On the 25th of October the team of our project organized the main event of our cooperation, the international conference “Digital Solutions in Education for the Future of Learners”.
Technologies have organically entered our everyday life. In today's school, educators use digital tools to promote peer collaboration, learning motivation, independence, self-directed learning, and creative thinking.
The aim of our conference was to encourage educators to use ICT tools in their daily work. Latvian educators and invited lecturers from Sweden, Estonia, Norway, and Lithuania shared their practical experience and showed how to help students master essential skills for living in the digital world.
The lecturers organized practical seminars on the development of 21st century competencies, creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, cooperation, communication, and digital literacy.
Lecturers demonstrated how ICT tools can be used in different subject lessons, integrated CLIL lessons and project work. Speakers covered different educational contexts - how to use technology in general education, working with gifted students and working with students with learning difficulties or special needs, as well as in extra-curricular or alternative education.
Please read an article about our conference on the homepage of State Education Development Agency Republic of Latvia:
MOBILITY TO VILNIUS GRIGIŠKES ŠVIESOS GYMNASIUM
by Gediminas Jonauskas, headmaster, PI "Edukateka", Lithuania
On May 2-6, the partners of the international Nordplus Junior sub-program project “Digital Creative Education” from Latvia, Estonia, Norway, Šiauliai Sanatorium school and from Klaipėda Public Institution “Edukateka” met for the first time at Vilnius Grigiškės Šviesa Gymnasium. During the mobility, the guests together with the teachers and students of Šviesa Gymnasium participated in various educational and cultural activities: STEAM workshops, learned to program the Battle of Grunwald, took lessons, visited and got acquainted with Vilnius and Trakai cities, their most visited objects and traditions of Aukštaitija region. Also, during the meeting, the project partners deepened their knowledge about the digital environment, digital tools and their application in the educational process.
by Dag-Helge Trodahl, Norlights School, Stavanger, Norway
May the 2nd, we, teachers and students from Latvia, Estonia and Norway, were warmly
welcomed with local dances and songs by students and staff at Griskies Sviesos gymnasium
in Vilnius. This set the standard for a very good week, and despite long days, this was both a
very inspiring and interesting week.
The theme for the «week» was «Digital Creative Education» or «I am digitally creative», and
even if this was a project for the students, the theachers did also have a great pleasure
taking part in the program. The program was put together as a good mixture between
observing, taking parts in lessons, team work, knowledge sharing about being «digitally
creative», presentations of the project, as well as learning a little bit about Lithuania and
For me and I do also asume for the students, it was both educational and useful to both see
and talk about how other schools work when it comes to the subject. Being digitally creative
doesn’t know any border, we are all on the same arena.
I will not take this too far, but visiting and old castle when being a part of this project made
me reflect a little bit about how the world has developed during centies. A characteristic of
man is often to be curious and constantly seeking for improvements. My experience with this
project was knowledge sharing across the borders, friendship, as well as bringing home
inspiration and motivation to continue being digitally creative and to always search for more
knowldedge. Exchanging ideas. The last is always easiest through a good commonship.
Being creative is an important quality and which some voices believe is lacking in today's
school. It is important to stimulate the creativity of the students and here we did see that
digital creativity also was used in the learning process of other subjects.
DIGITAL TEACHING AIDS CREATE MORE TIME IN THE WORKDAY AND OPEN UP NEW LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
Educational cooperation between Nordic and Baltic starts with Nordplus!
Our cooperation project Digital Creative Education was noticed! Here you can find an article by journalist Joan Rask at Nordplus homepage:
DIGITAL MOBILITY TO ILLUKA SCHOOL IN ESTONIA
Despite travelling restrictions, we keep working on our project using digital opportunities. According to the project plan we had a three-day digital mobility to Illuka School in Estonia.
Each day of our mobility was dedicated to one of the topics: the secret of Estonian success in education, usage of the digital learning platform Stuudium, and a practical workshop with Illuka School students about feedback.
We would like to thank Ave Amor, her colleagues, and Illuka School students for leading the digital mobility and sharing experiences about their school and country.
We sincerely thank Maie Kitsing, the Ministry of Education and Research representative for her online session about the system of Education in Estonia and their secrets of success.
You can find our project partners’ articles about this digital mobility below.
"The NordPlus Digital Mobility to Illuka", by Helge Erdal & Josef Berg, Norlights Montessoriskole in Stavanger
Unable to travel to Illuka, Estonia due to covid-19 limitations, teachers here at Norlights Montessoriskole Stavanger enjoyed three digital mobility sessions on November 16, 18 and 19, 2021.
The first session was about the secrets of success the Estonian education system, starting with a presentation of the wonderful country itself. From a challenging situation, the focus on education as an important priority has produced reforms leading to a highly successful school system catering for the needs of teachers as well as the individual students.
The second session was about the school in Illuka and the use of Stuudium as a tool for digital communication. This system has many useful features providing various services and functions that ease the daily workload for the school.
