virtual ABC-Book VIRBITS

Virbits is a CD-Rom based Estonian virtual ABC-Book. The aim of this software is to act as an alternative preparation of reading and writing for school preparatory groups and school first grade, to provide a helping tool for the educators by teaching reading and to create a rich ABC-Book experience through the use of playful exercises and interactive tasks.

In the "Virbits" software there are six animated creatures to help the child through game-like exercises. There are 21 groups of exercises teaching letters, numbers, shapes, sounds and memorization. The teaching method used in the software does not conflict with existing teaching methods. It can be easily combined with various teaching processes and used with other ABC-Books. Therefore, the time span to use this program is up to each teacher and is flexible. To avoid the child getting bored of the exercises, they have been designed as games. Through solving the problems in the game, the child develops more motivation to continue, solving the tasks quicker. The child receives a prize of an animation, a simple game or a story told. The goal was to create a computer program that would be able to play in most of the computers in Estonian schools. Therefore there is no score recording of the child´s activities. Since the program is ment to be used with the grown-up together, recording the score is not nessecary. It makes the program act quicker and run smoother on slower machine. Because of the rich multimedia content VIRBITS´ platform is chosen to be CD-Rom, not WWW. The download time will result discontinuity of play and child losing temper.

The CD-ROM "Virbits" will extend concepts for pre-school preparation of Estonian children. It illustrates the development possibilities for teaching process and problems. It is a good impulse to advancing the education system. The distribution of this software to school preparatory groups and first grade educators will link these institutions together. The main goal of the Estonian virtual ABC-Book is to positively advance the process of teaching and learning to read.

VIRBITS HAS WON AN AWARD!

04.04.2005 the World Summit Award (WSA) Estonian Preselection took place. In the E-learning category the winner project was VIRBITS.

WSA is a global contest for selecting and promoting the World´s best e-contents and applications. It sees the bridging of the Digital Divide and narrowing of the Content Gap as its overall goal and as of today - involves representatives of 168 countries from each continent. Putting its focus on cultural identity and diversity, the WSA looks for multimedia projects that effectively and creatively work with quality contents and digitalise educational, scientific and cultural heritage. It is held in the framework of and in cooperation with the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). Virbits will present Estonia in e-learning category of WSA in Tunis fall 2005!