InnoPlay – Innovative Playful Learning Environments (2007–2010)

InnoPlay project has ended.The results of the project are reported in a book
InnoSchool - välittävä koulu. Oppimisen verkostot, ympäristöt ja pedagogiikka, eds. Riitta Smeds, Leena Krokfors, Heli Ruokamo ja Aija Staffans (in Finnish)

Kirja on tilattavissa SimLabista, tilaukset: anna.kaipainen[at]
Verkkoversio osoitteessa:

(Lappset Group Ltd. Photo Gallery)

The goal of InnoPlay-project is to replay the educational challenges of the future by developing the concept of Playful learning for the Future School. The concept relates to playful learning environments enriched by technological tools such as SmartUs -playgrounds (see The object is to study how to break boundaries between virtual, physical, and social spaces by:

  • facilitating creative learning processes and media proficiency;
  • creating playful learning environments that generalize across classrooms, schools, and cultures;
  • developing integrated playful learning models and curricula to enhance lifelong and life wide learning.

InnoPlay is part of multidisciplinary Innovative School Concept of the Future - InnoSchool-research consortium (2007-2010) coordinated by Helsinki University of technology (SimLab) and funded by Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (TEKES). The goal of the consortium is to develop set of research based practices, processes, models, designs, and recommendations for combinations to be used in future schools. InnoSchool-co-projects conduct research and developmental work on schools from different scientific perspectives: architecture and urban planning; playful learning environments, education and the teaching-studying-learning processes; and process and innovation management.

Following actors included in the consortium are The Centre of Media Pedagogy as the home of InnoPlay and other co-projects InnoArch managed by Department of Architecture, InnoEdu managed by Department of Applied Sciences of Education of the University of Helsinki and InnoServe managed by Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Helsinki University of Technology. InnoSchool collaborates with the University of Stanford and University of California, USA.

In the second phase (2008-2010) InnoSchool will strengthen its’ transdisciplinary and collaborative approach in the Global Campus Pilot - GLOBUS (in spring 2009) and produce shared, conceptual language contributing understanding of future school learning environments. The results of comprehensive studies of InnoSchool will be gathered in the co-published Future School Handbook expected by mid 2010.

Contact information:

University of Lapland
Faculty of Education
Cenre for Media Pedagogy

Director, Professor
Heli Ruokamo
Tel + 358 (0)16 341 2410
Gsm. +358 (0)40 587 90 90

Project manager, researcher
Marjaana Kangas
Gsm. +358 (0)40 742 89 71

Project researcher
Saana Korva
Gsm. +358 (0)40 484 41 69



Hyvönen, P. (2008). Boys’ and girls’ shared activities in the school context: Towards a theory of collaborative play. Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 14(5-6), 391–409.

Hyvönen, P. (2008). Teacher’s views on playing in the school context: Implications for teacher education. Manuscript accepted for the publication of European Journal of Teacher Education (EJTE).

Hyvönen, P. & Kangas, M. (2007). From bogey mountains to funny houses: Children’s desires for play environment. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 32 (3), 39–47.

Hyvönen, P. & Kangas, M. (2010). Playfulness-based research: Involving children in research process of designing a playful learning environment. To appear.

Kangas, M. (2010). Creative and playful learning: Learning through game co-creation and game play in a playful learning environment. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 5(1), 1–15.

Kangas, M., Kultima, A. & Ruokamo, H. (in print). Children’s Creative Collaboration – A view of Narrativity. In D. Faulkner & E. Coates (Eds.). The expressive nature of creativity in childhood.

Kangas, M. & Ruokamo, H. (2010). Playful Learning Environment(s). Manuscript submitted for Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. (Seel, M., Editor-in-Chief)Kangas, M. (2010). Finnish children views on the ideal school and learning environment. To appear in the journal of Learning Environments Research.

Randolph, J., Kangas, M. & Ruokamo, H. (2008). The Development of the Children’s Overall Satisfaction with Schooling Scale (COSSS). Child Indicators Research. Available online:

Randolph, J., Kangas, M. & Ruokamo, H. (2008). Predictors of Dutch and Finnish Children’s Satisfaction with Schooling. Journal of Happiness Studies. Available online:

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