Göteborgs Högre Samskola (Samskolan) is an independent, free school in Gothenburg, Sweden with approximately 1500 students ranging from preschool through high school. The school was founded in 1901 as one of the first coeducational schools in Sweden and has a longstanding reputation for high student achievement.
The school prides itself on creating an educational environment that supports diversity, fosters creativity and encourages students to take personal responsibility. The frequent and close personal contact between teachers and students and between school and home contribute to the school’s reputation for a cohesive and welcoming environment.
In 2015, as Samskolan was in the process of digitizing the school, they sought a Learning Management System (LMS) that would offer both teachers and students the opportunity to work with integrated, familiar, cloud-based tools – something traditional LMS didn’t offer.
They considered Google, but opted instead to engage in a pilot program using Skooler’s LMS and Microsoft Office 365 for a number of reasons.
“We wanted to offer teachers and students educational tools in Office 365 so they could plan, communicate and work with tasks directly in Word, PowerPoint and OneNote. The school calendar should be in Outlook, with schedule, school info, exams and homework available via mobile and on the computer. Parents/custodians requested to get all school related information in the same place, in a mobile app. And teachers wanted a modern platform (Microsoft Teams) for internal communication and student interaction.“Jon Ohlsson, ICT coordinator and high school teacher
Since that time, Samskolan has continued to collaborate with Skooler as an educational partner, providing feedback on how to plan central content, write flexible reviews, assess abilities and knowledge requirements and document student development talks.
How Skooler has made a difference
Standards support with freedom to create. Skooler supports national curriculum requirements while offering a great degree of freedom for teachers and schools to determine the level of formalization and governance themselves.
Flexible feedback. Skooler provides multiple ways for providing feedback. It can be purely formative in nature or provided using specified rubrics or even smiley emoticons.
Familiar and enduring tools.
“With Office 365 and Skooler, the students get help with structuring their school work and they also learn to work with programs that they benefit from in the future. As a teacher, I get the opportunity to document the lesson work and make assessments during class. As a school, we at the same time reach the digital goals and guidelines set by the school without having separate IT courses because the tools in Office 365 are used in the daily work.“Andreas Wassberg, ICT teacher and high school teacher
Better communication. Communication about lessons and course work with students can also be accessed by parents. This provides transparency and leads to greater parental participation with fewer questions, email and telephone calls.
Documentation keeps things organized. The documentation in Skooler helps teachers better manage and supervise the status of every student in the class. At conference time, Skooler makes it easy for teachers to provide parents with an overview of students’ school work and development goals.
Skooler’s mobile apps support preschool activities.
Samskolan is also using Skooler and Office 365 for its preschool activities, with a focus on Skooler’s mobile apps.
Student attendance and security. The preschool’s educators are able to easily register when children are dropped off and picked up from the schoolyard.
Keeping parents informed. Parents of preschoolers want quick feedback about the day’s activities. Skooler’s mobile apps let teachers easily document the day’s happenings with their mobile devices, creating photo albums and sharing instantly to parents.
Pedagogy and planning. The educators also use Skooler’s more formal tools for pedagogical documentation and internal planning.
“Schools must provide for doing formal assignments, without forcing the school into a special work methodology. With Skooler it is always be possible to make adjustments to accommodate the different needs among the preschool, the elementary school and the high school.”Frida Grimfledt, ICT educator and primary school teacher