About Digital teaching materials
Modernisation of learning materials in pre-schools
With the intent of creating digitised learning and methodological tools, private pre-school “CreaKids” has started a project “Digital learning and methodological tool creation in order to secure innovate pre-school education programmes”. It is planned to create these tools in subjects of language, mathematics, health and physical activities, to make easier and modernize the preparation for these classes.
In the world the field of education gets digitized faster and faster and in the process of learning and teaching different digital tools, technical advances, information technology, social media and education platforms are being used. The new developments are also slowly coming into the sector of pre-schools, however research shows that there are not enough of these tools and they are not varied enough.
In the year 2017 in Latvia research called “Collection of data and the analysis of Latvian and foreign experience of the accessibility and use of digital education tools to provide general education”* showed that in pre-schools these tools are used only on rare occasions, because digital competencies have not been included in the different competencies that children have to learn about. Teachers only use them, if they have information about the accessibility of these tools and it is technically possible to use them. There is also a belief that children should not use digital devices at all, which might be another reason why the development of them has been stifled. In the research it is also concluded that in Latvia there are no digital education tools that cover most of the fields necessary for pre-school children.
“While analysis of the experience of other countries, we have concluded that there are areas, where programmes just like these have been created and cover a large field of necessary educational content. These are countries like Finland, Estonia and Denmark,” says the creator of the project, preschool director Daina Kājiņa. “These countries, for everyone who thinks of creating a similar project, highlight, that, not looking at the change of the content provider, the quality of the content is still important just like it is important to gradually introduce children to digital tools and their use in the education system – the younger the child, the less they have direct contact with digital solutions. Communication “eye to eye” and movement is still crucial for the development of any child.” As an important bit of the use of digital tools, is the education of teachers, so that they understand the different opportunities they present, and can teach children how to use these devices so that they bring added value and also are safe.
The project “Digital learning and methodological tool creation in order to secure innovate pre-school education programmes” (Nr. 126.96.36.199/19/A/014) is going to be created with the financial support of the European Social Fund in the amount of 70% of the project expenses, however 30% will be covered from the finances of “CreaKids”. The intent of the project is to create sections of lessons in language, mathematics, health and physical activity lessons, as a way of bringing the new educational content into pre-schools. Before passing on the digital tools to all Latvian kindergartens, they will be tested and approbated in four Latvian kindergartens, that will use the materials as early as in the study year of 2020./2021. As they will be integrated in the learning materials, instant feedback will be received. Also reviewers related to scientific and academic work will be invited to evaluate the compatibility of these materials with the standards of the education system of the country. In the project involved are the pre-school “Sauleszaķis” in Liepaja, the pre-school class from the Allaži middle school, pre-school “Pasaciņa” from Sigulda and pre-school “Kastanītis” in Madona.
Project will run for two years – from December of 2019 until November of 2021.