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Major Projects and Programmes, ICT in Education 2015

1) Supporting Competency-Based Teacher Training Reforms to Facilitate ICT-Pedagogy Integration 

With the generous support of the Korean Funds-in-Trust, UNESCO Bangkok has been implementing the “Supporting Competency-Based Teacher Training Reforms to Facilitate ICT-Pedagogy Integration” Project for the past two years. The project (“KFIT-II Project”) aims to support governments in reforming ICT teacher training and professional development programmes into competency-based ones, where teacher development throughout pre-service and in-service training is systematically guided, assessed, monitored and tracked at policy and institutional levels.

Year 2015 marked the first year of the two-year pilot implementation for three member states, Nepal, Philippines, and Uzbekistan. National workshops focused on supporting these countries in developing their national ICT competency standards for teachers, for either pre-service teacher education or in-service professional development, tailored to the needs and contexts of the respective countries (details of which can be found on the workshop website).  All three countries have completed the first draft of their national ICT competency standards for teachers, with relevant support provided from local coordinating bodies, such as UNESCO field offices (Nepal and Uzbekistan) and SEAMEO INNOTECH (the Philippines). It is expected that these standards get official endorsement from their governments within the next few months. 

The project's Regional Meeting 2015 (27-28 October 2015, Bangkok, Thailand) provided the three country task forces an opportunity to exchange findings from their teacher readiness assessment exercise, country implementation progress and achievements, and share challenges and lessons learned throughout the first year of implementation. It likewise provided a venue to exchange ideas with and learn from international experts. In addition, the UNESCO project team oriented the pilot countries on project activities lined up for the second year of country implementation. Activities in 2016 will focus on supporting the countries in operationalizing the standards by reflecting the formulated competency standards in the actual teacher training curriculum or professional development programmes.2015 marked the first year of the two-year pilot implementation for three member states, Nepal, Philippines, and Uzbekistan. National workshops focused on supporting these countries in developing their national ICT competency standards for teachers, for either pre-service teacher education or in-service professional development, tailored to the needs and contexts of the respective countries (details of which can be found on the workshop website).  All three countries have completed the first draft of their national ICT competency standards for teachers, with relevant support provided from local coordinating bodies, such as UNESCO field offices (Nepal and Uzbekistan) and SEAMEO INNOTECH (the Philippines). It is expected that these standards get official endorsement from their governments within the next few months.

 

 2) Resource Distribution and Training Centres (RDTC)

As part of the RDTC project, the RDTC Research fund was granted to Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia, on “Enhancement of Reflective Practice With The Help of Microsoft OneNote”; and Chiang Mai University, Thailand, on “The Impact upon Students’ Learning Behaviors and Attitudes of Integrating ICT (UNESCO Multimedia Resources) into Teaching and Learning under TPACK Model Framework of Chiang Mai University Pre-Service Teachers Majoring in Primary Education: A Case Study in Thailand”.  

Along the same line, two National Conferences were funded for two RDTCs to organize training workshops/conferences for local teachers and teacher educators. The two selected national conferences are “Next Generation of Teachers Conference 2015: Impact and Innovation in Schools through ICT in Education” by Knowledge Community Inc., Philippines; and “Promoting Teachers’ Reflective Practices using ICT Pedagogy Integration” by National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Pakistan.


UNESCO Bangkok organized the 6th Regional Seminar for UNESCO Resource Distribution and Training Centres (RDTCs) in collaboration with South China Normal University on 11 – 13 November 2015 in Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China.  The theme of the Seminar  was “Teacher Training to Promote Safe, Effective and Responsible Use of ICT (SERU-ICT)” and discussed three sub-themes, “Teacher Training for Media and Information Literacy (MIL)”, “Open Educational Resources (OERs) to Enhance Teaching and Learning”, and “Teachers’ Professional Learning Community to Foster Collaborative Teaching and Peer Coaching”.  All documents related to the Seminar are available at this website.

According to the annual reports submitted by 13 RDTCs out of 25, a total of 13,402 UNESCO resources were disseminated to local teachers and schools in 2014. The RDTCs also delivered 60 training activities that covered over 3,748 participants.  

Two of UNESCO’s new ‘Directories of Free Educational Resources for Teachers’ are coming soon. One directory is for lower secondary Science and another for classroom productivity tools. They will be distributed in offline forms, such as DVD and USB, to reach teachers and schools in remote areas where the Internet is not stable. The repositories shall be disseminated in the first quarter of 2016.

