This keynote address was presented at the Universal Teacher’s Academy workshop on May 4, 2021.

I have never physically visited India, but just last week I was walking on the courtyard of Fort Agra admiring the 17th century architecture of the Mughal dynasty. A moment later I was standing among…


For most of my working life, I’ve been interested in finding new ways to connect the things in our physical environment to more information about them. After doing a masters in product development and international marketing, I joined a PhD program at the University of Helsinki to get a broader…


Project-based learning, inquiry-based learning, and problem-based learning are constructivist approaches to education that develop the learners skills for research, problem-solving and collaboration. The process is based on authentic questions and problems identified by students, and finding information and explanation models to research and solve them.

An important aspect of student-centered…


I recently visited a brand new teacher training school in Eastern Finland. The school was so nice that a couple reporters from New York Times had told the principle that they had only seen one other school like that — and Tom Cruise’s daughter went there.

This was a free…


360-degree images and videos can help students develop understanding of real-world environments outside their classroom, but trying to successfully setup twenty-five headsets for a shared VR experience is not easy. For a while, we have been thinking of an alternative solution, based on the following three assumptions:

  1. A learner benefits…

Presentation at the UNESCO ICT in Education Prize Laureates’ seminar March 12th, 2019.

Developing new technology is like writing a research paper; you cannot draw conclusions without writing the article.

The inspiration for ThingLink came over 10 years ago when I was a PhD student at the University of Helsinki…


When you live abroad, one of the most common topics for small talk is your name and its history; what does your name mean, where it is from, how do you spell it, etc. In my case, it’s been a bit complicated. For several practical and emotional reasons related to…


Language learning is one of the most interesting application areas for virtual tours. In the US, one reason for this is the increased cultural and economic diversity in workplaces and classrooms. Students and employees with English as their second language work hard to master the academic or professional vocabulary required…


This week I’m attending the UNESCO Partners Forum in Paris, which is a great opportunity to learn and think about global challenges, especially the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). You can reach me on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss any of the topics below. #access #infrastructure #technology policy #bandwidth #globalvirtualschool

Ulla-Maaria Koivula

Founder & CEO of ThingLink, education technology company for building visual learning environments in the cloud. Winner of UNESCO ICT in Education Prize.

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