UNESCO ICT in Education Prize
Previous laureates of the ICT in Education Prize
2019 - The use of Artificial Intelligence to innovate education, teaching and learning
Letrus is a Brazilian education technology start-up that has developed a programme for automated feedback on students’ writing. It aims to reduce functional illiteracy in the Portuguese language by improving practice opportunities for secondary school students and teachers.
Centred on developing writing skills, Letrus Literacy Program aims to make each student’s experience more personalized, more meaningful and more effective. The programme supports students’ writing skills through a hybrid AI-human feedback loop. Students write essays on the platform, which can identify writing patterns, and give immediate feedback on their writing. After the immediate automatic report, all texts go to an interface where teachers make additional comments and assign grades.
To date, over 65 000 students have already used the programme throughout Brazil’s 26 states. In 2019, a partnership with Espírito Santo State’s Department of Education took the program to 54 municipalities in the state of Espírito Santo, reaching 12,000 students and 400 teachers from 121 schools. In this project, 90% of schools improved their students' grades after a five-month period.
- Change Dyslexia , Spain
Change Dyslexia is a Spanish social company that has developed a screening tool to detect dyslexia in Spanish speakers all over the world. It also provides game-based exercises for learners with dyslexia to overcome writing and reading difficulties.
Dyslexia is a learning disability that affects reading and writing skills, not intelligence. Through educational support, people can learn coping strategies. All too often, however, dyslexia goes undiagnosed and is detected too late for effective intervention.
To remedy this situation, Change Dyslexia developed an application that consists of a mix of online-gamified test and associated predictive machine learning model, feed by results of linguistic studies and data analysis. The first tool, Dytective test, is an online-gamified test that screens dyslexia for free in Spanish in only 15 minutes. The second tool, DytectivU, supports children with over 45,000 exercises once their dyslexia has been detected, targeting 24 cognitive skills. The second tool costs from 30 to 19 euros per month.
Change Dyslexia aims to prevent under-diagnosis of dyslexia and to help underprivileged students. To date, more than 270,000 children in 43 different countries have benefited from a free pre-diagnosis of dyslexia, and over 250 families have received dyslexia treatment grants.
2018 - The use of innovative ICT to ensure education for the most vulnerable groups
Download the brochure presenting the 2018 laureates
- ThingLink visual learning technology, Thinglink, Finland
ThingLink is an innovative and affordable digital tool, which helps to foster learning experiences for all, including learners with disabilities or limited ability for expression. The web tool and the app allows for teachers and students to easily enhance visual media with text, voice, photos, videos and 360-degree images with a view to increasing knowledge sharing and learning engagement.
Over six million teachers, students, and educational content professionals worldwide have benefited from ThingLink’s image and video annotation technology to document their learning experiences and practice digital literacy skills. The tool is also used to develop cultural awareness through virtual visits and improve contextual understanding of real-world environments in social and cultural studies as well as technical education.
In an increasingly digitalized world, ThingLink helps to build curriculum to develop the 21st century skills and competences. The tool has a powerful impact on students -it supports various learning styles that helps to customize lessons to meet learners’ individual needs.
With the instantly growing community of users, ThingLink provides a new way for documenting cultural heritage using local languages, inviting teachers and students to connect to any place with their lesson plans. Although the tool’s main beneficiary is the education community, this innovative application can be adopted by other areas to contribute to the achievement of all Sustainable Developments Goals.
- Example of ThingLink
- Example of ThingLink: students documented archeological site in Punkaharju, Finland
- Facebook page
- Twitter: @thinglink @thinglink_EDU
- News articles
- Can’t Wait to Learn, War Child Holland, Netherlands
Some 32 million children in countries affected by armed conflict are denied their fundamental right to a quality education. The Can’t Wait to Learn programme, started by War Child Holland, an international non-governmental organization that empowers children affected by armed conflicts, addresses this gap. The programme provides a fast, effective and value-for-money solution to meet global education in emergency needs.
More specifically, Can’t Wait to Learn has developed an offline game application, which enables children to learn through playing educational games on tablet computers. Input from children informs the design of the games. All content is based on national curricula and includes both literacy and numeracy modules.
The programme currently operates in Sudan, Jordan, Lebanon and Uganda. The educational content is available in Arabic and English - and games in French will be developed.
Can’t Wait to Learn is developed and implemented by a broad coalition of partners - led by War Child Holland. These partners include Ministries of Education, technology experts, research institutions and education in emergencies organisations.
The programme aims to reach 170,000 children by 2020 - and the potential scale is unlimited.
- Instagram & Facebook: @warchildholland
- News articles:
2017 - The Use of ICTs to Increase Access to Quality Education
- CLIx (The Connected Learning Initiative), India
The CLIX programme developed by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, leverages ICT to improve the chances of students from underserved communities to access secondary and higher education in India. It provides high quality platform-based, blended learning programmes in three languages: Hindi, Telugu and English. So far, the programme has reached 478 State high schools, 1,767 teachers and 46,420 students in four Indian States.
