Utsjoki: An Example of Implementing ICT in School Environment in Lapland


Annikki Lauerma


ABSTRACT
As to information and communication techology, Finland is in the front row in international comparison. The Finnish Parliament and the Ministry of Education emphasize lifelong learning and information society. Universities and institutions develop newlearning environments and a wide range of learning opportunities are available in our country. Schools are encouraged to exploit information and technology to the full. Within Finland Utsjoki is an Ultima Thule. It is the northernmost municipality on thetop of Finland and the whole EU. In the beginning of 1990s we had the opportunity of experimenting modern techology in education as a result of innovative experiments and projects which initiated first in the field of space physics and the study of atmosphere and later especially in observation of the northern ozone layer. We were lucky to be able to participate in the activities of association EURISY (The European Space Year) which offered our pupils challenging activities and international contacts including annual meetings abroad. Simultaneously information techology took long leaps and we could sense how the world shrinked: one of our very first international videoconferences was between Utsjoki and Noordwijk in the Netherlands where two students represented our school. We took part in the Forum by videoconferencing in Utsjoki, we could state questions to the speakers and interview our students there. All this gave us great expectations: ICT meant new opportunities, a way out to the world. Theseviews and optimism acted as a spur to the present Utsjoki project which is financed by the National Board of Education, the Ministry of Education, the Regional Council of Lapland/EU (ESF, objective 6) and the municipality of Utsjoki. The project is at the moment in its second phase and it has benefitted our school a lot.

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