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Finland > ICT usage in the school Finland > ICT usage in the school

Access to computers in Finnish schools is very high. This is matched by an equally high degree of access to computers within the home environment. As an example, an OECD report in 2005 (OECD, 2005) found that over three-quarters of students said that they used computers at home on several occasions throughout the week. The same report found that 15 year-old students were using computers more frequently at home than they were at school. In both cases, recent years have seen a large increase in computer usage both within the school and home environment across Finland.

Within the primary schools in Finland, 88% of teachers make regular use of computers in their teaching. Of these, 93% of them have pupils working with computers during class time on a range of activities. Finnish teachers are amongst the most frequent users of self-researched teaching materials from the internet. Primary schools excel at ICT usage. 82% of schools have their own website, 93% offer email to teachers and 26% to so to pupils (European Schoolnet, 2009, p2).

Interestingly, whilst primary school teachers tend to be supportive of ICT, they are the most impact-sceptical (ranking 20th out of 27 other European countries). When asked whether 'pupils are more motivated and attentive when computers and the internet are used in class', 23% disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement.

The majority of Finnish primary school teachers (64%) expressed dissatisfaction with the level of technical maintenance and support within their schools and also identified a lack of computers as being problematic (43% agreeing that there were too few computers in their schools). Nearly 50% of teachers found it hard to find adequate learning materials and around 20% considering existing materials to be of poor quality.

Finally, the belief that using ICT has positive impacts on the motivation of pupils or learning benefits is correlated with the level of computer skills of the responding teachers. This is true in nearly every European country. In Finland, the teachers with very good ICT user skills show only somewhat higher levels of impact optimism.