T is for Topi

Openness. Badges. Digital Portfolios. Personal learning spaces. Learning Analytics.

Can anyone blend these features together, offering educators and learners and space where they can collaborate, where their privacy is respected, where a digital narrative of learning is really useful for students?

Just before leaving for Singapore where Slush will be taking place next week, Topi Litmanen tells us more about ClanEd – what it is, how it can be used by educators and what is coming soon to this transformative elearning tool.

Thank you Topi for your time and inspiring change from Helsinki!

Twitter  – Claned


There is a small glitch in the connection which I did not edit as I prefer simple streamlining –  apologies! 

Northern Lights, Northern Change

Gazing across the sea, the smell of pines, birches and maples keep me company. A world of berries, mushrooms and  flowers all mix in the rich soil of this coast line. Unlike other oceans, other seas, the forest never leaves me, the scent of wild open oceans does not engulf me.

Summer light is indeed endless, stretching dark nights into bright days,  nature’s game of morphing, blending  hues of gold, saffron, and blues, all into a promise of a summer playground which goes on forever.

I know well that this is not so.

I know well.

So I turn my attention elsewhere. No need to think of the change of seasons yet.

Change and changes.

A lifetime of changing habits and habitats. A lifetime seeking meaning through change. helsinki-big-wheelLike ferry wheels, change may be light, lightness, uplifting, inspiring.

Fragil, at moments; a fleeting gift of a bird’s eye across one’s world; ever turning with momentary dips and rises,  the promise of yet another round of changing perspective remains constant.

Through all changes, it is that which I seek – the inspirational within  the narrative of change.

From Helsinki, I turn to ClanEd,  intrigued by this Northern provocation of change.

Will ClanEd inspire transformational learning? Will ClanEd foster collaboration among learners? Is this a possible tool I have been waiting for, a tool which offers me more than the regular choices of a LMS? Will there be elements of openness? What changes may I find in this Northern elearning tool?


My next guest is the Chief Education Scientist of ClanEd, who will be answering these questions and more.

Topi Litmanen holds a PhD in Education from the University of Helsinki, has extensive experience as an educator and as a pedagogical advisor within elearning contexts.

A keen cyclist, a participant in marathons and occasional triathlons, Topi’s passion remains within the development of changing the e-scape of learning by providing support to teachers and clients of ClandEd, while ensuring that ClanEd continues changing into the most collaborative, user-friendly and innovative tool for educators.

Join me here, as Topi unravels the changes that ClanEd is bringing into the world of education.

Northern lights, Northern changes.

Let the North unfold.


M is for Mark

“… teachers  really care about they are doing. ….. Teachers are trusted.”

” Quality in many different ways.”

“… what is important is being open and flexible. ”

“… learning through progressive inquiry..”


Thank you Mark for your time to talk about education in Finland, education management, and this global program for change!


You can follow Mark @macurcher or find out more about  21st Century Educators

Stories are Meant to be Told

Mind Mirrors started off as a small project, giving voice to agents of change, regardless of field or study. With professional commitments stretching me out, this space has been through a silence phase. However, it is Spring and so another entry is coming to open up reflections and possible discussions.

As an educator, I have worked in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Packing, unpacking, adapting, re-adapting is an essential part of my life. Over the years, I have met many other professionals, who like me, whether growing up in different environments or working in foreign countries, have shared many of their wonderful stories with me.

My next visitor is an example of how one learns, adapts, re-adapts to changes – both in landscapes and educational management. With a vision to share and stories to tell, Mark Curcher is an exceptional case of talent, inspiration and vision.

Currently, Mark is the Director for 21st Century Educators – A Passion for Learning , an educational program offered by TAMK, in Finland.

As an educator and educational leader, Mark also has much to share as someone who has travelled the world in pursuit of the best practices for educational change.

Let me offer you a taster:

What if by Mark Curcher

From lands of sand and sun, Mark now lives in a land of trees and never ending Summer days. Join us here as we find out more about what it takes to be a successful expat, global educator and educational innovator.

Because, after all, stories are meant to be told.

THE STAVES WINTER TREES from Karni and Saul on Vimeo.



K is for Kostas

“… making learning more interesting, more engaging”

“a trip … learning new things fast – and learning quickly.”

“everyday learning becomes part of your life..”

“… we are on the brink of a revolution”

Thank you Kostas for your time and participation! Many successes to you, your team and of course, schooX!

If you have any questions regarding schooX or would like to discuss educational disruptions further, why not drop Kostas a tweet @vaskos44

J is for John

“… the internet has made a very low impact on the way a teacher teaches …”

“..the 5oo pound gorilla in the room is management or administration”

“Blogging? Don’t do it!”

“… online I am not the sage on the stage”

“… every time you have huge changes, you have huge resistance”

Thank you John for your time, your patience with tech glitches and your participation!

Magical Connections

“It’s entirely conceivable that life’s splendor surrounds us all, and always in its complete fullness, accessible but veiled, beneath the surface, invisible, far away. But there it lies—not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If we call it by the right word, by the right name, then it comes. This is the essence of magic, which doesn’t create but calls.”            


She presses her face against the window pane, knowing that essence lies behind veils, behind surfaces. Truths may be created, fabricated, but also illuminated. There are worlds of light in her musings on the  magic beyond glass panes, in connections, in what is possible if there is a will. Her world is open,  enlightened by ideas, by those who too indulge in magic and let themselves be marveled by life and a flow of  connectivity.

Splendor. Fullness.

Never complete.

Living is a constant breathe of change where completion only leads to another movement of change and wonder.

My next guest is someone who indulges in the world of technological wonders as much as I do, if not more.

 John Goldsmith is an online educator with the Fraser Valley Distance Education School (FVDES) where he teaches Business and IT related courses. John has been a part of the online world for more then two decades and an active Internet and computer user long before that. He has presented numerous technology and Internet related workshops for local, regional and provincial organisations. In 2009 he was honoured with the Premier’s award for teaching excellence in distributed learning.

In his spare time, John is an active blogger and tweeter, the web and list minder for the BC Social Studies Teachers’ Association and contributor to the “Bookmark”, the professional journal published by the BC Teacher Librarian’s Association.

You can learn more about him at DeTools or @cyberjohn07 on Twitter.

Despite a couple of tech glitches, we finally did connect. And talked, reflected,  questioning our worlds of technological changes. Join me here as John provokes us with stark realities of how teaching styles and the Internet may or not influence each other, considerations on whether to blog or not to blog, the essential skills of being an online tutor, technological backlashes and more.

Are you ready to be marveled?