Translated from Norwegian. See original article by Henriette Slaatsveen on amta.no
20 Aug 2019 – Oslo, Norway – It’s not every day that you make Chinese friends at school. But these Heer School fifth graders did, on their second day of school.
“Chinese writing is really hard. I’m impressed that they can read and write it,” says Torjus Ingebretsen (10).
On the second day of school, Torjus and his fifth-grade classmates received visitors all the way from China. No fewer than 30 teachers and students visited both Heer and Dal schools this week.
“The Chinese visitors are on a study tour in Scandinavia to learn about the school system here. The Chinese will observe teacher-pupil relationships, how classes are conducted, and the use of ICT in teaching and learning – both inside and outside of school,” says Kari Veidahl Aagård of Frogn County Schools.
The visit from China is a result of a joint venture between itslearning and the Chinese company Traceboard. The two companies are working together to provide a learning platform for Chinese educational institutions.
itslearning and Traceboard signed the joint venture during an official visit to China in November. The Norwegian Minister of Industry, Innovation Norway and the King and Queen of Norway were present when the agreement was signed. On Tuesday, representatives from itslearning and Traceboard gathered in the Frogn Municipality.
But, of course, there was more on the agenda than discussing digital learning platforms when the visitors from China arrived at Heer School
on Tuesday. The students got along well when they met in the classroom, and during the recess they enjoyed swinging, rock climbing and playing football.
Annie (11) is one of the students visiting Frogn this week. “It is very interesting to visit Norway. I think this school is very beautiful, and very different from the school at home,” Annie says. On Tuesday morning, the 11-year-old got to work on the iPad with her fellow student Tom (11) and Heer students Jacob Lund (9) and Torjus Ingebretsen (10).
Later that day, they hiked in glorious weather to the local Scout hut to grill hotdogs and have fun. In the evening, they toured, and dined at, Oscarborg Fortress. “It’s cool to have visitors from China. It’s fun to teach them about Norway, learn about China, and get even better at English,” says Jacob.
A big difference
Thomas Gunleiksrud, VP of International Sales at itslearning, also visited Frogn on Tuesday, as did the leader of Traceboard, Mr. Whang Chuan. He was very excited to see Norwegian and Chinese students working closely in the classroom and is pleased that the agreement signed with itslearning last November led to this visit.
Mr. Chuan described the major differences between Norwegian and Chinese schools, “In Chinese primary schools, there are many strict rules and a lot of time is spent in the classroom. Norwegian students seem to have more variety and freedom, and look happier and more satisfied,” says Chuan.
When Kari Veidahl Aagård of Frogn County Schools agreed to a visit from China, she knew they’d have to arrange a proper visit. After an eventful day at school, in Frognmarka and at Oscarborg Fortress, they visited Oslo. After that they travelled to the Holmenkollen neighborhood, Frogner Park and the Viking Museum, among other destinations.
The Chinese visitors will take away a better understanding of how Norwegian schools operate. These experiences will last a long time. But even more importantly, friendships were established between Chinese and Norwegian students this week – and those bonds could last a lifetime.
Traceboard is located in Beijing, in Zhongguancun Software Park – better-known as “China’s Silicon Valley”. It was founded in 2000, and its products benefit millions of teachers & students across China.
Used by more than 7 million active users worldwide for K-12 and Higher Education, itslearning is the largest LMS provider in Europe. With an average uptime of 99,97%, we offer the most pedagogically aligned LMS on the market along with the best support and services.
itslearning AS – Bergen, Norway