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Digital competence or digital poisoning?

The changes brought about by the digital society not only affect teaching and learning, but also the digital competence of employees – however the latter has not yet been clearly defined. It isn’t even clear, where the line runs between digital competence and digital poisoning, but the opinion festival’s digital education area discussions will hopefully clarify the questions and answers in this field.

The digital education area will feature several thought-provoking discussion topics: e.g. finding out whether the Estonian education system has been hit by digital poisoning. Ene Koitla from the Information Technology Foundation for Education (HITSA) will moderate the discussion on what are the fears and expectations concerning the inclusion of digital equipment in education. The discussion groups will be lead by recognised experts in the field, including Peeter Marvet, teacher Kalle Lina from Rakvere Secondary School, Airi Aavik from Virtsu school and local municipality official Jarno Laur.

The area will also include students who will discuss the possible use and benefits of several digital appliances in school and extracurricular life. The group together with students from Väätsa school and their teacher Anneli Tumanski will attempt to find opportunities for including parents and companies in this as well. The digital education discussions will end with a panel discussion on the future of the digitally poisoned – how to learn today so as not to lose one’s job to a computer tomorrow?

AF_Digipädevus või digimürgitus?

“We shall involve employers in the discussions as well to determine the profile of a digitally competent employee and what benefits may the employee reap from this,” explained Koitla. The panel discussion will also attempt to find out how severely may a digitally incompetent employee curb a company’s development. The session will feature presentations by Skype’s HR manager Merle Liisu Lindma, State Information System’s senior architect Priit Raspel, Kristjan Rebane from the Tallinn Technical University and Kaarel Kotkas from Jalax. The panel will be moderated by journalist Henrik Roonemaa.

The digital education area intends to engage experts from every field of life in the discussions – parents, school masters, teachers, students and employers. Koitla believes that since digital skills are necessary in every walk of life, the digital education area will interest people of all age groups and work profiles.

The digital education area is jointly organised by the Information Technology Foundation for Education, the Teachers Association and several IT experts. Students themselves will also be contributing towards the discussions and the topics.

The exact program is available here: arvamusfestival.ee/kava.

What’s this festival album business all about?

Those who attended last year’s festival can revisit those memories from velvety August nights by browsing through the festival’s photo album. Those who weren’t in attendance last year can enjoy the photos to get an idea about what will happen in Paide on August 14th and 15th this year.

“It’s a pretty nifty idea – to look back on how the festival was organised previously and to encapsulate some of the festival’s energy in an album. The final push for the album came from Tartu university’s comms students,” said the album’s editor-in-chief Andrus Raudsep.

Besides linking the idea and action, the album serves as a trip down memory lane for those who have been to the festival in previous years. “You don’t always fully appreciate the outsider’s perspective on things when you’re smack in the middle of the action. The album gives the opportunity to glance at 2014’s festival at a standstill and from different perspectives. A static image gives a better understanding of what could be done differently and what may happen next,” explained Raudsep.


These pictures may look like random snapshots of someone’s summer, but the objective was to get still photos of action. “We can see what is happening at the moment while also understanding what happened before and what will happen next.” There’s plenty for everyone to explore, as there are explanatory notes to the visual solutions.

Looking back on last year’s festival, the album should inspire people to participate in differently structured discussions and engage in debates. “When all participants converse in the spirit of good discussion culture, then the discussions go deeper as well. Hopefully the album as a new discussion format will support this as well,” said Raudsep.

The album was born as the result of one tiny idea in the heads of the organising team and the cooperative effort of Tartu university’s students, offering 58 pages of fun: arvamusfestival.ee/arvamusfestivali-album/

Opinion Culture Festival awarded the coveted EFFE label

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 09.50.55The European Festivals Association has for the first time issued a special EFFE Label to certify the best festivals in Europe, the Festival of Opinion Culture is one of 24 festivals to win the title in Estonia. EFFE (Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe) is an international EFA platform for uniting festivals dedicated to the arts, communities and European values.

Hundreds of festivals across Europe submitted their applications to receive the EFFE Label, the applications were reviewed by EFA’s local experts and an international jury. EFFE Label carries three criteria: artistic dedication, community involvement and the festival’s international and global focus.

EFFE’s international jury chairman Vincent Baudriller said that the certified festivals represent various fields of culture and offer a multitude of activities to audiences. “These festivals have considerable positive influence on the local community and also on an international scale.” Baudrill added that the quality label helps these European festivals to extend their reach even further and involve even larger audiences by building new bridges in the festival community.

Festival of Opinion Culture’s head of marketing Anu Melioranski is pleased that the festival has been named as one of the best in Europe, especially considering that the Opinion Culture Festival had only happened twice prior to submitting the application.
“We submitted Opinion Culture Festival’s candidacy because we believe that we are organising a truly unique festival in Estonia, by inviting people to express their opinions through other genres as well – e.g. poetry, theatre, music,” said Melioranski. “The recognition is even greater when considering that the jury consisted of local and international culture experts. This positive attention and acknowledgment inspire us to organise the third exciting verbal rock festival. The EFFE Label is a badge of quality that that every single volunteer of the Opinion Culture Festival has contributed to.”

The EFFE Label was awarded in total to 761 festivals from 31 countries. Other festivals to receive the title in Estonia included e.g. PÖFF, Viljandi Folk, Jazzkaar, Juu Jääb, Viru Folk, Tallinn Treff and Tartu Student Days.