Baltics Vocational Colleges -

Innovation, Sustainability & AI Conference

2nd and 3rd May 2024, Tartu Estonia

Baltics Vocational Colleges - Innovation, Sustainability & AI Conference

2nd and 3rd May 2024, Tartu Estonia

Join Vocational educators from across Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania at the Baltics Vocational Colleges - Innovation, Sustainability & AI Conference a powerful platform to shape the future of vocational education together. This conference fosters innovation and sustainability, empowering you with the tools and strategies to revolutionize your programs and prepare your students for success.

We invite Vocational education providers across the Baltics to learn, share and get insights into the themes of:

  • Innovation and Effective Use of AI & VR
    Exploring how AI & VR tools can enhance teaching and learning in vocational schools with research from leading Vocational College leaders showing how these resources are saving time and reducing stress for teachers and engaging / supporting students learning. 
  • Sustainability in Vocational Education
    Focusing on the importance and implementation of sustainable practices. Understand how the choice of devices, technologies and learning tools like online platforms and virtual environments reduce the Total Cost of Ownership, need for physical travel, support levels and much more thereby lowering carbon emissions.

  • Practical Workshops and Hands-On Sessions
    Participants have the possibility to gain extensive knowledge with tangible skills that are needed in their institutions with substantial workshops.  Educate yourself on the latest AI, VR, cybersecurity measures and protocols to protect institutional data and maintain digital safety, including E-ITS, GDPR, Google Workspace and Chrome.

  • Become a part of the Baltic Community for Continuous Learning

    The conference brings together participants from all Baltic countries, fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing. Strengthening networks, cooperation, and information exchange are key cornerstones of the event.

This agenda ensures a targeted approach towards innovation and sustainability in vocational education, fostering a collaborative and forward-thinking environment for the participants.

The agenda and speakers will be updated below so stay tuned!

Save the date and fill out the form below to register for the event already. See you in Tartu!


Thursday 2nd May

1pm:  Welcome to Tartu and Opening Ceremony

1.30pm: Educational Innovation and Sustainability by Professor Margus PedasteMargus

Innovation refers to new or changed ideas that are not only developed but also applied in practice. Changes are needed when our goals change or the environment changes. In the year 2024 we can see that the whole world is changing – we are facing challenges related to sustainable development in a technologically advanced environment. The World Economic Forum has also indicated that we should revise our goals – we have to prepare youth for problem-solving, self-management, working with people, and technology use and development. The United Nations has defined 17 sustainable development goals that should also guide educational innovation. Thus, we have to consider what changes we need in education, what innovation we need in education. Firstly, this keynote focuses on analysing changes in our environment and defining future skills. Secondly, we discuss what kind of educational innovation is required to ensure that we are able to meet the expectations indicated by the World Economic Forum and the United Nations.

2.30pm: Action Based Research – VR in Vocational Colleges by Dr. Steven Spence Steven

This session will give a practical insight into how The Sheffield College implemented virtual reality to support and enhance assessment practices for students on vocational and technical programmes of study. With a simple quest to create authentic assessment to allow students to flourish, the session will detail this process, including the positive collaboration between subject specialists and digital technologists.

3.30pm: Networking & refreshments

4pm: AI – the future is here by Gert Jervan Gert Jervan

When Stanley Kubrick released in 1968 his “2001: A Space Odyssey” then that was an epic science fiction movie. Year 2001 passed and the world was still more similar to 1968 than to that movie. However, in last couple of years we have seen developments like never before. And consequently the movie scene is getting closer and closer... In this talk we are going to cover various technological enablers of generative AI, discuss latest developments and challenges. We look into the various possibilities that AI brings. But we discuss also to the problems and risks related to the widespread use of generative AI.

5pm: Action Based Research - AI in Vocational Colleges by Scott HaydenScott-1 

AI for Wellbeing: Basingstoke College of Technology is trying hard to help staff and students use technology, including AI, ethically and deliberately to improve student outcomes. You will learn about the college's approach to digital wellbeing and how you can use technology mindfully and intentionally to enhance teaching and learning, as well as examples of how teachers and students are using AI to improve their work.

6pm: End of the Day One

7pm: Conference Dinner













Friday 3rd May

8:45am: Coffee and chats before the day starts

9am: 30-minute Workshops – select and go!

