Skip to content

Three examples of how technology is changing the Bulgarian school

  • maths


The evolution of technology has always had its impact on educational processes, but in recent years it has been particularly noticeable. The digital transformation that started in the middle of the last decade started the transformation of the online environment into an invariable part of the school. The pandemic reality has unlocked a whole new world for education systems around the world. And the rise of generative artificial intelligence promises to change education in ways no one could have imagined until recently.

As a result, today digital simulations and models help teachers explain complex concepts more effectively and engage students in interactive learning, and technology improves communication between teachers and students by enabling more effective and structured communication. At the same time, cloud storage platforms and smart search engines make research easier and faster for students who can now use online assets to learn at their own pace. Gamification of the educational process is another aspect of technological development that makes learning a much more engaging and fun activity.

Last but not least, thanks to technology, today’s parents are much more engaged as various platforms allow them to communicate with teachers and monitor their children’s progress remotely.

Therefore, it is not surprising that thousands of companies around the world – including giants such as Microsoft and Google – are competing to create innovative platforms related to the improvement of the school environment and educational processes. And Bulgarian
entrepreneurs are no exception.

Here are three examples that fully confirm this.

AI creates tests and doesn’t let students copy

The teachers love it, the students hate it. This is the best way to describe Smartest – an artificial intelligence platform designed to help teachers create exam tests in all sorts of subjects. In addition to allowing them to create similar content on specific topics, it can also do so based on specific lessons. To do this, the teacher copies the given lesson and simply commands the AI to create the tests.

“The platform was created to facilitate the work of teachers and save them time from creating and checking tests. All of this is automated so they can have more time for the more important part of their work. We also strive to preserve objective assessment, reduce opportunities for copying and give a real idea of students’ knowledge,” Smartest creator Aleksandar Popov told

The initial idea was born when he himself was a high school student, after a teacher approached him with a request to make a program that would choose 50 out of 300 questions at random. The goal is to make the tests different each time, and each student’s performance to be evaluated immediately.

“After I graduated from computer science in England and started working in Bulgaria as a software engineer, I thought of this program and thought that if it was useful for one teacher, it would be useful for everyone. That’s why I turned the program into an online platform,” the creator of Smartest remembers the first steps.

Challenges, of course, are not lacking. First of all, the team needs to create a platform that is suitable for all subjects, as different teachers have different requirements. To do this, it relies on the best iteration of Open AI’s ChatGPT.

Alexander Popov, creator of Smartest.

“It was also not easy to convince the teachers that the platform was not complicated. That’s why we started visiting different schools all over Bulgaria and conducting trainings to introduce them to it,” Alexander Popov explains to me, and regarding concerns that the technology itself still tends to “hallucinate,” he adds:

“AI is still not perfect and we shouldn’t trust it absolutely, but that goes for every human too, as everyone makes mistakes. That’s why we allow teachers to edit tests if something is wrong. Even with the mistakes, though, AI can provide interesting ideas for question types that teachers can then develop.”

In the end, the Smartest team achieved their goals and managed to create an online platform that allows different tests to be done for each student, on the one hand, and on the other hand, it does not allow copying, as it does not allow the user to change the screen while the test is done.

It is from this restrictive functionality that the last big challenge comes, as it turns out that it does not work in the best way on a phone, and not all schools in Bulgaria have enough desktop computers and laptops. That’s why the Smartest team is developing a mobile app for iPhone and Android. And the best testimony to its usefulness comes from the fact that it was rated extremely negatively by students in the app stores of the two leading mobile operating systems.

What does the future hold for the platform? The Smartest team is developing options so that it can also be used to evaluate
matriculation exams after the 7th grade, so all teenagers in our country should have one thing in mind when they decide to save another hour of studying.

An online platform helps teachers teach better

Its creators – Angel Georgiev, an educational innovator with 18 years of experience as a technical trainer and product presenter, and Teodora Dimitrova, doctor of socio-economic geography and teacher of geography and biology, call it an “applied education academy”. This is Sindeo – an online platform that helps teachers teach more

“Our idea is to teach teachers to always give examples to children of how this knowledge they acquire in the context of different subjects will help them be more successful in life. We believe that through all the examples that teachers can give, students will be more willing to learn. When a student knows what he needs a given piece of knowledge for, he is much more motivated to learn it,” Angel Georgiev is emphatic.

And since the team wants to offer equal access to quality training to all teachers in Bulgaria, including those from outside the country, the training takes place entirely online.

The idea for Sindeo was born after its creators gained a long experience as teachers and educators and decided that they wanted to reach more students.

“With our physical time, we could only reach a limited number of classes on certain days of the week. At the same time, many of our colleagues and friends told us that we work very well with our children and they are very interested in our classes. Then we decided to create these trainings so that we could reach more students through the teachers of Bulgaria”, Angel Georgiev tells me.

Teodora Dimitrova and Angel Georgiev, creators of the Sindeo online platform.

Training at the academy includes three components. The first is the synchronous presentation of specific practices, materials and tools by teachers with long experience.

