The Information Technology Foundation for Education recognised more active technology area teachers on March 2 and gave an overview of the results of the technology program and its impact on our educational institutions. The ProgeTiger technology program has affected 85 percent of Estonian schools and 44 percent of kindergartens with is activities in five years.
The Ministry of Education and Research initiated the ProgeTiger program in 2012 with the aim to increase the technological literacy and digital competences of learners so that conscious and smart integration of digital opportunities into studies could actually take place by 2020 also in the smallest schools of the furthest villages. “The ProgeTiger program is one of the first undertakings of its kind where the state contributes so comprehensively into development of the technology education,” explained the program manager of ProgeTiger, Kristi Rahn. “After five years from launching the program, we want to highlight and thank the more active teachers who have helped to promote technology education in Estonia, as well as to summarize the impact and scope of the programme to date, but also to look into the future.”
Over the past five years, equipment in the amount of more than 830,000 euros has been purchased to 446 schools and kindergartens for teaching robotics, programming, 3D modelling as well as multimedia. Attention has also been paid to increasing the teachers’ technological literacy. More than 4,100 teachers have participated in trainings of ProgeTiger.
One of the most important results of the program includes networks of educational technologists and teachers created in all Estonian counties, where hundreds of people support the conduct of activities also at county level. This network has helped to compile a web based collection of ProgeTiger study materials, guidelines and study scenarios, which each teacher can apply in their class.
While the activities of the technology program have concerned most of the Estonian schools, the aim of the next three years of the program is to involve more local governments in order to reach out to the educational institutions that have so far stayed out. Still, schools are lacking the systemic digital learning materials, which is why digital textbooks are being prepared in the framework of the program for school grades I and II. “The development of digital skills must become a natural part of the studies. Every student in any part of Estonia must have the opportunity to acquire the necessary technological literacy already in the school, it is one of the 21st century skills that we cannot live without. “
The ProgeTiger program has also received international recognition when in 2016 the European Commission chose the program among the best European projects concerning development of digital skills. “The ProgeTiger is of great interest to foreign delegations who visit Estonia,” added Kristi Rahn. “These topics are important and actual also elsewhere. People from Europe as well as Asia come to learn from our experience.”