PaikkaOppi - webbased learning environment for GIS studies
- from a learning environment project
to a digital tool supporting new pedagogy
in national education
More information of PaikkaOppi -map application
from technical point of view:
• Houtsonen Lea, Sanna Mäki, Juha Riihelä, Tuuli Toivonen & Jukka
Tulivuori: “PaikkaOppi: A Web Based Learning Environment for Finnish
Schools”. In: Innovative Learning Geography in Europe: New Challenges
for the 21st Century, edited by Miguel González & K. Donert, 2014.
• Juha Riihelä & Sanna Mäki: “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.
Download this presentation: www.paikkaoppi.fi
• Financed by The Finnish National Board of Education.
• The service has been used in education of biology and geography in Finnish high
schools throughout the 2000s.
• Status and aims of current projects:
• the usage of PaikkaOppi has increased in schools nationwide making PaikkaOppi an essential part of
e-learning materials in Finnish schools at all levels.
• develop pedagogical materials which support the idea of an integrated curriculum alongside. The
emphasis is on student-centered and problem-based or project-learning.
Vision for the future: the service could be developed as a tool for science education,
inspiring creativity and innovation in students. New research information and open data
will be utilized in learning.
Projects: PaikkaOppi Plus and Plus2
• The Finnish National Board of Education
• Universities of Turku and Helsinki
• Arbonaut Ltd
• National Land Survey of Finland, Finnish Geospatial Research
Institute, Lounaispaikka, Arbonaut Oy
• Education arranged cities: Turku, Kaarina and Joensuu
• The coordination is now in the Centre for ICT in Learning, City of
Developed in co-operation
of several actors in the 2000s
• Datasets, pedagogical tools and
learnign materials are free for
• All Finnish schools have equal
possibilities to use them.
• Schools don’t need to invest in
separate GIS-programs and
Equality of education
PaikkaOppi as a tool for integrative studies
• Already according Finnish core curriculum 2004, under education legislation, the teaching of GIS
were provided in all upper secondary schools in connection with the optional specialized course
entitled “Regional Studies”. It also introduced core-curricular themes such as active learning,
technology and society, active citizenship and media skills, which were able to connect to GIS
Finnish core curriculum has been revised and put into practice in August 2016
• Core curriculum reform 2016 opened opportunities to examine the state and the content of GIS
education in Finnish schools, while integrative learning is an essential part of learning in primary
• For that purpose PaikkaOppi is now provided as a tool for integrated curriculum or integrative
learning for teacher in various subjects and for class teachers.
Integrated curriculum will help students to perceive things as entities, and to see things learned in
different subjects connect to each other and the various phenomena of life.
Finnish innovation PaikkaOppi
is an open web-based
learning environment of GIS
It consists of:
1. a web-based GIS
application that can be
used to view and produce
2. a set of ready-made
exercises and project
Base map and terrain models of Finland.
PaikkaOppi offers a diverse selection of map
data presentation including:
• Orto-, aerial and satellite photos
• Hydrology (water systems)
• Geology and topography
• Land use and traffic
• Environmental research
• Nature protection areas
• Community structure and planning
• Cultural, environmental and historical maps
• Geographical grid systems
• Local names and administrative maps
Various map themes in
the PaikkaOppi map
For exercising the
usage of PaikkaOppi
For example map reading,
orientation, navigation and
easy exercises for producing
own spatial data.
Short GI-exercises for
in the beginning or in
the end of lesson or
Outdoor learning and
Production of students
own spatial data in a field.
Classroom projects are
mini research projects.
Includes analysing spatial data,
reflecting and evaluating
production own spatial
for various school subjects
and for integrated curriculum
ABC of GIS Tiny tasks Mini research projects Act out of doors
of symmetrics in
nature of the city are
positioned on the
map. l Geography and home economics. Local
food project. Where does the food
coming from? Dinner is prepared from
local ingredients. Information is
collected of local farmers’ food
production practices and the effects
they have on humans, animals and
Local history. Traditional knowledge is
collected as a text, audio or video format. For
example, intervewing people that have lived
in an area for a long time. Videos are
presented in a map and then shared with
residents of an area..
studies. Mobile herbarium.
Images and descritions of
plants on the map.
Chemistry and geography.
Study of water systems.
Samples from various waters
are compared and results are
presented on the map.
What differentiates the
samples from one another?
Mathematics and geography:
estimation of geometric shapes
in a vicinity. Create and calculate
routes, their length and areas on
Students find many kind of information from their surroundings, which can be presented in a map format
New pedagogical models
of integrated curriculum
Finnish, english, and german languages and geography
are integrated. Students present with images and texts
or videoclips their favourite places in many languages.
Map presentation is shared with other classes in
Finland as a class trip tip .
The development and testing of the model:
Class teachers Sirkku Alin and
Puolala school, 4th class, Turku
Class trip -maps
Study of winter plants
Excercise in a primary education. It integrates biology,
geography, physical training and visual arts.
Students studies various winter plants and animals
using them in winter as a nourishment. Students
collect them, take pictures and save images on a map.
They have also sporty ”food chain” –games and they
make drawings of winter plants.
Development of the model:
Class teacher Maritta Tammio
School Piispanlähde 2nd class, Kaarina
Integrated research of chemistry and geography.
Analysis of water samples taken from lakes, rivers, sea.
pH of the water, opacity, conductivity of electricity and
oxygen saturation are analysed. Results are visualised on
the PaikkaOppi map application.
Results are discussed together, for example is water
drinkable? Are people able to swim or fish in it?
Arguments for own opinions are given: why or why not?
Development of the model:
Teachers of biology and geography: Ari Kalske, Minna
Hämäläinen, Luostarinvuori School 9th class, Turku and
MobiLuma –project from the University of Turku
Project coordinator Virpi Hirvensalo
City of Turku, Centre for ICT in Learning
Senior lecturer Sanna Mäki
Department of Geography and Geology, University of Turku