Harnessing the power of Digital Learning and Transformation
In the lead up to the Transforming Education Summit (TES) in September 2022, five Thematic Action Tracks were identified to rethink and reimagine the purpose, content and delivery of education, and to transform education for peace, inclusion and sustainability. These Action Tracks serve as key levers to transform education systems — one of these is Digital Learning and Transformation (Action Track 4).
Within this thematic track falls the call to action, made during the TES, to ensure and improve quality public digital learning for all, and to ensure that digital platforms empower teachers, learners, and families, support accessibility and sharing of content, and meet the diverse needs of users including learners with disabilities, girls and women, and people on the move. In this call, three keys were identified to unlock the power of digital teaching and learning — content, capacity, and connectivity — making digital teaching and learning more universally accessible and a more reliable pillar of holistic educational experiences.
Gateways to Public Digital Learning is a global initiative that focuses on the often-overlooked key of digital learning content. It ensures that every learner, teacher, and family can easily access, find, and use high-quality and curriculum-aligned digital education content to advance their learning. One of the key moments of this year’s Digital Learning Week was UNESCO’s update on the strides made in implementing the Gateways to Public Digital Learning Initiative one year after its launch at the TES.
Country commitments to Digital Learning and Transformation
From UNESCO’s Dashboard of Country Commitments and Actions to Transform Education, it can be seen that Action Track 4 remains as an integral approach for countries to introduce innovation and transformation in their education systems. Out of 142 countries who expressed their national statements of commitment to transform their education systems as a pivotal outcome of the TES, 118 countries — accounting for 83.10 % — have committed against the theme “digital transformation and learning.”
In particular, countries tackled on their statements of commitments subthemes that fall within Action Track 4:
digital learning (109 countries)
connectivity (77 countries)
digital regulations (14 countries)
In the second phase of the TES follow-up, a survey was shared with countries so that they can track and monitor their actions against these commitments. Country actions will also be added to the Dashboard in due time.
Highlights of UNESCO Digital Learning Week 2023
Ensuring that Action Track 4 remains on top of its focus areas, UNESCO held its annual flagship event on Digital Learning and Transformation, the Digital Learning Week, in September 2023, one year after the TES. The Digital Learning Week is a reboot of the Mobile Learning Week, which ran for a decade.
In its inaugural edition and under the banner of “Steering technology for education,” the Digital Learning Week focused on public digital learning platforms and generative AI (GenAI), examining how both can be steered to reinforce and enrich humanistic education.
Several countries shared their vision and experiences in advancing Digital Learning and Transformation.
See more UNESCO Digital Learning Week 2023 resources here
Digital Learning Week 2023 wrap-up article
Keynote address by Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education
Lecture on Generative AI
Panel attended by Daniel Andler, Mathematician and Philosopher, Member of the Académie des sciences morales et politiques and Professor Emeritus, Sorbonne Université, France, and Stuart Russell, Professor of Computer Science, University of California, Berkeley