Our final day together began with a keynote speech by Raija Hämäläinen from Jyväskylä University, Finland. Her presentation encompassed literacy in technology rich environments (TRE). Specifically, she has been focusing on what the push toward digitization and technology means for those working within higher education. The aim of her research is to gain understanding as to the skill level of Europe’s higher education adult teachers, specifically focusing on technologically rich environments (TRE). Grounding challenges include monitoring performance in literacy development. In her research, she collected data from 11 EU countries. Respondents included educators with at least a bachelor level education who are teaching within higher education. A critical finding uncovered was that the TRE skills of people working within higher education were lower than any other field. The cause seems to be that education workers have fewer opportunities to enhance their TRE skills. This critical finding could be more significant than we realize if we think about reading and apply the results. For example, if higher education faculty had the lowest literacy in reading when they are responsible in preparing the next generation, we would be worried. Hämäläinen asks, “why then are we not worried as much about this finding?” Because continued amounts of technology fill our world, this issue of TRE competence is a significant factor for a nation keep up with the times. Her investigation uncovered a golden nugget as to the reason Finland scored high in TRE skills compared to the other 10 EU countries. It seems that the secret to TRE literacy and problem solving is found in the fabric of Finnish societies love of learning. In the end, it was uncovered that it is learning in everyday life that made more of a difference over that of formal education alone. This seems to follow previous studies that looked at Finland’s education system to try and identify factors contributing to their sustained excellence in education over decades.
Later in the day, we had oral presentations from experts at home and abroad. Christa Tigerstedt, presented her innovative working life blogs and podcasts as a communication tool during work placement learning. In addition, there were poster presentations by members of our faculty, Anu Grönlund and Maria Grotell that depicted the role of inter-professional learning and simulation pedagogy as an avenue toward preparing future home care nursing for future demands in working life. Anne Kokko and Marina Arell-Sundberg continued the theme of simulation with their presentation of how communication and collaboration among occupational and physical therapy students can be honed.
This was the first opportunity Arcada, University of Applied Sciences has hosted an event such as this and the entire experience seemed to energize the house. It was heart-warming to see how we all pulled together to welcome our guests and demonstrate our gratitude for their visit. Sharing together in this way was a wonderful way to end the academic year.