The promotion of digitalisation encourages critical assessment of previous practices and development of new kinds of approaches and practices in the entire education system, including general education. This was one of the conclusions of the workshop that the NAOF organised for the different stakeholders. The NAOF has now published a report on the outcomes of the workshop.
In the recently published report of the National Audit Office of Finland (NAOF), representatives of different actors discuss the role of networks in the promotion of digitalisation and the development of competence to support digitalisation. The writers include, for example, Olli-Pekka Heinonen, Director General of the Finnish National Agency for Education, Tero Huttunen, Development Manager at the Ministry of Education and Culture, and representatives of several towns, universities, educational establishments, the Association of Finnish Municipalities, and the Trade Union of Education in Finland OAJ.
In its audit “Digitalisation of teaching and learning environments in general education”, completed in the spring of 2019, the NAOF stated that the digitalisation of general education was fragmented.
The actors and processes as well as the inputs, deliverables and outcomes are connected to each other only randomly and thinly. The competence required for successful promotion of digitalisation also remains unclear and should be specified. The actions proposed in the audit report for improving the situation include clarifying the duties, roles and responsibilities of different actors, defining guidelines for digitalisation, and improving both the knowledge required for digitalisation and its management.
To support its proposals, the NAOF organised a workshop for the stakeholders in the teaching and learning environments of general education in November 2019. Based on the workshop:
The overall steering of digitalisation must be improved in cooperation between all actors.
Central government should assume an active role in building the collaboration between the different actors involved in digitalisation. It should set a foundation and framework for the collaboration, specify the guidelines together with the other actors, ensure the knowledge base for common development and operations, particularly on the national and regional level, and coordinate the operations.
This would improve the collaboration between the different actors, clarify its rules of play, and promote high-quality digitalisation competence. The collaboration calls for a foundation and framework because, in the midst of big changes, the availability of digitalisation becomes a question of democracy and equality.