Through a multi-stakeholder partnership, the programme brings together universities, foundations and local governments to tackle the challenge of improving the quality of education, particularly in STEM education. It has designed a blended teaching and learning process that is accessible with basic digital devices and low internet connectivity. The blended learning is supported by quality open source digital educational materials developed in cooperation with respective partners. Moreover, the data on online learning has been tracked and processed to assess the project results and promote evidence-based decision-making for national and local governments. The programme also prioritizes teachers’ engagement and professional development with appropriate incentive mechanism.
- GENIE, Morocco
Launched in 2005, GENIE( Programme de Généralisation des Technologies de l´Information et de la Communication pour l´Enseignement) is a large-scale and long-term initiative developed in the framework of the national strategy to promote the use of ICT in education and implemented by the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, Higher Education and Scientific Research of Morocco. It aims to improve learning though the use of ICT and introduce new technologies to the students to prepare them for the digital age. As a result, 10,000 schools have been provided with necessary equipment, digital devices and internet connectivity. The Programme also places great emphasis on the initial teacher training (ITT). At the same time, while ensuring that new teachers acquire the necessary ICT skills, it also delivered in-service training to 300,000 teachers and school administrators. In addition, through national ICT in education online platforms students and teachers can access digital resources available in four languages (Amazigh, Arabic, English and French). Overall, GENIE contributed to the increase of school enrollment in the country to 95% and works to increase its implementation so as to reduce the school dropout rate by 53%.
2016 - The Use of ICTs in Education for Disadvantaged Groups
- “Harnessing the Power of ICTs in Higher Education for Refugees” of Kiron Open Higher Education, Germany
The project contributes to overpass the four challenges identified by the UNHCR Commissioner for Higher Education for refugees to access higher education: legal, financial, language barriers and colleges capacities. Kiron focuses on refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people in Germany, France, Belgium, Turkey and Jordan. 2,700 students have been benefiting of the program in partnership with 51 universities. It enables access to higher education through digital solutions. Kiron proposes an online phase harnessing the potential of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) followed by an offline phase when students study in one university and graduate with an accredited university degree. Furthermore, the project also provides a coaching service with a psycho-social support and a personalized curricula.
- “Online School” of Jaago Foundation, Bangladesh,
The aim of the project is to reduce the gap of access to education of children between rural and urban areas. It is the first Free-of-Cost quality education focusing on socioeconomically disadvantaged young learners. 2,500 children within 10 connected schools have already benefited of the program. By using ICT solutions, Jaago overcomes geographical distance with no transport cost to fill in the lack of quality education and skilled teachers. The rural classrooms are connected to a teacher based in Dhaka via videoconferencing technology and their own platform. It harnesses the collaboration between rural teachers and urban teaching resources and optimizes the use of technology.
2015 - Pedagogical Innovation in the Use of ICTs in Teaching and Learning
- “National Program of Educational Informatics” (PRONIE) of the Omar Dengo Foundation, Costa Rica
The project contributes to improving the quality and equity of learning opportunities within the public education system through the use of digital technologies. It gives priority to marginalized children and youth from rural and marginal urban areas. Since 1988, 8,674,521 students have benefited from the program in pre-schools, primary schools, secondary schools and TVET schools. The program PRONIE has developed an outstanding systematic approach to enhance students’ capacities to create ICT products across the school system. Furthermore, the program also focuses on teachers’ continuous training and monitoring to improve their teaching skills in educational informatics.
- Open Source Physics @ Singapore project of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Singapore
The project has been developed by the Educational Technology Division of the Ministry of Education since 2012. Its goal is to give users, including students and teachers, the freedom to learn from, build on and share well designed ICT resources for teaching and learning physics. An outstanding innovative tool, “Open Source Physics@Singapore” for learning physics using an open platform, including open source code and open content, was developed. Both students and teachers work in a collaborative and innovative way, benefiting from the adaptable resources that it provides for better learning and teaching. So far, 9,800 students have been reached by the program in primary, secondary and TVET schools. In addition, the software application enhanced collaboration between the educational community, the Ministry and industry. It is easily scalable to a larger community as the tools and content are available worldwide.
2011 - Education Youth for Responsible Global Citizenship
- Internet-ABC, Germany
Internet-ABC offers children, parents and educators support and information on how to handle the web safely. The content is ad-free, safe and easily accessible to everyone. Attractive and engaging sites invite 5-12-year-old children to play, learn and communicate, while reinforcing their knowledge of safe Internet use. The www.internet-abc.de website attracts 100,000 users per month on average.
- Dr Yuhyun Park, Co-Founder and CEO of iZ HERO, Republic of Korea
iZ HERO is a digital leadership initiative that empowers 6-12-year-old children to become future leaders in the digital era by fostering essential skills and value-based digital citizenship. This international research-driven, award-winning programme includes a holistic online play-and-learn tool and a suite of offline programmes. It has demonstrated educational efficacy in improving children’s attitudes toward Internet risks such as cyber bullying, game addiction and online predators through academic research. To date, over 1.5 million people have visited the iZ HERO Exhibition at the Singapore Science Centre and around 70 per cent of primary schools and target students in Singapore have participated in the iZ HERO initiative.
