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24.5.2019 | Ellen Heyting

Did you Miss the Recent HundrED GLocal Exploring Empathy-based Education Innovations? Here is a Quick Review!

Teachers and Students from the International School of Helsinki and global innovators from HundrED collections presented their practices to the local education innovations community a few days back. Here is a reflection from the lead organizer and HundrED Ambassador, Ellen Heyting from Helsinki.

As a HundrED Ambassador, I was honoured to be able to host a HundrED GLocal event at The International School of Helsinki on May 16. Our theme for the event was You Can’t Build Empathy Sitting Down, and we selected local and global innovations which address this theme to present and discuss their unique approaches to foster student empathy in a variety of contexts. The evening brought together members of the HundrED community from around Finland with global and local educators. The event was live streamed to the rest of the world via HundrED’s social media accounts. It was a fabulous way to network, share ideas and make connections to take back into the classroom. I even met another Hundred Ambassador, Xiang Xiang, who is working at a school in Northern Finland, who used to live in the apartment complex next to me in Beijing! The world of global education is small and HundrED is making it smaller!

We were lucky enough to hear about six exciting innovations in education. First, out of the blocks, I presented with my amazing colleague and teaching partner, Rachael Thrash, to launch the event with our Building Blocks for Engagement, a brainstorming and reflection tool that inspires teachers to develop units centered around students’ personal experience and service learning. Lydia Hanninen and Kristina Petrova, ISH 11th graders, represented the student voice with their innovation, Youth for Change, bringing youth together to address the intersectionality between issues of climate change and inequality. A Finnish firm, Seppo, presented its gaming platform, an app that allows teachers to gamify field trips and lessons for maximum student engagement. Skyped in from the Philippines, Kids Can! Innovation Camp explained its approach for encouraging empathy through the development of STEAM skills. Lyfta, a virtual reality platform which seeks to share stories from around the world, also considered strategies for expanding student awareness. Culminating the evening, Kathleen Naglee, The Director of ISHelsinki, spoke about Embodied Space and the neuroscience of learning design.  

After the presentations, we had time to discuss our ideas more thoroughly in breakout discussions which encouraged attendees and guests to reflect on the presentations and consider how they could be applied to their contexts. There was time to network, drink some coffee and connect with like-minded educators.

As a HundrED Ambassador, I was a little apprehensive about hosting a GLocal event at the start. Particularly here in Helsinki, HundrED’s home. But the process ran really smoothly and I got fantastic support from Pukhraj, Romayne and the whole HundrED team. They helped me connect with Global Innovators and figure out a plan for the evening. I had the desire to bring educators passionate about educational best practice and ideas together, and the team at HundrED helped me get this event off the ground and up and running. It was a great evening with concrete takeaways for me, the other innovators, the attendees, my school and our students. I would strongly encourage other HundrED Ambassadors to consider hosting a HundrED GLocal event. In the spirit of the HundrED community, if you’d like some thoughts or perspective from an Ambassador who has hosted on before, feel free to reach out, ellenh@ishelsinki.fi

Ellen Heyting