PaikkaOppi is an Internet-based learning environment for GIS (Geographical Information System) studies aimed primarily at upper secondary school.
PaikkaOppi consists of
- an inter-disciplinary learning environment, which is easily and equally adoptable in any school in Finland
- a set of practical pedagogical models of integrative curriculum, which provide teaching ideas for studies in classrooms and the surroundings with mobile devices
PaikkaOppi Plus and PaikkaOppi Plus2 projects (2014-2017) concentrate on producing easy-to-use pedagogical models (ideas for teaching) for several levels of education starting from primary school and reaching up to high school. The models support the idea of an integrated curriculum.
Target groups are class teachers and subject teachers in Finnish primary schools and high schools.
Pedagogical models are disseminated through networks of coordinative organisation and their partners as well as online, in educational seminars and events and in workshops for teachers. The project also has a website, gathering all pedagogical ideas in a form of texts, images and videos. The PaikkaOppi blog informs the target group of new materials.
The coordinating organisation is the Centre for ICT in Learning, City of Turku, in association with the City of Kaarina and the Department of Geography and Geology, University of Turku. PaikkaOppi is funded by the Finnish National Board of Education.
An article in the book “Innovative Learning Geography in Europe: New Challenges for the 21st Century” (edited by Miguel González & K. Donert, 2014). The name of the article is “PaikkaOppi: A Web Based Learning Environment for Finnish Schools”. The authors are representatives of educational administration and scientists: Houtsonen, Lea, Sanna Mäki, Juha Riihelä, Tuuli Toivonen & Jukka Tulivuori.
An article “Designing and Implementing an Online GIS Tool for Schools: The Finnish Case of the PaikkaOppi Project” in Journal of Geography. The article is published online: 27 Jun 2014. The authors are academics: Juha Riihelä & Sanna Mäki.
The learning environment consists of a Web-based GIS application that can be used to view and produce GI datasets. The website also provides a set of ready-made courses, assignment packages and project frameworks.
The use of geographical information and geomedia is an essential part of the PaikkaOppi teaching models.
They help teachers to instruct students in the fundamentals of GIS technology, and they also give teaching ideas on how to apply GIS in solving problems and producing new information. The models are seen through different disciplines to highlight the various possibilities in applying GIS from everyday life (civics) to research.
As a main result of the latest two projects (2014-2017) the use of the PaikkaOppi learning environment with its practical pedagogical models and teaching materials has increased in schools nationwide and PaikkaOppi is an essential part of e-learning materials in Finnish schools. Teachers from primary school to high school utilise geographical information in teaching in many subjects and using it is easy.