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Norway > Innovative Practice Norway > Innovative Practice

In order to describe innovative practice in this country, National Pedagogical Co-ordinators have been asked to specify 3-4 criteria against which they would judge innovative practice and also to describe innovative practitioners who are making exemplary uses of ICT.

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

  1. Great professional strength and interest in the subjects teached
  2. Risk-taking
  3. Motivation

The teacher must possess great professional strength and interest in the subjects taught in order to be able to use technology and see how technology could be used to make teaching innovative. The learning process should take creative advantage of technology learners are already using in their everyday life, not only make use of the ordinary tools that are available in schools. This could involve a certain amount of risk-taking, as in using technologies which may not be designed for learning such as mobile technologies (mobile phones, GPS, tablets, iPad), digital games or social media.

Norway also considers motivation an important aspect of innovation. The teacher should motivate learners as well as influencing the rest of the school in e.g. sharing resources, writing/producing for an audience (contributing to Wikipedia, writing blogs on subjects), and building personal learning networks online and offline.

To count as innovative in the national context, a teacher should be able to inspire, motivate, and guide learners, by using a mix of methods, approaches, media and ICTs. There are two teachers (both teach in upper secondary schools) who can be seen as a benchmark when trying to define innovative practice in the national context.

Example 1: Teacher Magnus H. Sandberg uses the console game ”Assasin´s Creed 2” to teach about renessaince Florence. A wiki was set up for the project, the students brought their own consoles, and the producer Ubisoft provided the class with games.

View the video and wiki (in Norwegian).

Example 2: Teacher Liv Marie Schou uses Facebook in the second language Nynorsk, which has a reputation among learners for being boring.

To view an article in the newspaper Drammens tidende, click here.
To view the Nynorsk project's Facebook Page, click here.

As these two examples show, innovation should include exploring different methods of assessment in association with the learning processes, and be fully fluent in adapting web 2.0-tools for learning.

The use of ICT across the Norwegian education system seems well integrated within the subject boundaries developed through the Knowledge Promotion curriculum. Research done by Ottestad (2010) has compared the approach in Norway with other Nordic countries (Finland and Denmark). Since 2006, all three countries have developed significant policies in this area and implemented large investment programmes to promote digital literacy and readiness (for teachers and students) facing the information age. Ottestad (2010) notes some interesting differences in teachers' pedagogy and approach to ICT across the three countries, but concludes that most ICT-using teachers in all countries surveyed make use of ICT in confined periods of time and not on a daily basis. This is contrary to the various policy statements and goals of the various countries and is a reminder of the complex nature of these reforms and the difficulties in ensuring that they impact fully on the work of individual schools and the teachers therein.

As Plomp (2009, 566) notes, in Norway the issue is not one of lack of technical resources:

Rather, the most important issue confronting ICT within education in Norway is a pedagogical one: how should we use this technology as a didactical tool in education? … Further research is needed to address not only the issue of whether ICT is being used in the various school subjects but also how (in what kind of learning activities) it is being used.

This is clearly a question to which iTEC can respond most positively.