Reading, writing, and academic integrity
Since 2008, schools in Kristiansand Kommune in Southern Norway have given digital skills the same priority as reading, writing, math, and oral presentation skills—viewing them all as essential areas of learning from day one of each student’s journey. The digital skills that students learn also help them sharpen other skills deemed essential in Norwegian schools: collaborating with fellow students, and giving and receiving peer-to-peer feedback.
Kristiansand’s schools were one of Norway’s earliest adopters of Google for Education tools. The schools began using Google Workspace for Education Fundamentals in 2010, and later on, adopted Google Classroom. Erik Fredheim, who’s both a teacher and an information and communications technology (ICT) advisor for Haumyrheia school, started using Education Fundamentals himself a decade ago, and believes the Google solutions were the perfect choice for the municipality.
“We wanted a system that could be used easily across all the different technologies we already had,” Freidheim says, noting that at various times, Chromebooks, iPads, and Windows PCs and laptops have been in use in the district.
Indeed, the overall strategy for deploying technology in Kristiansand schools is built around the idea of enabling access to teaching and learning tools from any device, and giving teachers and students more freedom to choose which tools they’ll use. After testing several learning management systems over the past decade, the municipality chose Google Classroom. “Even without us pushing Classroom, over time, it was adopted organically,” says Ole Wongraven, Kristiansand’s ICT advisor for schools.