The tales of the “Make it work” – Life after edulab

So, after some time it is about time to look back and list some of the things that I learned during the Edulab process. The learning outcomes of the Lead phase are  here.

As one can see, the learning outcome is versatile all the way from business and strategic thinking to basic working life skills. It is good to see, that it these skills have been developed by myself but also my team.

Basically what we did during the lead phase of the Edulab was that we were given an assignment by OAMK. This assignment was specifically about making a product that would in the end enhance the ability of OAMK to measure the sustainability awareness of the institution. At first my goal in the lab was to do something else than a simple app, but as we proceeded I began to realize that time would be limited to come up with a greater concept. For the first gate we basically prepared the concept of the app and when we (barely) made it through the first gate, we started to consider more carefully about the business logic and all the other things that might arise during the development process. It became pretty clear in a very early stage that the business would not be in “single download” market nor the adverts and that was something I tried to communicate to my team too. However i’m not sure it was taken in by the team and if I got the message right this was not troubling the coaches either in the lab:) So, the business logic was to sell ads and charge the customer, not the end user. That was quite ok, but the way I saw it from a distance was that the coaches in the lab were not really challenging the idea, the features ets. which I thought was a bit odd. But maybe I could not see it from a distance. Working at the University I got used to being challenged by my colleagues to think thing further, and I kind of missed that.


new doc 15_1

Anyhow, concerning the learning outcomes of the lead phase I have a few ideas.

I reckon that after 15 years of experience in working life I have gained some of the needed skills. However I think that I was able to guide the guys in my team too, to seeing that there might be other sources besides school that you can use to gain knowledge and skills. If you are young and haven’t had that much experience, it might be difficult to identify the strengths that you have and see what are the different ways you can help your team. This is something we are going towards anyway in education: showing skills, not credits.

About the project work I have to say that our team most definitely used project working methods and was able to set goals and milestones of our own besides the gates. This is the basis of all project work, setting goals. Also realising that there are goals we are supposed to reach and different ways to solve them is also familiar in projects. We just think of the best way to reach the goal.

We could have been better at showing the competence we had. This I say, because I think our team was not able not able to present the process we had gone through during the lead phase. However the experience made me even more aware of the fact that if you have nothing to show for, people will not be able to see your competence. At the moment, when I talk to students about entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial attitude I tend to emphasize the fact that each and every assignment has to be conducted with quality and everything you do must be done with the same intensity, because you never know, who will be there to see your work. This is of course relates to the core of entrepreneurship in HE since usually the aim is really not to make everybody an entrepreneur but to make people see, that it is first and foremost about oneself to make things work.

Teamwork and working together. Neet I say more? This is something that cuts through all the things in the learning outcomes of the edulab. Today entrepreneurship is not about doing things alone, projects are not conducted alone, nobody actually works in a bubble today. This is why in my work in the future I will always have the stress on the team, not in the individual. Here is why; in the end, in the working life we will be judged based on the performance of the team rather than something that you made. If the end product doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. As a coach, it is mighty essential to recognize the strengths of the individual to be able to achieve the best possible results in each task.

After edulab I and after coordinating one startup program myself I can say with no doubt that I can run a process similar to these. Of course I have studied and worked in an incubator before so nothing was completely new to me. I conclude this final post from Edulab by saying that this might be an old saying, but being a teacher is not what it used to be. About coaching then we have to realize that as teachers we are not supposed to give the right answers but to ask the right question


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Course planning

I have been planning a course now with my colleague at work. The course will be super interesting, though it is not really my specialty. We agreed with my colleague that I will be organizing a workshop and also giving a lecture. My expertise within the content of the course lies in entrepreneurship. Thus my content will deal with entrepreneurship, customer survey and testing the markets. The planning of the course contents always starts with the learning outcomes. So, in another words, the teachers always think about what they want the students to know after the course is over and then start thinking what the best way of teaching it is. Broadly it is defined as knowledge-based learning. It takes into account the knowledge that the students have already and what they will learn during the work. In our institute we apply problem-based learning, which again has something to do with the working methods in the courses. This will add to the understanding of the cultural heritage tourism market and skills in assessing the potential of cultural heritage tourism products and services in the Barents Region. The students will know how to evaluate potential channels and strategies for the commercialization of cultural heritage tourism. These are all learning outcomes of the course.
In the workshop I will most likely apply the Flipped classroom method. There are numerous ways in which the markets can be tested and the customers can be studied. For example interviews, landing pages and competition analyses. The students will be practicing these and also teaching them to the others. I don’t know how the internet connections will be like, so I will better have a backup plan
There will be a lecture I will be giving too. Since the purpose of the course is to familiarize the students with “Cultural Heritage Tourism in the Barents Region” we will be looking into the entrepreneurship in the field of cultural heritage and small business entrepreneurs in tourism. This one I have not planned that much yet, so more about that later.


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Russian excursion

I have now started to officially plan the 1st ever course I will be teaching in cooperation with a fellow teacher from the University of Lapland. I have to say, though,  that I have been working on all sorts of lecturing, educational planning and coaching in projects, where I have worked as a project coordinator or manager. I will elaborate on them later, but now I would like to concentrate on being happy about the opportunity given to me by my organization MTI.

