OpenForest portal

OpenForest is an open portal for forest education. You can find and share forest-related scientific information, art, experiences, learning projects, geographic information and learning objects in OpenForest. You can include geographic information for the locations, so that they can be found on the map.

You can find a selection of Wiki articles in English (new November 2013!). Translating work has started and there are few contents in English. Welcome to visit our portal. Translating is going on and new contents will be published soon.

The goal of the portal is to expand the learning environment beyond the classroom. The portal includes contents that are categorised under forest research, learning, culture and nature and are linked to material contributed by the participants in the “Forest as a Learning Environment” project. They introduce, for example, projects carried out in teacher training and basic education, research in the arboretum and the esker area, as well as the unique natural attractions at Punkaharju. The portal also offers a virtual trail in the arboretum and the esker area with 360° views. The portal can also be accessed by mobile devices, and you can navigate to the locations provided with geographic information and view the contents related to them by, for example, using a mobile phone.

Forests in Teacher education: The OpenForest portal as a novel resource for learning

International Conference on Sustainability, Technology and Education 2013, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.

Theorethical background of OpenForest portal

Educational framework of OpenForest portal
The aim of the portal is to construct a web-based learning ecosystem in order to build and collect new kinds of resources for learning in diverse environments. The OpenForest portal is anchored to design-based research, and has three educational pillars: 1) Participatory learning in extended and generative communities as a vital concept for learning; 2) Diverse technological resources and infrastructure as powerful social and personal tools; 3) Co-development as a powerful social innovation in producing information resources that offer multiple perspectives on forest-related phenomena. The aim of the OpenForest ecosystem is to enable an interactive and extending network of diverse resources for learning.

Wiki and geographic information environment for forest learning

OpenForest (openmetsä) is an open wiki environment. Anyone interested in forests and in forest education can add their own content to this shared learning resource. Initially the contents have been produced by experts in forest research, forest nature, culture and education. Trainee teachers and school pupils have also published the results of various study projects there. The majority of the contents are in some way related to the Laukansaari area at Punkaharju and to the esker environment, and such contents include links to the geographic information related to them. These contents can also be accessed via mobile GIS applications.

The contents can include sound, pictures, videos and texts, or a combination of these. As with Wiki-pages in general, the contents should be categorised and linked to other pages as comprehensively as possible. The pages will be gradually expanded as a collaborative project to which anybody can contribute. Find out from the OpenForest portal how you can add to the contents. We respect material created by others, and won’t remove it from the learning environment. Together we can make the OpenForest portal a comprehensive resource for learning about forests!

Virtual trail in the arboretum and the esker area with 360° views

Winter trails

Summer trails

Couple examples of pupils' and teacher education students' videos

Primary school pupils' production of phenomenon Winter Fishing.
How deep do fish swim in winter?
Teacher education students' production Forest Rap

Forest as a learning environment - South Savo region as a key to a communal forest knowledge

Project for developing the OpenForest portal, expanding the contents and user-producer communities, developing the technological tools and applied research and pedagogic development of the learning environments.

The multidiscliplinary and expanding network of experts share an interest in forests: the goals of the project, spanning the period 1.1.2015-31.12.2017, are to enable virtual participation, examination of the real-world phenomena and to practice future skills, so that the learners can work with the knowledge actively and creatively.

Participants: University of Eastern Finland, School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), Finnish Forest Centre, The Finnish Forest Museum Lusto, Metsähallitus (National Board of Forestry) and tourism.

Contact: (

Project Leader: Professor Sinikka Pöllänen, tel. +358 50 3203566 Project Coordinator: Petteri Vanninen, tel. +358 50 3519134

Metsäposteri EN pakattu.jpg

Forest as a learning environment project

Project for creating a forest education environment and compiling regional expert knowledge Experts from various fields share an interest in forests: the aim of the project, spanning the period 2011-2014, is to integrate learning about as well as in forests with the core curriculum and research at the University of Eastern Finland’s School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education. The project has constructed the joint portal The main emphasis is on the multidisciplinary development and research of learning environments and pedagogical models accessible via the portal. The project is closely linked to the “Forest in Teacher Education” project, which is carried out in cooperation with Lusto (the Finnish Forest Museum), Metla (the Finnish Forest Research Institute) and Metsähallitus, and which is financed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Participants: University of Eastern Finland, School of Applied Educational Science and Teacher Education; Lusto, the Finnish Forest Museum; Finnish Forest Research Institute (Metla), Punkaharju Unit; Metsähallitus, Southern Finland Natural Heritage Services, Savonlinna Office.

Contact: (

Project Leader: Professor Sinikka Pöllänen, tel. +358 50 3203566 Project Coordinator: Petteri Vanninen, tel. +358 50 3519134