Annual Conference - Better Tools - Better Learning II (Early Learning, Kindergarten, Primary)

25. - 26. September 2014 Zvaigzne ABC Publishers, Riga, Latvia,
Better Tools - Better Learning II (Early Learning, Kindergarten, Primary)
The EEPG Conference Better Tools - Better Learning II will take place on the 25th-26th September, 2014 at Zvaigzne ABC Publishers ( 6 K Valdemara St. 1010 Riga, Latvia ).


On Wednesday, September 24th, at 18:30 there will be an informal get together dinner (location will be anounced) so that both speakers and participants can meet each other for a chat before the conference starts.



Speakers on the first day include:

Dr. Ilva Skulte from Rigas Stradina Universitate will be talking on "Modality, imagination and creativity: principles of reading in the age of multimedia". This talk focuses not only on technologies that have become popular in learning but also on the variety of applications and different practices in their usage. Moreover, Dr. Ilva Skulte will be looking at the changing nature of the reading process due to digital media, influencing our cognitive resources as well as texts themselves.

Mareike Düssel from Thurgau University of Teacher Education will be talking about "Media use in Kindergarten - Pitfalls and Potential".When it comes to media education, kindergarten lends itself to a playful acquisition of knowledgethrough and about media. Media can play an important role for a child's process of development and adoption of the world, for identity negotiation and creative self-expression. The presentation focuseson media use in early childhood education, highlighting media didactical aspects as well as pedagogical questions.

Martin Waller from Holy Trinity Rosehill (VA) C.E. Primary School will give best practice examples for incorporating media use in the primary classroom. Amongst other things, he will show how to incorporate social media in teaching and how to maximise the potential of interactions online in a playful, safe and meaningful way.

Dr. Hedva Vital from the Marathon Group will discuss the possiblities of creating content for young learners. Unlike adult language learners, young learners are gifted with unique language traits, talents, and a natural curiosity to learn. How does one take advantage of these gifts and create innovative digital content in a fast and efficient way? The presentation proposes digital solutions for each and every need of the young learner and gives best practice examples of successful products.

The round table discussion in the afternoon will be joined by Zane Matesoviča, Deputy Head at Ventspils City Education Board and Kristaps Skutelis, technology professional, writer and technology trainer. The round table discussion will address many issues and questions about media use, among them:

How does the school culture/environment change when technologies are introduced? What is the balance between using traditional and innovative teaching methods in one's lessons?
"Creative", "sustainable", "modern", "inclusive" - these are the buzzwords that we hear most often when talking about a school in the 21st century. However, what exactly do these words mean? What is a modern school? What should a school in the 21st century look like?
Researchers say that the attention span has decreased to just 6 minutes for an average student per one task. What does this mean for producers of learning content?
We hear the words "students should be motivated and inspired" all the time. What are effective tools for teacher and parent motivation?

The second day of the conference, September 26th, will be devoted to best practice cases in real-life learning environments in Ventspils city. Participants will visit pre-school learners in a kindergarten as well as primary and secondary school students to observe how technologies enter rather traditional educational environments.

Participation in the conference is highly recommended and open for everybody interested in the rapid changes in education as influenced by modern technologies. This is a great occasion to meet like-minded colleagues from different countries as well as interact with highly-qualified experts who influence the changes in education.

The conference is open for experts in the field, teachers, developers of educational resources, members of the EEPG as well as non-members.


The conference fee includes attendance for the conference for two days including coffee breaks, lunch and welcome dinner. Travel and hotel expenses should be covered by participants themselves. We suggest the following hotels which can either be booked directly or through one of the agencies like www.booking.com . In some cases the agencies might be cheaper. If you like some more advice on accommodation, please don't hesitate to contact us. All prices quoted are in Euros and for three nights and may have changed when the actual booking is done.

1. Hotel Radisson Blu Ridzene is closest to Zvaigzne ABC, where the conference will take place. A single room for three nights is round 480 .
2. Hotel Radisson Blu Latvija is a 7-10 minutes walk away from Zvaigzne ABC. The room costs approx. 380 .
3. Tallink Hotel is located in the city centre near the Central Railway station and close to some big shopping centers. A 15 min slow walk away from Zvaigzne ABC. Recently renovated, a room for 3 nights costs approx 280 .
4. Clariton Hotel Valdemars is in the very centre of Riga and just 5 minutes from the publishing house. At around 195 for a single room this offers a great bargain for a splendid place.
5. Hotel Roma (previously also known as Hotel de Rome in Old City) is also 10 minutes from Zvaigzne ABC. The price for a room for 3 nights is approx. 230.


The conference takes place practically in the middle of Riga. This year Riga is the European Capital Of Culture you might want take some time to explore this interesting town.

For more information on the EEPG Conference please contact EEPG Director Helga Holtkamp at helga.holtkamp@eepg.org and Sintija Buhanovska at Zvaigzne ABC Sintija.Buhanovska@zvaigzne.lv