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A step-by-step plan for a school in the digital age

Digitizing a rural school

Kautiala, Finland
The digital leap doesn’t need to be a leap into the unknown. A rural school can become digitized step by step, genuinely and methodically strengthening their own local identity as a part of the global world. This model provides you with a variety of digital opportunities with tried-and-tested solutions.
Introduction

What is it all about?

“Digitalization is a way to make lasting change, like developing the local community in relation with the rest of the world and so broaden our view of the world surrounding us.”

Anssi Paavola, Principal

As technology goes forward the world opens up. At the same time we can see an enhancement in appreciation for local communities and cultures where our roots are based.

Rural schools are very local in a sense and the school has an important role in creating and maintaining relationships and a feeling of community between the different generations of habitants.

World citizenship comes naturally when based on the foundation of local identity as this helps children face change. Schools have to bring up citizens that have the required skills to act in our changing world. Digitalization can offer different kinds of viewpoints and opportunities to develop these skills. The required skills are universal: proactivity, innovativeness, life-long learning, communication skills and collaboration skills.

Introducing digitalization into schools can be difficult when starting from scratch. In this innovation, we show you different ways to start small and fast so that you can build the process along the way. The following experiences come from the digitalization of a school in Kautiala, Finland. The Kautiala school wanted to emphasize a pedagogical approach while implementing new technology as well as maintain a feeling of control over the change.

In this innovation, digital and traditional methods complement each other. Traditional methods that have proven themselves useful have not been abandoned, but instead developed to suit the digital world. These new ways of working become a routine to students through experimentation and repetition.

By taking advantage of collaborative learning methods, the new working methods are easy to transfer from one student to another and one class to the next. Digitalization has helped the school of Kautiala to diversify, modernize and individualize teaching, and bring it into new physical and digital learning environments.

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Innovation Overview
7 - 12
Age Group
-
Children/Users
1
Country
2016
Established
-
Organisation
277
Views
Tips for implementation
Tablets, smartphones, an internet connection, desktop computers, various learning applications.
Connect with innovator
HundrED Review
Innovativeness

This model combines a person’s local identity, world citizenship and learning digital skills of the future.

Impact

Creating a functioning solution through small steps: students experiment, discover and share new things and ways to learn while inspiring each other.

Scalability

The model is an example of how school digitalization can be carried out without any previous knowledge.

Milestones

Achievements & Awards

Map

Spread of the innovation

Steps

Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

01
Letting go of prejudice towards digitalization
The most important tool of a teacher is personality. We must humbly acknowledge that giving instructions for providing a definitive path to success is an impossible task.
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02
Assessing needs and sparking collaboration
Survey the technological needs of your school.
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03
Do a device count
Check the devices your school already has. What kinds of devices does the school own and how could they be better used during lessons? What kinds of possibilities do you have for device acquisition and what are the smartest choices for new devices?
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04
Defining goals and school rules, ensuring student commitment
Create a plan for the next six months and the whole school year on how to proceed.
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05
Changing the learning environment
Digitalization will change the learning environment. It is unavoidable. Students have more ways to gain knowledge and more opportunities to develop media literacy and critical thinking skills. Learning can happen both in and outside school.
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06
A culture of sharing among students
Teach students to share. All knowledge and skills should be shared between all learners. Inspire students to teach each other and use advanced students as student agents who can help the teacher in teaching skills to others.
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