Digital Schools of Europe
Start date: Aug 1, 2016,
End date: May 31, 2018
Digital Schools of Europe (DSoE) is a development project between eight European countries. The objective of the project is to enhance the expertise of schools in educational technologies and to build an operating culture that supports the use of educational technology in the consortium project school. The City of Oulu’s Educational and Cultural Services has integrated the project in the basic education curriculum work. The objective is to develop the information strategy for basic education and strengthen the materialisation of the information and communication technology (ICT) path in Oulu in years 1 to 9. Oulu’s ICT path consists of support material for the curriculum, and it is developed and updated with good practices alongside the development project. It also shows which ICT-skills are required of the pupils at certain year grades in the basic education. The DsoE development project in Oulu has been integrated in the framework and objectives of the Lighthouse development project and the municipal development plan (KuntaKesu) of the National Board of Education. The project incorporates 11 Lighthouse schools based in Oulu, Finland, and it is supported by the regional principal responsible for the Lighthouse project at Oulu’s Educational and Cultural Services, and the teacher developer, project and ICT team of the development services. In addition to the regional principle, three people have been appointed to sponsor the project from the area of education and cultural development. The activities developed in the project can be rolled out to all comprehensive schools in Oulu through curriculum work. The principals are responsible for development activities at the Lighthouse schools. In addition to the principal, the teachers in charge of curriculum and ICT support the project. Through the curriculum work, all members of the personnel in the school can participate in the development project and the related international cooperation. The trips included in the project involve participation in international project seminars, with embedded job shadowing activities between partner countries. Teachers from Oulu visit partner countries and organise job shadowing visits at their schools. The project includes 25 visits of five days in duration (travelling days included) for teachers based in Oulu. The visits are mainly made by the principal and the teachers in charge of ICT and curriculum. Funding for organisations within the scope of the consortium application process also allows those supporting the project to participate fully in the development work. The DSoE project is implemented in accordance with the principles of continuous improvement (PDCA): Plan, Do, Check, Act. The project is carried out within the existing framework of the school and the schedule of a school year. The activities for both project years are planned in the annual plan for the implementation of the local curriculum and carried out as part of curriculum-related activities. Assessment is intertwined in all operations. Feedback on the success of the project and information on setting targets are obtained in annual performance appraisals. The principal carries out performance appraisals with teachers, the regional principal with local principals, and the director of basic education with the regional principals. Development activities of each school year are assessed for each school as a part of the annual assessment process. The project also incorporates planned evaluation and reflection events within the Lighthouse network in Oulu and with partner schools during visits. A postdoctorate researcher from the University of Oulu also participates in the project, which allows for a scientific review of the project results. The project will be disseminated in the extensive national and international networks of the Educational and Cultural Services of the City of Oulu.One main objective of the DSoE project is to speed up the digitalisation of Oulu’s schools. The objective is – through long-term development work based on the curriculum – to enhance the European accreditation model for educational technology, in which the improved exploitation of technology in schools is taken into account at all levels – the school management and the creation of vision, integration in the curriculum, within the operating culture of the school and the expertise of teaching personnel – and in the improvement of infrastructure and structures related to the use of technology.
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