Education/News/May 2018/MLW 2018

UNESCO Mobile Learning Week 2018, Digital Skills for Life and Work edit

Author: User:NSaad_(WMF)

Summary: An overview of UNESCO Mobile Learning 2018 with some key points and resources

Technology can further increase the digital divide, but carefully designed policies can help governments bridge the digital divide and provide learning to all.

—David Atchoarena, Director of Division for Policies and Lifelong Learning Systems at UNESCO

Introduction Each year, UNESCO hosts Mobile Learning Week, a conference that brings together educators, tech developers, and development workers to collaborate on how technology can help solve global educational challenges. The theme this year, "Digital Skills for Life and Work", aimed to define and mainstream digital skills; innovate skills provision for jobs in the digital economy; close inequalities and gender divides; and map and anticipate changing skill needs. This Newsletter article is meant to provide a brief overview, mainly in bullet form, of what I learned from attending Mobile Learning Week, and provide some resources for those who want to dive deeper. I hope to do more synthesis of the information and resources at a later time. You can also read UNESCO’s press release and summary of this event.

Importance of digital skills

  • Digital skills are required in almost all jobs. These skills boost development and improve livelihoods.
  • People don’t think their national systems are equipping them with the tools or skills to be digitally literate.
  • Even developed countries are not equipped with the right systems.

Bridging gaps and reducing inequalities

There is a search engine translated into Klingon but not Zulu.

—H.E. Joseph Mucheru, Minister of Information, Communications and Technology of the Republic of Kenya

  • It is necessary to adapt and contextualize tools and resources to ensure that they are usable for everyone.
  • Women are 1.6x more likely than men to report lack of skills for using the internet. Trends show the gender gap is widening and without concerted efforts will continue to widen.
  • Dimensions of empowerment framework is a useful tool for grounding work

Focus on Teachers

A great emphasis was placed on teachers, and their role in ensuring students acquire digital skills. Mechanisms, frameworks, alliances, and policy are in development to make sure that teachers receive the support they need to help achieve global education goals.

The below were explicitly featured:

Offline Finally, I want to highlight one organization that works to bring Mobile Learning to offline communities: World Possible This is a good potential partner for those of you working with offline tools like Kiwix and WikiFundi.