“They don’t have to be teachers. When choosing a tutor for a given course, we also look for business practitioners. For example, one of our trainings is on “Emotional Intelligence in Education” and is led by an organizational psychologist who trains large teams in large business organizations. In other words, in the first part of the training, we are looking for practitioners to give their practical experience”, emphasized one of the creators of Sindeo.

The second part of the training includes self-training assignments – specific, shorter items that teachers receive after each session so that they can practice the newly acquired knowledge, and the third is aimed at evaluating themselves.

“The difference with many other academies is that we do not provide certificates of participation in training, but documents of
successfully completed training, which requires passing an exam. Usually, it has two components – a test part and a project
presentation”, Angel Georgiev also shares, and to the question of what Sindeo gives to the participants in the courses, he answers me like this:

“Pure memorization of certain knowledge is no longer necessary. It is more important to know how to look for this knowledge and to know that it is exactly what you need. It is about fundamental knowledge – you need to know that the term history exists and that there were world wars, for example. Exactly which years they happened, who was up against whom and how they finished – everything can be found in seconds on the Internet. And it also changes the way teachers have to teach students.”

The first training that the academy team conducts dates from February 2023. Without any advertising, over 300 teachers are involved. A year and a half later, a total of over 6,000 have gone through the various modules, which include topics such as emotional intelligence, digitizing assessment, media literacy, using AI and teaching with CANVA.

Emboldened by this success, Angel Georgiev and Teodora Dimitrova set themselves the task of returning to their original idea. Namely to create an academy for new teachers. Or, as he puts it, for people “who want to go into a school and teach and have no idea how to do it.”

Entrepreneurs enter class

When conducting the study “Global Entrepreneurship Monitoring Bulgaria” for 2014-15, Mira Krasteva and her colleagues not only came to the conclusion that entrepreneurial education in our country is at an unsatisfactory level, but also decided by a team that deals with defining recommendations , to become one that helps solve this problem. And after entrepreneurship becomes part of school and preschool education, they take it a step further, driven by the understanding that for this measure to be effective, students need to understand first-hand the stories of real entrepreneurs.

The team’s first attempt to implement their idea was in 2016. At that time, however, it was only about live events that could not reach a particularly wide range of schools and students. But the outbreak of the pandemic and the online revolution it caused in people’s communication perceptions changed everything, and the web platform “Entrepreneurs in Class” appeared in the light of day, which connects entrepreneurs with students and tells the personal stories of successful Bulgarian businesses from various fields.

“We are most motivated by the theory versus practice element because we know that knowing something in theory is an important foundation, but especially in entrepreneurship, emotion and attitudes play a huge role. Understanding this phenomenon through practice, through the personal history of the entrepreneur, through the specific business engages children strongly. These elements work extremely well in the learning process. At the same time, practitioners are not a typical presence in schools, and we think this is an extremely important factor. That’s why we literally entered the classrooms – both through the screen and physically,” explains Mira Krasteva, who is a graduate of the London School of Economics and defines herself as an
entrepreneur with a mission to improve people’s lives through knowledge.

Guided by these insights, she quickly expanded the reach of
Entrepreneurs in the Classroom, and the platform now has a library of 40 professionally recorded videos with recorded interviews in which various business representatives share their stories. And that number will continue to grow.

However, the mission is not at all easy, as Bulgaria lags behind in terms of entrepreneurial spirit even compared to neighboring Romania. Mira Krastev explains this situation like this:

“Many people do not believe that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to do business. They may not really have them, but they may have them and think they are not enough. Both are the result of the insufficiently developed ecosystem and the lack of historical accumulations. This situation can be greatly improved through the education system.”

Mira Krasteva, founder of the online platform “Entrepreneurs in Class”.

And the first results are already available. The “Entrepreneurs in Class” team surveys students who have watched at least one video on the platform and estimates that 30% of them want to be entrepreneurs. For comparison, according to the data from the latest “Global Entrepreneurship Monitoring Bulgaria” among Bulgarians between the ages of 18 and 65, the percentage of people who are interested in this is in the single digits.

Therefore, Mira Krasteva and her team do not plan to stop there. The next step for them is to allow the classes to visit the workplaces of the entrepreneurs.

“We will also open a vertical for practitioners from all industries to be able to meet the children. For each topic they study, to be able to meet with representatives of related professions. In addition to entrepreneurs, we want to open the platform to all professions, so that practitioners can support the learning process, and children can find out what they like and what they don’t like much earlier than now,” the creator of the web platform “Entrepreneurs” tells me in conclusion in class”.

These are just three examples of how technology is changing education in Bulgaria, and there are thousands of such. But even they are enough to make one thing clear – today’s world is increasingly technological and if the Bulgarian school wants to create successful people and professionals, it cannot stay in the last century, as it turns out very often. Nor can it rely solely on the private sector to innovate. Instead, he must open himself up to the rapid pace at which the world around us is evolving, and let these be reflected in his approach to students if he is not to fall behind even themselves.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –