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Finland > The Current Curriculum Context for ICT Finland > The Current Curriculum Context for ICT

Over the last ten years there have been a number of initiatives that have affected the development of ICT in Finnish schools. One of these, OPE.FI, was launched in 2004. It aimed to improve the ICT skills of in-service teachers and other teaching personnel. There were three main stages. Stage one helped all teachers achieve mastery in basic ICT skills such as word processing, internet browsing and email. Stage 2 provided skills in using ICT for educational purposes. These included the use of generic tools, pedagogical applications and digital materials within each subject area. It also taught teachers how to produce their own digital learning materials. The final stage developed these approaches through specialised knowledge related to content-specific and professional applications, further production of digital learning materials, institutional management systems and the development of broader education support networks to cascade knowledge and skills.

In 2004 the Finnish Government adopted a resolution to provide broadband access to all schools by 2007. It provided financial assistance for the setting up of high-performance telecommunications in all schools and colleges.

ICT is not taught as a separate subject within the Finnish curriculum. But it does form an important part of, and should be embedded within, every subject that is taught.

The Finnish national core curriculum has the following cross-curricular themes:

  • Personal growth;
  • Cultural identity and internationalism;
  • Media skills and communication;
  • Citizenship and entrepreneurship;
  • Environmental responsibility;
  • Safety and traffic;
  • Technology and the individual.

Other skills and competencies are defined in the learning objectives and core content of education of the different subjects. The Finnish National Board of Education has published a guidebook for teachers on cross-curricular themes. Schools and teachers decide for themselves, however, how competencies are taught. There are currently no assessment regulations or guidelines on these 21st century skills and competencies.

The computer per pupil ratio across Finland is 14.3/100 and, as reported in the European Schoolnet STEPS report (2009), 76% of students currently have a broadband connection. Larger schools have dedicated computer laboratories but there are still very few interactive whiteboards. There are no schools without any ICT.