Promoting Indo-Finnish collaborations in Algorithmic Literacy and Educational Spaces

Faculty members from Aalto University visited several research sites across India in January 2023.
Workshop in India with participants from Aalto University and Indian institutions, January 2023.
Workshop in India with participants from Aalto University and Indian institutions, January 2023.

The Aalto faculty members visited several research sites across India, looking at ways of further engagement with Indian and local partners and organizations. The faculty members visited institutions such as IISC (Indian Institute of Science), NID (National Institute of Design) Ahmedabad and Bangalore and noted the high quality of design education, and the ability of students to systematically analyse and articulate the problems of modern digital platforms.  

In addition, the Aalto faculty members conducted several workshops with children across Mumbai, Ahmedabad, and Bangalore. The workshops focused on participatory learning methods with children to critically engage them with topics related to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and algorithms such as misinformation, algorithmic bias, and digital citizenship. 

According to researcher Uttishta Varanasi, “there is immense potential in the existing work in India, especially in the entrepreneurial start-ups in the edtech (educational technology) sector. Local start-ups such as STEMpedia, Coding and More, and Innovation Story are innovating in finding ways to engage children of different age groups with AI and technology. It was inspiring to see methods that, while rooted in the local context, could make a difference on a global scale.” 

During the visits, all parties acknowledged the immense potential for collaboration between Indian and Finnish researchers to improve pedagogy for critical thinking, algorithmic literacy, and building new educational spaces. The Finnish and Indian parties showed great interest and understanding in how sharing research and expertise across the two countries could be formalized through different forms of partnerships and consortiums. Looking at further Indo-Finnish collaboration, both parties are planning to create these learning spaces where Indian and Finnish capabilities can be utilized to change how children learn and engage with technology.  

The visit to India was part of the pilot project titled Promoting Critical, Playful and Inclusive Algorithmic Literacy and Digital Citizenship among Young Learners. The project was a collaboration between Aalto University, and several institutes and associations across India, including IISC (Indian Institute of Science), ARTPARK, STEMpedia, Coding and More, and Innovation Story. For more information about the project and collaboration, contact project researcher [email protected] 

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