Smart learning portal for the school of the future
Smart tools streamline shools' processes
Schools need smart tools in order to enable them to quickly implement changes, as well as to streamline their processes and reduce administration. Current (and future) students and parents demand access to school-related information via the interfaces they use on a daily basis, i.e. their computers, mobile phones, e-readers and tablet computers. During spring 2011, Tieto launched a learning portal, which is used in several Swedish municipalities.
The learning portal involves everyone who works in and around the school environment. Teachers, students, school staff and parents can use it to communicate with each other and share information. The portal is gradually replacing older versions of learning platforms that are based on a number of fixed modules.
The advantage with a learning portal is that it makes it possible to combine resources from multiple vendors, e.g. free software from companies such as Google. In this way, users can create their own custom toolbox, something that is becoming increasingly important, particularly as the demand for personalising the educational experience increases.
"We want to create a portal that gives users the freedom to combine resources from different vendors, providing them access to tools that are highly flexible and can support an individualised and interactive learning process. Teaching is becoming increasingly individualised, and IT is an enabler in this respect," says Jan Åström, Business Development Manager at Tieto Education.
More time for teaching
Tieto's learning portal aims to give teachers the scope to focus on their core activity: working with the students. Teachers use the portal in their daily work to manage absences, IDPs with written assessments, action programmes, pedagogic plans linked to course plans, marking, etc.
All material used in teaching is placed in online "rooms". These rooms are collaboration stations accessible to various different groups, e.g. colleagues or students.
- Students find out information about timetables, homework, sports days, test results, etc. in their own student rooms. They chat with their teachers and other students, sharing information related to their school work.
- Parents can get information from teachers and school management, report absences, communicate with the school and track their child's development. School management uses the portal for things such as resource planning and quality assurance work.
"We chose Tieto's solution as a turnkey solution within the municipality to provide support for those processes that contribute to preparing our children and young people for the challenges they will face in the future," says Erik Holmqvist, IT Strategist for Schools in Sandviken Municipality.
"Schools are developing rapidly, which poses major challenges for us as a provider of administrative support services to the education sector. We need to be at the leading edge of this development and have one foot in the future. Our solutions must contribute towards creating the world's smartest school," concludes Åström.