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 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 research and the application of information and communication technology (ICT) in education. I believe that ICT can be used to positively impact student learning outcomes in education and save teachers time through streamlining administrative processes.
My project is closely tied to the goals of the Swedish National Agency for Education’s (Skolverket) National IT Strategy. I work on assisting in the development of teachers’ IT skills as well as exploring ways of streamlining the administrative processes we face in our role as educators.
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 and the development and roll out of a system for tracking students’ progress. In my role I have assisted in the training of staff and the continued evaluation of Classroom as a tool.
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 on the learner and lighten the load for teachers?
In 2020 the coronavirus pandemic saw many schools move to distance learning. While this presented challenges for education it has also presented an opportunity to evaluate the effect the use of technology is having on learning. As my project continues, I will particularly be focussing on what the evidence from research has to tell us about the impact digitalisation on learning.