We would like to add something else, which we think is very important, in order to to have a broader view of the current state of the art of using ICT in education in Romania.
– The results of the workshop don’t reflect the reality for the urban areas (as I mentioned was only an exercise with teachers from nearby Timisoara). There is a real gap between rural and urban education system infrastructure and motivation. In town and cities almost every school have labs (equipped with computers of last generations, videoprojectors, smartboards, printers,scanners, video and photo cameras and licensed software and also e-learning software) and Internet connections with a higher speed than most of the European countries (let’s not forget that Romania is on the second place in the world and now it’s among the three countries in Europe who will adopt 4G). Wi-fi spots, routers – too.
– Regarding the use of Smartboard – there is a national trend to use this device in classes mainly because of safety and privacy reasons. The parents were asking of using them in order to overcome the barrier of Internet safety and security, especially for the primary education.
– Generally – the ICT teachers are very well prepared for using e-learning in their curriculum (not only how to teach ICT but using ICT for others disciplines) – which is reflected in the fact that Romania won every year International competitions on computer science.
– We also can provide raw materials (links to schools / discipline sites / teachers’ blogs; ebooks etc.) on using Web 2.0 in education at all levels and ranging from music to math – even sports (the teachers use wikis, blogs, presentation tools like photopeach, prezi, glogster, voicethread, animation, video-sharing tools and sites, mindmapping, comics tools etc.).
– Also there is a national policy of introduction e-books in education (started with kindergarten), to substitute the printed manuals. The Ministry of Education in partnership with the Ministry of Communication want to provide each pupil with a tablet.
– In the last 3 years in Romania there are several projects under Structural Found by EU, training teachers from preuniversitary education in different areas, including using ICT in education (in each county).
– The language, unfortunately is a barrier not only to preuniversitary education but for academics too. Romania is a latin country and most of the teachers know French (or Russian, for the age above 40). There are some solutions to this problem: for e.g. send teachers to learn English .
However, the general trend of using ICT in education is an optimistic one. With good results, too.