A new learning environment

The idea of the Virtual Web School is based on the constructionist principles of knowledge. These principles have been applied to pedagogical methods. On the web-school students are treated as active builders of knowledge; the teacher functions as a tutor in the learning process. The Web School is for storing, transforming, sharing, and multiplying of information and for construction of the learners own knowledge, for example, framing his or her own hypotheses and questions.

The Web School is for networking and learning in a richly interconnected society. Learning and teaching occur mainly on the Internet. A key task is to promote responsibility for one's own learning; students set their own goals and are in charge of their own efforts at active inquiry. Students can take part in a project on a project desk run by a teacher or expert or participate in a virtual course and gain credits. Within this virtual environment, the students' own reflections play a vital role in revising questions, assessing what they need to find out, and evaluating their progress. Students keep their own digital portfolio, where all work can be stored (projects, learning materials). They use email, discussion forums, electronic conferencing, and personal websites to exchange texts and graphics (pictures, diagrams and so on). Where feasible geographically, they have some in-person interactions with one another; but the electronic medium will be predominant because of the ease and speed of interaction. Learning on the Internet forms a new social context.

Contact Arja LEMINEN, City of Helsinki
tel +358 9 310 86375
fax +358 9 310 86374
email arja.leminen@edu.hel.fi
website www.media.edu.hel.fi/kuutio

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