Tablets to be used in schools instead of textbooks?
Next year, every school will have a strong Internet connection. Still, based on the Digital Education Strategy, the textbook market will be transformed, all children can go to school with smart tools in their bags, new approaches will be used during teaching, and teachers need to give accounts of their digital competence. Hvg.hu interviewed Ádám Horváth, the leader of the Digital Pedagogical Methodology Centre responsible for the implementation of the strategy.
The government accepted the Digital Education Strategy (DOS) one year ago, but it is quite different compared to the present education system. According to Ádám Horváth, the traditional education system cannot meet the expectations of the labour market and the society concerning the competencies of those graduating from schools.
So far, Hungarian education has been left behind, but some enthusiastic teachers already made the first steps.
The digital strategy, therefore, does not only require stronger Wi-Fi in schools and the procurement of classroom and teaching equipment but the reframing of the current regulatory system, which will be a longer, multi-stage process.
Ádám Horváth also mentioned that, by 2023-25, it will be natural that all children will finish school as a digital literate. He explained that it is not equal with sitting in front of Facebook; children need relevant competencies. The complex DOS system is expected to be built by the 2020s. The new National Curriculum will also grant that no one leaves school without this knowledge. Still, Horváth emphasised that steps have to be taken regarding teachers even before that, and the infrastructure has to be enhanced as well. He also said that they want to establish a reference framework for measuring these skills.
He also explained that a change of attitude is needed in education in order for this new method to work because teachers need to teach the same huge curriculum to their pupils. The new way of teaching would include making the children talk much more in class and making them active. Every teacher, regardless of their material, needs to take part in digital competence development. Innovative pedagogues already use digital instruments. The goal would be that more and more start using these devices.
They should encourage new ways of classroom work, such as working in groups and being problem centred, that is, when finding a solution is more important than the way leading to it.
Horváth added that, in a few years time, all students will be taking their smart devices to school instead of textbooks. It is much easier for them to use the same device at home and at school, so there is no need for providing a laptop or tablet just for school. The model is called BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and most children have their own laptop already. For those who cannot afford it, the school should provide a device for borrowing.
Stronger Wi-Fi will be provided for each school too, which costs the government 18 MD HUF.