eLearning or web-learning is one of the paths to lifelong learning. The Sector for Day Care and Education uses the Internet in teaching both in schools and educational institutions. It also encourages all residents to participate in independent learning projects on the web.
eLearning means utilizing information and communication technology, especially web technology, in teaching and learning. In this respect, the City Sector for Day Care and Education emphasises the importance of multiform teaching and distance teaching as a part of it. Functioning interaction is a vital part of contact and distance teaching.
Viable multiform learning is essential to ensure the competitiveness of the educational institutions. The ongoing professional training of personnel in enterprises and in the public sector is being taken over partly by education through information networks. Therefore, it is important for young people and adults to learn the routines of distance learning while they are studying.
Opportunities will be created for the teachers to develop their e-learning in many ways, for instance by offering web pedagogical consultation services for them. Some teachers have the opportunity to join different projects producing web-based course formats.
Teachers have the opportunity to use Opit and Moodle learning environments in basic education and upper secondary schools. Moodle learning environment is also used in the Polytechnic. The teachers are assisted by a pedagogical consultant when planning the courses and study modules in order to make use of the best practices of web-learning in their daily work. The teachers participate in developing virtual teaching in their field of expertise and they can produce materials for web-based courses as projects.
A great deal of the material can be freely used by all interested learners (the materials are only available in Finnish). Some of the materials are designed for particular academic qualifications or for specific courses in an educational institution. They are suitable for self-study, too, to the extent of their online accessability. (For instance, some exercises require a Moodle user name that is given to course participants only.)
Seututarjotin (a regional “study tray") is a selection of courses for students in upper secondary education in the Tampere region. The students can study and complete these courses as distance and multiform studies. This regional selection of courses and studies aims to improve equality in education by providing students and educational institutions with courses that are less frequently offered in practice. The regional selection of studies and courses is being developed in collaboration with the principals of upper secondary education and subject-based teacher teams.
The steering group for distance teaching in the Sector for Day Care and Education promotes and creates the conditions necessary to support pedagogical innovations in eLearning. The steering group also deals with questions concerning the use of information and communication technology in teaching as well as pedagogical innovations and continuing education for teachers.
Due to the wide interest in eLearning, the City of Tampere has started a consultation point for web-based learning for teacher: an e-workshop called eVarikko. In this e-workshop there is room for 1-2 teachers working on project assignments. There is also a coordinator for web-planning (coding, graphic design, animations) as well as an expert in web pedagogy and media-education. The work of the e-workshop is supervised and developed by an eLearning coordinator in the Sector for Day Care and Education.
Tampere Polytechnic has got its own consultation point, the eEDU.