Ana Marija Rogi*, Jasmina Vrki* Dimi* UNIVERSITY OF

2.1 Examples of the use of ICT in the
Croatian educational system
ICT literacy as one of the basic forms of
Informal learning as a integral part of
lifelong learning
Informal learning is a unplanned experiental
learning and includes casual, incidental
learning (von Felden, 2004).
Informal learning also occurs within formal
link between formal and
informal learning.
forms in
the future...
The advantages of informal learning and
learning with help of ICT should support
learning in schools and learning in general.
All this results in changing working methods of
teachers. Now they are expected to be
e-competent (Papić, 2011).
The fact whether a teacher belongs to the
generation that came in contact with the
Internet for the first time f.i. during their student
days, or after many years of service, plays a
certain part. Now all of them are teaching
pupils reffered to as the Google generation.
Croatia has relatively early recognized the importance of
buildung ICT infrastructure (Dorotić, 2008):
 “The Development Strategy of the Republic of Croatia
– Croatia in 21st Century” (2001)
 CARNet (Croatian Acedemic and Research Network)
created 1991 as a project the Croatian Ministry of
Science and Technology.
CARNet activities: provision of Internet services,
encouragement of development of the information
society and education for a new area (URL 1). Target
groups in providing CARnet services are pupils,
teachers, faculties, institutes, students, professors and
member institutions (URL 3).
CARNet projects: e-Islands, Schools 2.0, e-Schools...
The purpose of the project e-Schools is to create digitally
mature schools (URL 5). These schools are on a high level of
integration of ICT, both in life and work of the school and
in the entire system supporting those schools. That
includes not only financial ressources but also adequately
equipped classrooms, offices, teachers and pupils with ICT
equipment (URL 6).
The studies “Survey of Schools: ICT in Education
Benchmarking Access, Use and Attitudes to Technology in
Europe’s Schools” (2013) and its Croatian country profile
(2012) conducted for the European Commission analyzed
the use of ICT in teaching in European schools, in which 300
Croatian schools participated.
One of many results showed, that there is a visible gap in
digital equipment of schools in Croatia. At the high
school level, the percentage (82%, 86%) of highly
equipped schools is much higher compared to the
European average (50%, 55%). But at the primary school
levels Croatia (18%, 10%) is below the European average
(37%, 24%).
There is a trend in Europe and Croatia in general: the
older the pupils, the higher the number of computers
available (European Schoolnet & University of Liege Psychology and Education, 2012).
CARNets analysis show that less than 17% of Croatian
schools is at higher level of IT maturity, or may be
considered digitally capable or mature (URL 6).
It is
necessary to put more effort to raise digitalization of
schools in Croatia to a higher level.
Project Open Discovery Space – existing digital
learning materials, contents, technology and
standards for learning needed to be more
involved in education, i.e. their implementation
into national curriculums needed to be
accelerated. CARNet participates in the new
e-learning portal with its two existing
repositories: and
It includes 50 schools in Croatia and 2000
schools from all over Europe (URL 8).
The national distance learning portal “Nikola
Tesla” – system that allows teaching and
learning with computers using digital
educational contents, E-programming courses
for schools, ECDL modules for enhancing basic
computer literacy, courses on use of the
Internet and tools for the creation of Internet
content. Lessons are presented in multimedia
with animated examples, audio-visual
simulations of tests and experiments and
interactive elements (URL 9).
These two described projects are
examples for using independent informal
learning: the pupils can browse and explore
new teaching contents or exercise those
already covered in school, whereas at home
and at their own learning pace. Teachers can
use them in teaching, in order to raise
motivation or exercise and repetition of
already adopted syllabus. But also students
who will become teachers can have insight or
idea how to include these tools in the planning
and preparation of their sample lesson.
E-medica (2007) was a project initiated by the
Medical School in Zadar. In a telemedicine
broadcoast medical and vocational schools across
Croatia, two in Slovenia and the Faculty of
Medicine in Bosnia and Herzegowina were virtually
connected, and were able to watch a surgical
procedure which was performed at the Zadar
General Hospital. Upon completion of the
presented surgeries, the doctor was avaliable for
questions of the participants (URL 10).
Pupils and
students were able to review their previous largely
theoretical medical knowledge on a real example.
This method of ICT use opened an informal way to
connect theory and practice and for the increase
of motivation of pupils to attend class.
Project iSchool - integration of tablet computers
(iPad) in class. The first example is Elementary
School in Rijeka followed by the Dubrovnik private
gymnasium and the American International School
of Zagreb. In 2012 the website was
established, where new users can find tips and
instructions for the use of iPads in schools (URL 14).
According to the teachers the work is much
easier, because there is a number of ready-made
exercises, powerpoint presentations and
applications. Applications allow pupils to submit
their homework, which makes everything much
faster. It is also easier to monitor each pupil
individually and identify the part of curriculum that
requires additional work (URL 15).
School e-book – digital textbook and didactic
materials created with the help of the School
portal and e-sphere. It includes interactive
materials and provides the ability for teachers
to make their own amendments and adapt
the teaching to themselves and their pupils
even more (URL 16).
The e-sphere system does not require an
Internet connection and in practice all users
can find constant support on the School portal.
For teachers it is designed for use in classroom
on the computer and the projector or the
interactive whiteboard (URL 16; URL 17).
The e-manual is created for teachers to support the
preparation of class. It is an integrated digital
manual with digital textbook and teaching plans
and programs (URL 17).
The e-learn is intented for pupils and represents a
digital textbook enriched with multimedia content,
3D models, animations, video and audio recordings,
photo galleries, tasks for repetition and tools to
highlight text, create notes and browse through
content (Ibid.).
Here we can recognize a common
characteristic of informal learning and learning with
the help of ICT, where it does not have to happen in
relation to a specific time and place, as provided
for formal learning in the teaching process.
The described examples certainly include the element of
„edutainment”, that mainly refers to children's programme
and documentaries, which they usually watch in their free
time, but can also be adequately used in teaching.
The last two examples are related to the two series of
historical documentaries produced by Croatian Radio
Television: „Insane Roman Emperors” and „Croatian kings”.
Historical scenes and locations were shown vividly with help
of visual effects and modern computer graphics (URL 18).
Croatian and global historians and archeologists were also
included here as expert collocutors (URL 19).
Due to their entertainment aspect, these television shows
can have a motivating effect on pupils of all ages,
regardless of their initial interest for the individual subject.
Lately, the efforts in Croatia to modernize schools as much as
possible are very presentable, but on the other hand, unfortunately,
there are still schools whose work conditions are very bad, so ICT are
still underrepresented in most schools in Croatia.
The new learning environment imposed with the development of
digital technologies will likely seek a broader change of the
pedagogical paradigm. It is extremely important to involve
pedagogical experts and doctors, together with multidisciplinary
teams, in its conceptualization, in order to cover all revelant aspects
of application of new technological innovations in education. This
would ensure that new multimedia technologies really serve the
educational process, taking into account the health of children, and
that they don‘t become a new profitable entertainment industry
(URL 11).
If we want systematic improvement of the education system, then it
can certainly be achieved through the linking of formal and informal
learning. And precisely one such effective link is represented by the
use of ICT.
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