1-to-1 Computing: How Mobile Devices Have Supported Learning in Sandviken, Sweden by Dave Smith

A quiet revolution has been happening some 90 miles north of Stockholm, in the municipality of Sandviken, Sweden. Sandviken’s ‘1-to-1’ computer project has equipped every teacher and pupil in primary and secondary schools with their own laptop (pre-installed with a number of software applications), increasing laptop numbers from 2,000 to 6,700 over three years.

Sandviken’s ‘1-to-1’ project has real underlying school improvement aims, including raising levels of literacy and enhancing home:school links

The well-planned project has additionally ensured that each school has an effective managed wireless network, with local technical support to enable teachers and pupils to just get on with the job of teaching and learning. All teachers and pupils are also local administrators on their computers so that they themselves can take advantage of open-source applications from the Internet.

The project’s economies of scale has meant that Sandviken municipality was able to negotiate a much better deal for their schools – typically saving 30-40 per cent on the cost of the equipment, providing a real saving to the local community and better value to the schools.

However, Sandviken’s ‘1-to-1’ project wasn’t just aimed at providing equipment to pupils and teachers, it has real underlying school improvement aims, including raising levels of literacy and enhancing home:school links.

The municipality has specifically utilised the power of the ‘1-to-1’ project to enhance pupils’ writing and reading through its ‘Writing to Reading with Computer’ programme, where pupils are encouraged to use a laptop and associated software to aid their writing and reading development. 

IT Strategist for Sandviken Municipality, Mr Erik Holmqvist, explains that, “As part of the project we introduced a learning management system called ‘edWise’, used from pre-school to high school. This has provided pupils and parents with access to school-based documentation and learning materials via a secure login. Sometimes parents complain that we demand secure login to all information about their children. However, we are very stubborn and insist on this.”

The municipality recommends pupils take their computers home every day from the age of twelve. However, some schools let their pupils take the laptops home from the age of seven, as they want the devices to be constantly supporting pupils’ learning.

Holmqvist certainly seems happy with the outcomes, “Parents seem very pleased with the ‘1-to-1’ project and the way that it is helping their children to read and write…” Furthermore, so impressed are the municipality with the success of the project that they are already planning their strategy for 2015-2025. “So far we mostly have laptops computers, but other devices will be considered when we enter into the new project from 2015 onwards.”

Sandviken teachers and school leaders have found Bett very useful in supporting their vision. Holmqvist is a regular visitor to Bett, commenting that, “Bett has been a great inspiration for Sandviken over many years. I was particularly inspired by a speech by England’s education minister some four-five years ago, who spoke so warmly of the use of ICT in the school at all levels. In recent years the municipality has been represented every year, with up to thirty delegates in attendance.”

So, what about the current national picture for technology enhanced learning in Sweden? Well. Holmqvist has his own opinions… 

“The Swedish government has been very passive when it comes to policy towards ICT implementation in schools. We have had an education minister for seven years who believes that Swedish schools should look like those of the 1950s.  Although some improvement has recently emerged in this area, with a new curriculum having more of an emphasis on ICT use.  We need a government that takes ICT issues seriously. Many people within schools have recognised the need to work for modern schools where ICT is included.  However, ICT development is devolved to individual municipalities, which means that ICT is implemented in vastly different ways with varying degrees of success.”

With this in mind, perhaps other municipalities would do well to pay a visit to Sandviken to learn see how things are done.

Dave Smith is computing and ICT adviser at Havering School Improvement Services, as well as being a Naace Board Member. You can read more of his blogs here www.haveringict.edublogs.org    

ICT Move to Computing – A view from the USA

Respected US Educational Technology correspondent Ken Royal adds his thoughts to the Computing debate with some reflections from across the pond.  

Here’s what Ken has to say…

I’m following the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) to Computing and Computer Science,National Curriculum change the UK is headed for in 2014. There may be some correlation to Common Core Standards in the states, but the UK curriculum has some real computing clout to it, going a bit beyond suggestions of computer and Internet use.

At the core of computing is the science and engineering discipline of computer science, in which pupils are taught how digital systems work, how they are designed and programmed, and the fundamental principles of information and computation.”

Why the change from ICT in the UK to Computer Science? Well, to some, the shape of ICT was seen as weak, and students were mere passive consumers rather than active producers. There is definitely an economic issue, too. Why shouldn’t the world look to the UK for a new generation of programmers, application builders, and technologically minded entrepreneurs?

“Instead of children bored out of their minds being taught how to use Word or Excel by bored teachers, we could have 11-year-olds able to write simple 2D computer animations.” ~ Michael Gove, UK Secretary of State for Education

Can little hands and computer science thinking brains open new technological frontiers for the UK?

Read Ken Royal’s article in full here

Who is Ken Royal?

