More than 500 school buildings in Estonia are closed. Teaching and learning have been moved entirely online and this is a common challenge many countries are facing. Estonia, the leading education nation in Europe (No 1. in PISA test in Europe), will be sharing its digital education tools for free to support other countries’ education systems during the COVID-19 crisis.
“Who isn’t afraid of digital education? Learning and teaching digitally are challenging even under normal circumstances. However, during the COVID-19 outbreak, digital schooling is the only option,” said Mart Laidmets, the Secretary General of the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research. “In Estonia, we make ICT work for education, we have a number of solutions that fully support distance learning. We are ready to share Estonia’s best practices and solutions with the countries in need. After all, providing education is essential for a sustainable society,” Laidmets added.
Märt Aro, co-founder of the European EdTech Alliance, states that thanks to Estonia’s general adoption of digital technologies, Estonia’s education sector naturally has a set of tools that supports remote learning. The tools are typically co-created between schools, universities, and companies. “A number of tools are prepared for international usage and the companies developing those tools have also kindly agreed to support other countries in need. The aim of this initiative is to support distance learning and work in the education sector during this time of crisis. The aim of these solutions is to increase the social aspect of distance learning and do their best to motivate learners,” said Aro.
Currently, companies like 99math.com, Lingvist.com, Clanbeat.com, Speakly.me, ALPA Kids, and DreamApply.com have joined the initiative to offer their solutions for free. A complete list of internationally-accessible solutions which have joined this initiative, is available HERE and will be updated over time.
The co-founder of the Good Deed Education Fund and ride-hailing company Bolt Martin Villig added, “Estonia is globally known for its digital government services, and, thanks to the solutions, Estonia is somewhat better prepared for this crisis. I am humbled to see companies coming to support schools and universities this quickly and also organizing free webinars to support educators in achieving the best possible results.”
Examples of solutions:
Math learning platform 99math has developed a special version to bring learners together virtually is making it free to use and will organize daily webinars for teachers.
European-leading online student admission solution DreamApply is launching a rapidly deployable (2-3 days) e-admission & remote work system for higher education institutions with free usage this spring and summer.
Language-learning application Lingvist is opening up its platform to schools for free until the end of the school year throughout the enforced home-schooling that has come as a result of the turbulent times caused by the Coronavirus.
Virtual teachers’ room Clanbeat is offering its services for free until the end of the school year and will organize webinars to help schools engender strong virtual communities among their school staff.
Tutor.id connects tutors and students in all subjects – school-related or soft skills. To help fight COVID-19, Tutor.id has waived all its fees until the end of the school year.
Childcare software Eliis is offering free subscription and online training until the end of summer for all kindergartens who wish to start using ELIIS.
Innovative language-learning application Speakly.me is opening its web and mobile applications up to schools for free until the end of the school year.
eKool, a school management system, is offering a free subscription for new schools until the end of the school year.
ALPA Kids, an early education learning platform, is also offering its content for free. They are also happy to do localization for any country with a suitable partner.
The initiative is supported by Startup Estonia and co-organized with the Ministry of Education and Research, Estonian Union of Educational Technologists, Good Deed Education Fund, Innove, HITSA, and Education Nation.