COVID-19 IMPACT ON THE USE OF ICT TOOLS IN THE CROATIAN EDUCATION SYSTEM
Since mid-March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the learning processes and teaching methods for half a million students in the Republic of Croatia. Primary and secondary schools as well as higher education institutions had to fully adapt their learning processes to work in an online environment in a very short period. Conventional methods of education have not emphasized the great use of ICT (Information and Communications Technology) tools within the education system itself, while modern forms of learning and teaching represent indispensable use of ICT tools. Planning online teaching and learning is very demanding and complex. The mutual relations between teachers and students and their use and knowledge of ICT tools are a key factor in the success of its implementation. The education system in the Republic of Croatia has used existing tools and introduced new ones to ensure successful and quality online teaching. For the purpose of this research, the following ICT tools have been selected as the research sample: Microsoft Teams and Yammer from Office 365 package, Google Classroom from G Suite for education and CARNET’s (Croatian Academic and Research Network) Loomen system. The research was conducted by the data analysis method of selected data also containing data from the CARNET system. Based on this analysis, with descriptive statistic method it can be determined the intensity of ICT tools use in the education system during COVID-19 compared to the same time last year. Therefore, this paper represents a contribution to the field of ICT science and opens the possibility for further research related to the use and effectiveness of ICT tools in the education system.