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EIF supports the development of the local internet community

Every year, the Estonian Internet Foundation (EIF) supports projects and activities that contribute to the development of Internet-related knowledge. Thereby, we contribute to the development and growth of the local internet community. The beginning of the year is a good time to take a look at the results of the projects and activities supported in 2023.
EIF supports the development of the local internet community

In 2023, we supported projects managed by NGOs, universities, interest schools and other educational institutions, focused on developing young people's skills and competencies. The subsidies were financed from the revenues received from the .ee domain auctions.

The BSides Tallinn 2023 youth program integrated top students into the local internet community by offering 40 free tickets to the event. The interest was exceptionally high, and according to the feedback from teachers and lecturers, it is an extremely useful platform where young people can test themselves in presenting the results of their work, develop cooperation and communication skills.

Tallinn University of Technology developed cyber security knowledge for both students and teachers who support them. In the framework of the project, the Tallinn University of Technology organized thematic trainings for teachers and national cybersecurity competition KüberPuuring. In addition, the project supported the participation of Estonian youth in the international European Cyber ​​Security Challenge (ECSC).

A total of 113 schools and 4,043 students participated in the preliminary round of the KüberPuuring competition, and 105 teams altogether with 440 students participated in the final round. The students who represented Estonia at the international competition developed their skills at the DREAM camp and at various training sessions. The 10-member representative team took 22nd place in the ECSC competition, and two team members were invited to participate in cyber training organized by ENISA.

What motivates girls to act in the cyber field? It has been scrutinized by the University of Tartu's CyberTigers. The results of the survey carried out revealed that Estonian girls are motivated to study the field by the same aspects as in other countries. As an interesting knowledge, it was determined that it is important, however, what type of organizations organize sectoral study programs. For example, compared to others, more motivating were the programs organized by the Youth Academy of the University of Tartu.

One of the effective ways to reach the youth is to create interactive and playful materials. This is why the Estonian Human Rights Center created the Cybergram platform, through which young people can move through different digital platforms and make different choices and tests in the situations that arise. Based on the decisions made, the platform provides the user with risk assessments and recommendations, in addition, speakers familiar to young people share their experiences on Cybergram. Thus, immediate feedback is received, and as a result, young people can act smarter on social media.

The Kostivere Interest Center also developed student's awareness related to the safe internet. Within the project's framework, workshops based on 'Targalt Internetis' lessons were conducted. Internet communication and its security were discussed, in addition to possible threats and the topics of passwords, privacy and self-protection. In addition, Telia's "Greatest Courage" workshops and a practical Mafia game with internet villains were held. The participants were inspired by the founder of WorkBite, after which the students could practice generating and presenting business ideas.

In Halliste Primary School, students' practical entrepreneurship was developed. As part of the project, youngsters participated in the Wise School of Entrepreneurship and prototyping workshops, in addition to visiting Bolt's office. As a result of the project, the student's awareness of the diverse opportunities in the field of ICT increased, both in everyday life and in business. The students gained a good understanding of professional occupations and the business environment, and thus their interest in continuing their studies in this field increased.

However, the goal of the Viljandi Vocational Education Center project was to integrate digital technologies into professional education and develop competencies in this field. Thus, not only the students but also the teachers benefited from the activities. Within the framework of two study tours held at Tallinn University of Technology, students participated in various workshops, acquired skills in 3D modeling and printing, XR into + VR modeling and LEGO Mindstorms EV3 robotics. They brought with them several practical examples of combining digital competences with professional subjects.

In conclusion, it is important for EIF to support the local internet community and its sustainability. This year, we have broadened the target groups of the activities and added a new category for projects and activities related to internet freedom. What projects will be supported this year? Will be revealed soon.

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