The Estonian Ministry of Education and Research has announced its plan to digitise schools in Estonia by 2020.
The 40 million euro investment will shift the focus from e-infrastructure to e-studying possibilities by supporting more widespread use of high-quality digital study materials and enabling a gradual transition to completely paper-free exams. Minister Jürgen Ligi highlighted that in a time when virtually every student has a smart device in their pocket, it is essential to encourage pupils to use this technology for educational purposes.
Laido Valdvee, the director of IT and director of studies at the Jakobson School in Viljandi, said that the initiative will facilitate individual-based teaching, which, in turn, helps them 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,” he explained, ERR News reports.
A brand new e-School bag portal is due to launch by the end of this year, enabling students and teachers to find and use digital study materials from a range of environments. In the portal, teachers can compile materials and make them available to pupils.
The initiative is part of the Digital Revolution programme of Estonia’s Lifelong Learning Strategy 2020, aiming for the conscious and smart integration of digital opportunities in the learning process. This programme is implemented in partnership with the Innove Foundation, the Information Technology Foundation for Education and the University of Tartu.