Last week, on February 21 2021, the Education and Youth Board of Estonia presented a new chapter of the Technology Compass for Education called "Distance Learning of Dreams". The presentation was followed by a panel on how to use distance learning most effectively in future education, once the crisis is over.
In her speech, the Minister of Education and Research of Estonia, Liina Kersna emphasised that although technology cannot replace contact teaching, it can enrich it. "Research has shown that our students do not learn at the same pace. Almost 30% of students had learning difficulties during distance learning, but then there are those who studied even faster and better than before. 40% of students found distance learning to be as effective as contact learning. The year-long distance learning experience has demonstrated the need for good smart solutions. Technology gives us the opportunity to provide students a more flexible and individual learning path as well as helps both students and teachers to advance faster."
According to the Minister, as a society we are ready for technological innovation in education more than ever. "Today's readiness, cooperation and mutual perspective have created a window of opportunity for Estonian educational innovation both at home and for export."
Marit Dremljuga-Telk, the project manager at the Education and Youth Board and editor-in-chief of the Technology Compass, noted that the experience of distance learning is useful for understanding the future. "Last year’s experience is crucial – we can systematise it for future perspectives. This in turn helps to understand how to make the most of distance learning even when the crisis is over. Cooperation with universities, technology experts and companies, and of course teachers and school leaders, has been a very good impetus for the Compass," she added.
The panel discussed the ways to use distance learning most effectively in the future teaching. Panel was attended by Karmo Kurvits, director of Võru Gymnasium; Kersti Peenema, founder of Helge Kool, an application that helps schoolchildren to improve their mental health; Kristen Tamm, founder of Futuclass, educational virtual reality games; Anna-Helena Salurand, Audentes e-gymnasium teacher and analyst at TransferWise; and student Kätriin Helena Huttunen. The presentation was moderated by journalist and technology expert Henrik Roonemaa.
The Technology Compass for Education is an overview of technology trends for Estonian schools that provides practical advice on the use of technology in modern teaching and explores what and how we should teach. The Compass contains the experiences of Estonian schools, practical examples and expert recommendations.
The overview is compiled by the Education and Youth Board in cooperation with Estonian education and technology experts. There were more than 80 experts involved this year.
“Technology Compass for Education” is an initiative of the Education Information Technology Foundation (currently, the Education and Youth Board), which was first published in 2019.
Yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the announcement of the "Tiger Leap" program. On February 21, 1996, in a televised speech, President Lennart Meri announced the "Tiger Leap" program, i.e. the plan for the complete computerisation of Estonia, which laid the foundation for the Estonian e-society.