How is Finland Implementing Digital Learning in Schools?

When the COVID-19 pandemic caused school closures all over the world, HY+ organised an interview with Dr. Kirsi Wallinheimo from the University of Helsinki about online learning and teaching. How is Finland implementing digital learning in schools?

“The core Finnish national curriculum describes seven transversal competence areas, and one of those areas is ICT competences”, Dr. Wallinheimo explains. “ICT is the object and tool of learning – that’s how we think in Finland.”

According to Dr. Wallinheimo, in basic education in Finland, all pupils have opportunities to develop their ICT skills. “It’s systematically utilised in all grades of basic education in various subjects, and in other schoolwork”, she points out.

Although the ICT skill development was part of the Finnish basic education already before the pandemic and school closures, online teaching created a new challenge in Finnish schools last spring.

“We are all standing in front of a big issue, because many of us have, or think that we have, the digital tools and the digital skills, but now suddenly we have to
start implementing them all the time – that’s something definitely new”, Dr.
Wallinheimo states.

Dr. Wallinheimo emphasises the importance of good planning, openness and patience in online teaching. “You could also use all the collaboration you can get through the interaction with other teachers – for example, co-teach together with another teacher and in that way get help and support”, she continues.

Dr. Wallinheimo reminds all the teachers around the world, that we are all facing this demanding situation together: “You are not alone; all teachers are standing at the same level now.”

Do you want to know more about online teaching, phenomenon-based learning in virtual conditions, and assessment in online learning? You can watch the whole interview with Dr. Kirsi Wallinheimo or read the transcription on HY+’s website.

Article Submitted by:

Saara Kankainen

University of Helsinki Centre for Continuing Education HY+