To stay up-to-date schools will need to be increasingly connected with the surrounding society locally, nationally and world-wide. International contacts and networks, partner classes and different kinds of learning projects will provide our students with the skills they’ll need as citizens of the global world.
Learning in an authentic context in collaboration with one’s peers makes learning meaningful, creates a feeling of involvement and enhances commitment. Authenticity is also at the heart of the phenomenon-based learning. Creative ideas are born and thinking skills develop in an open environment in which different cultures, languages and points of view meet.
As the world is changing and technologies are developing at an accelerating pace, many of the ‘good old’ practices need to be questioned. Teachers can’t be experts in every topic and individually responsible for the student’s development. Instead we need collective responsibility and shared expertise, co-teaching and team work.
To integrate the use of new technologies in learning we need the students to bring their own devices (BYOD) to school and the informal learning of the students to be recognized and made use of. The students will learn more and more outside school. When they bring their knowledge and skills to the classroom, they'll enrich the learning process and promote thinking outside the box. The school must be ready to take advantage of this. Learning contents can’t be so narrowly defined that the developing technologies and approaches, innovative ideas and individual learning paths won’t fit in.
I hope that the New Year 2013 will lead us towards the school of the future. I hope the discussion on the new curriculum framework will spread to every corner of Finland and changes of learning culture will start to take place. I hope we teachers open our hearts and minds and welcome the world in our classrooms. I wish you …