Speed and simplicity were two of the reasons why ICT educator Angelika Johansson wanted to introduce Skolon at Valdemarsvik Municipality. She had previously used the service in her work at Västervik Municipality, and felt that it would be the natural next step in Valdemarsvik’s digitalisation work.
“Skolon is the digital desk that makes everyday life easier for teachers, students and ICT educators.”
The municipality’s first step along its digitalisation journey involved leasing devices in order to create the digital desk, and Skolon was at the back of Angelika’s mind right from the outset.
“The municipality faced extensive digitalisation work,” recalls Angelika. “We had few devices, and the schools only had limited opportunities to work digitally. Once we had the devices, we would load them with digital services and the time eventually came to introduce Skolon, but things went faster than expected.”
As a result of coronavirus, Skolon opened up its entire digital platform. This meant that the process began earlier than anticipated, but Valdemarsvik Municipality welcomed this.
An open platform allows new services to be tested
This spring, Sweden’s schools had a greater need for remote teaching. Skolon therefore decided to open up its platform temporarily to increase access to digital resources at all the country’s schools, and to offer accessible learning to all. This also meant that schools had the opportunity to try out new services that they had not previously used.
“Despite the fact that we didn’t need to close any schools, we prepared for the possibility of school closures. Skolon opening up its services was an excellent opportunity for us to try its digital offering, and we saw that this would be a good platform for accessing digital resources, as well as being convenient for both teachers and students who were not used to working digitally.”
Speed and simplicity persuade Valdemarsvik
Valdemarsvik Municipality was also attracted by Skolon’s speed and simplicity.
“If we hadn’t had Skolon, our teachers and students would have had to juggle several different websites and log-ins. Skolon ensures that our digital services are both straightforward and fast. The GDPR aspect is also extremely useful, as Skolon has taken significant responsibility and offers a convenient solution. We still have to sign data representative agreements with the service provider, but if the service is in Skolon we can be sure that it will be relatively simple to sign agreements, and that’s reassuring.”
Teachers can explore the library themselves and find digital resources that they can start a trial period for. In the classroom situation, the teacher can easily lead students to the right service, saving time and effort for teachers and students alike.
Digitalisation is high on the agenda
Right now, the municipality is working hard to train administrators at its schools in order to make things easier for everyone involved. The next step will be a full-scale launch, which Angelika is looking forward to.
“In order to ensure a smooth start-up, I’ve helped with accounts and resource links. But now the school administrators have had training, they know more about which services their specific schools and students need and can deal with all the administration themselves. We’re a small municipality with around 700 students, which has been manageable, but we look forward to all the synchronisations being in place to ensure everything runs even more smoothly at the start of each academic year.”
Last but not least, Angelika feels that both she and the municipality have received good support with the implementation of Skolon:
“Skolon has always been excellent at providing answers and fast feedback when we’ve had any questions or thoughts. When we’ve encountered problems or challenges, we’ve always received immediate help and our issues have been resolved quickly.”