2010: Digital Literacy: Preparing Adult Learners for Lifelong Learning and Flexible Employment
- National Institute of Continuing Adult Education (NIACE), United Kingdom
NIACE is the leading non-governmental body promoting the interests of adult learners in England and Wales. NIACE is a membership organization with paid staff, including a specialist Digital Learning Team. Its work draws on both theoretical and practical knowledge of the methods and pedagogies which work best in offering learning opportunities to adults. It has developed a national network of 6,000 Internet access centres to serve adults in both rural and urban areas.
- Venezuelan Fundación Infocentro, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
The “Technological Literacy for Older Adults” project was submitted by the Infocentro Foundation. Following its own “Pedagogy of Patience” philosophy, facilitators of the Infocentros network have experience and expertise in working with the elderly. They use a variety of strategies, techniques and resources and adapt educational practices to older users to help them overcome their technological fears and familiarize themselves with computers. Some 680 Infocentros across the country enable adults and other users to achieve lifelong learning, and have helped more than 900,000 people at national level achieve technological literacy.
2009 – Teaching, learning and e-Pedagogy: Teacher Professional Development for Knowledge Societies
- Alexei Semenov, Rector of the Moscow Institute of Open Education, Russian Federation
Teacher professional development is the major mission of the Moscow Institute of Open Education (MIOE), led by Professor Alexei Semenov. Every year, the Institute organizes dedicated e-pedagogy development for 5,000 to 10,000 teachers and introductory modules for 30,000 teachers with extensive web-based content and technologies.
- Jordan Education Initiative, Jordan
The Jordan Education Initiative (JEI) is one of Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah’s non-profit organizations which works with the Ministry of Education to drive innovation by leveraging private-sector participation. JEI was created as a pioneer model for developing education, based on fostering ingenuity, harnessing the power of technology and coupling it with proven modern teaching strategies to transform the school environment into a cradle of discovery and creativity and allow Jordanian students to imagine and realize a future reality. Since its launch in 2003, JEI has impacted the lives of thousands and made a very tangible positive impact on students, teachers, families, communities and the economy.
2008 - Digital Opportunities for All: Preparing Students for 21st Century Skills
- Shanghai TV University, People's Republic of China
The “Changing the Digital Divide into a Digital Opportunity” project is aimed at implementing a lifelong learning system through digital means in Shanghai. It includes 230 social learning centres in Shanghai and promotes digital literacy among students, adults in employment, seniors and others.
- Dr Hoda Baraka, First Deputy to the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Egypt
The comprehensive “ICT-In-Education Programme: Towards Ubiquitous Reachability to All Learners” was started in the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) in 2003 to reach out to learners through formal and informal educational practices in schools and universities, as well as non-formal education streams of systematic educational activities outside schools and universities. This project was developed by Dr Huda Baraka, First Deputy to the Minister of Communications and Information Technology. She has led the implementation of many national projects for the use of information and communication technologies in the field of education.
2007 - Open Education
- Curriki, United States of America
Curriki’s driving mission is to make education more equitable through a global open educational resource (OER) community of educators, parents and students, enabling teachers to make learning more personalized and helping students reach their full potential. The online community gives teachers, students and parents universal access to a wealth of peer-reviewed “K-12” (kindergarten to 12th grade) curricula and powerful online collaboration tools. Curriki built the first website for open instruction and assessment. Founded by Sun Microsystems in 2004, the organization has operated as an independent non-profit organization since 2007.
- Claroline Connect, Belgium
Claroline Consortium has implemented an e-learning and e-working platform (learning management system) released under an open-source GNU General Public License (GPL). It is a platform for distance training and collaborative work. Translated into 35 languages, Claroline allows hundreds of institutions from 93 countries to create free online courses.
Adaptable to different trainings, Claroline has been developed according to teachers’ pedagogical experiences and needs. It supports course managers in their projects and stimulates them to set up efficient resources promoting the acquisition of knowledge and skills.
2006 - Enhancing Teaching and Learning
- The Cyber Home Learning System (CHLS) for primary and secondary students, the Korean Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MOEHRD) and the Korea Education and Research Information Service (KERIS), Republic of Korea
The Korea Education and Research Information Service (KERIS) was established in 1999 as an exclusive national institute to promote the effective use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in education. The Cyber Home Learning System is a nation-wide e-learning system aiming to provide elementary and secondary school students in Korea with a quality education service after school hours. It has helped reduce private tutoring expenses, enhance the quality of public education, and achieve equity in education and education welfare by narrowing the education gap between regions and income levels.
- EDegree Programme, Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences, Finland
The eDegree Program in Lapland is aimed at unemployed adults living in rural or remote, depopulated areas. It was developed by the Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences, a pioneer in distance education in Finland. Originally planned for Lapland, the project has rapidly spread throughout the country. Its effectiveness has been proven by the number of people who have succeeded in completing their studies and work.