Published: 18. 3. 2014 in Blog by Juliana Rocha

E-learning initiatives in Russia

Technology increases student engagement. New study considers Russia a mature market for distance and e-learning. The local market grew 16% last year and is leading development in Eastern Europe.

Let the gadgets in!

Notebooks and mobile phones mustn't be banned from classrooms or considered enemies of learning, In fact, by making technology an integral part of teaching and learning, schools deliver a better work environment for teachers and a better education for students. 

In the modern and increasingly connected world, digital and media literacy are valued skills across different fields. That is the reason why preparing a country's youth to a successful future in the digital economy includes IT training. On top of such trend, Russia has, since 2006, invested in the modernization of its school system and doubled the number of computers available in its classrooms.

E-learning is supported by both private and public initiatives in Russia

Russians have been teaching IT in schools since 1986, but as the country entered the knowledge-based world economy, the disparities existing between rural and urban schools could no longer be dismissed. Distance and e-learning initiatives came to the rescue, expanding and consolidating Russian students' access to computers and IT training.

According to a new study by Docebo, after the initial boost provided by federal investments in the early 2000s, Russia has seen a growing number of private initiatives in distance and e-learning take shape within its borders.

The country is considered a mature market, presenting an industry growth rate of 16% and leading the development of distance and e-learning in Eastern Europe.

Among the most popular platforms to support teaching and learning and increase engagement among Russian students are Moodle, Khan Academy and Coursera. In an interview, Coursera's CEO, Daphne Koller even revealed that Russian has always been among the Top-5 in overall number of students and that 2,35% of the Coursera subscriptions comes from the Eastern-european country.

The "Computers for Students" project

A partnership between Intel and the charitable foundation Volnoe Delo quick started "Computers for Students" in 2007. The project is now the longest running e-learning project in Russia and has the goals of donating 1 million notebooks nationwide and establishing a 1:1 e-learning environment in primary schools.

Each student of the more than 240 participating schools receives a notebook and is expected to work on the machine during lessons. A wireless card assures internet access and students who don't own a desktop are allowed to take the school notebook home.

Julia Klebanova, Corporate and Public Sales Manager of Intel Russia/CIS says that there is clear growth in motivation, discipline, quality of teaching and non-conventional thinking skills. The use of IT in the classroom has also had to have a knock-on effect on children’s home life. Pupils who tend to enjoy their home desktops for gaming and entertainment only are now also using the machines for educational purposes. "This means that whole communities are learning new skills and benefitting from the 1:1 eLearning project", adds Klebanova.

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