More than a dozen Estonian education tech companies have made their remote learning tools freely available worldwide as schools shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic.
According to UNESCO, governments in 113 countries have closed educational establishments in response to COVID-19, affecting some 850 million children. More are expected to follow as the virus continues to spread around the world.
Estonia, which is known for being a digital-first country, closed its schools on 16 March.
The free e-learning tools cover multiple subject areas, ranging from mathematics to languages. They cater across all age ranges, from pre-primary school to higher education.
These are the companies offering free digital education tools:
- ALPA Kids
More companies are being added to the list as the pandemic goes on. The most up to date list containing further information on the digital education tools can be found here.
Coronavirus remote learning: “digital schooling is the only option”
UNESCO has also provided guidance to schools, including a list of national learning portals to maintain continuity during the coronavirus outbreak. It has also recommended digital education tools for distance learning.
“Who isn’t afraid of digital education? Learning and teaching digitally are challenging even under normal circumstances. However, during the COVID-19 outbreak, digital schooling is the only option,” said Mart Laidmets, Secretary-General of the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research.
“Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Estonian government announced a state of emergency with all schools and educational facilities transferred entirely to distance and remote study programmes. In Estonia, we make ICT work for education, we have a number of solutions that fully support distance learning.
“We are ready to share Estonia’s best practices and solutions with the countries in need. After all, providing education is essential for a sustainable society.”
Yesterday Estonia followed many other European countries in closing its borders and has closed public spaces such as museums and cinemas.
Use of remote learning tools soared in Asia after the coronavirus spread from mainland China, providing a boon to edtech startups and overwhelming systems with the extra demand.