Tell us a little about yourself.
I am Lasse Leponiemi. I work as the Head of Operations and I am a Partner at HundrED.org.
I work with our HundrED community, the research team, and our developers. My work is mainly focused on listening to others and understanding their needs so that we can create new ways to operate, new features for HundrED.org or in some cases create totally new services.
Why do you want to work at HundrED?
I have always enjoyed being part of the service and organizational development processes. My role at HundrED allows me to combine my artistic and analytical side together. For example, I often design our new features and services based the feedback of our community. Then together with our developers, we execute those ideas into reality.
Why should we change our schools?
I have been interested in youth future orientation for the last decade. The question which has been my driving force during the last few years is 'why some young people see their world as full of possibilities, whilst others with the exact same potential do not?'
The answer to this question revolves around both the initial social capital that children obtain from their early childhood and the learning environment which we provide for them. At HundrED we believe that education should help children flourish in life no matter what. When children are faced with a world that is constantly changing, so should their education change too. It's important that we focus on providing educational opportunities to all children around the world; whether they are born into developed or developing country. Education is the best equalizer in all contexts.
Why is innovation in education crucial today?
The best way to improve education is to support innovations and practices with a proven track record and spread those innovations around the world to help as many teachers and students as possible.
For example, the United Nations framework for improving education states that one of the most efficient ways to improve education is by identifying activities that help deliver social and business values. This can be done by piloting new, open source practices and technologies that may improve education. Our work at HundrED is to find the ones which work and make them available for educators across the world.
Three HundrED innovations you love.
I love so many innovations that this is tricky. However, here are some of the innovations I have been looking at more closely as of late:
Firstly, I think the Smart School Alliance is a brilliant innovation as it provides new ways for rural schools to offer high-quality education to their students. Their practices offer solutions to many of the problems that rural schools face all around the world.
Secondly, many studies show that recession and active play is an important part of a child’s learning process. Playground Ideas is excellent as it provides developing areas with pedagogically sound playgrounds at a low-cost. It is a simple, clever concept.
Finally, it's not easy to make a lasting effect through a new practice. The city of Lappeenranta in Finland has achieved this by implementing a leading principle called "a solution-focused mindset" to the whole school district and it has helped all the schools in the city improve learning results through collective actions.
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