Until recently, policies designed to promote the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in school education in oecd countries have mostly focused on investment in infrastructure, equipment and in.service teacher training. Today these policies place more emphasis on the added value that ICT can bring to teaching and learning, and as a result, pay more attention to the development and publication of digital learning resources (DLR), i.e. any digital or digitised resource actually used for learning by teachers or students. To this end, a number of government subsidised programmes, repositories and networks have been set up. in addition, private initiatives have been trying to address a potential market niche, either by supplementing existing printed materials or by generating new services intended to provide useful digital contents or applications to teachers. further, there is a noticeable trend towards teacher.generated digital learning materials, offered either as open or paying resources both to the teaching community and to parents and pupils themselves. however, until now little effort has been devoted to mapping the resulting landscape, even if governments show a growing interest in the actual level of use of such resources by teachers, how these resources contribute to the quality of learning, how they can improve learning outcomes and what the factors may encourage or prevent the dissemination of ICT-based educational innovations.
This project would not have been possible without the support of the participating countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The work was supported by a grant from the swedish knowledge foundation. The secretariat also wants to acknowledge the contribution of the following individuals in organising the study visits from the country side: leo hojsholt. Poulsen (Denmark), Peppi Taalas (Finland), allyson macdonald (Iceland), lisbeth Pedersen (Norway), and Peter karlberg (Sweden).
This report reviews the vast range of opportunities that digital learning resources (DLRs) offer for systemic innovation in the school systems of the Nordic countries and how these opportunities are used by the main stakeholders.
The chapter introduces the background of the study, its aims and the methodology used. it also provides a description of the content of the rest of the report.
Systemic Innovation and ICT in Education
This chapter presents the analytical framework of the study together with concepts of "digital learning resources" and "innovation" that are being used in the report. It gives a short history of the development of dlrs and explains how this work is related to other related areas of research. furthermore, it looks at possible factors influencing the use of dlrs introducing an analytical model which looks at access to, competence in and motivation to use DLRs. Finally it describes the closely related phenomenon of open educational resources.
ICT Policy in the Nordic Countries
This chapter will describe some similarities and dissimilarities among the five nordic countries which are of relevance to the production and use of DLRs. Viewed from the outside, the region looks homogeneous, consisting of rather small well-off countries with large tax.funded public sectors. The education systems are decentralised and well equipped in terms of ICT broadband and number of students per computer. There is a long.standing tradition of cooperation in the region, symbolised and supported for long by the Nordic Council of Ministers. On the other hand there are a number of differences, making the region an interesting starting point for comparisons.
Government - Initiated Innovations in the Nordic Countries
The following three chapters will compare how the different phases of innovation are manifested in the nordic countries. Given the theoretical framework developed in Chapter 2, there will be a special focus on drivers and barriers, and on explaining some of the outcomes of the innovation process. This chapter will deal with government initiated innovations, in particular the five national educational portals.
Innovation Initiated by Commercial Actors
This chapter will look into the different phases of innovations initiated by publishing companies and educational broadcasters. Again a special focus will be placed on drivers and barriers, i.e. whether particular drivers and barriers can be found in different countries, explaining some of the outcomes of the innovation process.
Bottom - Up Innovations
This chapter sets out to discuss how user.generated innovations in the five Nordic countries have managed to initiate, implement and scale.up their innovations. It looks at the extent to which the innovations are monitored and evaluated and what kind of knowledge base has been used during the innovation process. A number of drivers and barriers to innovation are identified and discussed together with a set of strategies for governments to promote user.generated innovations.
Conclusions and Recommendations
This chapter presents a set of conclusions and policy recommendations for governments and government agencies drawing on the empirical and analytical findings of the project discussed in this report. It is worth pointing out at the outset that these conclusions and recommendations relate to both the production and use of dlrs in schools but also, more generally, to the study of systemic innovation in education.
Developing the Knowledge Base on DLRs
This chapter looks at ways of strengthening the knowledge base on DLRs. It starts by outlining what kind of research will help develop the knowledge needed to promote the further use and development of DLRs. It also suggests a conceptual framework for creating a system of indicators related to the development, use and effects of DLRs. Finally, it sketches out some embryonic scenarios on new ways of producing, distributing and using DLRs.
Appendix A - Cases Studied in the DLRs Project
Appendix B - ICT strategies in the Nordic Countries
Add to Marked List