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Changing the Media for Learning - UNESCO Working Group

Roundtable discussion on policy implications of digital educational resources on achieving sustainable development goals, UNESCO, Paris, working group meeting 27-30 May, 2019. From the introduction to the draft report:

With the rise of the internet, cloud, offline content delivery networks, and the proliferation of online content, resources of all qualities designed to support teaching and learning can be easily found. However, they are yet to be mobilized on a massive scale to support transformative learning for building sustainable, flourishing societies.

In considering its contribution to SDG Target 4.7, which focuses on education for peace, sustainable development and global citizenship, UNESCO-MGIEP has called for integrating (i) social and emotional learning (SEL) and (ii) digital pedagogies in education systems. In 2018-19, MGIEP has conducted two literature reviews by convening two expert groups: one focusing on SEL and the other on digital textbooks. While the former intends to provide a firm foundation for developing a conceptual framework for re-envisioning education that is based on the insights from neuroscience and cognitive psychology (see UNESCO MGIEP forthcoming, for the thematic literature review of SEL), the latter—the current report—draws on a body of knowledge about the role of digital technology in education (academic and policy literature review) and the mapping of existing digital textbooks and other digital education media (review of existing digital resources).

It is hoped that this literature review of digital textbooks and other digital education media will help highlight the potential of digital technology in contributing to SDG 4.7.

Advocates and practitioners of Education for Peace, Sustainable Development, Global Citizenship and other relevant fields have long called for a critical shift from ‘transmission pedagogies’ to ‘transformative pedagogies. The role of digital technologies in facilitating this shift remains largely unexamined. Digital technologies have a potential to facilitate a long-desired shift from learning as individualized, passive content acquisition to learning as participation in active knowledge co-creation and communities of practice. Integrated digital education media are envisaged to provide personalized, immersive learning experiences that allow interaction and collaboration going beyond the constraints of the four walls of the classroom and the cells of the school timetable. They also allow for easier and faster access and review of information presented in user-friendly formats, enabling the content to remain relevant and highly engaging for enhanced learning outcomes.

How can we better understand and harness pedagogical possibilities opened up by new digital technologies to equip young people with competencies to engage creatively and responsibly with the rapidly changing world? How can we use technologies to make school education not only more inclusive and of higher quality but also a key enabler for sustainable development? This report attempts to start a dialogue between digital education proponents and SDG 4.7 stakeholders around these important questions.

Vizag Declaration on Guidelines for Digital Learning

 

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