2005. no3

Educational Policies


The article presents an analysis of federal programs and education projects concerning information technologies carried out by the Russian government in recent years. That allows to create new principled approaches to the introduction of modern education technologies in the framework of the National Priority Project «Education». This project was launched by the President of the Russian Federation in September 2005. A comprehensive approach and government support should create the necessary basis for carrying out systematic changes in Russian education.


The article considers the main ideas and specific features of the national project «The Computerization of the Education System» (CES). The project was launched February 28, 2005 by the National Workforce Training Foundation under the auspices of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science. Changes in the approaches towards the computerization of schools and the experience of earlier projects are considered. The article discusses the goals of the project and its logic, the stages and phases of its realization, its main components, and the associated possible risks.


The Development Strategy of a Unified Educational Information Environment (UEIS) was developed in the framework of the Federal Target Program for Development of Education. It includes a list of the steps that are to be taken and more than 60 various projects to be implemented for the period up to 2010. The key system-forming component of the Strategy is the creation of the Federal Center of Information and Educational Resources. Its main advantage and distinction among similar data systems is «one window» concept, which will ensure free guarantied access to all digital resources for educational needs. It will also provide a platform to set up and operate modern information systems aimed to improve educational management in Russia.


The article analyses the main trends in the computerization of school education in Latin America, Europe and Asia, which are then compared with the approaches adopted in Russia. An important lesson of othercountries is that technology-oriented computerization strategies do not bring any significant results. Drastically new results can be expected only if the strategy aims at developing the students’ capabilities and countries is that technology-oriented computerization strategies do not bring any significant results. Drastically new results can be expected only if the strategy aims at developing the students’ capabilities and skills (by means of technology). This approach requires a specific realization mechanism, called promotion by the authors. Its characteristic feature is that information technologies are not just offered, but promoted using marketing and constant support mechanisms.

Theoretical and Applied Research


Translated from  English by A. Margulyov.



The authors have acquired extensive experience in creating, developing, and reviewing technology-based education materials since the 1990s. They worked on various projects under the auspices of the Russian National Training Foundation as well as for R&D organizations in the United States and Europe. Using their own expertise as well as data from the literature, the authors attempt to identify and characterize the issues and obstacles impeding the development of innovative education products that use information and communication technologies (ICT). The future goal of the authors is to provide a general set of principles and guidelines for determining when educational products are indeed innovative, and identify and describe the main trends in the development of ICT-based education materials. The current goal of this paper is to present the authors’ findings and observations to the developers who are creating the next generation of ICT-based education products, and the authors offer practical insights to help maximize the efficiency and usefulness of these resources in K-12 schools.


The article describes a cluster model of the computerization of education. A study carried out on a sample of schools shows that education institutions can be naturally divided into clusters. Each cluster has a natural interpretation. Suggestions as to the use of this model for the valuation and management of the computerization of schools are given.

Content of Education


The article considers the possibilities computers offer for a fundamental modernization of mathematics education in schools using mathematical experiments.


The main objective of informatics classes in school is to develop the skills and approaches to solving problems that are required by our modern information society. It follows that the teaching of informatics should start in elementary school, and continue throughout the school years. The author discusses the divide between this theoretical conclusion and the actual state of affairs with respect to early informatics classes. He then describes the most urgent problems in the computerization of elementary schools.


There exist methodological differences in the evaluation of job market demands and of the reproductive potential of systems that train professionals who use information and communication technologies. The article discusses various approaches to the modeling of the advanced study of informatics and ICT in schools. It is noted that ICT support facilities for the projects carried out by students are the principal tools for analyzing and solving problems as well as for interacting with their advisors. The possibility of using cognitive models for the study of informatics at school is considered. The development of the information infrastructure at schools is discussed. The objective of schools with an advanced informatics and ICT curriculum is to overcome the technocratic nature of this education and to encourage the formation of a healthy communicative culture in the school.


Informatics was introduced in schools about 20 years ago. Its curriculum still remains the most volatile out of all school subjects. The article considers the mathematical component of school informatics today, over the course of its development and in the nearest future. The article shows the fundamental importance of this mathematical component in Russian school education.


