The use of digital technologies for learning has generated interest for a number of years. In fact, lightweight and portable digital devices have liberated learning from being restricted to fixed and predetermined locations, fundamentally changing the ways that knowledge circulates within societies. In the context of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, interest in mobile learning technologies has grown exponentially. However, the situation is often confused. Increasingly, technology is used in teachers’ pedagogical work with students, but the “digital divides” show how important internet access, device connectivity as well as media and information literacy have become.
Interveners in the first Studio will discuss three dimensions of the digital divide:
1. Those who have access to digital technologies and services and those who don’t – Can that divide be bridged, and how – access for all or no access for anyone at school? What does it take to eliminate that digital divide in the education space?
2. Open source and commercial technologies – What is left of that divide? Are we moving toward a hybrid environment? Is there a philosophical dimension to the debate that is relevant to the education space? If we consider education as a public good, what does it mean for the different stakeholders?
3. Teachers and students – is there a digital divide? What does it take for teachers and students to make the best use of technology? How can they access, search, critically assess, use and contribute content wisely?
- Mark East, Education Regional Business Leader – Europe, Middle East and Africa, Microsoft Corporation
- Thabo Msibi, Dean, School of Education, University of Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa
- Fengchun Miao, Chief of Uni, ICT in Education, UNESCO
- Vincent Defourny, Director, UNESCO Geneva Liaison Office
*The 2030 Digital Fasttrack Studios (DFS) brings together representatives from the United Nations agencies, permanent missions, academia, civil society, and the private sector.
With a focus on four global goals: SDG4 (Education), SDG8 (Decent Jobs and Economic Growth), SDG13 (Climate Change), and SDG16 (Peace, Justice & Institutions), the studios series provide a policy engagement forum for stakeholders to identify pragmatic opportunities for digital transformations and policies to fast track progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.
**NORRAG is a global network for international policies and cooperation in education and training.