What digital tools can do in schools – interesting reading from Swedish newspaper

2012-02-07 22:44 by Johan Ranstam

We stumbled over some interested reading: in an article series* in the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, the use of digital tools in schools are discussed. About 40 municipalities in Sweden are engaged in the program 1-1, where every student and teacher should get there own computer or tablet. It’s cool!

According to the articles, the students perform well on the national tests they have to take. And they appreciate that digital tools allow the students to get immediate feedback – does it sound like something built into an app we might like to talk about (wink, wink)? Teachers feedback is great, but it can only be immediate to one student at a time. We just hope, given the result of the research we’ve based Number Bonds by Thinkout on, that no matter if the feedback comes from a digital tool or a teacher, it’s positive and reinforcing success without punishing mistakes.

So, what good can the use of digital tools do according to the articles?

  • immediate feedback to each student.
  • kids don’t get stuck in parts of the assignments where motor skills aren’t yet as developed as their intellectual capacity.
  • the possibility of developing in one’s own pace – doesn’t have to feel like you’re the only one in class not understanding (meaning: spend more time on learning and less on worrying about what others can or can’t.

To us, there’s also another aspect: the chance of using the teachers as the incredible resource they are. Given the right software in the digital tools, the teacher can, at least partly, leave the teaching behind and start focusing on facilitating learning. When students interact with tools that sparks their curiosity, the teacher can focus on the the moments when guidance is needed – and do it on an individual level.

The most important of it all comes from Maria Stockhaus, politician in Sollentuna Municipality. We can only agree with her when she says that it’s all about preparing the kids for the future!

 

*http://www.dn.se/sthlm/vi-tror-inte-pa-klassiska-laromedel and http://www.dn.se/sthlm/surfplattor-ersatter-skolbocker-i-sollentuna (both in Swedish)