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Learning the alphabet in the 5G network - how will technology change education?

4 min
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5G and technology will also change education and teaching. What will happen at schools when Helsinki and Telia develop 5G pedagogy in cooperation?

The City of Helsinki considers that using information technology in education is increasingly important. Its importance has increased along with changes in society and working life. A cooperation that has been launched with Telia is part of the city’s digitalization programme.

Finland is internationally renowned for its education system. We are also forerunners as users of mobile services on a global scale. In other words, Finland is in an excellent position to lead the way for the education of the future.

TECHNOLOGY IS A TOOL

The use of new technology at schools is a hot topic for discussion for teachers, parents and students. A common misunderstanding is that it is primarily a question of increasing information technology, for example, by acquiring computers and tablets for schools. Liisa Pohjolainen, the Executive Director of the Education division of Helsinki, emphasizes that it is a question of the entire education system. ”It is a question of a change in society that will affect education environments and pedagogy. Technology is a tool that supports this change."

The City of Helsinki and Telia are developing pedagogy for the future in which the new mobile technology plays a key role. The cooperation started this autumn in the Arabia Elementary School in the teaching of mathematical subjects and design.

There is a trial at the school on using virtual reality and augmented reality in teaching. This topic was also studied further during work practice at Telia when students tested VR headsets, interviewed their fellow students and planned how virtual reality could be used in studying on the basis of their experiences.

HOW TO BUILD A 5G SCHOOL?

Students search for information online and they also produce an increasing amount of learning content themselves. Schools become local centers of data transmission, which means that also the design of connections between schools and school buildings must support the new kind of learning. Students or a teacher may take part in a remote lesson through the fast network, and classrooms expand to cover the whole area of the school and the city. Thus, a 5G school also refers to the school building, which has been designed for a new kind of learning from the very beginning.

”We want to make our contribution to school planning as the first 5G schools will be built next year”, says Telia’s Chief Technology Officer Jari Collin. ”When a school is designed carefully also from the perspective of using technology, teachers and students can focus on the essential, that is education content”, he continues.

THE WHOLE CITY AS A CLASSROOM

”Students study increasingly often phenomena across traditional borders between subjects, as broad entities. With the help of mobile technology, studying can be detached from a location which means that traditional teaching in a school is expanded and the whole city becomes a learning environment”, says Anna Laine, who is a Special Planning Officer at the City of Helsinki.

Technology has a versatile role in teaching, which is undergoing a renewal. At the same time, necessary skills for the future are learned at school which will also be needed in the working life. Technology eases communications, effectively brings pupils and ideas together and makes the provision, combination, production and sharing of knowledge easier.

In other words, the buzzword digitalization means that operating methods, interaction and data management are changing. In the world of education, it means a new kind of teaching and learning. Technology has an important role in renewals, but it must be connected to learning in an intelligent and enriching manner.

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