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Regional Seminar for UNESCO Resource Distribution and Training Centres: Sustainable Partnerships for Transformative Teaching, 23‐25 November 2016, Bangkok, Thailand

© Louis Mark N. Plaza

http://www.unescobkk.org/education/ict/current-projects/rdtc/rdtc-regional-seminar-2016-thailand/

23‐25 November 2016  |  Bangkok, Thailand

Since its inception in 2002, the ICT in Education Programme at UNESCO Bangkok has created various tools and resources for teachers and teacher educators to support effective ICT‐pedagogy integration. These include a teachers’ portal on useful online resources, as well as repositories of curated teaching and learning resources. To facilitate more systematic and wider dissemination of such resources and provide corresponding training on the pedagogical use of the resources, UNESCO Bangkok established the UNESCO Resource Distribution and Training Centres (RDTC) network in 2013 with 24 teacher education institutions (TEIs) in 12 countries across the region in order to strengthen the network of TEIs in the Asia‐Pacific region with a special focus on ICT in supporting teachers. In 2014‐15, the RDTC network distributed a total of 38,720 original and reproduced CD ROMs, and provided 204 corresponding trainings to some 12,300 participants who are pre‐dominantly in‐service and pre‐service teachers. The network also annually gathers to exchange achievements, views and expertise to disseminate and strengthen each other’s capacity.

Throughout the past RDTCs, the strongest and most effective asset of the network has undoubtedly been the partnership aspect. It has been the main driving force of achievements, research, exchanges, and sharing among RDTC members as well as external partners across the Asia‐Pacific region, notably vast and diverse. The network has achieved commendable progress, and partnered in numerous ways: from developing and implementing a training guidebook on UNESCO digital educational resources, sharing research findings on the impact of the work the RDTC network has done, and/or simply updating each other on best practices, and quality resources. In most cases, if not all, both resource distribution and training were carried out by the RDTC members in partnership with nearby schools, relevant education authorities, private agencies and various departments and institutes within the mother university. Additionally, partnerships among TEIs within country and between countries are being developed for future possibilities. It has been evidenced during the previous 2015 Regional Seminar that member TEIs actively explored possible areas for collaboration in training and research (read RDTC 2015 Outcome DocumentOutcome Document RDTCRegional Seminar2015).

The critical value and benefit of collaboration has been underscored and given considerable attention in the new Education 2030 agenda. It specifically mentions that in order to “achieve SDG 4 on education and the education targets included under other SDGs, it will be necessary to mobilize national, regional and global efforts that are aimed at achieving effective and inclusive partnerships”. While the RDTC network has tremendously contributed to this goal and is continuously aiming to strengthen and stimulate its partnerships, the foundation of its existence, it is nevertheless imperative and highly relevant for the network to systematically explore what potentials they have in their existing and prospective partnerships. It is therefore timely for the RDTC members to collectively deliberate on viable strategies to enhance and expand the partnership so as to contribute to achieving this new global education agenda for “ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all”.

In this regard, UNESCO Bangkok, in collaboration with Digital Learning for Development (DL4D), will organize the annual Regional Seminar for UNESCO RDTCs in Bangkok, Thailand, 23‐25 November 2016, focusing on strengthening and harnessing on the partnerships and collaboration that have been the preexisting stepping stones of the network, while rethinking new pathways to harness this asset toward achieving realistic and measurable goals related to transforming teacher education and teaching with technology.

To sustain this momentum UNESCO plans to continue providing opportunities for stronger partnerships beyond the existing framework of ‘south‐south’ cooperation. For example, partnerships beyond the network can be explored in the form of inviting development agencies from the so‐called ‘global north’, i.e. more advanced systems of education/teacher training to share information about their relevant partnership as well as further collaboration opportunities. This way, countries can cross‐fertilize and expand their horizons within familiar contexts, while reaching to higher goals with the help of more advanced systems of training, teacher support, and partnership models.

In view of the above, this year’s Regional Seminar intends to support dialogue, discussion and research to promote diverse partnerships locally and globally in order to further strengthen the integration of ICT in teacher education. In particular, this year’s seminar aims to provide the member TEIs with a venue for: 1) sharing experiences and building capacity in strengthening and sustaining global and local partnerships, 2) supporting cross country research to evaluate the impacts of UNESCO digital resources, and 3) introducing the preliminary training modules on pedagogical use of the UNESCO repositories for members to adapt in their contexts.

