Realisation of digitalisation in basic education

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Objective of the assessment

The main question in the assessment was whether the objectives of the City of Helsinki’s digitalisation programme for education 2016–2019 have been achieved in basic education. The sub-questions were: has the digitalisation of basic education promoted the learning of pupils; have the pedagogical, digital and leadership skills of teachers and rectors developed; has the pedagogical operating culture become participatory, networked and capable of sharing information according to the programme; and does basic education have access to sufficient and functional digital environments, systems and equipment. The development of the digitalisation of education between 2016 and 2019 has been guided by the City’s digitalisation programme for education.

Conclusions

The objectives of the City of Helsinki’s digitalisation programme for education 2016–2019 have been achieved in some aspects in basic education. The pedagogical operating culture of comprehensive schools has become participatory, networked and capable of sharing information. Additionally, basic education currently has sufficient and functional digital environments, systems and equipment. However, they have reached the end of their lifecycle in many respects, meaning that they need to be serviced and replaced. There was not enough time to properly introduce data analytics, which were intended to support the individual learning of pupils, due to a delay in the development of the information system. Based on the assessment, it cannot be said whether the digitalisation programme for education has promoted the learning of pupils or the development of digital skills, as the division did not have sufficient monitoring data. The pedagogical and digital skills of teachers have not developed in accordance with the objectives of the City of Helsinki’s digitalisation programme for education, as the training available has been insufficient and teachers’ participation in it has not been particularly high.

The Audit Committee concludes that

the Education Division must

  • ensure that it will have sufficient monitoring data on the pupils’ learning outcomes in different subjects as well as the development of ICT skills in the future;
  • continue the measures for introducing data analytics to support individual teaching;
  • ensure that teachers are offered a sufficient range of training opportunities that strengthen their pedagogical and digital skills and are able to make use of them;
  • monitor the digital environments, systems and equipment installed, as well as develop and replace them as necessary, and identify the cost benefits of introducing leased equipment.
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