School is changing - both in form and content. Digitalization and outdoors activities are key, yet they can be difficult to combine. New tools are being developed to overcome these challenges.
Educators are tasked with modernizing the way we teach. Children are digital, and we should teach using the arenas that they are familiar with. At the same time - children need more physical activity. Educators are also charged with this task.
The covid-19 pandemic accelerated demand for digital solutions. Experiences so far, indicate that the "digital express train" did not hit as many obstacles as first feared. The education sector handled the change quite well. A Norwegian research shows that 70 percent of teachers feel that digital infrastructure does not inhibit collaboration or communication, according to the podcast «Rekk opp hånda».
Uteskolen er på ingen måte et nytt begrep, men konseptet ble høyaktuelt synkront med «sosial distansering». Uteskole er ikke kun fordelaktig for å hindre smitte, men gir i tillegg elevene mulighet til å være mer i fysisk aktivitet, jobbe kreativt, og samarbeide med andre. Ute får elevene mulighet til å bruke kroppen og sansene på en annen måte enn i klasserommet.
”Outdoor learning is all about creating a great atmosphere and good relations. At the same time, we pull the subjects out of the physical classrooms”. Teacher, Bjørn H. Christensen, Krapfoss Elementary, Norway
These are also the same principles behind the digital learning platform Wittario. According to education scholar Edgar Dale, a high degree of involvement can contribute to an increased learning outcome. We also know that physical activity has a positive effect on brain activity. Sprinkle a layer of game mechanics on top, and we have the three theoretical cornerstones of Wittario.
So what does the Wittario platform do? There are two components:
– In Norway, there is a goal of achieving a deep understanding of subjects. To do this, we must nourish reflection and dialogue, says teacher Bjørn H. Christensen at Krapfoss elementary.
How the different subjects are interconnected is emphasized in the new long-term strategy for Norwegian schools (Fagfornyelsen). Students will, guided by their teachers, create coherence and understanding. One of the guiding principles behind the new strategy is that "the world is not divided into subjects". Education needs to match future needs, be engaging and relevant. Wittario challenge students in "21st century skills" through communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity.
At Wittario we have had a keystone goal of not only delivering a test-tool, but a learning platform. Our solution includes several task types that challenge students on skills such as collaboration and teamwork:
There are several ways of ensuring the learning aspect of Wittario games. Links to internet content or teacher knowledge tools such as Loops, provide a broad learning environment. Special games create outdoor- and indoor-teams, ensuring that everyone can participate. Integration with Learning Management Systems, such as Skooler, is planned to simplify administration and evaluations.
The school of the future will be even more digital. This is where students are at and that is where they will remain. Our job is to create digital platforms that provide a varied outdoors and experience-based learning platform.
It has been over a year where many of us have been in the home office more or less throughout the period. How can you follow up all employees, their needs, development and at the same time facilitate that they get out into the fresh air?
Quarantine and home school is robbing students of physical play. At the same time, this might be when they need it the most.
Covid-19 has made home school a common exercise. At Krapfoss elementary, Wittario is used to get students on their feet.