  • Sharing experiences and building capacity in strengthening partnerships: The RDTC members are invited to submit abstracts on concrete projects or initiatives where partnerships played a key role in enhancing ICT‐integrated teaching and learning. Cases with supportive institutional strategies that help implement the training for pre‐service and in‐service teachers are also encouraged to be submitted (please see “Annex A: Call for Papers” for details). Moreover, promising international and regional cases will be presented by invited experts and representatives from development agencies to share the actual practices, concrete tactics and tools on building and strengthening partnerships for ICT‐integrated teacher education, as well as ways to sustain the impact of such practices. These will help member TEIs expand their partnership horizons locally and globally in order to strengthen their ICT‐integrated teacher education delivery. Furthermore, RDTC members will have the opportunity to present various accomplishments made since last year’s Regional Seminar, and a session will be organized to jointly plan future activities for 2017.
  • A cross country impact study: From UNESCO’s end, one concrete action towards strengthening this partnership is supporting a cross country research in order to monitor and evaluate the impact of UNESCO educational resources and corresponding trainings. With the guidance from the RDTC Research Working Group, it is expected that at least 10 RDTC members participate in this study. One session in this year’s Regional Seminar will be dedicated to develop and finalize an agreed research framework (i.e. research questions, data collection tools and techniques, data sources, data analysis techniques and timeline etc.) for carrying out this cross country impact study, while soliciting strong partnership and voluntary participation of the members in the study. In the end the study report will work as an important reference document for TEIs worldwide on how they can effectively use free digital educational resources and deliver related trainings, as well as how partnership can facilitate the entire process to achieve desired outcomes.
  • UNESCO repositories and training modules: This year’s Regional Seminar will also provide a special occasion to inaugurate two UNESCO repositories of the free educational resources, and introduce the member TEIs to the training courses associated with the new directories. The “Directory of Free Educational Resources for Teachers: Science” is mapped against core curriculum standards for lower secondary science across the Asia‐Pacific Region. It aims to provide teachers and teacher educators with a new collection of curated free (or open) digital science contents. The “Directory of Free Educational Resources for Teachers: Classroom Productivity” is a collection of free quality software which is ready to be installed directly onto computer even without Internet connectivity. The RDTC Training Working Group, in collaboration with UNESCO Bangkok, will present the preliminary training modules to help the members effectively use the repositories in their educational practices. This hands‐on workshop invites the members to provide feedback on the design of the modules in order for the Training Working Group to enhance and refine the modules before officially distributed in 2017. The new training modules will be built upon UNESCO’s existing training guide on ICT multimedia integration for teaching and learning.


Objectives

The objectives of the Seminar are to:

  1. provide the member TEIs with an avenue to actively exchange practical information (e.g. funding and partnership opportunities), perspectives and first‐hand experiences on global partnership for ICT‐integrated teacher education;
  2. set up a research framework to evaluate the impact of the UNESCO educational resources and the corresponding trainings;
  3. introduce training modules for the new directories of free educational resource;
  4. update each other on the RDTC activities of the past year and discuss future plans to continue the activities of RDTC network in 2017.

 

UNESCO Contact

  • Ms. Jonghwi Park, Programme Specialist, EISD/ICT in Education – UNESCO Bangkok, j.park@unesco.org 

 

Resources

Presentations

Opening ceremony

 

Session 1: Exploring partnership opportunities

 

Session 2: Promising cases on transforming teacher education through partnership

 

Session 3: Developing a winning proposal for learning-at-scale through partnerships

 

Session 4: Developing and finalizing research framework for a cross country impact study of UNESCO resources and corresponding trainings

 

Session 5: Learn to Engage, Engage to Learn in a Digital Environment

  • Learn to Engage, Engage to Learn in a Digital Environment (Anna Cherylle Ramos, Director, UST Educational Technology Centre; Maria Mercedes Buendia, Associate Professor, Educational Technology, College of Education; Maria Pri-Ann Tinipunan, Assistant Professor, Library and Information Science, College of Education, University of Santo Tomas, Philippines) - pdf, 138kb

 

Session 6: Activities delivered in 2016

 

Session 7: “Open space”

 

Session 8: Strategic planning for RDTC network 2017

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