In the third session, the students at the Illuka school took an active role and led a workshop regarding the digital tools in which the students and the teachers at the school use keenly. It was lovely to see that the students have shown their proficiency in the programs they presented. The tools included mote (mote.com) Mentimeter (mentimeter.com), and programs for quizes and etc.
Jeanette Torgersen- contact teacher for 4.-6 grade, Helge Erdal - contact teacher for the lower secondary, Josef Berg- Deputy Principal attended the digital mobility.
We would like to thank the teachers and the students of Illuka school - our Nordplus project partner for organizing such productive digital mobility.
"Digital mobility in Illuka", by Gediminas Jonauskas, headmaster, PI "Edukateka", Lithuania
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, we are continuing the “Digital Creative Education” project digitally. According to the project plan, a three-day remote mobility took place on November 16-19 at Illuka School in Estonia.
Each of our mobility days was dedicated to one of the topics: the secret of Estonia's success in education, the use of the digital learning platform Stuudium and a hands-on creative workshop with Illuka school students on feedback.
Lithuanian team - Saulius Rudelis and Gediminas Jonauskas from Klaipeda, PI "Edukateka" had a great opportunity to have a digital mobility. Mobility to Estonia was wonderful, it is such a beautiful country with a very good educational system, we had the opportunity to learn from. During mobility our institution had the opportunity to get acquainted with best practices, discussing the most effective teaching methods, educational environments. This mobility was helpful to us as we learned about new tools for online teaching. Saulius learned some new ICT tools like Quizlet, for me it was new Mote. Mobility was very nice especially when students of Illuka school were presenting and moderating discussions. It is very good practice to learn from students. The workshops with Illuka students were amazing, informative and useful. We were presented with tools for feedback, such as Flipgrid, Mote and Mentimeter.
The project activities has ended in Estonia, but the project is ongoing.
"SHARING EXPERIENCES", by Maryte Jakubauskaite, Grigiskes “Sviesos” Gymnasium, Vilnius, Lithuania
On 16 - 19th November the partners from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Norway of the Nordplus project “Digital Creative Education” took part in the digital mobility to Illuka School, in Estonia, for teachers. The teachers Maryte Jakubauskaite, Lilija Rutaviciene, Vigilija Davidaviciene and Evelina Jonaityte from Grigiskes “Sviesos” gymnasium, in Vilnius, were involved in the activities, as well.
During the digital mobility sessions, we got acquainted with a system of Estonian education. On the first day, we met a representative of the Ministry of Education who told us about the specification of Estonian education, not only their achievements but also the problems they face. We were pleasantly surprised to learn about the educational success of the country.
What is more, we had a chance to see Illuka school, to get information about its curricular and students’ evaluation. To our mind, Estonian digital registers are more informative and they provide more opportunities for teachers to share their plans and ideas.
The workshops with Illuka students were amazing, informative and useful. We were presented with tools for feedback, such as Flipgrid, Mote and Mentimeter. Flipgrid is a learning tool that allows teachers to create a grid for video discussions. Mote is a tool that lets teachers easily add voice comments to shared documents, assignments, etc. Whereas, Mentimeter includes interactive presentations by adding questions, polls, quizzes, images, etc. in order to get feedback on a particular topic or lesson in a funny way. As a result, we had a great opportunity to try the tools ourselves, get engaged in the activities and give feedback.
All in all, the mobility meetings were very beneficial during which we gained new ideas, inspiration and knowledge.
"What Brought Us Here Does Not Carry Us Further. Digital Mobility to Illuka School", by Mihails Frolonoks, CLIL Education Centre board member, Latvia
At the beginning of November “Nordplus Digital Creative Education Project” partners had a little hope to take part in our first onsite mobility in Illuka School, but unfortunately a couple of weeks later it was clear, that we would switch to digital mobility again due to the new peak of Covid-19 cases in Europe.
Our digital mobility took place between 16th and 19th November 2021 online.
It was interesting to learn about the differences between destinies of three post-soviet countries (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), which had similar backgrounds but eventually constructed different systems of education.
The first day of our digital mobility was devoted to having a closer look at the system of education in Estonia. The session was held by the representative of the Ministry of Education and Research.
Estonian is an old, grammatically, and lexically complex language. So, a lot of attention is paid to teaching Estonian to ensure that everyone can communicate effectively.
Estonians believe that acquiring such a difficult language form early age, Estonians develop their capacity to learn quickly. It helps them to understand sciences, economics, and IT disciplines better.
One of the most inspiring findings for myself was historical aspiration of Estonians to improve their level of education, as a fact 95% of population of Estonia in 19th century were able to read, while common literacy rate in the tsarist era was 28% of total population.
Indeed, the fact that education is valued in the society influences the quality of it. According to the Australian National University and Nevada University in US research, Estonians are the most reading community (the country which reads the most) in the world. Their smart learner-centered approach, equality and equity principals, autonomy of schools – are something totally different from the experience in our country, and which leads Estonia to highest positions in rankings.
