Tablet computers replace traditional textbooks in a Finnish school

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This autumn, the schoolbags of pupils attending the Savonlinna Teacher Training School of the University of Eastern Finland are much lighter than before, thanks to tablet computers. Approximately half of the school's pupils and teachers now use personal tablet computers instead of traditional textbooks. The project includes a group of first graders who began their school path this autumn, as well as all of the school's seventh grade students. The seventh graders continuing to general upper secondary level will be among the first Finnish students to complete their matriculation examinations electronically.


The purpose of this extensive experiment is to move from traditional textbooks to electronic learning materials and tools, and to develop school pedagogy and learning from the viewpoint of the digital age information society.

"In similar projects carried out earlier, traditional textbooks still played an important role. However, we now want to take real steps to prepare for the changes the traditional print industry. The purpose of this three-year experiment is to take the school as a whole to the digital age," says Dr Mikko Ripatti, Headmaster of the Savonlinna Teacher Training School.

The new pedagogy is built around two leading principles: Firstly, the time used for formal teaching should be decreased and, respectively, the time used for individual learning increased. This calls for a problem-based approach in teaching, co-teaching and collaboration, and planning skills. Secondly, the traditional boundaries of the classroom have expanded beyond the classroom walls both physically and virtually. This means that versatile and critical information skills and thinking skills are becoming of key importance for learning.

At the moment, Finnish publishers do not offer digital textbooks for the grades 1–9, and the school has acquired various programmes and apps for the purposes of teaching. The teachers can also either independently or together with their pupils install a variety of programmes on the tablets.
 

Written By: University of Eastern Finland
continue to source article at phys.org

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  1. I think this is a great idea. I remember dragging heavy briefcases of text books around. All texts would be in on light-weight package.
    They would got get lost, rained on or damaged. They would be up to date. We had some textbooks older than I was. It would be cheap to replace texts with better or more up to date ones.

    If all students used compatible computers, the teachers could hand out apps and additional materials in machine readable form.

    You can machine scan materials to find something. You can use self-paced materials.

    • In reply to #3 by Stafford Gordon:

      Good news for the trees.

      Yeah, especially considering the fact that per capita, Finland is by far the biggest paper producing country on the planet. And traditionally, the paper and forest industry has a lot of leverage here and selling forest for pulp is a fast and commonplace way to turn your small, inherited patch of land into money.

      Not sure if this really has that much to do with environmentalism, but it’s nice to see the educational benefits outweigh the interests of the industrial lobby.

      • In reply to #4 by ColdThinker:

        In reply to #3 by Stafford Gordon:

        Good news for the trees.

        Yeah, especially considering the fact that per capita, Finland is by far the biggest paper producing country on the planet. And traditionally, the paper and forest industry has a lot of leverage here and selling forest for pulp is a fast and commonplace way to turn your small, inherited patch of land into money.
        Not sure if this really has that much to do with environmentalism, but it’s nice to see the educational benefits outweigh the interests of the industrial lobby.

        What you’re observing there is the general European tendency to prioritize the public good over private/corporate profits vs the converse general US tendency to prioritize private/corporate profits over the public good.

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