In 2013 the Swedish government introduced the career post of advanced skills teacher (förstelärare) to make teaching a more attractive profession and to ensure high quality education for students. Schools can apply for a state benefit of at least 5000 SEK to award to each of their advanced skills teachers every month.
To qualify for the position you must be a licensed teacher (lärarlegitimation). You must also have a proven track record in improving students results as well as a strong interest in developing education.
The positions vary around the country as the post is designed at a local level, i.e., each school decides what the role of advanced skills teacher entails depending on the areas they wish to develop. Most advanced skills teachers have an assignment aimed at developing pedagogy in their schools.
My assignment is based on my interest in the application of information and communication technology (ICT) in education. I believe that ICT can be used to improve student engagement in education and save teachers time among other benefits.
In my first year in the role I organised and ran a collegial learning group (CLG) called Tech Tools where staff explored and shared their experiences of using education technology.
Since then, a key achievement of my project has been the introduction of Google Classroom to my school. In my role I have assisted in the training of staff and the continued evaluation of Classroom as a tool to streamline our practices.
Now into the fourth year of my assignment I intend to continue sharing my experiences with technology in education across the school. I am particularly interested in how technology can be used in the feedback process: can technology increase the impact of feedback and lighten the load for teachers? This year also sees the introduction of digital tests in the Swedish national programs and I will be evaluating the new processes to see how other subjects may benefit from digital testing.
My project is closely tied to the goals of the Swedish National Agency for Education’s (Skolverket) National IT Strategy. I will work on assisting in the development teachers’ IT skills as well as exploring ways of streamlining the administrative processes we face in our role as educators. To this end, my project is in line with Skolverket’s Vision 2022.