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Minister Ligi: All school studies digital by 2020

24. July 2015 - 13:21
The state is investing more than 40 million euros to ensure that by 2020 it will be possible, where desired, for all teaching and learning in schools to take place digitally. With the support of the investment, Estonian-language e-study materials will be developed and made more widely available and a gradual transition will be made to completely paper-free e-exams.
 
Minister Jürgen Ligi says that virtually every student already has a smart device in their pocket. “What’s important is that we get them using them for educational purposes,” he said. “So far it’s mostly been digital infrastructure that’s been developed in schools, but we now want to focus on ensuring that digital devices have high-quality Estonian-language content.”
 
In order to support the more widespread use of high-quality digital study materials, the needs of both general and vocational education will be mapped and existing e-study materials will be adapted or new materials developed. Digital study materials will also be further developed as part of the ProgeTiiger and TiigriMatemaatika programmes. In-service training will be offered to teachers so as to support the adoption of the study resources. There will also be a gradual transition to e-exams.
 
Due for completion by the end of this year is the e-School bag portal, which will enable students and teachers to find and use digital study materials from a range of environments (koolielu.ee, moodle, the repositories of publishing houses etc.). In the portal, teachers will be able to combine different types of study materials and put together sets to be made available to students.
 
Laido Valdvee, the director of IT and director of studies at the Jakobson School in Viljandi, explains that both digital devices and e-studies resources allow students’ needs and abilities to be taken into account at a more individual level, which in turn helps to achieve better academic results. “The smart use of technology makes learning new things more interesting for students, which also makes acquiring new material easier,” he said. “It also simplifies the work of teachers – they can combine the study materials provided by publishing houses with stuff they freely find on the Internet.”
 
These activities are implementing the Digital Focus programme of Estonia’s Lifelong Learning Strategy 2020. The aim of the programme is the conscious and smart integration of digital opportunities into the learning process. The partners to the programme are the Innove foundation, the Information Technology Foundation for Education and the University of Tartu. The total volume of support is 40 350 000 euros, of which 34 297 500 euros is being provided by the European Social Fund and 6 052 500 euros is being co-financed by the state.

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