Research Informs 1:1 eLearning Program in Srpska to Ensure Promising Start


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• To meet a government initiative to improve economic prospects in a rapidly
changing job market, Intel® classmate PCs will be distributed to all students
in grades 3-5
• Teacher professional development is planned to integrate technology and
pedagogy into the classroom, and help transform the local education system
• Intel® skoool™ content is planned for translation into local languages to increase
currently limited amount of digital content in local languages

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Research Informs 1:1 eLearning Program in Srpska to Ensure Promising Start

  1. 1. Research Informs 1:1 eLearning Program in Bosnia to Ensure Promising Start key outcomes • To meet a government initiative to improve economic prospects in a rapidly changing job market, Intel® classmate PCs will be distributed to all students in grades 3-5 • Teacher professional development is planned to integrate technology and pedagogy into the classroom, and help transform the local education system • Intel® skoool™ content is planned for translation into local languages to increase currently limited amount of digital content in local languages Overview Republika Srpska is one of three main political entities that have comprised Bosnia and Herzegovina since the end of the Bosnian War in 1995. Through an initiative called Project Dositej, the republic is introducing 1:1 eLearning to better prepare students for the increasingly technology-based economy. Preparation for Project Dositej has taken place for several years, but the distribution of computers to students in Republika Srpska is just beginning in 2012. Therefore, this report focuses on the initial vision and planning stages of the program, which have been informed by the research described in this report and by 1:1 eLearning programs in other regions of the world. Intel commissioned a study with local researchers to understand the initiative’s vision, successes, and challenges. This document summarizes the research findings to share key learnings—what worked, what didn’t work, what could be improved—with other interested parties (For additional detail on the methodology, see the Intel Guide to Monitoring eLearning Programs).2 Challenges • Develop well-qualified workers for future job markets • Upgrade education system to reflect modern trends • Improve teachers’ limited information and communications technology (ICT) skills • Provide greater educational content in local languages Solutions • Distributed 10,200 Intel classmate PCs to students in grades 3-5 • Provided laptops and training for participating teachers • Planned translation of Intel skoool content into local languages • Engaged corporate partner (Lanaco) for networking, deployment, and teacher training This report is based on original data collection and analysis by local researchers,1 in collaboration with researchers from Intel and SRI International (SRI). Intel conducts longitudinal research on eLearning deployments around the world, and compares results to other programs. Understanding of the successes, challenges, and policy implications of eLearning programs are used to improve existing and future initiatives. For more information on the Intel Education Research initiative, contact research summary Bosnia Intel Education Research Global research that supports education transformation
  2. 2. The Vision: Create Economic Opportunities and Modernize Education The Ministry of Education initiated Project Dositej, with the goals of modernizing education and creating opportunities for students to learn skills that will prepare them for future job markets. The idea of integrating ICT in schools in Republika Srpska was first promoted early in the 21st century, when the People’s Republic of China donated 1,000 computers to the republic. In 2006, an experiment in distance learning con- nected an urban school with a rural one for sharing of resources. That project pointed to the need for ICT training for teachers, and resulted in basic ICT skills training for 11,000 teachers through the European Computer Driving License pro- gram. The current national curriculum calls for ICT classes for students in grades 6-9. From this starting point, Project Dositej intends to substantially increase the inte- gration of ICT into teaching and learning in Republika Srpska. Planning: Federal Plan Distributed at Provincial Levels The plan for Project Dositej included a number of important preparatory steps that took place over the last several years: • A review and analysis of the current ICT infrastructure available in schools • An early pilot of 1:1 eLearning, in which 30 classmate PCs were used in a variety of subjects in grades 5-9 • Design of the network infrastructure, and implementation of wiring improve- ments and WLANs in the schools that will participate in the initial program • Advanced IT training for 900 master teachers (primarily IT teachers, who are expected to help train other teachers in their schools) • Initial steps toward a repository of lesson plans that were generated during the advanced IT training, to supplement Intel skoool content that is planned for translation into the local language • An online portal of educational resources, including an electronic grade book accessible in some schools to facilitate communication between teachers and parents • An electronic management information system that currently allows e-mail communication between principals and the Ministry of Education, but is expected to expand to include e-mail addresses for all teachers and free hosting for school web sites Network design, deployment, and training are conducted through Lanaco, a corporate partner. Leveraging corporate resources and expertise is particularly important in this new republic, which does not yet have a mature system of capacities. Vision Planning Implementation Re-informing Vision Republika Srpska Education System • Education is divided into four levels: preschool, primary, secondary, and tertiary. Preschool and primary school are required. • The school system serves just over 101,000 students. • Education and curriculum are managed centrally by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Pedagogical Institute. • Advisers at the Pedagogical Institute serve dual roles as teacher advisers/ professional development providers and as school inspectors. 2
