Digital leap of teachers

Two Finnish examples of rethinking teacher professional development for the digital age


  • Irja Leppisaari
  • Leena Vainio



digitisation of education, teacher professional development, digi-pedagogical competences, pedagogical and technical support, trial culture, peer learning, learning badges


Digitisation and modernisation of education are central objectives in educational policy. This challenges to rethink teaching methods and update teacher pedagogic expertise. This article examines how two Finnish vocational education institutions are supporting transition of teacher professional development to the digital age. The comparison identified similar elements of success and areas for development. Strategic planning and leading of development for a digital leap is the starting point for success. Wireless connections must be universally available to enable use of one's own devices (BYOD). However, the key change factor is teacher transformation. Digital technology has led to professional development models being in a state of transition. Traditional face-to-face methods are not enough to modernise teacher competences. Peer learning, teacher initiated collaborative development, online training, and use of learning badges will be key methods in teachers taking a digital leap. A promising practice is student-teacher partnerships to change practices for the digital age.