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, enabling them to harness core life skills and nurture a passion for learning among students from the very start. In 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 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. This partnership established in March 2017, has since enabled children enrolled at these kindergartens to embrace the innovative Fun Learning approach and access to the most up-to-date learning methodologies. 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
We reached another milestone in taking the fun learning concept and collaborative learning to the world together with Pilke Oivallus, one of our partners and leading providers of early childhood education. Early last spring, the little ones at Pilke Oivallus initiated a skype collaboration with their peers at our partner kindergarten in Singapore sharing their fun learning experiences with each other. Since then every month children from both kindergartens have been exploring, creating and learning together in preparation for the interconnected and culturally dynamic tomorrow.
Turned up the heat of the summer with a ‘Fun Learning Conference’
Summer of 2017 was truly electric with our ‘Fun Learning Conference’ organized for ambassador and trainers committed to taking early education to the next level. Held between June 15th – 20th, the conference drew over 30 early-years professionals from China, Spain, Brazil, UK, US, UAE and India to share experiences and best practices of global education. The conference also included expert led workshops, seminars and training sessions held at Espoo, Vantaa and the University of Helsinki which enabled participants to co-design a better future for their students. The participants were provided 21st century educator tools created by Fun Academy, along with 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 comprising a group of truly ingenious developers, producers, game artists and designers. This rapidly growing team of tech-heads have been producing innovative fun learning software and content, which we are confident will lead the global fun learning revolution of the century.
Launched the ‘Future Astronaut Program’ and ‘Fun Learning Characters’
Last Autumn we successfully launched the Future Astronaut Program, empowering teachers around the world to promote life skills such as problem solving, healthy lifestyle and meaningful use of technology. The program aims to nurture the passion for learning from the very start enabling children to become whatever they want in life, even an astronaut. We took it a step further and made it available for free download 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 who 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, and 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 where our CEO Sanna Lukander and Co-Founder Peter Vesterbacka participated in Finnish Minister of Education Sanni Grahn-Laasonen’s delegation program in Beijing. By establishing a joint venture company Fun Academy aims to allow a broader offering of its innovative early years education concept and advanced 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, the most explosive startup-collaboration event of the world. We got the opportunity to showcase our Future Astronaut program and engage with educators, media and investors from around the world both in person and through social media. We also took part in XcitED, a key Slush partner event, where we joined 1000 EdTech-heads to share our passion of shaping the future of education.
Our plans for the future
Moving in to the new year 2018 we have already begun developing innovative learning solutions, exploring new opportunities and growing as a company. We hope to launch more thematic programs, such as the Future Astronaut program, focusing on entrepreneurship and other key phenomena crucial to succeeding in the world today. We also hope to move forward with our partnership in setting up Vantaa’s early years Living Lab together with the City of Vantaa and our partner in technology Lenovo. We will be pioneering a dynamic learning lab where children build learning paths together with adults, create the best learning solutions and experience the future of education. We also hope to expand our presence by establishing Fun Academy Spain as well as developing 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.
Find out more about us at https://funacademy.fi/