3) Fostering Digital Citizenship through Safe, Effective and Responsible Use of ICT

UNESCO released the publication, “Fostering Digital Citizenship through Safe and Responsible Use of ICT: A review of current status in Asia and the Pacific”, which provides a multi-sector synthesis of information on various policy responses, programmes, and initiatives, gathered from a desk review and the Expert Meeting held in March 2014. A copy is available at this link.

It aims to establish a clearer understanding of the various legal framework and policies, national curriculum, and other educational programmes being implemented within at least 20 Asia Pacific member states. The findings of the this research study will serve as primary reference for UNESCO’s “Policy Guidelines on Fostering Digital Citizenship through Safe and Responsible Use of ICT for Children in the Asia Pacific Region” to guide Member States in responding to the issues by developing appropriate policies and initiatives to promote children’s safe and responsible use of ICT in their particular contexts.

Additionally, UNESCO commenced a policy review study, “Fostering Digital Citizenship through Safe and Responsible Use of ICT: A Review of National Policies and Initiatives in Asia Pacific”, supported by Intel. The study report is due to be released in March 2016.

Building on the momentum and progress from the publication and the policy review study  above, UNESCO Bangkok and UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO) co-organised the “Policies and Initiatives to Promote Children’s Safe, Effective, and Responsible Use of ICT: Asia Pacific Regional Consultation” on 9-11 September 2015 in Bangkok, Thailand. The Regional Consultation brought together 62 participants comprising official country delegates, regional and international experts, industry players, researchers, representatives from inter-governmental and non-government organizations, educators and students. Over three days of active participation, cutting edge research and international perspectives were shared, initial findings of the policy review study were discussed and validated and the draft education sector Policy Guidelines were further refined.

If you would like to find out more, please visit our dedicated page here.

4) ICT for Tertiary Education

 Open and Distance e-Learning 

With support from the ASEAN Cyber University, UNESCO Bangkok has started to take a closer look at Open and Distance e-Learning and see how it can play a role in the recently established ASEAN Community.  The project, ‘The Promotion of ASEAN Regional Integration through Open and Distance Higher Education’ was developed to facilitate a policy level dialogue among different ASEAN stakeholders in ODeL.  A scoping study was commissioned which determined the status of ODeL in ASEAN countries and proposed strategies on how ODeL can be tapped to promote regional integration. 

As part of the scoping study, a Regional Policy Forum was held on 23-24 November in Bangkok, attended by scoping study researchers from various ASEAN countries, alongside experts in the field of open and distance higher education. Forum sessions included the presentation and revisions of the draft study, and key messages and recommendations in relation to infrastructure, quality assurance and policy requirements.

Further information on the scoping study and the Regional Policy Forum are available at the project webpage.

 Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET)

Despite the potential that ICT offers in innovating teaching and learning in TVET, research shows that most TVET teachers in the Asia-Pacific region lack adequate pedagogical skills to take full advantage of ICT, and thus experience difficulties in meeting the demands of the changing world of work. The predominant teaching approaches in TVET remain teacher-centric, where students tend to be passive recipients of information.

The use of ICT beyond access, that is, to promote the quality of teaching and learning in TVET is largely under-documented and intermittent. A number of questions related to benefits, strengths/weaknesses and opportunities/risks of integrating ICT to increase the quality of learning in TVET remain unanswered.  Likewise, critical factors in planning and implementing ICT for innovative teaching and learning in TVET need further study and exploration.

Therefore, UNESCO Bangkok ICT in Education team participated in the Asia-Pacific Conference on Education and Training (ACET) in August 2015, and designed sessions named “How to bridge the gap through ICT?” as well as “ICT-Enhanced Innovative Pedagogy in TVET”. The ICT in Education team also contributed to the development of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration, one of the major outputs of the event, which emphasized the importance of ICT in the field of TVET, and provided specific recommendations to Member States. 

To further explore, UNESCO Bangkok has been conducting a research study entitled “Beyond Access: ICT-enhanced Innovative Pedagogy in TVET in Asia Pacific” with an aim to take stock of and document innovative practices of harnessing the potential of ICT in TVET in the Asia-Pacific region, explore ways to improve the pedagogical relevance of TVET to meet the changing skill needs of a digital society, and to provide policy recommendations for the innovative use of ICT and ways to increase quality of teacher training in TVET. The report is due to be released in the later part of 2016.



16.12.2015