Switzerland > Innovative Practice Switzerland > Innovative Practice

The criteria against which innovative practice might be judged in Switzerland are as follows:

  1. Innovative practices improve (independent) learning and/or assessment and raise pupils’ interest, knowledge and motivation in a sustainable way
  2. Innovative practices foster critical thinking about the implications of readily available and inter-connected devices and help pupils to deal with the ubiquitous and permanent availability of ICT inside and outside of school
  3. An innovative practice promotes interactive learning tools and methods as an important feature to enhance pupils’ skills. It also fosters digital content use, creation and sharing with peers in and beyond the classroom (including cantonal, federal and/or international level collaboration)
  4. An innovative practice provides answer to a new challenge, or offers a more effective solution compared to previous ones, fulfilling to a greater extent the learners’ needs. Innovative practices offer solutions that could be disseminated in a range of institutes and could be reproduced in different contexts.

Innovative teachers have good levels of digital competence and confidence to try out new methods and ICT tools to design learning environments and/or activities that maximise learning outcomes whilst addressing existing pedagogical challenges. An innovative teacher facilitates pupils’ independent learning by acting as a coach rather than as an instructor.

Focused on evidence-based practice, innovative teachers are interested in and know how to apply technology in creative and adapted ways, improving the traditional educational process, while respecting pupils’ individual skills or special needs.

An innovative teacher is generally cooperative, has good social interaction skills and is able to view the future with an open-mind.

In brief, an innovative teacher has the ability (i) to actively encourage technology use, inside and outside school, as a core part of pupils’ personal learning and working environment; (ii) to provide curriculum compliant content for pupils to deal with in class and ability to customise available digital tools for specific learning activities; and (iii) to lead interactive lessons and real-time group activities, as well as ability to help use, create and share digital learning resources.

Following innovative ICT initiatives in Swiss schools can be mentioned:

The iPhone Project: The Project School Goldau is a small primary school working in collaboration with the Institute for Media and Schools (IMS) of the Teacher Education Institute of Central Switzerland at Schwyz (PHZ Schwyz). For the duration of a two-year pilot project starting in 2009, all 12-year old pupils of a fifth class at Goldau have been given a personal Apple iPhone 3G to be used by them individually and without any constraints. They were actively encouraged to use the device inside and outside school as a core part of their personal learning and working environment.

The Learning with personal devices, at home and at school Project (Projekt Digitaler Alltag): From spring 2012 to summer 2013, all pupils from three classes of the School Project Goldau have received a personal device. In this project, the teacher guides young pupils in the process of getting engaged in learning activities which may occur at anytime and anywhere and focuses on how pupils can use technology to improve their learning both in and out of school. The project fosters critical thinking about the implications of readily available and inter-connected devices and elaborates on how to deal with the ubiquitous and permanent availability of ICT. The teacher provides curriculum compliant content for pupils to deal with in class and customises available digital tools for specific learning activities.

The Netbook-Project School Guttannen: This project also received wide media attention. Since summer 2010, a 5-6 grade class started to use 1:1 computing (tablets and netbooks) for the lessons. Since summer 2012, the project is implemented in the whole school (after a class merging due to the insufficient number of pupils per grade). The school works together with the Teacher Training University of Canton Berne (PH Bern) to collect evidence on how netbooks and tablets can be used in the classroom and for homework.

Samsung Smart School Solution @ Leysin American School: For the pilot, Samsung is providing Samsung Smart School Solution packages for two classrooms at the Leysin American School (LAS) consisting of 20 GALAXY Note 10.1 including keyboard docks, a 65-inch interactive whiteboard, a Notebook including charging station as well as the correspondent Samsung Smart School Solution Software. The Smart School Solution provides teachers with the ability to lead interactive lessons and real-time group activities through its convenient screen and content sharing features. It also delivers learning management tools enabling students to access course materials and information, as well as school notices and forums, through their tablets.