This article gives a general framework for the understanding of the use of ICT in primary, secondary (vocational education excluded) and tertiary education in both Finland and Hong Kong. We describe the quantity and quality of ICT infrastructure and teachers' skills and attitudes towards it. Based on various surveys and scientific research, the pedagogical use of ICT is also studied from the pupils' and teachers' viewpoint. There is also some discussion on developmental challenges.
The main task of this follow-up study was to describe teachers' expectations, experiences and possible changes in the pedagogical use of ICT. As a part of an ICT development project, three sets of data were gathered from a region in Eastern Finland, by means of questionnaire. A total of 156 teachers of primary and early secondary education returned the questionnaire in 1999, 155 teachers in 2001, and 81 in 2004. The results indicate that teachers have increased their use of various ICT applications (especially data processors, web-browsers, e-mails, and CD-ROMs) both in their private lives and in pedagogical practice. Based on their own self-assessment, the teachers' ICT abilities have improved during the project period. Co-operative activities by means of ICT also increased between colleagues. Although teachers saw ICT as helpful for pupils' learning, some sceptical attitudes emerged as well.
Mongolia started using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in secondary education relatively late. The computer training and informatics has been included as a subject in the secondary school curriculum in Mongolia since 1988 and in the university curriculum since 1982. This paper presents current situation of informatics education in Mongolia. SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat) analysis of Informatics Education in Mongolia, conclusions and future recommendations are also presented.
Computers, information and communication technology (ICT) are more and more involved in the education process. Students should learn to use information technologies (IT) in a suitable, effective way, and when learning any subject they should be capable to implement computer facilities and thus develop their learning methods. Competitions are an excellent tool to achieve these goals. Competitions play an important role as a source of inspiration and innovation - youngsters are attracted by competitions, they get easier involved in such an activity, more willingly discuss and become more active. IT contests may be a key to the potential of new knowledge and an attractive way of binding up technology and education.
Interest in competitions essentially depends on problems. Really, choosing and developing interesting tasks (problems) is one of the most important issues bringing students into competitions. Attraction, invention, tricks, surprise should be desirable features of each problem presented to competitors. The problems have to be carefully selected, taking into account the different aspects of each problem. IT competitions should encourage students to think about computer science and to understand what it can be.
Introduction to computers, learning by using ICT are the actions aimed at solution and analysis of particular problems. Before starting IT competitions, tasks must be planned very carefully and based on some theoretical analysis. The main attention is paid to develop some criteria for creating as well as selecting tasks.
The history of the Lithuanian IT competition named ''Beaver'' started on October 21, 2004. Approximately 3500 students from about 150 comprehensive schools were involved in it. Afterwards, the workshop of participants from several foreign countries was held and building of a framework of the international ``Beaver'' competition was started. The paper deals with theoretical and practical issues of developing new kinds of competition in IT in Lithuania, called ``Beaver''.
The study is the first attempt to systematically gather information about what is happening in research and education in the ICT field in the Baltic countries and Northwest Russia, so it is mostly a general investigation and fact-finding project, leading to possible future research and activities in the field.
The study will estimate how well the supply of eSkills, that is, educated ICT graduates, meets the requirements of the ICT industry and the needs of the market in Northwest Russia, Kaliningrad, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The main objective of this study can be divided into three tasks:
• Surveying educational organisations providing ICT education and training in the region. The main technical universities, high schools and other public and private institutions, as well as research centres, will be examined with the goal of charting what specialists are being
produced and what research is being carried out in the universities and research institutions of the region.
• Identifying the market needs for ICT competence with the focus on the ICT industry and SMEs.
• Highlighting discrepancies between the supply of ICT educated graduates and the demand of the digital economy.