The promotion of digitalisation in general education is currently fragmented. The situation calls for new kind of collaboration between the different actors, and central government should assume an active role in this. It is also necessary to specify the competence that the different actors need in order to be able to promote digitalisation. These were the conclusions of a workshop that the National Audit Office of Finland organised for the stakeholders involved in digitalisation.
In its audit report “Digitalisation of teaching and learning environments in general education”, published in the spring of 2019, the National Audit Office of Finland (NAOF) stated that the digitalisation of general education is fragmented. The audit recommended improving the overall steering of digitalisation: defining guidelines for digitalisation, clarifying the duties, roles and responsibilities of different actors, and improving both the knowledge required for digitalisation and its management.
In November 2019, the NAOF organised a workshop for the stakeholders in general education. The aim was to gather together the different stakeholders to consider how they could support the implementation of the recommendations and otherwise promote digitalisation. The key considerations of the workshop are presented in a report published by the NAOF.
The NAOF interviewed the stakeholders before the workshop and selected the following topics for the workshop based on these interviews: the collaboration that digitalisation requires from different actors, and the competence that is needed in digitalisation.
To ensure that the efforts put in digitalisation, the benefits achieved, and the required competence are spread evenly and cost-efficiently in society, we need new practices built on collaboration and networking for learning, teaching and competence and their management. The workshop came to the following conclusions:
1. The overall steering of digitalisation must be improved in cooperation between all actors.
2. Central government should assume an active role in building the collaboration required in digitalisation. It should set a foundation and framework for the collaboration, engage the stakeholders with the strategic planning, 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.
3. Developing the structures and activities related to digitalisation as described above would improve the collaboration between the actors, clarify the 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.