Project E-Estonia

The Estonian Education Information System (EEIS) and its embedding in the overall digital system of e-estonia (eesti) Estonia is described as a pioneer in the digitalization of society throughout Europe. About 20 years ago, the Estonian government made a turn to e-government and successively implemented a centralized data platform (eesti), where users log in via a digital citizen ID card and data from numerous social areas (security, health, registration, taxation, education, etc.) is organized.

The education sector plays a central role here. The Estonian Education Information System (EEIS) now stores and processes data on all educational institutions, students, teachers, educational certificates, learning materials and curricula. While the organization of school processes is increasingly digital, the system is also used for monitoring processes, such as the collection of “output and impact indicators to measure school effectiveness [and] the success of graduates in the labor market” (Lao-Peetersoo, 2014). EEIS itself is divided into individual platforms and software tools, including early childhood education (eliis for kindergarten and preschool), elementary and secondary education (e-school), or university education (DreamApply). In 2017, 85% of schools were connected to the e-school system (Kolb, 2017), which, in addition to bridging interfaces to learning management systems, is also used to install dense monitoring of grades, attendance information, or student behavior.

At the same time, e-school reflects a clearly visible shift to make parents more accountable for their children’s educational success, for example through detailed learning analytics, real-time messaging or influencing what happens in class ( Similar functions, such as the creation of “child development maps” or “children profiles with different customizable maps” (https://eestonia. com/solutions/education/eliis), are offered by the eliis platform, which is by now being used by 50% of Estonian kindergartens.

While existing (online) literature on the Estonian e-government has focused on its pioneering role (and the lagging of other countries), this project aims at better understanding EEIS and its embedding in eesti in terms of an exploration of data infrastructures, changing actor constellations, and concomitant changes in the organization of education (e.g., through the increasing digital involvement or “doing data” of parents). Such an analysis of this far-advanced system promises important insights not only into (possible) future scenarios of digital governance of education and society, but also into the cultural-social context-specificity of digital education governance in Estonia.

In this project we cooperate with Prof. Dr. Nelli Piattoeva from Tampere University, Finland.


Letzte Änderung: 3. January 2021