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Expert Group Meeting on the future of schools in the digital era

02 August 2019

Since 2016, UNESCO with the support of the Fazheng Group has been working on a project on best practices in mobile learning. The first phase of the project was designed to seek evidence-based school-level mobile learning practices to inform policy makers and practitioners about the lessons learned on planning and implementing school-wide mobile learning programmes. A case study series was prepared as part of the project

The second phase of the project aims to produce a guiding framework for planning and assessing the use of digital technologies in a transformative way to create new forms of schooling and innovative learning environments, towards the achievement of the SDG 4 targets.

The Unit for ICT in Education of UNESCO organized a two day Expert Group Meeting on the 29-30 July 2019 at headquarters in Paris to discuss a variety of existing guiding frameworks and assessment tools used across the world in different contexts and to conceptualize a UNESCO framework for planning and assessing the use of digital technologies at the school level.

The meeting opened with the address of Mr Borhene Chakroun, Director of the Division for Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems and Mr Sobhi Tawil, Head of the Education Sector’s Research and Foresight programme, who introduced the new initiative on the Futures of Education, emphasizing the global learning crisis and pointing out the need to re-vision the future of education, knowledge and learning.

The Expert Group Meeting gathered specialists from the area of ICTs in education from all around the world to share their experience with guidelines and frameworks focusing on the use of digital technologies in schools (African schoolNet toolkit, ICT4RED Implementation Model, Singapore ICT in Education Masterplan, Brazil PIEC Policy Implementation Strategy, Future Ready initiative from the USA, etc). The meeting was also attended by Mr Panagiotis Kampylis from the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC), who is the Lead Researcher and creator of the SELFIE tool for schools. Mr Kampylis shared insights and lessons learned on the development of the SELFIE tool and explained the JRC’s future plans for expansion of the tool.

Next steps for UNESCO within the framework of this project include further desk research on the impact evidence of various frameworks, a second round of call for proposals for case studies focusing on the inclusive use of digital technologies in schools and the conceptualization of the UNESCO framework for digital era schools building on the evidence of the reviewed frameworks and published case studies.