Today we had the pleasure of visiting Mr. Teemu Korhonen at Kantokaski School in Espoo city. Teemu teaches sixth graders with special needs. He and his school are focused on developing high pedagogical standards and they use the Fronter platform to achieve them.
Teemu (picture by Anna Korhonan) envisions a school where students learn how to take responsibility for their own learning. He wants his students to have a clear understanding of their learning goals and ways of achieving these goals. Therefore, Teemu uses Fronter to connect all his activities and assignments to learning goals. This gives learners a good starting point for evaluating what they already know about a subject and what they need to learn.
In addition, Teemu uses the platform to enable learning at students’ own pace and perspective. This gives learners an understanding of what their goals are, and acts as the backbone for ongoing and more transparent evaluation.
Technology in the classroom
Teemu embraces the use of technology in his classroom. He sees the potential of using all kinds of digital resources, not just textbooks. “Mobile phones and other student-owned devices are often seen as a threat to education, but if we harness their power, they could provide both teachers and students with tremendous advantages”.
For Teemu’s students, who have special needs and learn in a variety of different ways, certain forms of technology can be extremely helpful. For example, some of his dyslexic students benefit from watching videos on devices rather than reading texts. Other students are motivated by being able to use devices to carry out assignments. “When a child is allowed to use a mobile phone or video camera, for example, he often discovers a new channel of expression”.
New National Curriculum
Teemu reports, “These are busy days for Finnish schools. We have a new National Curriculum that cities and schools are editing to fit their local needs and visions.” Finland is embarking on a radical education reform program – they are trading “teaching by subject” for “teaching by topic”. As a result, there will be many ‘crossover’ topics taught and lots of ‘co-teaching’ going on. The Fronter platform will make this process a lot easier, as it allows teachers to co-create courses and easily share resources.
For Teemu the new curriculum will create even more opportunities to actively publish and evaluate his students’ progress regarding learning goals. To learn more about Teemu and his teaching practices, please visit his blog (in Finnish only) or follow him on Twitter:
Kantokasken School in Espoo city, Finland (Photo by Teemu Korhonen)