In a series of interviews we present Taru Kekkonen working for the Distans Network. Distans are ambassadors for increased use of ICT methods and tools in adult learning. They work hard to create meeting places and provide inspiration for organizations, projects, politicians and networks that are engaged in educational and development activities in this area. The overall objective of the NVL that we contribute to is to initiate, promote and enhance cross-sectoral cooperation in order to increase competitiveness in the labor market and society.
How can you in your organization use the work carried out in 2016 and results of the Distans network activities?
The webinars that we arrange are a smooth way of sharing our experiences and things that we have learnt together. Anyone can join the webinar, and there´s a lot of space in the Internet - so this year, I hope that we’ll have crowds rushing in to use this opportunity. My organization Otava Folk High School benefits especially from the work that we do with online learning. This year we are focusing on online guidance as well as the silent / invisible online learners. In my organization, we are facing the same challenges with our students that we are now dealing with within the network, so it is a pure win-win situation.
What do you think is the network's most important focus in 2016?
I think the most important priority this year is the cooperation with other networks. We have not done that much lately and I think that now is the time to learn more together with other networks and from them.
What is your personal advantage of being a member of a Nordic network?
I feel that my personal advantage is that I get to know wonderful people from various Nordic countries. I feel privileged having the opportunity to work together with all these skilled and experienced professionals. It is great to have “an open window” to each of the Nordic countries as well as to the three home rule areas. Working with the network members is very easy, as everyone in my network is ready to share their knowledge, experience and expertise with others. They give me inspiration and support and they never “shoot you down” not even the craziest ideas. It´s a lot of fun to work with them.
Do you have something you want to add/tell the readers?
I think we have learned how to combine resources of the network and of projects. Now we have got two projects and two working groups that support the aims of the network and vice versa. I warmly recommend this way of joining forces to other networks.