The idea of Education and Science Minister Roberts Kilis’ to digitize education materials is innovative and welcome, representatives of Mykoob and E-klase believe.
Mykoob founder and co-owner Girts Laudaks notes that the neighbouring Estonia is on a similar path, raising the question about heavy school bags and the fact that, given technological opportunities, this issue is unacceptable. The country tries to motivate schools to use digital materials and popularize this idea among students and parents, Laudaks says.
He adds that electronic materials have many advantages, because they can be interactive and more interesting to pupils. Also, there are many types of digital materials, starting from video and ending with online tests, which are also considered electronic education materials.
E-klase editor Dita Lapsa believes that it would be reasonable to begin with textbook digitizing. Firstly, it would be much more beneficial, because textbook expenses would decrease at least five times; also, even if tablet PCs are not supplied to all students, it would be enough to have a digital blackboard and allow students to engage in the education process at home or in a library using PCs, e-books or other devices that provide the use of digital materials.
Secondly, it would reduce the physical pressure on students, when carrying all the necessary books, the numbers of which keep increasing.
Speaking of the creation of digital workbooks, Lapsa says that it would degrade the education process, because it would become more difficult for the teacher to follow the thoughts and the students’ threads of logic. Also, it is proven that things written with your own hand remain in people’s memory the longest.
Lapsa noted the rules and regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers regarding the evaluation and approving of education literature in accordance with national standards of primary and secondary education, which are used to also consider electronic publishing. Therefore, schools will be able to purchase these education materials using state grant funds.
According to him, in order to optimize these expenses and exclude the threat of piracy, it would be worthwhile to create a system that would make education material authors to turn to the Education and Science Ministry for all necessary criteria and requirements, as opposed to publishing companies. The ministry would evaluate, edit and centralize accredit education materials according to appropriate standards. The state would pay the authors appropriate royalties from the money intended for the procurement of education literature, purchasing copyrights for the use of these materials and create all necessary electronic formats. These materials would then become available on the ministry’s website.