A sortment of accomplishments and things to be proud of. Many of them a dabble into a new frontier, where I wanted to learn more. Almost all of my cases are (unfortunately) in Finnish, but I am happy to talk about them and also follow up in translations, if an interest rises!
Luokkaloikkarit (“Class hoppers”): Marketing and Event
In the summer of 2022, I decided to post something near and dear to my heart: Social mobility. In particular about my own experiences moving from working class to middle class, because of my university studies. It got a great response!
I decided to contact researcher Mari Käyhkö (UEF, in Finnish) and writer Katriina Järvinen (wikipedia, in Finnish) for some background information to write about, since I wanted post my own experiences in tandem with research. Mari kindly provided me with some of her articles!
I made a series of posts which you can find on this site with the tag “Luokkaloikkarit” (in Finnish) and started arranging a webinar on the subject – with Mari and Katriina as the main speakers. It all came to fruition on 22.8.2022 when I hosted the first webinar of Luokkaloikkarit!
Dialogue: Self-Directed Education at Helsinki Education Week 2021
With my friend Bruno, @Discussingedu (Twitter), we hosted a panel discussion with 5 people. The idea was to bring together people with different understandings of SDE and have an open discussion about it.
After marketing the event we managed to get 40 people attend and it went well!
Dialogues at Celia
I and my coworker used Erätauko (“TimeOut”) (in Finnish) dialogues to invite Finnish school teachers to talk about Celia’s accessible study materials (1 dialogue) and cooperation with Celia (2 dialogues). I wrote about hosting an TimeOut dialogue in an Erätauko-menetelmä blog post (in Finnish).
Dialogues for new government employees
I wanted to provide a place to discuss experiences and feelings about starting a new job for new government employees. This was something I would have needed when I started my work remotely in 2020.
I hosted a dialogue in the fall of 2021 with people from the State Treasury and Ministry of Finance. We had about 20 people taking part in the dialogue and they felt that the event was much needed.
With that in mind I hosted it a second time. Now it was with a person from HAUS, who was also developing a collective onboarding program for new employees in the government.
How to facilitate well remotely?
I compiled a checklist on How to facilitate an online session well (in Finnish). Please check it out if you want a quick run-down on how I would plan an online event. You can also read about how I facilitated a workshop on Celia’s sustainable development goals How to facilitate a well-structured workshop (in Finnish).
Working at Celia, the Finnish national library for the blind (later to be known as the accessibility library Celia), has taught me many things about accessibility and from many different angles. I have mainly worked with study materials and their challenging structures! Including HTML-based as well as Braille-based publications.
I have published and also done internal developing on ebooks at Celia. I have worked with DTbook and EPUB. I took part in jointly formulating the accessible publishing specifications for Nordic libraries. You can check what the end result was from MTM’s Nordic guidelines for EPUB.
Accessible mathematics and chemistry on web
Molecule diagrams are also not an easy matter. It’s possible to make accessible swell paper or plastic tactile graphics. Problem is that they are slow to acquire and require very specific knowledge. Progressive Access has developed a tool that you can use to make screen reader-accessible molecule diagrams. Check out my implementation of accessible molecule diagram of maltose. I also detailed how to do it yourself on a blog post Accessible molecule diagram on the web.
Accessibility testing and accessible web design
Many publications nowadays are web-based. Especially if you are talking about different publishing houses and their study materials, which are almost primarily hosted on web. At Celia I am a part of a team that’s conducting accesibility testing to see the state of accessible publishing specifically digital study materials.
I have also consulted the Finnish matriculation board in designing accessible exercises. You can check them out from Yle Abitreenit for the visually impaired (in Finnish).
Co-operation with LEGO foundation’s Braille Bricks
Celia and Valteri are partnering with the LEGO foundation to bring Braille learning to children and young people through LEGOs with LEGO Braille Bricks. Check out more on LEGO Braille Bricks.
In 2022, we hosted a webinar to Finnish practitioners on how to use the bricks. I did the presenting of different activities from the LEGO website in co-operation with a consulting teacher from Valteri and with a colleague.
I also participated in their LEGO Braille Bricks live session on science and computing (Youtube) and wrote a blog post on it over LinkedIn about making bar charts with the bricks (LinkedIn).
Accessible mathematics in audiobooks
I have made instructions on how to read mathematical content in audiobooks in Finnish. It was surprising to realize how much of the mathematics teaching is actually transferred to the students purely orally.
I read the book “Project Hail Mary” by Andry Weir. I was blown away. It perfectly captured the feeling of doing science and discovering secrets about our reality in a way that I felt like should be available to everybody.
I decided to make rough game around the idea of researching an unknown element with different instruments. It’s your job to find out about them!
Simulation Lab game pulls inspiration from the book Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. It simulates the experience of researching an unknown element.
Solidabis’s code challenge 2022
Solidabis's code challenge 2022: Design the frontend of an restaurant voting app using a provided API.
Autoilumittarisovellus (Solidabis’s code challenge 2021)
Autoilumittarisovellus was a coding challenge that was also doled out by Solidabis, but in year 2021. I completed it with my friend, Essi Viippola (GitHub). It’s purpose was to estimate how much time and fuel it would take to travel to your summer cottage (or anywhere else!) based on information of 3 cars.
You can check out the completed app at Autoilumittarisovellus (in Finnish at HerokuApp). (Unless Heroku has disabled their free plan.)
Solidabis's code challenge 2021: Design a frontend to an app that you can use to compare 3 different cars and their travel.
Estonia EdTech Hackathon 2021
I was part of an interesting team during the hackathon. We decided to work on Death Education. Unfortunately I had to stop short, but I really enjoyed the ideation process!
During the process we used Miro, the collaboration platform, Crazy 8’s for the ideation and we also got to know a game that was about death.
Solve the SDGs 2022
Our mission was to think of solutions to Peaceful and sustainable Ukraine, SDG 16. Join the effort to help Ukraine by creating innovative interventions to reduce suffering, meet acute needs and repair what the war has destroyed. Challenge by Peace Invaders, Wicked Helsinki & Color Up Peace”.
The problem: There were no good opportunities for ‘knowledge workers’ to volunteer. Many volunteering jobs involve very hands-on, on premises work, which isn’t possible to everybody.
That’s why we came up with Purposeful Volunteering.
It’s about mathching expert volunteers to needs in Ukraine. Our fictional case example was about rebuilding Ukraine cities and getting know-how from the architect that was part of designing Oodi library of Helsinki. The idea was “Build back better”.
Check out our pitch deck at Skills for Peace (Canva).
I have this fixation on combining Finnish presidents with peculiar ideas such as Kekkonen and a gecko (“Gekkonen”). Also the Matrix with Martti Ahtisaari (“Mr. Ahtisaari.”).
Check out some more art from my Instagram under the handle @sami_olavi.