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Description of project

Implementing agencies
IPS of the Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education in collaboration with all other UNESCO regional and cluster offices; different sectors of UNESCO Bangkok; national focal points and partners who will be the producers and users of information.

Region/country covered
Asia-Pacific

Duration
April 2002-December 2004

Context/problem being addressed

  • Though countries are getting more and more electronically connected, the lack of time of already over-worked policy makers and other target beneficiaries prevents them from surfing the Internet on their own in search of ideas and material support (usually in a second language).
  • Most of the information dealing with education and related topics is usually accessible by those from the urban centres; thus it is hoped that these web-based information resources will be made available to rural schools and community learning centres to begin to positively impact the perceived disparities in ICT access and application in the region.
  • It is very crucial that experiences in the use of ICT in education be well monitored and documented as this phenomenon is new in the region. The collection of regionally-focused materials and information becomes even more urgent and significant considering that much of the information available on the Internet comes from the West and is in English. This will help policy makers plan, support and maintain ICT-based education through access to these best practices.

Target audiences

  • Educational policy makers and national ICT authorities
  • Educational managers (supervisors, principals, provincial and district education leaders, superintendents, etc. both in the formal and non-formal education sectors)
  • Curriculum and media developers
  • ICT specialists in the education sector
  • Trainers
  • Teachers
  • Researchers and statisticians
  • Community development workers
  • Trainees and learners
  • Private sector and IT industry staff
  • Staff of UNESCO field offices and various sectors of UNESCO Bangkok

Objectives

The long-term goal is to contribute to bridging the digital divide and promoting digital inclusion by creating, collecting, analysing, and providing quick access to knowledge and information to support policy formulation, management and monitoring, teaching and learning, community outreach, networking, and programme implementation through Web-based clearing house services. The end result is to create knowledge portals that will promote free and equitable access to information and learning resources.

In the short-term, objectives are:

  • To establish a Web-based clearing house located at UNESCO Bangkok where data and information from ICT in education programmes in the region are collected, processed, analysed, repackaged and disseminated in various formats from printed to electronic/digital to multimedia formats for use in the various components of the project.
  • To set up databases in order to facilitate faster access and retrieval of the collected Asia-Pacific data and information for use in professional development and training; for policy development; for educational software and materials development; and for monitoring and assessment of the impact of ICT on educational reform and improvements in teaching/learning, etc.
  • To process, consolidate, and repackage technical and research results and data into more readable, understandable and usable formats both in print and electronic-based formats in order to promote concrete applications of information in policy making, management, training, teaching, school piloting and research.
  • To create and maintain a website that will include a virtual library, online searchable databases, electronic information resources, eLearning and other kinds of portals and online training/teaching courses, online classrooms and collaborative projects, discussion forums and other software applications and tools that will make the website dynamic and interactive.
  • To set up mechanisms and systems to ensure that the resources, facilities and services in the Clearing House will cover both hard-to reach groups and those already electronically connected through setting up an information network in the region, training of those in charge of these information networks at the national level, building the capacity of countries to provide information support, undertaking advocacy activities, and developing systematic links with other project components to facilitate flow, exchange and use of information.

Expected results

  • Clearing House established
  • Conceptual, organizational framework, systems, tools set up
  • Collection and database set up of processed and catalogued materials
  • Information needs and profile of target beneficiaries identified
  • Bibliographic database of materials, books, periodicals and journals on ICT created
  • Database on national policies on ICT use in education from selected Asia-Pacific countries set up and running
  • Profiles of Asia-Pacific countries on ICT availability, connectivity and penetration in education created.
  • Database on status of teacher training/professional development in Asia-Pacific countries created
  • Database on educational software developed
  • Database of training/ teaching/learning materials/modules on ICT as well as on using ICT in education from the region created
  • Policy Info Sheets on national policies on ICT in education from the region (2001) and best practices, compiled, repackaged and disseminated, etc.
  • Data Sheets on availability, connectivity and penetration of ICT in education; and teacher training programmes repackaged and disseminated
  • Catalogue with critical review of educational software from countries in the region; teaching/ training materials, etc. compiled, repackaged and disseminated
  • INFOSHARE Bulletin (once a year)
  • Abstract-bibliography of materials from the collection compiled and disseminated twice a year
  • CD ROM based on the ICT for Education Website resources developed and disseminated
  • Mailing list computerized into a database as well as an e-mail list.
  • Website on ICT for Education set up and continuously updated and improved
  • Various databases uploaded on the Website and made searchable online
  • Electronic platform for discussion among teachers and educationists set up and running
  • Teacher training courses, pilot classrooms, and collaborative project set up and running online
  • Interactive applications installed on the Website
  • Use of Website evaluated
  • Information network established
  • User briefings, orientations and seminars provided to target beneficiaries both at the regional and country levels on the existence, resources and services of the Clearing House and Website
  • Briefing advocacy kit on the Clearing House and brochure published
  • Latest information and updates regularly announced to target beneficiaries through e-mail
  • Technical assistance and advice provided to countries to build national capacity on use of ICT for information services and education
  • Evaluation and assessment of various Clearing House services implemented

