Since 2018, Me Analytics AB and Chalmers University of Technology, together with the Municipality of Uddevalla, have been running a project that is about scientific education in a digital age. The project is based on a completely new digital scientific method that has come to be called “Scientific Social Media”—social media tailored for social science research.

The IT tool LoopMe is built to support schools that work scientifically according to the method. LoopMe is similar to social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, but is fully customized to collect large amounts of empirical data for research purposes. The tool has proven to work well for pedagogical action research, where a large number of teachers participate in research processes by studying their own practice in a systematic, coordinated, and documentary approach. Uddevalla Municipality has been a pioneer in the work of scientific social media.

The teachers who have participated stated that they now reflect more openly on their teaching, that they feel stimulated and that their own skills have increased. They are forced to think and develop more regularly as they move forward in the profession. They also commented on the amount of valuable time saved compared to other working methods. Their assignments in digital IT support have resulted in improved student relationships, safer corridors, more effective school start-ups, stronger workplace culture and staff participation, and much more.

The school leaders who have participated say that the way of working is an easier and more time-efficient way to develop the school. They also think they get a quicker idea of what works and what doesn’t, and can thus adjust much more quickly. The leaders like that they can get detailed “authentic” statistics to which they regularly return to analyse. An important issue that was raised early on was whether existing IT systems would suffice and that new IT support would be perceived as unnecessary. However, they now see that you do not “see” the whole picture with existing systems, and that it has not been as difficult as with other systems because it is so accessible to use. Finally, educational leadership has been strengthened through closer, more regular contact and dialogue with educators, as well as improved school management consensus.

Initially, there was some resistance, as well as many perfectly valid questions, which are now suitably answered. It also did not go as quickly as first announced, which in hindsight was a benefit, but now it is progressing more and more. Since we started, we have had very positive feedback from school leaders, teachers, and other staff. In the long term, it looks very encouraging, and you can already see that this will lead to better education in Uddevalla, which was the initial goal, and interest from outside of Uddevalla is substantial right now. The project’s way of working is also world-unique and is likely to spread widely throughout Sweden.

In this video (NB: in Swedish!), staff at two schools participating in the project talk about their impressions of how things went:

Skolutveckling på vetenskaplig grund i en digital tid from LoopMe on Vimeo.