About Illuka School:
Illuka School is a cozy educational institution located not far from Narva in the premises of former manor. There are separate buildings for kindergarten and school where total about 100 children have been studying in the picturesque area. We had a short video guide tour in school facilities organized by Illuka School governance leader. Learning in the unusual environment enables learners and teachers to have interesting traditions, one of them - pumpkin growing for local zoo animals.
On the second day session of our digital mobility to Illuka School we had an opportunity to see benefits of the e-learning platform for students, teachers and parents Stuudium.
Illuka School created our profiles at Stuudium platform, so we could feel ourselves like a real Illuka School teachers. Stuudium provides various modes with different options: for administrators, teachers, parents, and students. It is an easy way to interact with all participants of the educational process. Stuudium provides e-register functions, where any teacher can put marks, leave feedback, assign homework, add additional materials for subject and e-learning.
Being a parent, you can follow your child’s performance at school, ask questions to teachers and administration, provide approvals for absence at school. One interesting thing I have noticed in Stuudium was a library of digital tools and websites to support students’ independent learning opportunities.
The last activity of our digital mobility was an interactive lesson about the importance of feedback. The session was held by Illuka School students in small groups using MS Teams Breakout Rooms option.
Students introduced to us three digital tools for feedback: Flipgrid, Mote and Mentimeter. Flipgrid allows to film short feedback video messages, Mote allows you to insert audio comments in a Google worksheet, and Mentimeter allows to display short text feedback of participants. You can create a word-cloud or have an open-ended question using Mentimeter.
Students felt surprisingly confident in leading MS Teams lessons, there were no technical issues, and small delays were easily resolved.
The three-day digital mobility let us understand that everything we had seen in the digital mobility days was an approval of Estonia’s reputation as a country with high quality standards in education. Estonians believe that their long route which involved hard work and reforms through centuries has led them to where they are now. They also understand that “What brought us here does not carry us further”.
PROJECT FOR STUDENTS "The Best Digital Tool for My Learning"
According to our project plan in October all the project partners organized a project for students "The Best Digital Tool for My Learning" in every partner institution. Students had to speak, write, draw, record videos about the digital tools that help them learn, and then teach their teachers about these tools. Teachers had to act as students and reflect on the outcomes of these projects.
Please find below short review about project results in every partner institution.
By Maryte Jakubauskaite, Vilnius municipality Grigiskes “Sviesos” gymnasium, Lithuania, 2021
My favourite app
In October, 2021, the 6 th and 7 th grade students of Grigiskes “Sviesos “ gymnasium participated in the project “The Best Digital Tool for my Learning“, as part of Nordplus project. The students were given a task to present their favourite digital tools and teach school teachers how they work.
On 21 st October, we had a presentation day. Some teachers and the students gathered to share the ideas. Simona Smatauskaite from class 7d presented the English language learning app CAKE. She uses the app to learn words and phrases. Then, we had an opportunity to get to know about various Google possibilities, e. g.,tabs, personalizing etc. The presentation was created by Liutauras Pigarevas from class 6d. After that our lesson was followed by Kahoot! presentations. Evelina Lavrinovic from 6d made a video about how Kahoot! helps her learn. Simona Verobej from 7d made a colourful presentation about Kahoot! Jurgis Muntrimas and Emilijus Semėnas from the same class told us some facts from Kahoot! history. Their presentation was followed by Kahoot! game. The last student to show her favourite tool was Ieva Gradeckaite from class 7d. She made a Kahoot! game as well.
All in all, we had a nice and informative lesson that showed the teachers what tools our gymnasium students use for their learning. So, we can see that Kahoot! is the most popular one among the pupils.
By Ave Amor, PE teacher and a reacreation and project manager in Illuka School, Estonia
The world we live in is, technology is literally everywhere, and the kids adapt to it more than anyone else. For students of all ages, it is natural to use technology in every aspect of their lives. Therefore, digital tools for learning are becoming more and more crucial.
To find out what digital tools our school students use for learning, we asked 6th, 7th, and 9th grade students to make poster presentations as a group.
The most widely used web application is e-diary Stuudium. Students are using this for keeping track of what homework has been assigned, viewing grades, and communicating with the teacher, also getting overview of a school life. Another popular application is Opiq. Opiq is a learning management environment used for learning, which contains textbooks, learning kits and study journal. Students also mentioned they use videos of Youtube and TIKTOK for educational purposes. To communicate with classmates, students use Viber, Messenger, Snapchat, Google Classroom, Zoom, VK, Google Meet, MS Teams and gmail. As our school has many students with Russian as their home language, different translation programs are used such as Photo Translator, eki.ee and Google Translator. In addition, Kahoot, Appwizer, Quizizz, Phet.colorado, Taskutark, Loquiz, Photomath, Padlet and Jamboard are also applications, students like to use for learning.
All in all, using technology for education provokes student’s curiosity, boost their engagement, stimulates creativity and leads to better learning.