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Tiger Leap Foundation and iTEC: increasing standards in education through use of new technologies

iTec_Project_EstoniaiTEC’s Estonian partner, the Tiger Leap Foundation (TLF), is the organisation tasked with increasing the quality of Estonia’s education system through use of information and communication technology (ICT). Founded in 1996, the organisation’s early focus was on providing schools with the physical infrastructure and hardware necessary to utilise ICT. In recent years, however, the organisation’s focus has shifted to education initiatives. One TLF initiative is koolielu.ee, an online portal for educational materials. The site utilises social media functionality, facilitating communication and collaboration between users. Koolielu.ee has been an overwhelming success, with 33% of teachers in Estonia using the site.

TLF is also an active participant in European educational initiatives, including eTwinning, Linked, inGenious and iTEC. With the iTEC project, TLF is responsible for overseeing the project’s school pilot cycles in Estonia, including initial design sessions, pre-pilots, pilots in 80 classrooms, and evaluation of the initiative at a national level. On a European level, TLF is tasked with administering second-level technical support operations.

The first iTEC pilot cycle took place from September to December 2011. The Estonian roll-out involved 17 teachers from 15 different schools. A total of 31 classes carried out a learning story called Outdoor Study, where students go out to explore the school grounds with an aim of capturing data in order to solve a problem or a challenge. The TeamUp tool, an iTEC project tool that allows teachers to create and manage student groups, received particularly positive feedback from the teachers involved; their responses indicated that it is a valuable tool for facilitating team work for both small activities and longer study projects. The teachers pointed out a challenge concerning the capacity or duration of the learning scenarios: they felt it was difficult to integrate a long scenario with the existing learning pattern. They were interested in shorter learning scenarios (e.g. duration of 45 min) to make integration with the curriculum easier.

Three of the teachers involved have created blogs to chart the progress of the project. These blogs (Estonian language) can be found at:

Some student multimedia presentations (also in Estonian) can also be found at:

By Martin Sillaots and Ingrid Maadvere, Tiger Leap Foundation