In Finland, the government has funded a project for building a nationwide network of teachers and tutors specialized in advancing the use of digital technology in teaching and learning in primary and secondary schools (the introduction of DigiErko network in Finnish: https://digierko.fi/esittely/). In the project, three Finnish universities have already for several years organized extensive in-service teacher training programs for educating new digital tutors and change agents. The title of the training program is “Learning and teaching in digital environments”.
Minna Lakkala, who is a researcher at the University of Helsinki and the member of the iHub4Schools project, had an opportunity to introduce the School mentoring model (see https://www.ihub4schools.eu/mentoring-model/) in the closing ceremony of the 5th DigiErko training group in the University of Turku. There were about 20 participants from the newest training group and from the DigiErko network listening to the hybrid lecture about the contents of the School mentoring model: Conceptual model, Dynamic process model and Individual methods. There was lively discussion about the questions and thoughts that the model and presented materials evoked in the audience.
At the end of the lecture, the participants were asked to write their viewpoints on a Flinga wall, prompted by two questions (see the figure). Below are some examples of answers on both questions.
How useful do you find the iHub4Schools mentoring model and methods presented?
- Very important in order to make better use of resources.
- The mentoring program sounds very interesting. It would be good to have the resources targeted and to spread a culture of knowledge sharing.
- Sounds good and the school can also choose what method to use.
- Mentoring sounds good, as do the Digipeda workshops in particular.
What kind of methods do you use to give digital mentoring in schools yourself?
- A Teams channel for questions, problems and ideas.
- Competence survey for teachers every autumn and planning trainings of the school year based on results.
- School visits – how things are done in your school?
- Digital Christmas calendar for the whole school that includes a tip every day for applying [digital technology] in one’s own teaching.
- Discussions with school leaders which is relevant to get things progress.