies around the world and is probably an essential comparative and strategic advantage.

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About the Author

Marc-André Girard
Marc-André Girard
Marc-André Girard holds a bachelor's degree in social studies education (1999), a master's degree in history education (2003), a master's degree in education management (2013) and a doctorate in education (2022). He specializes in school-based change management and educational leadership. He is also interested in the 21st century competencies to be developed in education. He is a principal in a public high school and gives conferences on educational leadership, pedagogical approaches, change in schools and the professionalization of teaching. He has participated in educational expeditions in France, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Morocco. In September 2014, he published the book "Le changement en milieu scolaire québécois" with Éditions Reynald Goulet and, in 2019, he published a trilogy on the 21st century school with the same publisher. He is a frequent contributor to L'École branchée on educational issues. He is very involved in everything that surrounds the professional development of teachers and principals as well as the integration of ICT in education. In March 2016, he received a CHAPO award from AQUOPS for his overall involvement. He is a recipient of the Régent-Fortin 2022 scholarship awarded by ADERAE for the significant contribution of his doctoral studies to the development of practice and knowledge in educational administration.

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