The Winter Seminar of the Estonian Educational Technologists Association (EHTL), focusing on the theme “Virtual and Physical Learning Spaces,” took place at Tallinn University of Technology on 1 of February 2024. The seminar brought together educational technologists, IT specialists, and other interested parties. The conference was opened by Hendrik Voll, Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs of Tallinn University of Technology, who emphasized the rapid development of technology and its impact on the education system.

Following the welcoming words from the EHTL board, Gert Jervan, Dean of the Faculty of Information Technology at Tallinn University of Technology, gave a presentation on the future of technology and artificial intelligence, addressing AI development, challenges, and future prospects. In the first session of the day, speakers shared their experiences with virtual and digital learning environments. Janar Kärner introduced virtual reality and augmented reality technologies in the context of education. Meelis Lang discussed the principles of training employees at Helmes, and Kristjan Rebane introduced the Coursera platform, which offers a diverse range of online courses.

The second session of the day focused on the implementation of new technologies in education. Margo Loor presented the use of AI avatars in virtual classrooms, Kuldar Kiho shared experiences with implementing LMS365 using the example of Confido, and Tina Tanurovska introduced two gamified courses that effectively guide instructors to incorporate gamified elements into teaching.

After lunch, representatives from Mustamäe State Gymnasium, Pelgulinna State Gymnasium, and Tallinn Secondary School of Science presented their projects for new school buildings, which are based on modern technologies and provide students with innovative learning environments. Hendrik Park discussed digital models of school buildings that help visualize and plan learning spaces, while Jana Liiv and Laura Herm shared practical examples of outdoor learning, which have proven to be an effective method of engaging children and young people. Ian Nairn presented the application of AI technology in the classroom using Merlyn Mind, and Betra Leesment shared TalTech’s plans for developing learning spaces. Maria Rahamägi spoke about the success story and challenges of Edumus School.

In the final session of the conference, Kaisa Tamkivi, Airi Aavik, and Betra Leesment participated in a panel discussion on “The Classroom of the Future,” moderated by Kersti Matiisen. The discussion focused on important aspects such as the role of technology, the role of teachers, and students’ skills.

The post-seminar party took place at Pirosmani Restaurant, where participants had the opportunity to socialize and exchange experiences.