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Pilot project e-Schools significantly increased levels of digital maturity in 10 percent of Croatian schools

28. August 2018.

The main outcome of the successfully finished pilot project e-Schools started by CARNET and partners in 2015 are increased levels of digital maturity in 10 percent of Croatian primary and secondary schools.

By introducing the ICT infrastructure and equipment to 151 Croatian schools, the development of digital content, e-services and tools for teaching and business processes as well as continuous training made it possible to use technology in teaching and learning on daily basis thus increasing digital competence of school staff.

The project included more than 7000 teachers and over 23 000 students. The project e-Schools has been even recognized by the EU as the most important project in the field of education in the Republic of Croatia in the last three years thus funding 85 % of this 307 million HRK worth project. In cooperation with the Ministry of Science and Education CARNET is currently preparing the second phase of the project that will include all primary and secondary schools in Croatia. The value of the second phase of the project is estimated at a billion and 300 million HRK.

„In the second phase from 2019 to 2022 we plan to digitally transform teaching and business operations in the remaining 1200 primary and secondary schools in Croatia. The project follows all international trends in applying information-communiciation technology in education and relies on best international practices and policies concerning the use of ICT in the development and improvement of education “, said Andrijana Prskalo Maček,  Project leader and Asssistant CEO at CARNET at the presentation of the results.

Significant increase of the level of digital maturity

Since the beginning of the implementation to this day, schools involved in the project have significantly improved in applying digital technologies. The framework for digital maturity of schools created in cooperation with experts from the Faculty of Organization and Informatics at the Zagreb University defines five areas and five levels of digital maturity of schools and represents the basis for external evaluation of digital maturity.

The   initial external evaluation of digital maturity was conducted in October 2016 and it showed that, on a scale from 1 (digitally unaware schools) to 5 (digitally mature school) our schools ranked at 2 on average. 18 months later after the implementation of the project, as much as  93 % of schools included in the pilot project ranked at the level of digitally capable (level 3) to digitally advanced (level 4).

The scientific research done by the Center of Applied psychology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Rijeka on the impact of the implementation of the pilot project e-Schools showed positive trends among students and teachers in their use of ICT in teaching and learning and motivation.

A lot of this progress is owed to numerous training courses organized by CARNET. More than 1900 workshops, e-courses and webinars were held in order to raise the levels of digital competence of teachers, school principles, professional and administrative staff and to ensure the meaningful use of ICT in teaching and business operations in schools. More than 7000 individual users attended at least one of the offered traning content which is more than 90 percent of the teachers and school staff included in the pilot project. If we take into account that the total number of attendances is almost 45 000, each participant attended 6.4 trainings on average.

As part of the implementation of the project, five cities – Varaždin, Zagreb, Osijek, Rijeka and Split were given modern Regional Training Centers. They are multifunctional and technologically innovative spaces intended for training activities within schools but also for educational events organized by local communities which is an added value of this project.

Modern equipment and numerous digital materials

With 12 340 of different types of computers (hybrid computers, tablets, laptops, desktops,) for teachers, principles, administrative staff and students, all schools included in the pilot project were equipped with quality network and wireless internet.

With the new equipment, 151 of pilot schools were trained for the implementation of a more modern way of teaching thanks to a plentitude of new content and possibilities such as digital educational content (DOS) aimed to foster the 7th and 8th grade curricula of math, physics, chemistry and biology  and the 1st and 2 nd grade of secondary school curricula. Over a 100 DOS’s were stored in a digital content repository (Edutorij) offering teachers and students centralized search and access to educational materials published on different webpages while serving as a place for uploading own digital content. Over the course of the project 240 teaching scenarios were created to help teachers to prepare better for the integration of digital educational content and tools in their teaching practice. E-labaratory was also upgraded as the central place for research, testing and selection of digital tools and the list of E-lektira was expanded.

Numerous e-services and tools for better quality business operations in schools

Multiple e-Services and tools allowing more transparent, simpler and more economic bussines operations in schools were developed during the implementation of the e-School project as a support for educational processes in school. One of these services is the informatization of  the business operations (SIPU) – centralized, unique and standardized system for the informatization of school’s bussines operations  allowing faster and simpler communication and exchange of data between the school and the agencies, the founder, Ministries and other stakeholders. The classroom management system (CMS) aims to provide a more effective environment for learning and teaching. Its functionalities enable teachers to have an overview of their students’ activities, to interact with the students, test their knowledge and so on. The Learning and Organizational Analytics system that includes measuring, collecting, anylising and reporting of data about students  and their contexts for the purpose of understanding learning and the environement in which it occurs has also been implemented as part of the project. Sensors and smart management (Aero) system monitors the working conditions in schools in order to ensure optimal conditions and the application for monitoring (EMA) serves as the central place for the registration of all users of the project to training activities within the project.

Projekt je sufinancirala Europska unija iz europskih strukturnih i investicijskih fondova.