Play to Learn

Tiedekulma - Play to Learn

Ti 13.11. klo 17

What are the 21st century skills and why are thinkering and VR among others good ways to teach them? The University of Helsinki is developing new ways of learning. We will showcase some of the best examples for you. Learning is supposed to be fun!

Speakers include Kristiina Kumpulainen, Katariina Salmela-Aro, Auli Toom, Kati Sormunen, Sini Riikonen, Heidi Sairanen and Juha Oikkonen. The event is hosted by Liisa Mayow.

The event is part of Smart as HEL, which explores future learning and education. Take part on the spot or watch the livestream or video recording!

Join the event also on Facebook.


Tiedekulma - Play to Learn

Kristiina Kumpulainen (left), Katariina Salmela-Aro, Auli Toom

Kristiina Kumpulainen is Professor of Education at the University of Helsinki. She is inspired by the societal importance of her research field as well as its relevance for every human being. According to Kumpulainen, we don’t have sufficient knowledge and understanding on education yet. Important skill or knowledge for the future: ”Multiliteracy is the literacy of today and tomorrow. Multiliteracy is to understand and be understood in an increasingly diverse world. It is about approaching the world with an open perspective and a healthily critical mindset.”

Katariina Salmela-Aro is Professor of Educational Sciences and Psychology at the University of Helsinki. She acts also as Visiting Professor at Institute of Education, UCL, President of the European Association for Developmental Psychology, Member of Academy of Finland Strategic Funding Council and expert in OECD Education2030. Salmela-Aro directs several ongoing longitudinal studies among young people. Her key themes are school engagement, burnout, optimal learning moments, experience sampling,  life-span model of motivation and related interventions.

Auli Toom is Professor of Higher Education at the University of Helsinki. She works as director of the Helsinki University Centre for University Teaching and Learning (HYPE), director of the PsyCo Doctoral Programme and Visiting Professor at University of Tartu, Estonia. She leads several research projects on student learning of generic competencies in basic and higher education, teacher’s professional agency and teacher education. She works as an academic expert and advisor in several international research and development programmes on teacher education and higher education.

Tiedekulma - Play to Learn

Kati Sormunen, Sini Riikonen, Heidi Sairanen, Juha Oikkonen


Innokas Network
Kati Sormunen is coordinator of Innokas Network ( and doctoral student at the University of Helsinki. Sormunen has a long work experience in pre-school as well as primary and secondary education. She has developed pedagogical approaches to computational thinking and coding skills in multi-disciplinary co-operation with actors from school, university and company.

Sini Riikonen is a Ph.D. student in the Doctoral Programme of School, Education, Society and Culture (SEDUCE) at the University of Helsinki. Her research interests focus on collaborative invention and design processes, knowledge creation and innovative usage of new technologies, as well as, on learning, teaching and tutoring these in all levels of education.

Playful Learning Center
Heidi Sairanen is a PhD researcher currently writing her dissertation about young children’s and early years teachers' agency in different contexts. Her research interests are agency and sense of agency, multimodality and multiliteracy including digital literacies. She is working as a project planner in the Learning Multiliteracy with Joy research and development program at the Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Helsinki. She has been involved in establishing the University of Helsinki’s Playful Learning Center. Sairanen is also a kindergarten teacher and she has worked in different kindergartens as a teacher and a manager.

The Science Education Centre
Juha Oikkonen is Professor of Mathematics and the director of the Bachelor and Master Programmes in Teacher Education in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. In addition, he is the vice director of the Science Education Center. Oikkonen teaches basic studies in mathematics as well as mathematics teacher training courses. Oikkonen is fascinated by making mathematics meaningful to everyone and, and in this context, trying to understand mathematical thinking. When it comes to science education in general, he is delighted when he sees faces expressing enthusiasm and insight.