Two years ago the unusual project ’Electronic school’ was launched in 11 Minsk educational institutions

School is aiming at digital education

Two years ago the unusual project ’Electronic school’ was launched in 11 Minsk educational institutions. The highlight of the experiment is the ’Student card’  which has already found favour in 15 ordinary schools and grammar schools of the capital city.

The innovation is responsible for the pass in the school buil-ding and the order of books in the library, it can help simplify the work in language laboratories and computer classrooms, and parents can keep the expenses of their child under control. But the basis of the project — electronic registers and grade books where one will not erase a poor school grade and will not hide ‘unsatisfactory’ grade for behavior, everything is in plain sight. Regions start to use this technology step by step. Even today in more than 2,040 ordinary schools, grammar schools and other institutions teachers and students learn how to use online registers and grade books and are more willing to put a pad instead of a common book in the school bag. And in 2017 the ‘Electronic school’ should cover the entire country has repeatedly pointed out the Minister of Education Mihail Zhuravkov.

Without exaggeration, almost every school can already consider itself involved in electronic school project, if besides having implemented new technology and programs in its learning process it continues to move forward, develop new approaches and involve sponsors. We should quote here the words of the BSUIR Deputy Vice-Rector for research and co-author of the program ‘Electronic school’ Pavel Lis: “We are talking about a very broad concept which in addition to the online documentation includes mo-dern equipment, the latest software and innovative online and web methology. In short, it’s a great initiative that promises to break down the idea of education with a pointer and chalk at the blackboard. But the main thing here is to simplify the work of teachers, releasing them from excessive paper load and saving time. Suppose someone says that you cannot do without documentation, however three schools in the country have already taken a chance and have passed over to digital education.” But, Pavel Lis said, we are talking only about grade books which have been cancelled in all classes accor-ding to the statements of the parents. But it’s still impossible to do the same with paper school registers which are documents. However, the authors of the project do not doubt that such a radical step is not far away...

Representatives of the company-developer of the electronic class register have more than once repeated: their technology is designed not so much for teachers, but for parents who can now observe the school life of their child in details — grades, absences from school and the current average grade. Moreover, the grades ‘ten’ — ‘six’ are converted into graphics in such a register. However, passing to work with new technologies, we must not forget about two key points. First — school procurement. It’s a problem, but still solvable. And already today many educational institutions in regions will give a head start on technology to their capital colleagues. Experts are sure that rural educational institutions will especially feel advantages of transition to ‘Electronic school’. Judge for yourself: it’s a great opportunity to solve the problem of shortage of teachers, expanding the possibilities of remote stu­dies. And the learning process can become much more fun. Let’s take a grade book. There is an obvious bonus for children: Isn’t it great to get homework with an attached thematic movie or cartoon in a foreign language for the English lesson? By the way, in the capital’s experimental schools such ‘homework’ is a usual thing. The second important component of success — the willingness of teachers to change. It’s no good when a teacher is one or two steps behind his/her students. Therefore, the scientific and educational center ‘BSUIR Prestigio’ is an excellent solution to the problem, teachers can improve their skills in new technical devices, software and content. Graduates of the course receive a BSUIR certificate that will certify the following: the teacher has advanced knowledge to work with the new software. Simply put, it’s not a problem for such a teacher to control a board using a pad, as well as to control students’ pads from the board.

By Olga Pasiyak

There is an electronic textbook-navigator!

This piece of news was told us by deputy director for scientific and methodical work of the National Institute of Education of the Ministry of Education of Belarus Valentina Ginchuk.

— Besides the fact that our institute has created the model, we have developed a model sample of the textbook navigator in organic chemistry for the10th and the 11th grades. The electronic manual of new generation coordinates the content of the textbook with other teaching materials. It seems that such publication will cause a great interest of students and teachers. After all, the key features of the textbook-navigator — a hypertext base, multimedia content, interactivity.

Valentina Ginchuk drew attention to the fact that the development of the textbook-navigator didn’t mean that all paper textbooks would or should be replaced with electronic ones in the near future. Analysis of international experience shows that parallel use of paper and electronic textbooks has the greatest effect in the educational process. They complement each other.

By the way, the majority of Belarusian teachers believe that such a model is the most appropriate one. This is the result of the national monitoring of the quality of secon-dary education which was held in the 2015-2016 academic year. As a result, 68 percent of surveyed teachers believe that paper and electronic textbooks should be used in parallel in the educational process. 28 percent of teachers adhere to the opinion that a school textbook should be only a paper-based one. And only 4 percent of teachers think that electronic textbook should completely replace the traditional one in the course of time.
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