Seminar 10 My work
The Knowledge Foundation was established in 1994.
The starting financial base of The Foundation was
3,6 billions of Swedish crowns. In the first ten
years, the foundation has invested almost five
billion Swedish kronor in projects related to
research, competence development in industry and ICT
development in the schools.
The Knowledge Foundation can be found at: http://www.kks.se/templates/StandardPage.aspx?id=84
ICT in education
In order to promote growth in Sweden over the long
term, the Knowledge Foundation supports development
in Swedish schools. With investments at both the
national and regional level, the Foundation wants to
increase ICT use, develop the school’s different
ways of working and stimulate children in their
desire to learn. Around 1,2 billions of Swedish
crowns was invested in projects related towards
In 1996 the
Knowledge Foundation commenced two programs for ICT in schools:
1. One program where schools in 55 local government communes have
participated in 28 larger and 65 smaller projects with the aim of
stimulating ICT development within schools.
The projects have been carried out in co-operation with the local
government communes, which have partly financed the projects.
For example the answer on the question Where to teach?, was searched
with the help of not so few of the 65 smaller projects. Many of them
were distance learning projects equipped with modern lap tops.
2. The Knowledge Foundation has also provided assistance to
approximately 94 teaching materials projects with the aim of offering
ICT based teaching materials to schools.
I did work with this second project during it’s whole length therefore
I would like to give a first hand account of it. The other source of my
information about the “A new generation of school textbooks” as the
project was officially called is based at the evaluation report
“A new generation of school textbook” started 1996 with the budget
of 120 millions SEK. The main goal of the project was to deliver to the
Swedish schools on the verge to enter ICT age, multimedia school books
with a new kind of pedagogy. (The secondary goal was to create the
stable ground for a creation of future multimedia industry in Sweden.)
The project time was outstretched throughout three years with six
applications rounds. During these publishers and publishing houses, ICT
companies, universities and colleges, film and theater groups, different
add hoc groups consisting of writers, ICT people and pedagogue, non
governmental organizations (Save the children, Red Cross …),
vocational teaching organizations and schoolteachers were supposed to
seek funding for their own pedagogical project.
The first round of applications was dealt with during autumn 1996. Four
more rounds of incoming application were subsequently organized with two
rounds each year, one during springtime and the second in autumn. The
Foundation received around 1000 applications which were evaluated by a
small group of “experts”. 94 projects were chosen for funding. About
20 of these 94 were history projects. The last round of application
never went on. The foundation made a judgment that there weren’t any
new ideas for multimedia school books around.
1999 the Foundation expressed a wish to evaluate “A new generation of
school books” project. The evaluation concentrate itself at the
pedagogical and economical aspects of the projects and also how the
Foundation should proceed in the light of what was done etc.
Some of the conclusions of evaluation report:
ICT in schools was at this time (around 1999-2000)believed to be
necessary and important pedagogical tool to achieve a new way of
learning as it was described in the Swedish Educational directives.
Nevertheless there were only scattered amount of teachers who supported
this vision. The ICT based pedagogy seldom made it into schools everyday
The pedagogical interaction between traditional school text books and
the new multimedia school books was at the start seldom debated later
neglected. The Foundation lacked strategy for the schools choice
decision between the traditional text books and the multimedia
The criteria for new multimedia school books and how they should be used
in every day’s pedagogy was never discussed in an exhaustingly way.
The marketing of the new multimedia schools books were neglected mostly
because the production groups put most of the energy into productions.
In too many cases the producing group didn’t have any knowledge about
dissemination of the product into the schools.
The market for the multimedia school books was worth of around 25
millions Swedish crowns a year. This market could not absorb additional
40 millions a year of new products. The publishing houses and other
professional’s providers of educational material withdrew their
The Knowledge Foundation stimulated and funded individual actors
striving to produce products without engaging itself in long-term
strategy of developing knowledge and competence about how these products
could be used in the future.
The quality of products funded by The Knowledge Foundation was not good
enough when compared to similar products elsewhere around.
Should the teaching and learning be done altogether inside the computers
(connected to internet)? Should multimedia school books with abundance
of pictures, movie sequences, music, speeches and text plus supported by
huge amount of interactivity be expected to do most of the pedagogy in
the near future?