This brand new success story from the Finnish International School of Vantaa focuses on the pilot study for the construction of a working ICT solution able to satisfy the growing ICT needs of the Finnish schooling system. To build up this model ICT system, 3 partners were involved in the project along with the International School of Vantaa: Acer, Google and LocknCharge.
The International School of Vantaa, located in the namesake city, offers tutelage in English, and follows its own international curriculum as well as the Finnish national one. As a school, the community shares an international background, having teachers and students from various countries. The school had a deep interest in developing ICT pedagogy further and decided to act as the testing ground for the proposed ICT system.
Conforming to both a customized international curriculum and the national one, the aim of the pilot was to support teachers in and enhance the students’ experience of learning the Finnish language using both traditional methods and digital pedagogy. Thus, two Finnish as native language teachers were asked to test the system as a solution to their need for support and to improve Finnish learning. Around 250 students are also part of this pilot which is the number of students in the junior high at ISV.
Acer provided the pilot study with 25 Chromebook computers for use. The model of the computers is R11 C738T, and these Chromebooks will be used by the Finnish teachers of ISV. The main goal is to monitor the Chromebooks efficacy when used to enhance Finnish language teaching and learning. A secondary goal is to test the use of a flip Chromebook model for use in schools. Acer wants feedback in order to better provide support and service to the education community.
Google agreed to provide licenses for the Chromebooks. Each Chromebook will be assigned a license which will help the school ICT administrator better monitor and distribute the Chromebooks and delineate their use. The pilot is to demonstrate to the city of Vantaa the utility and functionality of the management software in order to better equip local-level, or school-level, administration. Furthermore, Google via the company Cloudpoint will provide training and professional development in the usage of the management software for the teachers and staff involved in the pilot. The aim is to support the staff by training them extensively in the use of the software.
The charging station provided from LocknCharge also provides security and a system of timed charging and monitoring of the devices, since the cart has space for 30 devices. As a partner, LocknCharge want to offer hardware that helps maintain the Chromebooks and enhances their usage lifespan through safer charging. Thus, they want feedback on how well their product provides charging services and how easy it is to distribute devices from the cart. Also, comments on the safety of the cart are encouraged.
This pilot study started in early June 2017, and the results are really satisfying so far: the one occurred in the International School of Vantaa was a digital revolution. Each classroom has enough Acer Chromebooks, and the renovated goal is to help students gain digital competency for their future studies and careers. The Finnish teachers using the Acer models provided for the pilot were satisfied with the Acer computers. They like the touchscreen capabilities as well as the speed of the device. They have managed to get students to write more and produce better quality texts.
Furthermore, the Lockncharge cart is a good safe storage for the devices. The baskets are a novel way of getting the devices distributed to the students. There were some issues with the cables as they tend to get tangled easily but, everall, the system deployment was successful.
The future entails that the if the system implemented in the Internation School of Vantaa will be successful, it will be recommended to the city to be added to their catalogue as a fully integrated ICT solution for schools still in need of an ICT solution to implement the new Finnish curriculum: the training for device management and use could also be sold as part of the solution. In fact, to guarantee the perfect functioning of this ICT solution and its efficient use, also an adequate skills training should be provided with.
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