GDPR in Education & by Piret Essenson, Account Manager & Gert-Omar Tamur, GDPR lawyer from, Room B115’s workshop is on the subject of GDPR in education. is an application that helps GDPR be better deployed in schools. We will give answers to a lot of questions commonly asked about GDPR in schools. Why should we care about GDPR in schools? Why should it be applied? How to become GDPR compliant? To what extent GDPR should be followed in schools? Who is responsible?piret (1)omar

We will also give an overview of the process we have worked out for GDPR to be applied in schools and give a little demo of the solution. Who are we? Piret Essenson - Estonia Account Manager and Gert-Omar Tamuri Estonia lawyer specialised in GDPR.


Digital Strategy by Anu Tintera, Teacher, Educational Technologist - VOCO Tartu Rakenduslik Kolledž, Room B114

In this workshop, we will explore the concept of a digital learning strategy and how to develop one for your organization. We will discuss the principles of selecting applications, using the Moodle environment, and implementing hybrid, distance, and blended learning models. The objectives of the workshop will be to help you understand the importance of a digital learning strategy, how to identify the key components and how to select and implement digital learning applications


Vocational Education and Training (VET) Centre of Excellence by Silver Püvi, IT Manager - VOCO Tartu Rakenduslik Kolledž, Room B120

Vocational education and training (VET) plays a crucial role in equipping individuals with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the workplace. In an increasingly competitive global economy, it is essential to ensure that VET systems are of the highest quality and are aligned with the needs of the labor market. VET Centres of Excellence (CoEs) are designed to be leading providers of VET, offering high-quality training, innovative teaching methods, and strong partnerships with industry. CoEs can play a key role in promoting VET, attracting new learners, and supporting regional economic development.

This workshop will provide an opportunity to discuss the concept of a VET Centre of Excellence in more detail and we will explore the following topics:

- What is a VET Centre of Excellence?
- What are the key characteristics of a successful VET Centre of Excellence?
- What are the benefits of a VET Centre of Excellence for learners, employers, and the wider community?
- How can we develop a VET Centre of Excellence in our region?


Virtual Reality & Empathy & AI by Dr Steven Spence, Assistant Principal, The Sheffield College & Scott Hayden, Head of Learning, Basingstoke College of Technology, Room B120Scott-1Steven

In this workshop both Steven and Scott will go into more details about how their research into the use of Virtual Reality and AI in their Vocational Colleges has had a positive impact on both teachers and students.


AI in the Classroom - Merlyn Mind by Ian Nairn, CEO of Delling Cloud & Anu Tintera, Teacher, Educational Technologist - VOCO Tartu Rakenduslik Kolledž, Room B114 Ian baltic

During the last year, there has been a growing discussion about the safe and secure use of AI in Education by teachers and students inside and outside the classroom. In this workshop Ian and Anu will share how original research and developments from the Merlyn Mind team in the USA are helping teachers use their voice to deliver safe, secure and private AI in their classrooms.
Anu will share her experiences of using Merlyn to give her freedom to teach from anywhere in the classroom and not be tied to the computer at the front and also use Merlyn Chat to help answer student's questions during lessons.
You can learn more about Merlyn Mind by watching this short video >> 


Google AI and Gemini by Lauri Kaski, the CEO and Founder of Cloudpoint and Room B115Lauri baltic

Dive into Gemini and Google AI with Cloudpoint founder Lauri! Gain insights into the free and paid versions of  Gemini and Gemini for Workspace and learn how it integrates with Google's cutting-edge AI technology. Lauri brings 15+ years of Google expertise to guide you through boosting productivity with Gemini, using Google AI tools effectively and streamlining your work in the era of AI.



11am: Refreshments

11.30am: Panel Discussion with Ministries from the Baltics and UK

Future Workforce planning is very important both on a country and wider regional basis to understand where future skills gaps are forecast to happen.
Students entering Vocational Education today will be key contributors to the labor markets in the 2030s and beyond and the panel members will share what their labor market forecasts are, where the main gaps are in terms of jobs, and how important vocational colleges are to preparing students for these roles.
The Ministry panel will be hosted by Ian Nairn, CEO of Delling Cloud, Estonia.
The panelists are:
- Kristjan Kuus, the ICT services coordinator for public schools from the Ministry of Education and Research, Estonia
- Audrone Gudonyte, the Senior Specialist at the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports of Lithuania 
- William Richards, the Acting Head of labour markets and sectors strategy - Department for Education, UK

12.45: Closing remarks 

Coffee and snacks before traveling home. 

1pm: Conference Ends 

Register for the event and stay tuned for new information!



We are pleased to announce that we have secured a special accommodation offer for the Conference attendees at the VOCO Hotel from the 1st until the 4th of May to make traveling comfortable for all the people who are coming across the Baltics. The offer includes two different room options, for a single room the price is 50 euros/night and if you share the room with your friend the double room price is 75 euros/night. Breakfast is included in all rooms. 

