The Croatian academic and research network (CARNet) will lead implementation of a national project e-schools in from 2016 to 2023 to raise and improve levels of digitalisation of schools in Croatia.
E-schools are digitally mature schools, connected to ultra-fast Internet, well equipped with adequate information and communication technology (ICT), with a high level of computerisation of business and education processes. Teachers attending these schools are digitally competent and pupils are thought and encouraged to become digitally competent themselves. Both use ICT in education daily, including, but not restricted to, education applications and digital education resources, thus ensuring that pupils of today become competitive workers on job markets of tomorrow.
E-schools lead to a gradual, voluntary transition to digital content where the spotlight is on teachers as key stakeholders of the educational process.
Funds needed for complete computerisation of schools are estimated at EUR 287 million, where government financing will be up to 15% and the large part will be funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Social Fund (ESF).
E-schools foresee continuation of current pilot projects, such as:
- E-class register
This is a web application for managing class registers in electronic form. The application has all functionalities of existing paper class registers with additional ICT functionalities. Application users are teachers, students and parents. Teachers enter data for teaching hours, absent students, marks, school excursions, school and parent meetings, etc. Students log in to view their grades, notes, absences, and exam schedules. Parents can view the same information with a 48-hour delay. They can also subscribe to e-mail notifications for absences of children. Experience shows a reduction of unexcused student absences and better communication between parents and teachers.
Of users 90% agree that e-class register is an improvement over the paper version. In the 2014/15 school year, 30% of schools are using the application.
- Nikola Tesla national distance learning portal
The portal offers online courses in mathematics, physics, biology and chemistry for secondary schools, European computer driving licence (ECDL) courses, and courses in Internet technologies. It enables computer-assisted classes and learning to be conducted with use of digital educational material. Multimedia presentations of lessons include animated examples, audio-visual simulations of experiments and interactive elements to make the coursework more interesting and easier to understand.
ECDL modules help participants to acquire basic computer skills, including word processing, spread sheets, databases, presentations, and Internet communication programmes.
Courses on Internet technologies include computer security basics, database search, Internet communication and Internet content development.
- Schools 2.0
This project aims to enable high-quality and comprehensive distance learning and e-learning for a wide number of users, teachers and students alike. Some 25 schools are connected to fast Internet and CARNet via an optical network. Wireless networks were installed to provide access to online content and digital textbooks, and to ease videoconferencing and distance learning.
Teachers have systematically been introduced to educational technology, and been encouraged to accept new education methods and use new technology.
In June 2013, the schools 2.0 project was chosen as one of the three most innovative initiatives in the ‘Initiative for education and research’ category and was awarded the European prize for innovation in public administration.