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E-Believeres: On a Mission for a Better Tomorrow

Sat, June 2, 10:00 to 11:30am, History Corner (450 Serra Mall, Building 200), 107

Session Submission Type: Roundtable


In recent years and even decades Estonia has been one of the countries where e-solutions have affected all parts of society. A lot of effort has been made to teach children and also adults the 21st century skills and combining regular teaching methods with technological tools. Teachers use interactive whiteboards and parents can check their kids’ grades and homework assignments online. As a result, an average 25-year-old Estonian has grown up using e-school and e-government services. He/she considers online communication with institutions and the state and a wide choice of e-services an everyday thing. In 2016 PISA assessment, Estonia made history as its students ranked first in natural sciences in Europe and third in world, after Singapore and Japan. In functional reading Estonian students ranked sixth in world. Tablets, learning apps and digital boards are common phenomena in most schools across the country. But the most important task has been to teach people how to search and filter important information. E-turn in education has happened step by step, but in comparison with most of the developed countries around the world, it has been an extremely rapid change. Which are the biggest jackpots and challenges that the society and the government have experienced? What will be the next steps for e-believers in education? Are we going to experience only benefits with e-solutions in education or is it going to backfire? We are going to search the answers with people who have played a great part in the e-turn in Estonian education.

Short Bio

Margus Pedaste is a Professor of Educational Technology at the Institute of Education of the University of Tartu in Estonia where he is leading the Centre for Educational Technology. He is also the head of Pedagogicum, which is a consortium of all university's faculties for coordinating teacher education. Currently he is half a year a visiting scholar at Stanford University H-STAR institute where he is working on a framework to link inquiry-based science education and augmented reality.

Linnar Viik is one of the founders of Estonian e-Governance Academy and Programme Director of the Central e-Government. Linnar has been advising Estonian and many other governments on ICT and innovation policy and recognised as IT visionary. He has been instrumental in the rapid development of Estonian computer and network infrastructure, as well as the Estonian internet voting and electronic signature projects.

Andres Ääremaa. Estonia is famous for the digital society and also for having one of the best basic education systems in Europe, at least according to the PISA results. Working at the intersection of both fields has given Andres many opportunities to understand what are the key elements for both success stories and to contribute to both of these. Having the experience of promoting ICT career and studies on one hand and having suffered from the lack of ICT specialist on the other hand makes him just the right person to have a say in the government actions to develop the students digital competences, pique the students interest in field of ICT and to help to enhance the ICT sector in Estonia.

Heli Aru-Chabilan is the Chair of the Management Board of the Estonian Information Technology Foundation for Education (HITSA). She has previously worked on different positions at the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research, mostly related to labour market, internationalization and lifelong learning issues. She was appointed to Paris as the first counsellor for education and science at the Estonian Permanent Delegation to OECD and UNESCO (2011-2016). Her earlier occupations include volunteer work in different civil society organizations. She has been a co-founder and a board member of the biggest Estonian think-tank – PRAXIS Centre for Policy Studies.

Hanno Tomberg is the Member of The Board of Archimedes Foundation, being responsible for implementing European Union structural funds in higher education and science, as well as for external quality assurance of higher and vocational education institutions in Estonia. Archimedes Foundation is the main partner of the Estonian Ministry of Education and Science carrying out higher education and youth policy. His previous positions include CEO of Enterprise Estonia (2014-2016) and Member of the Board of the Estonian Public Broadcasting (2007-2014). His professional background is journalism, has been active for over 20 years in various publishing houses in Estonia. He has studied at Tartu University and North Park College Chicago.

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