24 hours after returning home I suddenly felt an urge to write out my thoughts and feelings after being emerged in the Estonian educational system. UPDATE: It did take a few weeks to finalize this blog, let’s blame Trump 😉
In retrospect, I enjoyed the trip to Estonia but the vast gap between a Gymnasium and a Polytech institute was so large I felt uncomfortable. The inequality between students is enormous. And I later heard that the Gymnasium we visited was in the average range.
I had great conversations with the students at both locations. Both types of students had an excellent vocabulary in English, both enjoyed school, both felt that this was ‘their’ place. And somehow I felt uncomfortable. At the Gymnasium, I counted over 60 (!) boxed with LEGO Mindstorms (400 euro a pop), a theatre, a semi-Olympic pool and a conservatory (with a large fountain) and a lot of other student facilities. The Polytech had a few gifted printing presses, old computers, and no wifi-network. The age difference between the students was almost non-exciting. I discovered that a lot of Polytech students did talk better Russian then Estonian. Quite the opposite at the Gymnasium; everyone talked Estonian and English at C2-levels. And most the students also spoke German and French.
And somehow this country is functional.
The comparison is that most aspects of digital literacy are that we are on a similar level. In the Netherlands, we are having a large review of our curriculum with the help of curriculum.nu. I didn’t see any urgency in Estonia with educating in digital literacy. I’ve seen some students ‘working on digital literacy’; e.g. robotics and MS Word. It was strange, but a fun trip to visite that other European country.