The course I will be attending as a teacher is called ”Cultural Tourism in the Barents” and it is an international course that has been organized for the first time in 2013 in Murmask. It is a one of a kind opportunity for the students in MTI to take part in an intensive course that takes place in Russia. Before it has been organized in Murmansk, but this year the route takes us to Umba region, which is in a rural region. I could not be more excited, since I have been in Russia both as a student and on work-related trips.

We had a meeting with my co-teacher JC, who is a very innovative university teacher at the University of Lapland, and we went through the learning outcome of the course and decided, which part each of us would handle during the course planning and participating. This is not the easiest course I could have taken, since cultural heritage tourism is not really my specialty. It is very interesting that I am still able to contribute to the contents of the course. Our plan is that I will be taking care of the group work in the course as my colleague will be in charge of the individual assignment. There will be both, international students from Finland and Russian students, so it will be double interesting! I will tell a bit more, when we will proceed with the planning! First we have some visa issues to take care of. In the meanwhile, here are some photos of my first trip to Russia.

Take care now!



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Reflections from Edulab Gate2

Having taken part in Edulab and taken a few days after the gate event in Oulu, it might be time to do some reflections. As I mentioned a couple of times, we had our own startup program running in Rovaniemi at the same time, which was a bit exhausting. Though I had my colleagues to share my work load I was coordinating the pilot so it has been quite a year so far! Now that I come to think about it, it would be interesting to compare the work I did back here f2f with the students to the work I did with my SusTeam group in Edulab.

I have to say that working in a team partly guiding them and partly taing part in the development work and also getting to know the problem and the theme is really A LOT of work. That is why  I didnt even think about reflecting, posting or anything else. Taking part in eduLab from more than 200 kilometes awy was quite enought. It was way more challenging than the work we did in the fall.

Starting the whole Edulab process was actually a bit messy. I now see that the roles should have been defined way better from the beginning with my team. Also we should have organized the working methods a bit differently and I should have realized how far we had come with the distance learning methods and virtual working during the fall. I sincerely think that the outcome would have been different if the groups had been formed inside AMOK group. This is not to say that I had not enjoyed working with my team, but the work would have been more organized I suppose.

Here you can find the learning task that we were to do to show our understanding about studio model/similar models. Here is my previous post about ideas rolling.

And here is my poster:)

Keep it cool!

What on earth is a lab model-

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How Do Ideas Roll?

Whoa, I have been majorly busy!! Our Startup Lapland -program in Rovaniemi is nearing it’s end. The work continues though, and so does the Edulab! That has really been enough to fill my evenings and weekends. I will reflect the work and process more later but just wanted to share a pic I drew to my colleague, who wanted a picture of the process we are in the middle of:)



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Working in EduLab

It has bee a while since I wrote here and I have to admit that if it wasn’t for Janne’s reminder, which came in the form of an email, I would not have written anything at all:D My work has kept me pretty much occopied at all times possible and develping the idea with my team for Edulab is by no means easy. If you take part in the team’s work remotly or part time.

My team is great, they seem to be working alot and are enthusiastic. Because I am involved in the project only part time and the others are in the process full time, I often feel more or less like i am not doing enough or I have missed alot of information because of the limited time and long distances. We passed Gate1 but I am not sure I had anything to do with the result:)

Also I feel like I am fixed with the working process that we have developed here in Rovaniemi and I am trying to puch my own viewpoints and methods to a process, which is not similar to ours. I dont know if my team is really actually used to working in distant groups and if the process is going as it should. I have enjoyed the challenge though, even more than I thought that I would, since I was a bit disappointed for not being able to develop my own ideas during the lab-phase. ’


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Starting EduLab – Confusing!

Last week we visited Edulab in Oulu. I say visited, because we still continue to work remotely, at least some of us. I was a great joy to meet all the people from AMOK and I was very surprised how everybody felt like old friends even though we hadn’t met since the summer. Compared to the unfamiliar faces of the other students, who were great btw, I felt like family with the students from AMOK.

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Working methods and tools are not anything that I hadn’t been through before or even organized myself, but I have to admit that being a student in such an environment can be confusing. Even more so for us AMOK people, because we were not prepared to be in the lab full time and therefore we were offered several different options. In my opinion, this could have been a clearer structure, but I can see that it was put together on demand.

Also I thought that the teaming up was very efficient but the process was not very open and I still don’t know why I am with the team (the team is great too) and why was the idea given to us. Our idea has to do with sustainable development in an educational institution. I am quite interested in the topic, so I don’t mind, but anyway it would have been nice to know the reasons behind the decisions. My own effort for the teams work is maybe less than the other team members. At least in hours. I will be working mostly in the evenings and in the weekends. I believe that our group has nice combination of competences, but also I think that the Gate 1 will be very challenging in many ways.


Our own program started in Lapland also last week. Our process is somewhat similar, but in our program the people in the teams are also involved in the teaming process, so they have their say in the matter as wellJ Also we are running a pre-incubator program so the ideas are very early stage and ours is shorter so they will most likely be as developed as the ones in Oulu, where people might work on the ideas for the spring.

I am very much anticipating the Gate1, but all together I feel very torn, because I cannot participate the development process as much as the others, but that is something I just have to live with.


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