Is teaching teaching everywhere?

When we KNORK people had a meeting and workshops in Sofia in January (2015), I began to think how similar problems and challenges with digital technology teachers have in each KNORK country (Finland, Italy, Bulgaria) although the countries are very different. We might think that because, e.g. the resources of digital tools vary so much, because teachers’ digital competence differs so much, schools are so different, e.g., there is not much to talk about between teachers of each country and the experiences cannot be shared to others. On the contrary! The core of teacher profession is learning, at every level and in every country and school, and that is the common ground for teachers to collaborate. In the KNORK workshops, teachers were interested in how to teach better to support students’ future competencies, how to use technology in a meaningful way, and how to organize digital technology so that it supports teachers and students as well as possible. I enjoyed to ee how teachers asked questions from each other, and how they appreciated to see other teachers´ examples (related to KNORK activities). They also shared same problems: lack of time for collegial discussions and planning, limited technology resources and models for supporting students’ knowledge work skills, which is an aim of KNORK project.

Sometimes we think that all travelling around Europe for participating in some projects is just wasting time or “reward trips” without any deeper aims, but again, in our Sofia meeting, I saw the benefits of this face-to-face collaboration, also for teachers. One of the participating Finnish teachers said afterwards that she again got a lot of motivation to continue with the project. Working too much alone or within only in own school does not give wider perspectives – even to see how well one’s one work is. SO looking forward to have a face-to-face meeting in Italy next January!

Liisa Ilomäki, co-ordinator of KNORK, University of Helsinki

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