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The Global Search for Education: Got Tech?-Finland

This story originally appeared in the Huffington Post.

"For most teachers, learning means to understand by making meaningful connections between what is to be learned and what already exists in students' minds. This includes the use of technology. The single most important reason to use available educational technologies in the classroom is whether it makes sense in terms of pedagogy." -- Pasi Sahlberg

By now my followers know that I am a big fan of Finnish educator Pasi Sahlberg and his book, the 2013 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award winning Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland? The Harvard Graduate School of Education recently named Sahlberg a visiting professor of practice beginning January 2014.

Finland is globally recognized as a leading education system. All Finnish teachers are required to have a Masters degree and entrance into this prestigious profession is highly competitive (only 1 in 4 applicants are accepted).

In January of this year, I asked Pasi to give me his predictions on how technology might impact Finnish teachers and classrooms 5 or 10 years from now. Pasi envisioned three scenarios as to what might happen. His first scenario: schools use technology to align all core instructional operations. While this would change classrooms, learning would remain primarily in schools supported by homework, as it is today. His second scenario is that personalized digital learning becomes the most common form of study, i.e. learning could take place from any location. In this scenario schools would become places for facilitation of study and checking of achievement. Sahlberg's third scenario would be for schools to be elevated to places for social learning and where developmental skills can be nurtured. Cooperative learning, problem solving and cultivating the habits of mind would be at the heart of school life.

The Finnish matriculation examination (the Lukio) is the only national test that Finnish students sit. The test is given to all students at the end of their high school years. The Finnish National Board of Education has set a goal for the matriculation exam to be digital by 2016. What changes will Finnish schools and educators need to make to prepare for this?

Today I am pleased to welcome Pasi Sahlberg along with Finnish teacher and counselor, Timo Ilomaki, to The Global Search for Education - Got Tech? series to share their perspectives. ...

Read the complete interview with Pasi Sahlberg -- who will become visiting professor at HGSE in January 2014 -- and Timo Ilomaki in the Huffington Post.


The latest research, perspectives, and highlights from the Harvard Graduate School of Education

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