  3. 3. Implementation: Distributing More than 10,000 PCs During 2012, the government is distributing 10,200 Intel classmate PCs and 408 laptop computers to students at 63 schools in grades 3-5. The intent is for the computers to be integrated into classrooms at the start of the new school year in the fall of 2012. Initially, computers will remain the property of the schools, and content for student computers will come through teachers’ laptops, which will be used as servers. Upgrades are being implemented in participating schools to offer security in the rooms that will house the comput- ers. Schools are Internet-ready, but the initiation of service is currently awaiting contracts with IP providers and content filtering provisions. It is too early in the life of the project to predict outcomes in the classroom or reac- tions from stakeholders. Early responses, however, have been positive. The impor- tance of the project has been well recog- nized in the media, and teachers from the participating schools have indicated that they look forward to receiving the PCs and beginning the implementation. Re-informing the Vision: Identifying Areas for Improvement A formal process for monitoring, evaluat- ing, and improving Project Dositej has not been developed. It is expected that the process will use appropriate metrics, such as the amount and quality of student com- puter use, to determine the effect of the eLearning program on teaching, learning, and student attitudes about school. In the meantime, research identified several areas of planning that need improvement to promote successful integration when the computers reach classrooms and students: • Digital content available in local lan- guages is limited so far. In addition, steps have not yet been taken to create alignment between the digital content and the national curriculum. • So far, teacher professional development has focused primarily on technical skills. It will be important to offer more peda- gogical training and models for powerful uses of the computers in the classroom to promote significant changes in teaching and learning. Conclusion Now in its early stages, Project Dositej shows the value of establishing a clear vision and developing a detailed plan that includes involvement of corporate and other stakeholders. The program is currently distributing more than 10,000 Intel classmate PCs, which will help stu- dents improve their economic prospects and will enable Republika Srpska to modernize its current education system. Other countries can develop successful 1:1 eLearning programs that build on the challenges and successes identified in Project Dositej. By working with Intel and other public and private partners, governments can create sustainable, cost-effective 1:1 eLearning programs that will provide social and economic opportunities for years to come. Key Learnings The 1:1 eLearning experience in Republika Srpska, Bosnia, has been informed by other 1:1 initiatives worldwide: • The success of a major 1:1 eLearning initiative relies on a well-coordinated plan that delivers multiple interlocking supports, including infrastructure, pedagogical vision, and professional development, as well as the computers themselves. • A robust technology infrastructure, including connectivity and hardware, is an important prerequisite for successful 1:1 eLearning initiatives. • Leveraging corporate resources and expertise can be helpful, especially when local capacities (donor organization, technical expertise, etc.) are not fully developed. for additional research reports, go to 3
  4. 4. Ready to Move Forward on Your Education Technology Program? Intel Education Technology Advisor Did you know that Intel provides a free online resource to help Educators and education IT Managers make the right technology decisions for their schools? Intel Education Technology Advisor features online content, tools and personal live assistance—all designed to help schools assess their technology challenges, select a solution that meets their needs, and then deploy it effectively into their school. See for yourself at Looking for a Total Education Solution? Intel® Learning Series Intel® Learning Series delivers total education solutions that enable a compre- hensive 1:1 eLearning experience. Intel LS combines purpose-built hardware, software, digital content, services, and support—delivered by local vendors to meet local needs and designed to work reliably together. Drawing on ethnographic and field research, Intel LS solutions help foster 21st century skills, such as digital literacy, information synthesis, critical thinking, creativity, and problem solving. Intel has helped to implement more than 200 education programs in over 70 countries, and has invested more than USD 1 billion in the last decade to improve teaching and learning environments. Working with governments, policy makers and local vendors, Intel helps to implement eLearning solutions that provide professional development to teachers; support student achievement and development of 21st-century skills; and enable access to relevant, localized digital content. The education transformation model developed by Intel helps governments improve the quality of their education systems, leading to economic and social opportunities for their citizens. Professional Development Information Communications Technology Curriculum Assessment Policy Research Evaluation Education Transformation 1 Original research conducted by Petar Nikoloski and Olga Samardzic. 2 Copyright © 2012 Intel Corporation. All rights reserved. Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. * Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others. Printed in USA 0912/JH/HBD/PDF Please Recycle 327849-001US