The evolution of Finnish "Dream School": Via public entrepreneurship from innovative concepts to national scale-up

Pekka Leviäkangas, Allan Schneitz, Aki Aapaoja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Digitalization is changing our everyday lives and all sectors of human activities. The education system is amidst of this change. There is a growing demand for digital learning services and applications. Due to this underlying societal and technological change the education must be regarded as an ecosystem, where the different interacting organizations and individuals co-create applications and services. Forceful introduction of information and communication technologies (ICT) to schools and classrooms, while at the same time maintaining traditional processes and practices, creates a potential source of inefficiency, ineffectiveness and poor quality. Many schools and teachers complain that insufficient ICT equipment, such as interactive whiteboards and laptops, are major obstacles to effectively utilize ICT. This study presents a chronological development process of the Dream School -concept from Finland. The main purpose of the Dream School -project was to build an engaging and ubiquitous learning environment that utilizes a bottom-up approach to support students' growth and learning according to their needs - as well as according to identified societal future needs. The technologies exploited included open source code applications, open platforms, server -oriented and cloud -based ICT architectures. These technologies were developed and implemented in collaboration with private and public partners. This paper addresses three major aspects of innovation which define the nature of the Dream School -concept: 1) setting a vision for a future school, 2) building the ecosystem capable to deliver ICT services as a turnkey package; 3) innovative procurement. The impact of Dream School implementation on education system, decision makers and public-private partnerships is discussed
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-515
JournalInternational Journal of Information and Education Technology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed
Event4th International Conference on Education and Management Innovation, ICEMI 2015 - Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
Duration: 4 Feb 20155 Feb 2015


  • education
  • innovation
  • ecosystem
  • school
  • procurement
  • ICT
  • service
  • open-source
  • scaling-up


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