Fun Academy had a busy year tackling our goal of making Fun Learning available for every child on the planet. Together with our investors, partners, ambassadors and trainers we strived to empower educators around the world. We supported them to harness core life skills and nurture a passion for learning among students from the very start. All in all it was a year packed with little victories, major breakthroughs, curve-balls and changes. Here are some of the key moments that shaped our Fun Learning journey in 2017.
Expanded the Fun Academy Kindergarten global network – Hello, Virginia and Maryland!
We kicked off the year by expanding the Fun Academy Kindergarten global network. It was through partnering up with two top rated childcare centers in the United States, Countryside Children’s Academy, Virginia and Kids Farm Children’s Academy, Maryland. Since March 2017, it has supported children in these kindergartens to embrace the innovative Fun Learning approach and access to the most up-to-date learning methodologies. Furthermore, it also empowers the teaching staff and management through continuous professional development. Both kindergartens are currently bringing STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) into their classrooms through a uniquely tailored curriculum. This creates fun and stimulating environments for children which facilitates optimal learning and development.
Collaborative learning at an international level – Finland meets Singapore
In 2017, we reached another milestone in taking the Fun Learning concept and collaborative learning to the world. This was achieved together with Pilke Oivallus, one of our partners and a leading providers of early childhood education in Finland. Last spring, students at Pilke initiated a skype collaboration with a peer Fun Academy partner kindergarten in Singapore. The aim was to share their Fun Learning experiences with each other. Since then every month children from both kindergartens have been exploring, creating and learning together. More importantly, they are successfully preparing for the interconnected and culturally dynamic tomorrow.
Turned up the heat of the summer with a ‘Fun Learning Conference’
In the summer the ‘Fun Learning Conference’ was organized for educators committed to taking early education to the next level. Between 15 – 20 June, the conference drew over 30 early-years professionals from China, Spain, Brazil, UK, US, UAE and India. They learned and shared their experiences and best practices of global education. Furthermore, the conference included expert led workshops, seminars and training sessions held at Espoo, Vantaa and the University of Helsinki. They enabled participants to co-design a better future for their students. Fun Academy provided the participants 21st century educator tools and online community support through the months following the conference. They now form a community of active participants who are discovering and sharing the power of Fun Learning together.
Our team grew bigger ( and ‘cooler’ as the folks at Alicante are rumored to claim)
In July 2017, Fun Academy established a production team in Alicante. The team includes a group of truly ingenious developers, producers, game artists and designers. These tech-heads have been producing innovative Fun Learning software and content. Moreover, we believe they will lead the global ed-tech revolution of the century.
Launched the ‘Future Astronaut Program’ and ‘Fun Learning Characters’
Last Autumn we successfully launched the Future Astronaut Program. It supports teachers to promote life skills as well as healthy lifestyles and meaningful use of technology among little children. The program nurtures the passion for learning from the very start enabling children to become whatever they want in life, even an astronaut. Furthermore, we made it available for free at FunLearning.com for anyone interested in shaping the future of early education.
In October 2017 we also introduced Tuka, Waaba, Maco and Soca, four Fun Learning characters. They have embarked a lifelong learning journey, and wants us all to come along. These quirky yet lovable characters emphasize the importance of curiosity, diversity and learning through mistakes. More importantly they aim to harness life skills, global competence and the joy of learning among little children.
Strengthened our operations in China
Fun Academy also strengthened its operations in China last Autumn. Our CEO Sanna Lukander and Co-Founder Peter Vesterbacka participated in Finnish Minister of Education Sanni Grahn-Laasonen’s delegation program in Beijing, where they established a joint venture company in China. The goal is to allow a broader offering of our innovative early years education concept. We also aim to advance teaching methods in the region.
Organized a pop-up kindergarten parallel to Slush17
Finally, we ended the year 2017 with a bang by organizing a pop-up kindergarten parallel to Slush17. Slush is currently the most explosive startup-collaboration event in the world. Through the pop-up kindergarten we got the opportunity to showcase our Future Astronauts program. Moreover, we engaged with educators, media and investors from around the world both in person and through social media. Fun Academy also took part in XcitED, a key Slush partner event. We joined 1000 EdTech-heads to share our passion of shaping the future of education.
Our plans for the future
As we step into 2018, we have already started implementing our plans for the new year. Fun Academy is busy developing innovative learning solutions, exploring new opportunities and growing as a company. We hope to launch more thematic programs similar to the Future Astronauts program. They will focus on entrepreneurship and other themes crucial to succeeding in the world today. We also hope to set up Vantaa’s early years Living Lab with the City of Vantaa and our partner in technology Lenovo. Together, we will be pioneer a dynamic learning lab where children build learning paths together with adults. It will inspire the best learning solutions and help us to experience the future of education. Moreover, we hope to expand our presence by establishing Fun Academy Spain. Finally, we are eager to develop more partnerships with enthusiastic early education experts across the world.
Thank you for joining our Fun Learning journey in 2017. Your support and participation was truly exhilarating. Join us in this new year as we dream bigger and strive harder to make Fun Learning available for every child on the planet.
Discover more Fun Learning ideas, activities and inspirations to keep your little ones on their toes.