Regional Interschool methodological centers

The article describes the main principles for the design and functioning of a system of interschool methodological centers. These centers are being created in the framework of «The Computerization of the Education System» project, which is being carried out by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science, the National Workforce Training Foundation, the World Bank, and the administrations of seven federal regions (Kaluga Region, Krasnoyarsk Region, the Republic of Karelia, Perm Region, Stavropol Region, Khabarovsk Region, Chelyabinsk Region) in 2005—2008. The approaches to the creation of such centers in the regions are described. These approaches take into account the number of education institutions in the region, specific geographic features of the territory (the distance between districts and the regional center, the density of schools). The structure of standard services and technical equipment for each type of center is discussed, as well as staffing issues and the functional roles they should play. The article offers recommendations for the recruitment procedures and for the selection criteria for the organizations to be used as centers, and gives the necessary qualifications for the staff. Special attention is given to the description of the main activities of these centers and approaches to calculating their costs.


Professional development of and methodological support for working educators are considered as one of the key tasks in the computerization of schools. Hundreds of thousands of teachers have learned about the possibilities offered by computers and the Internet. However, there have been no considerable changes in the use of ICT in teaching. The article discusses the reasons for this. It suggests an approach to solving the problems of professional development and methodological support for educators, which might be helpful in overcoming existing obstacles.


The article presents the experience of the Stavropol Region in computerizing the education system. It considers the gradual change of tasks and methods of successfully managing the process of computerization at the regional, municipal and school levels. The central problem of the article is that of the relation between cost and effort in computerizing schools and in developing the computer and ICT skills of educators. The article argues that computerization is connected with other developments in education, all helping to improve the quality of education.


The article considers and systematizes different aspects of the complex concept of computerizing standard basic education. It reviews the indicators of these aspects, which should reflect our standards for the quality of computerization.


The principal tools provided by information and communication technologies (ICT) are considered, as well as problems that can be solved by using these tools in schools. ICT can be used to achieve modern educational goals, and provide greater possibilities for the development of students. Some elements of this approach are implemented in most Moscow schools and are recommended by the Russian Ministry of Education and Science for all regions, while other elements have been used only in certain experiments. Some tools have emerged only recently and research is being conducted to determine how best to use them in the school environment. The insufficient attention given to the entire spectrum of digital teaching equipment (and of digital educational resources) is one of the most common mistakes of many computerization programs.



A Round Table «Computerization of Schools Today and Tomorrow: Problems and Possible Solutions» was held on October 14, 2005. It was organized on the initiative of the editorial board of Problems of Education. The following questions were discussed: — What are the results of the twenty-year-long history of computerization of schools in this country? There have been no qualitatively new improvements in school education, even given the mass supplementary training of teachers, the installation of computers and Internet connections in schools. What is the reason for that? What factors in general determine the efficiency of the computerization of schools? — What should be understood by the computerization of school education today? What problems must be solved at this new stage? What is the connection between the computerization of school and the principal approaches to the modernization of schools? What short- and longterm results do educators expect? — What are the main differences between digital educational resources and traditional ones? What is necessary for creating «a school of the information era»: the adaptation of Western technologies or the creation of national teaching methods?

Education Statistics and Sociology


The article presents a brief review of the existing statistical and sociological data on the use of information technologies in K-12 and professional education. Indicators from different sources are grouped by education level, so that a general understanding of the state of computerization at each level can be attained. The article discusses such aspects as the availability of modern computers and access to the Internet in schools, the reasons for using information technologies, and the factors hindering their further expansion.


The article presents the results of a poll carried out by VTSIOM (currently the Levada Center) in the beginning of 2003. 2017 respondents were polled. The topic was computerization as one of the major features of the new economy. The sample represented the adult population of Russia as a whole (ages 16 and up) and the principal social groups with respect to gender, age, level of education, macro-regions of the country, and types of settlements. The poll studied the presence of ICT devices in households, their availability and the general disposition to use these novelties.



Book Reviews and Survey Articles


This article is an extensive review of S. Papert’s works. S. Papert is one of the leading experts on the computerization of schools. The article pays special attention to the discussion of education techniques and situations that use the «Logo» environment. This environment can be used to enact and illustrate S. Papert’s philosophy of education.




The article briefly reviews the problems related to the teaching of informatics in Russian schools. Recognizing the importance of basic problems, such as providing schools with computers and determining the number of academic hours that should be dedicated to informatics, the article focuses on other problems: the insufficient competence of teachers, and the lack of integration of the professional community. The author suggests a number of low-cost steps that might improve the situation, based on his experience of creating a professional