Click here to find out

Japanese Ministry of Education visit Havering


On Tuesday 2nd October 2012, a delegation from the Japanese Ministry of Education consisting of representatives from 12 prefectures (local authorities) visited Scargill Junior School in the London Borough of Havering. The delegation were treated to a tour of the school where ICT was being used to support teaching and learning in every class. iPads, PSPs, visualisers, interactive whiteboards, iMovie, GarageBand, Flip cameras, the London Managed Learning Environment and more was being used confidently by pupils and staff in imaginative ways to impact on pupil outcomes. Headteacher Mrs Amanda Ireland and ICT Leader Mrs Karen Webley, ably assisted by the School’s Digital Leaders shared their thoughts with the delegation on the benefits of ICT. The delegation were very impressed at the array of ICT in action and were delighted to see the expressions of joy and interest on the pupils’ faces as they not only worked hard but had fun too.

On Wednesday, the delegation are off to The Brittons Academy to explore the Brittons’ approach to Bring Your Own Device…

Continue reading

The Day the Japan Society visited Scargill Junior School

On Tuesday 26th June 2012 representatives of the Japan Society visited Scargill Junior School, Havering to talk to pupils about life in Japan.  This was part of a wider project linking Scargill Junior School with Ehime Prefecture, Japan through the Japan Society’s Open Classroom’s programme.

Scargill Junior’s ICT Leader Mrs Karen Webley is leading the initial links with Japan with the intention to work with the Havering School Improvement Services’ ICT Team to facilitate a larger network of Havering schools linking with Japanese schools.  The Japan Society then stayed on after-school to talk to the Havering International ICT Practice Group about opportunities to link with Japan through ICT.

An origami Samurai helmet as made by a pupil

Matt Devanny of the Japan Society challenges Scargill Junior pupils to explore fascinating facts about Japan

Making Links Through ICT – The Havering International ICT Practice Group

A very positive meeting of the Havering International ICT Practice Group Meeting was held at Scargill Junior School on 26.06.12.  Amongst other things we had a presentation from The Japan Society regarding web-based linking projects with Japan and free cultural resources that can be loaned.  Added to this we explored ideas from the ‘eTwinning Cookbook’, as well as opportunities for funding to develop a partnership with another country through the British Council’s ‘Connecting Classrooms’ programme.  We will investigate the latter in more depth at the next meeting, as we already had ideas for countries that we could link with.

So, if you were unable to make this week’s meeting why not sign-up for the next one now…

Date of the next meeting

Date: Thursday 27th September 2012

Time: 16:15-17:45

Course code: DSM/2012-13/69

Venue: TBA – If you would like to host the meeting please do email me via dsmith1.311@lgflmail.org

Additional information shared at the meeting:-

JANET Video Conferencing – http://www.ja.net/services/video/jvcs/newfeatures/cme.html Please do contact me if you would like more information regarding video-conferencing in your school.

LGfL Video Conferencing Central – http://www.lgfl.net/services/pages/video-conferencing-teaching-resources.aspx?click-source=nav-learning

Havering International ICT Practice Group – Tuesday 26th June 2012

Agenda for the Havering International ICT Practice Group

Venue: Scargill Junior School, Mungo Park Road, Rainham, Essex RM13 7PL

Date: Tuesday 26th June 2012

Time: 4.15pm-5.45pm


5’ – Introduction and Housekeeping

45’ –  A presentation by The Japan Society – Linking with schools in Japan

  • Japan UK Live and Open Classrooms’ programme
  • The Japan Society loan resources
  • Japan in your Classroom Japanese volunteer visitors
  • Small Grants programme, which could be useful for future school linking projects.

10’ – The eTwinning Website and ‘eTwinning Cookbook’ – Ideas of activities to link with schools in other countries

5’ – The British Council’s ‘Connecting Classrooms’ programme – continuing professional development programme and funding for international visits

15’ – Links with Sweden, Japan and Quebec and elsewhere – What’s been happening in your school?  An opportunity for attendees to share what has been happening in their schools.

5’ – ‘Collaborations Around The Planet’ – Projects to link with schools across the Globe using video-conferencing

5’ – Topics for the Autumn Term 2012 Meeting – including the possibility of a visit from the British Council to explore their ‘Connecting Classrooms’

If you haven’t already booked a place, please sign-up now at: www.haveringcpd.org.uk  Course code:  DSM/2011-12/73

NB. This Group is open to Havering schools purchasing the Hsis School Improvement Packages at Level 1, 2, 3 and 3+

Future meeting dates

Havering International ICT Practice Group (Autumn 2012)

Thu 27 Sep 2012  16:15-17:45  Course code: DSM/2012-13/69

Havering International ICT Practice Group (Spring 2013)

Thu 24 Jan 2013  16:15-17:45   Course code: DSM/2012-13/70

The Havering International ICT Practice Group meets on a termly basis to develop links with schools in other countries.  Current links include Sweden and Japan – making use of the MLE, email and video-conferencing to develop contacts with classes in other countries.