Indo-Finnish Collaboration Aims to Promote Critical, Playful and Inclusive Algorithmic Literacy and Digital Citizenship among Young Learners

Excited to launch this new pilot project as an Indo-Finnish collaboration with our partners at University of Oulu and in India (ARTPARK, IISc, Srishti). The project Promoting Critical, Playful and Inclusive Algorithmic Literacy and Digital Citizenship among Young Learners explores how new forms of digital pedagogy and participatory engagement with algorithmic and data-centric concepts and technologies can promote critical, playful, and inclusive digital citizenship and algorithmic literacy among young learners.

The rapid growth of emerging AI technologies and services necessitates new forms of digital citizenship and algorithmic literacy. Algorithmic literacy can consist of a basic technical understanding of the collection of data, the use of that data for algorithmic tasks such as decision-making, as well as the possible social implications of the algorithmic system.  

This cross-disciplinary project is implemented by Professor Teemu Leinonen (PI, Department of Art and Media), and Professor Nitin Sawhney (Co-PI, Department of Computer Science). The research team intents to examine how AI and Big Data systems can be understood and learned by young users in a manner that the users can question, participate, and co-design their algorithmic futures and digital citizenship in society. According to Professor Leinonen, Aalto University, “the overarching goal is to better prepare young people as stakeholders in society by learning about the implications of emerging AI systems for big data and algorithmic decision-making, co-designing speculative futures, and fostering civic engagement in an era of digitalization.” 

The project is a transnational collaboration between researchers at Aalto University, University of Ouluthe Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Srishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology  and ARTPARK. It is coordinated by our lead researcher Uttishta Varanasi at Aalto University and external collaborators include Netta Iivari, Marianne Kinnula, Sumita Sharma, Eva Durall, Umakant Soni, Vijay Chandru, and Geetha Narayanan.

The project will support collaborative research and exchange using two doctoral researchers based at Aalto University and at IISC, Bangalore (co-funded by the ARTPARK), with fieldwork, mutual visits, workshops, and pilot educational and participatory design programs hosted in Finland and India over a two-year period. Outcomes of the pilot project will inform recommendations for best practices, novel curricula, and scaled-up programs that promote algorithmic literacy and digital citizenship among young learners in Finland and India. 

Promoting Critical, Playful and Inclusive Algorithmic Literacy and Digital Citizenship among Young Learners is seed-funded as part of the India Pilot initiative from the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. Aalto is coordinating the India Pilot Network FICORE (Finnish Indian Consortia for Research and Education) which involves 38 higher education institutions from Finland and India.  

For more information about the collaboration between Aalto and ARTPARK read ARTPARK Foundation India to partner with Aalto University in co-creating digital citizenship | Aalto University

Brief article on the project published on 19.8.2022: https://ficore.aalto.fi/ficore/indo-finnish-collaboration-aims-to-promote-critical-playful-and-inclusive-algorithmic