Oulu uses 5G and aug­ment­ed real­i­ty to enrich learn­ing at school

DNA, Business­Oulu, the Edu­ca­tion­al ja Cul­tur­al Ser­vices, City of Oulu, Oulun Digi, Hiukkavaara school and Playsign will togeth­er imple­ment a 5G pilot at Hiukkavaara school in Oulu. The pilot is part of the “Sus­tain­able Future” theme of phe­nom­e­non-based learn­ing and it aims to deep­en learn­ing by enrich­ing it through means enabled by new tech­nolo­gies.

Aug­ment­ed real­i­ty and 5G con­nec­tions are used to intro­duce the stu­dents of Hiukkavaara school with nat­ur­al phe­nom­e­na which, before the 5G era, you could main­ly explore only through text­books.  

“Stu­dents at Hiukkavaara school will study the Sus­tain­able Future phe­nom­e­non dur­ing the rest of this spring. Each grade has its own cur­ricu­lum-appro­pri­ate empha­sis. In the 5G pilot, we use aug­ment­ed real­i­ty to illus­trate to stu­dents the var­i­ous aspects of the phe­nom­e­non, such as the water cycle and for­est ecosys­tems,” says Anne Moila­nen, Prin­ci­pal of Hiukkavaara school.

Par­al­lel world revealed for explo­rations

Aug­ment­ed real­i­ty is brought to the flex­i­ble learn­ing envi­ron­ment at the school, which is where stu­dents nor­mal­ly oper­ate. A par­al­lel world will be built in the learn­ing envi­ron­ment, with its land­scapes select­ed direct­ly from the cur­ricu­lum. 5G tablets and high-speed 5G con­nec­tions allow stu­dents to explore that world.

“Aug­ment­ed real­i­ty is a flex­i­ble tech­nol­o­gy that allows us to intro­duce var­i­ous phe­nom­e­na so that they deep­en learn­ing in a func­tion­al man­ner. The aim is to increase the stu­dents’ moti­va­tion for the things that are taught and to have tech­nol­o­gy sup­port learn­ing in a new way,” Moila­nen explains.

“The phe­nom­e­non-based learn­ing imple­ment­ed in Hiukkavaara is a great exam­ple of using STEAM ped­a­gogy in teach­ing. STEAM schools are also active­ly imple­ment­ing co-devel­op­ment, where schools and com­pa­nies work togeth­er to devel­op new inno­va­tions. The pilot imple­ment­ed with DNA and Playsign will ben­e­fit all par­ties involved in the devel­op­ment work,” says Maik­ki Man­ni­nen, ICT devel­op­er teacher at the City of Oulu.

5G boost­ing the city’s oper­a­tions

The pilot will be imple­ment­ed dur­ing April and May. The City of Oulu also wants to utilise the pos­si­bil­i­ties of 5G tech­nol­o­gy more wide­ly, with a sim­i­lar pilot planned for Oulu’s main library in ear­ly autumn.

“5G cre­ates busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties for new indus­tries as part of oth­er dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion devel­op­ment,” says Heik­ki Huh­mo, Liai­son Man­ag­er at Business­Oulu. Business­Oulu acts as a facil­i­ta­tor of co-devel­op­ment in the city and wants to offer com­pa­nies pilot­ing and exper­i­men­ta­tion oppor­tu­ni­ties in gen­uine envi­ron­ments togeth­er with part­ners.  

Radio tech­nolo­gies of the future play an impor­tant role in enhanc­ing, enrich­ing and enabling the City of Oulu’s own oper­a­tions. For uni­ver­si­ties and research insti­tutes in Oulu, 5G pro­vides plen­ty of things to explore and think about – not only because of tech­nol­o­gy, but also because of its inter­dis­ci­pli­nary effects.

“The great­est added val­ue of 5G stems from busi­ness appli­ca­tions that utilise 5G’s high capac­i­ty and low lag times in mobile, real-time use. The Hiukkavaara pilot has been an inter­est­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty for DNA to devel­op new 5G-enabled oper­at­ing mod­els togeth­er with an inno­v­a­tive cus­tomer and part­ners,” says Tuuk­ka Toivo­nen, Vice Pres­i­dent, Busi­ness Man­age­ment & Strat­e­gy, Cor­po­rate Busi­ness at DNA.

DNA’s 5G net­work now cov­ers more than two mil­lion peo­ple in Fin­land in 86 towns. DNA imple­ment­ed the 5G indoor cov­er­age at Hiukkavaara school at 3.5 GHz fre­quen­cy and pro­vid­ed the tablets with 5G con­nec­tions for stu­dents to use.

The City of Oulu has an active “STEAM in Oulu” net­work, which cov­ers more than 30 com­pre­hen­sive schools. STEAM stands for Sci­ence, Tech­nol­o­gy, Engi­neer­ing, Art and Math. In teach­ing, STEAM means com­bin­ing sub­ject groups and tech­nol­o­gy into exten­sive learn­ing mod­ules. Stu­dents are involved in their cre­ation, with coop­er­a­tion between teach­ers play­ing an impor­tant role.

Fur­ther infor­ma­tion for the media:

Heik­ki Huh­mo, Liai­son Man­ag­er, Busi­ness Oulu, +358 (0)50 360 5940, heikki.huhmo@businessoulu.com

Tuuk­ka Toivo­nen, Vice Pres­i­dent, DNA Plc, tel. +358 (0)44 044 3333, tuukka.toivonen@dna.fi

Anne Moila­nen, Prin­ci­pal, Hiukkavaara school, tel. +358 (0)40 838 2828, anne.j.moilanen@ouka.fi

Maik­ki Man­ni­nen, ICT devel­op­er teacher, City of Oulu, tel.+358 (0)40 614 9138, maikki.manninen@ouka.fi

Playsign spe­cialis­es in using game design and tech­nolo­gies to illus­trate phe­nom­e­na and data relat­ed to the real world. The com­pa­ny has pre­vi­ous­ly pro­duc­tised a pub­lish­ing plat­form for par­tic­i­pa­to­ry urban plan­ning and data visu­al­i­sa­tions of the built envi­ron­ment, for exam­ple, for com­mu­ni­cat­ing the ener­gy con­sump­tion of build­ings and indoor air qual­i­ty to school­child­ren. In this exper­i­ment, Playsign fur­ther devel­ops the soft­ware plat­form to sup­port the illus­trat­ing of the ener­gy and resource cycles of both nat­ur­al and tech­ni­cal sys­tems by com­bin­ing aug­ment­ed real­i­ty and the school’s phys­i­cal premis­es.