eKool is a role based web application used by 98% of Tallinn schools to: track grades and credits, get homework assignments, enable parents´ communication with the school and monitor the students’ attendance in the school.
eKool gives feedback to the student and parent. It enables the parent to see the development of his/her child and be involved in the learning process personally.
The student can quickly find out his/ her learning results, homework assignments and other messages from the teachers. The school head receives the operative overview about the school attendance by the students and about the students´ results per classes.
Vaata Maailma SA (Look@World Foundation) was founded in 2001. The organisation’s goal is to serve public interest by supporting education, science and culture via encouraging and popularising use of Internet and ICT. With this the Foundation aims to raise the quality of life in Estonia and also the competitiveness of Estonia in Europe.
The association initiates projects on: ICT-skills, ICT-related after-school activities and safe use of ICT.
By the year 2002 it was obvious that school diary on paper and system of exchanging information cannot be the same anymore as it was. eKool was created and the City of Tallinn started to use it from the beginning.
eKool (eSchool) is one of Vaata Maailma’s initiatives and was launched in 2004. eKool is a web-based school/home communication interface, which allows parents and pupils to view filtered information concerning studies (such as the grades, missed classes, home assignments, classschedule, etc). The majority of schools in Estonia have joined the eKool system by today.
The application provides information for several stakeholders:
- for students: grades, homework, learning materials, communication with the teachers, absence;
- parents: weekly updates, lessons, contacts, learning materials, absence and how to catch up, direct follow-up of the pupils’ presence at lessons, e-textbooks, schoolbooks online;
- teachers: cloud for their curriculum, contacts, follow-up of lessons and homeworks, school/class reports, quick feedbacks for students and/or parents;
- schools: information, e-textbooks,
- municipality, government: statistics, dataflow, rules and regulations
Main characteristics of the challenge, description of the target group
Vaata Maailma SA (Look@World Foundation) was founded in 2001 by AS Hansapank, AS Eesti Ühispank, AS Eesti Telefon, AS EMT, IBM Eesti OÜ, Oracle Nederlands BV Estonia, AS Microlink, IT Grupp AS, AS Baltic Computer System ja AS Starman.
Vaata Maailma initiated the project. The city of Tallin joint the project and implemented the system in most Tallin schools. eKool is targeted on school administration, teachers, students and parents.
Success factors and processes
eKool aims the creation of cooperation, which makes contribution to the development of a child. eKool enables systematise information of the school and create internet access to this information and bring into order the collecting and maintenance of the school information. eKool is a role based web application, allowing distributing learning information only for those, who are eligible to see it. Subject teacher and class teacher are those who forward the information. There is a forum where parent or student can take part in the discussion. It is also possible to open a discussion where the parents can discuss on the topics they are interested in and where class teacher or subject teacher can be involved.
Another part in eKool is development conversation between teacher, student and parent to cooperate for the child´s development. Before the conversation the questionnaire will be sent to the student and parent to be prepared for the conversation. During the conversation the aims of the last development conversation will be looked over. As a result, a written summary will be composed where feedback and new aims will be set. The development conversation and the summary are the confidential. The school head is the composer of the questionnaire and analyst of the results of the development conversations (can log in to see the summaries).
Impact of measures taken
98% Of the Tallinn schools use eKool system in 2013. There are no diaries on paper and upon agreement with the school – no certificates on paper. All information will be archived digitally and exchanged with the Estonian national educational information system EHIS. It is positive that at every moment the student and parent has the access to important information and feedback regarding his/her child´s school. This enables the parents to monitor the child’s development and help them if needed. eKool enables to parents to be closely involved with the education of their children, which is regarded an essential element of reducing early school leaving.
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