The creation and coding project Mehackit is one of the education technologies (edTech) in the initiative Koulu.me. In Mehackit coding can also be taught through visual arts. Finnish koulu.me is an initiative by a woman (and mother) managing an innovation agency and worried about her children's learning in the forced home-schooling during the COVID-pandemic.
Koulu is the Finnish word for school. In the current pandemic world, the initiative koulu.me has gathered a number of educational programmes for schools, which risk lacking remote teaching materials.
The initiative is started by a Finnish group of developers of pedagogical technology. It has received attention outside of Finland too. Koulu.me has caught the attention of teachers in Azerbaijan, Mongolia, and South Africa among other countries. Places where this pedagogical learning programme has been needed.
Open Source licensed digital courses
Koulu.me lists numerous educational programmes on the website. They are either free by default or in a limited period during the pandemic.
One of these projects is the Finnish Open Source software project Mehackit Atelier.
Mehackit was already known in several countries prior to the koulu-initiative. This educational project aims at democratizing the access to technology by making young people creators and co-creators rather than simply consumers of technology. The English courses include Art Programming, Electronics and Programming, and Music Programming. Mehackit also have Finnish courses.
Coding visual arts
Programming doesn’t have to equal the science, technology, and mathematics. Mehackit works by a different paradigm where art and music can be access points. The basic art and coding course teaches the students to program visual components and animations.
The courses are primarily for students in secondary school. Target group for the art course is the age 13-19 and for beginners in coding. With the programme “Let Me Hack It”, Mehackit Altelier offers courses for educators to support them in giving students to full experience of the courses.
A blog entre on the Mehackit website has this sub headline: ‘Programming extends our creativity’. The following paragraph says: ‘Computers don’t necessarily have to replace old practices, instead they can show us our analog world in a new light.’ An example used on the blog is interactive visual art.
Edtech and worries about remote teaching
While the Open Source project has some years behind it, the koulu.me initiative is a product of the COVID-crisis, and it is subsequently boosting Mehackit even further. Behind the initiative stands Laura Koponen. She is manager of the innovation agency Spinverse.
Koponen is also a mother worried about her children’s education. She took the first steps to koulu.me in order to help any teacher who is struggling with tools of remote education right now.
- Mehackit is a part of the Finnish Kuolu.me invitative and teaching secondary school students coding.
- Coding in Mehackit doesn't have to be connected to STEM-education, but can be taught through visual art.
- Mehackit has some free courses and others have a free trial period during the current pandemic.