Contact with Kinoni High School

Continuous efforts paid off yesterday, and we finally managed to get in touch by skype with Kinoni High School in Uganda. The initial contact was scheduled to take place at 11.30 am. After consecutive futile attempts students and teachers in Seinäjoen lukio and Turun suomalaisen yhteiskoulun lukio decided to call it a day and try the contact later next autumn. However, Kinoni High School managed to get a connection to the net at 1.30 pm and there was one person at the computer at that time and the contact was made.

The school principal and six of her students had travelled to a nearby town (15 kilometres away from Kinoni school) to find a network connection and after several hours of trying they finally managed to find a spot and presto. The contact was established.

The contact was of great importance to the students and all Kinoni school since the studetns were dressed up in their Sunday best and were so eagerly looking forward to getting in touch with our students here in Finland. I must confess I felt a bit guilty about being the only one at the other end of the line and witnessing the gratitude, preparation and eagerness that was packed in the online meeting. My approach to the meeting was casual and theirs contained hours of preparation and beaming excitement.

Most of the students that I met were aged eighteen and were eager to learn more about computers and computing. They also had high hopes of getting a better education than what they parents had ever had. They were truly motivated. I felt convinced that computers is what they need and contact with our students. I was also warmly invited to visit their schools and they convinced me that are expecting a visit from us at some stage.

We agreed wtih the school principal to have another go at an online meeting in August with our students. At that meeting we need to seriously discuss what the needs of Kinoni school are and how we can assist them with computerizing their school. That may not be a simple operation after all. Another thing that we need to take care of is to get our students in touch with Kinoni school students. Believe me they are more than ready for that.

Teachers, principals and students met in April

The FinAl-project participants met their Finnish and Canadian colleagues in different parts of Finland first and then had a mutual meeting in Kulttuurikeskus Sofia in Helsinki. IMG_1609 IMG_1611 IMG_1613 IMG_1621 IMG_1624 IMG_1616 IMG_1637Here are some shots taken in a navigation challenge, drama exercises and a general meeting where next year’s programme was discussed.

Café goes philosophical in TSYK

Turun suomalaisen yhteiskoulun lukio started the Philosopher Café based on the model of the Global Cafe in Jasper Place High School and the plans of establisihing a similar type of café. The café in Turku is run by students who get occasional helping hand from their teachers. Both studetns and teachers take part in discussion as equals.

Here’s the idea in all its simplicity

What? Open philosophical discussion based on the topics students have come up with aiming at understanding.
Why? Understanding is social. ”Know who you are!” Sorkates. The quality of life will improve.
When? Fridays at 1-3 pm.
Where? In the library.
How?  Open to everybody
- discussion aims at reaching the best possible understanding for everybody
- everybody holds equal rights to speak their mind: nobody should talk over anyone
- unbiased discussion
- you may not take the floor consecutively
- you should present an argument, a definition or thought pattern when you take the floor

The first laptop arrived at Kinoni school

KinoniHighSchool medium Construction medium Laptopreceived medium

Kinoni High School received their laptop and internect connection donated by McNally high school yesterday.  Headmistress Imerida is very grateful for the laptop.  Witnessing someone gaining access to the whole wide world and seeing things never seen before and knowing there are people to help the school and its students is beautiful to witness.

Seinäjoen lukio and Turun suomalaisen yhteiskolun lukio from Finland tried skyping with Kinoni school early May with meagre success although it was later witnessed that the connection actually worked.The Finns gave up after watiting for the connection to open up for an hour or so. The network was down in Uganda at that time.

Imerida, the principal, is a very determined woman, and when the connection wouldn’t work at the school, she had the equipment transported around to different locations trying to make it work.  At last the whole crowd returning to Mbarara, confirmation was received that the network was the problem.  Things got working at sometime between 4 and 4:30, but it was too late by then.

Today is a holiday in Uganda so there is no school for the studenst at Kinoni High School for the rest of this week.  We will continue to work with Imerida through Skype and will schedule another time to try this again very soon. Here’s a photo of headmistress Imerida receiving the laptop, a picture of Kinoni High School grounds, and a picture of a building they are currently constructing.  This school supports more then 700 students and they are lacking in space for all of them.  The building they are constructing will be 5 stories tall and will house a computer lab.  The students here are very interested in computers and looking forward to skyping with you.

The next skype-connection will take place later this month.

Newsfeed from FinAl Art Collaboration site

Hello everyone,

I hope you are all doing well. For you that are new to the FinAl Art Collaboration site: Welcome!

We are enjoying our Finnish visitors to Canada, and have returned from some successful days in Jasper thinking about how to make education better. Our Finnish friends will only be with us until Monday, at which point they will be heading back home. We will miss our new friends and look forward to seeing them in April in Helsinki!

I have just uploaded 85 images from the Jasper Place pARTicipate book into the album called ”FinAl Sketchbook Project”. Please have a look at the work we have collected so far, especially if you are new to the project and wondering what it is all about. It has been enlightening for me to read what my students and co-workers say about what makes a great school. I am so impressed by how thoughtful, articulate and talented our students are! I will be presenting on the Finnish-Alberta partnership in early March at the National Art Education Association in Fort Worth, Texas, and I would love to share some of the work happening in other schools. If possible, could you please post any of the images or writing you have from your books? I will also be sharing the invite link with teachers from the conference, and I hope to see our community grow.

If you are having trouble finding the site or logging in, please use this link to reconnect (you can resend your password to your email if you have forgotten it): . I have included the pARTicipate questions for the sketchbooks below in case you have lost it.

If you have any other questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at my email:

Looking forward to seeing our ideas grow!

Britt Petracek

Visit FinAl Art Collaboration at:

To control which emails you receive on FinAl Art Collaboration, click here

Plays written and performed by students in Seinajoen lukio and Grande Prairie Composite High School

Students rewrote cooperatively a play titled ’Oprah Made Me Do It’. one half of each paly was written in Canada and the remaining half in Finland. They are no stiff-upper liff productions so read, listen and enjoy. You’ll find some of the plays written, and some of them performed as mp3-documents.

käsikirjoitus, play completed
One simple deal completed
Oprah made me do it, play, completed
Paige and Keesha completed

Pharmacy, play, completed
the script videostore completed
Aleksi, Sinikka, play complete
Annaliese, play, completed
Hesburger, play completed
Jordan and Chris Finnish Play completed

jukka santtu
lauren and sanna part one
Pharmacy thingy Anna and Tiia
sanna and lauren part two

Teacher and students meeting in February, 2013

21 Finnish students and 8 teachers will meet their Canadian colleagues in Edmonton and Jasper in February to work on the projects adn to learn to know each other. The expectations are high, and the programme for the 9-day meeting looks perfect. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the flight arrangements won’t cause extra difficulties.

Updates from McNally High School

Robert Gardner: We’re going to do a trial run for the project. Renee tells me that a Board member will be traveling to Uganda in March, so we will ship a laptop (and other devices like the “hot stick” satellite linking equipment) with that person to take to Kinoni high school. A measure of success will be if students in Uganda can send e-mail or video to the Final school partners. If that works then we will continue with the larger project to ship more laptops and then begin engaging in real dialogue between student on three continents. The McNally student Kinoni Club will continue their fundraising efforts, although right now they comfortably have enough money for this initial test.