Register to the event and the prices will be available for you! 



Margus Pedaste

Professor of Educational Innovation & the Head of The Institute of Education.
University of Tartu



Margus Pedaste is a Full Professor of Educational Innovation at the Institute of Education of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Tartu. He is also the head of the Institute of Education. Prof. Pedaste’s teaching and research focus is on improving learners’ digital literacy, inquiry skills, and problem-solving, as well as on educational technology in supporting teaching and learning, especially in the context of science education. For 15 years he taught biology in school, and during this period he was also one of the founders of the Estonian Association of Biology Educators. He has led or participated as a principal investigator in several international research and development projects to support students’ learning, teachers’ professional development, and teacher education reform in Estonia. The president of Estonia has awarded him the Order of the White Star.

Thursday 1.30pm: Educational Innovation and Sustainability by Margus Pedaste



Steven Spence 

Assistant Principal for Teaching, Learning Assessment and Innovation
The Sheffield College 



Steven Spence is the Assistant Principal for Teaching, Learning Assessment, and Innovation at The Sheffield College with 17 years’ experience in the FE/HE sectors. He is a published author in several academic journals and is an advocate of engaging staff to actively take ownership of their development, engage in professional research, and be reflective in nature. Steven’s research interests are mainly based on understanding how we learn, especially through the utilization of education technology. Steven completed his master's and doctorate, with an emphasis on the development of online pedagogies and practices through a pragmatic research philosophy and action research methodology. 

Thursday 2.30pm: Action Based Research – VR in Vocational Colleges by Dr. Steven Spence


Gert Jervan

Gert Jervan 

Professor of dependable computer systems
Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech)




Gert Jervan is a professor of dependable computer systems at Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech). He is also a Dean at the School of Information Technologies. Gert received his PhD from Linköping University (LIU), Sweden, in 2005. His research interests revolve around the reliability and dependability of computer-based systems (in various application domains, such as biomedical engineering, fiber-optical networks, and advanced microelectronics), and as a Dean, he is responsible for ca. 3000 students and 350 staff members.


Thursday 4 PM AI – the future is here.



Scott Hayden

Head of Teaching, Learninig and Digital
Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT)


Scott serves as the Head of Teaching, Learning, and Digital at Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT), where he leads a team primarily composed of former students turned staff members who specialize in digitally enriching educational practices. The team has received multiple accolades, including the 2018 TES FE Award for 'Outstanding use of Technology' and being at the core of the college initiative that won the Wellbeing at Work award at the Inspire Business Awards 2023.

In addition to overseeing Education & Training courses, Scott manages the college's Learning Coaches, focusing on observation-based staff development, targeted continuous professional development (CPD), and empathetic coaching. Certified as a Google for Education Champion and a National Teaching Awards Silver Winner, he also serves as a National Advisor for EdTech UK. His team has empowered over 100 educational institutions through the DfE’s EdTech Demonstrator Programme from 2020 to 2022.

Scott is also an active member of AI in Education, a cross-sector initiative announced in May 2023, aimed at exploring and sharing the potential of artificial intelligence in educational settings

Thursday 5 PM: Action Based Research - AI in Vocational Colleges by Scott Hayden


The event takes place in Tartu Vocational Collage VOCO in Tartu, Estonia.

Esitlus onboardingu jaoks_turundus-ja kommunikatsioon VOCOs.pptx


Tartu Vocational College is located in Tartu, the second largest city in Estonia. We are leading vocational schools in Estonia and offer tuition to a large and diverse target group of learners starting from age 16. Our mission is to provide learning opportunities for masters to develop job skills for the future. Annually around 3000 students take part in the VET studies on technology, construction, beauty, IT, business, food, catering and hospitality management curriculums. Internationally, we are active partners in student exchange as well as development projects in vocational education and training fields.  We host and send abroad hundreds of students and staff members through mobility programs but welcome all visitors interested in the education nation in Estonia.

Visit us virtually HERE

Delling Cloud 

In Delling Cloud, we believe that we can be the strongest and unstoppable by combining our strength and knowledge across Europe. Delling Cloud is a union of three companies in five different countries with over 100 employees of different professions, backgrounds, and knowledge. As a group we work across geographical boundaries as one team, we trust our employees so they have the freedom to work where they want and still can help each other whenever someone needs help. Together we are the mountain of knowledge that the Delling Cloud logo shows.  

Delling Cloud is a sales company headquartered in Estonia. The company focuses on different Google solution sales in the Business and Education fields and Data Privacy solutions especially for Education with our Privacy solution