Activities

  • Strengthening and upgrading the facilities of the Clearing House by recruitment of temporary staff and upgrading of technologies
  • Formulating and implementing the conceptual and organizational framework, mandate, goals, strategies and workplan of the Clearing House
  • Undertaking a needs assessment survey of target beneficiaries in order to identify their profiles, information requirements and kinds of information resources and services required from the Clearing House (the results of the survey will build the mailing list database)
  • Setting up an acquisitions policy and acquiring materials dealing with ICT and the use of ICT in education to create a bibliographic database and merge it into existing IPS collection
  • Processing, cataloguing and classifying materials acquired and collected from the various components of the ICT for Education project
  • Creating bibliographic database of materials, books, periodicals and journals on ICT and the use of ICT in education and regularly inputting information into the database
  • Creating the structure and systems of five databases (ICT accessibility and penetration, national ICT policies in education, staff development, educational software, indicators, best practices, etc), installing and making them searchable online.
  • Collecting data on the above-cited topics from the meta survey and inputting information into the databases
  • Collecting training/teaching/learning materials/modules on ICT as well as on using ICT in education from the region; installing software for the creation of both bibliographic and full text databases and inputting information into the database
  • Compiling, repackaging, publishing and disseminating Policy Info Sheets on national policies on ICT in education from the region (2001) and best practices, etc.
  • Compiling, repackaging, publishing and disseminating data sheets on availability, connectivity and penetration of ICT in education and teacher training programmes
  • Compiling, repackaging and publishing abstract-bibliography catalogue with a critical review of educational software from countries in the region; teaching/training materials
  • Compiling an annual INFOSHARE Bulletin to publish latest events, activities, research findings, best practices, trends and developments and websites, CD ROM and publications review
  • Compiling, publishing and disseminating an abstract-bibliography of materials from the collection twice a year
  • Developing of CD ROM based on the ICT for Education Website resources for use by those not electronically connected
  • Compiling and developing a mailing list and computerizing the mailing list into a database as well as an e-mail list. The mailing list and e-mail addresses will be the basis for the dissemination of the repackaged materials and electronic information through regular email announcements.
  • Expanding, updating and redesigning the existing website on ICT for education already developed by IPS, including installation of interactive features, e.g., feedback, submitting lessons, educational software, training/teaching/learning materials, articles, training courses, posting latest news from the region, ask the expert service, competitions, etc. The ICT for Teacher Training will also be incorporated into the ICT for Education Website.
  • Transforming the various databases and making them searchable online and uploading these databases unto the Website as part of the ICT for Education Website
  • Establishing an electronic platform for professional discussion and networking among policy makers, teachers, and other education practitioners engaged in the use of ICT for teaching/learning to stimulate global debate, break isolation of teachers, introduce new educational methods, contents and techniques, and stimulate innovations and creativity. This discussion forum/BBS will also be part of the ICT for Education Website
  • Creating and installing a software/application that can be used by teachers to bring their classroom online as well as collaborating on joint school projects online.
  • Managing and moderating the discussion forum, the online classroom/schoolnets and collaborative projects
  • Regularly updating and monitoring of the Website. The Website will also serve as a vehicle for launching debates, sharing ideas and innovative materials and methods, forming coalitions, empowering rural educational personnel and teachers, and improving school-community relationships.
  • Evaluating the utilization of information, tools, and resources on the ICT for Education Website
  • Identifying possible information centres in the region which will serve as national focal points or nodes for forwarding the information generated from the UNESCO Clearing House as well as well as sources of information from the countries to promote flow, exchange and use of information
  • Organizing both regional and in-country briefings and seminars whenever required to develop awareness and necessary skills to use the information resources and services offered by the Clearing House
  • Preparing and publishing of advocacy materials such as information kits and brochures and cards to promote the services and information resources of the Clearing House
  • Sending of regular announcements of the latest information in the Clearing House to target beneficiaries through electronic mail
  • Providing technical assistance and advice to build capacity of countries in application of ICTs in information systems and services, information repackaging and desktop publishing whenever requested
  • Undertaking regular assessment of information needs of users and evaluating effectiveness/impact of Clearing House services

 

For further details, please contact:

Hartfried Schmid
Editor and Information Assistant
UNESCO - ICT in Education
Bangkok, Thailand
Tel: (66-2) 3910577
Fax: (66-2) 3910866
E-mail: h.schmid@unesco.org