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Informatics curricula in three Baltic states
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Informatics curricula in three Baltic states


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Presentation made at CEED 2 workshop in CHisianu

Presentation made at CEED 2 workshop in CHisianu

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  • 1. Informatics curriculum development in three Baltic states Mart Laanpere, PhD, senior researcher in the Institute of Informatics, Tallinn University Moldova CEED II project on Informatics curriculum development :: Chisinau, July 23-24 2014
  • 2. Body of knowledge in school informatics  Three alternative sources/communities/vocabularies:  Computer science: academic discipline in university (programming, algorithms, data structures, networks, architectures, and computational thinking skills)  ICT skills/Digital Literacy: universal ICT application skills at the future workplace (ECDL: office software, internet)  E-learning: ICT as a pedagogical tool for teaching and learning different subjects (presentations, Web publishing, digital creativity, online collaboration)  Three Baltic countries were at the same starting point in 1991, then each chose a different route in school informatics
  • 3. Informatics in Lithuanian schools  Compared with Estonia, no radical changes, strong leadership of V.Dagiene’s research group in Vilnius University  “Information technology” course is compulsory for the 5-10th grades of the lower secondary (basic) school with 1 hour per week, 35 hours per year  Optional modules include programming, Web design etc.  In the upper secondary school (Grades 11-12) can choose the advanced optional modules of the subject (incl. programming)  National exams in IT and programming since 2006  Declining interest towards programming due to old approach
  • 4. Informatics in Latvian schools  All students in the 5th, 6th and 7th grade study informatics on the basis of the elementary education standard (inspired by ECDL);  In the 8th and 9th grade, students expand their knowledge by using ICT in the study of various subjects (digital literacy);  All 10th grade students take “Informatics I” course (based on ECDL);  All students in Grade 11-12 specialising in mathematics, the natural sciences and technologies take the “Informatics II” course (topics: Information and its processing, Programming languages, Algorithms and data structures, Applied programming elements, Design of computer-based systems)  National exam in informatics (optional)
  • 5. School informatics in Estonia  1991-1996: few regulations, complete freedom, many schools continued to teach programming, some tried new ideas  National curriculum 1996: informatics as an optional subject in the upper-secondary level, 4 modules (close to ECDL); IT as cross- curricular theme without clear learning outcomes or content  National curriculum 2002: IT and media as cross-curricular theme with explicit British-style learning outcome definitions, most of the schools continued to teach informatics in grades 6-8, national test in Grade 9 (2002 – 2005)  National curriculum 2011: 4 optional courses (35h) in informatics with standardised curriculum; cross-curricular themes “Technology & Innovation” and “Knowledge environment”
  • 6. Informatics curriculum change dimensions Input-based Independent subject Integrated Pragmatic Outcome-based Theory-driven 1986 1996 20012011
  • 7. Informatics courses in Estonian schools  Grade 5-6: “Learning with Computer” (writing an essay, preparing a presentation, data sheet, internet search…)  Grade 8-9: “Information Society Technologies” (online collaboration, e-services, creating a personal learning environment, digital content production)  Grade 10: “Computers in Inquiry” (searching for research information, data collection, statistical data analysis, presentation), see  Grade 11: “Programming and Software Development”  Additional courses (mandatory for Science orientation): ”Geoinformatics”, “Mechatronics & Robotics”
  • 8. Cross-curricular theme “Tehcnology & Innovation”  Every student in Grades 10-12 has to participate in a technology-driven innovation project, requirements: external client, heterogeneous teams, involves both technology and innovation, project-based (planned, documented, reported, supervised)  Sample scenarios: Search Engine Optimisation, Social Media Marketing Campaign, Multilingual Web site, mobile/Web polling of local people, GeoCaching track, Robotics e-textbook  Teacher training (mainly for non-informatics teachers)
  • 9. PR trick with ProgeTiiger  Forbes: Why Estonia Has Started Teaching Its First-Graders To Code  The Verge: Estonia to make coding part of first-grade education  BBC: Computer coding taught in Estonian primary schools  Wired: Estonia Reprograms First Graders as Web Coders  VentureBeat: Guess who’s winning the brains race, with 100% of first graders learning to code?  Financial Times, New York Times …
  • 10. Reality of First steps in programming Kodu Game Lab MSW Logo Scratch Python Web design HTML + CSS JavaScript Client-side apps Server-side apps LEGO WeDo NXT-G NXC Grade 8 NXC Grade 9 Primary schools Game coding Web development Robotics Original resources + teacher training CodeAcademy
  • 11. Scratch: programming for kids
  • 12. Discussion  Which of the three scenarios (Lithuanian, Latvian, Estonian) makes the most sense to you? Why?  What are advantages and disadvantages of each scenario?  If you could make change towards one of these scenarios in Moldova, then which one and why?
  • 13. Some Rights Reserved  This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit  The photo on the title slide comes from user Michael Surran