Advisory Board Member: Joonas Mäkinen

June 2, 2014 in advisoryboard, communication

Joonas_Makinen-220x220Our final Open Education Working Group Advisory Board member to introduce themselves is Joonas Mäkinen.

Joonas is a maths teacher in Finland, so he is working at the coalface so to speak! He has been an active member of the Piraattipuolue (Pirate Party of Finland) for sometime and has facilitated the creation of open textbooks in his home country.


I am Joonas Mäkinen and I work as a maths teacher in a school in Finland. I ‘met’ Marieke at an Open Data Ireland event in a Google Hangout – am very happy to join the advisory group!

I’m an active member of the Piraattipuolue (Pirate Party of Finland), a political party in Finland and a part of a global pirate party movement.

pirate 14.18.06

Piraattipuolue is a party with a focus on information society topics which values openness and liberty and defends the freedom of speech, privacy and justice. It wants to promote freedom of information by removing excessive copyright restrictions, abolishing the current patent system and by promoting the spread and openness of government and scientific data. I personally would like to rationalize and modernize old government policy so that social and economic decisions will rely more on research and scientific evidence of traditions, beliefs and principles, rather than obsolete ideas. I feel that common issues should be discussed openly.

matika-300-211x300In 2012 I helped organise a team to write a secondary school mathematics textbook over a weekend in an event called Oppikirjamaraton (“textbook marathon”). The book was to be licensed CC BY, so that anyone could reuse or remix it in Finland or around the world. The text — now in version .91 in GitHub — is called Vapaa Matikka. The title translates as “Free Math,” but since matikka can also mean “burbot,” the book’s title also reads as “free fish” and its slogan — Matikka verkosta vapauteen — could be either a rallying cry to keep educational resources free and open or an instruction to free a fish from a net. In Finland there is one national curriculum and everyone follows it.

Joonas Mäkinen / Senja Opettaa / CC BY

Joonas Mäkinen / Senja Opettaa / CC BY

The only standardized tests you get are your finals, or matriculation examinations as they are known here, so some book series approach topics in a slightly different order than others. There is some flexibility and writing a course book based on the curriculum was easy. Details of the booksprint are available from the Creative Commons website. There is also a Facebook page for the book.

I’m really excited about joining the advisory board and hope to enable the open education community to make more links with the teaching community.

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