UNESCO IITE and UNESCO ASPnet Partnership

The UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE) organized an International Conference “ICTs and Quality of Education: UNESCO ASPnet On the Way Towards a School of the Future” to be held in Kazan, Russian Federation, on April 26-27, 2011. It was organized in close cooperation between UNESCO IITE, UNESCO Moscow Office for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Republic of Moldova and the Russian Federation, the University of Management “TISBI” (Kazan, Russian Federation), UNESCO Chair in Training and Retraining of Specialists under Market Economy Conditions, National Coordination Center of UNESCO Associated Schools of the Russian Federation, Cisco Systems, Inc. The participants from Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Finland and Estonia took part in it.

The UNESCO ASPnet national and regional ASPnet coordinators, UNESCO Associated Schools authorities and teachers, heads and representatives of national commissions for UNESCO, universities’ authorities and representatives, IT-specialists from the Cisco Systems, Inc., Kaspersky Lab., Microsoft, SMART Technologies and other high level experts discussed the actual problems of improvement of quality of education at UNESCO Associated Schools by implementation of the modern educational and information technologies as well as accumulation and distribution among UNESCO Associated Schools of CIS and Baltic countries of an advanced experience of ICTs application at schools within the framework of realization of a "smart" school concept. During the discussions the constructive decisions and definitions of concrete actions on formation of conditions for effective usage of ICTs at UNESCO Associated Schools were developed in strong correspondence to requirements of an inclusive society of knowledge for expansion of partnership and their sustainable development.

The Conference consisted of two plenary sessions: “The Role of ASPnet Schools in an integration of the principles, values and best practices of sustainable development into education and use of ICTs” and “Quality of education in ASPnet Schools: impact of innovative educational technologies and ICTs” and three thematic sections: “Unified information-education-cultural and administrative environment of Smart School as a Platform for Sustainable Development of ASPnet Schools”, “Quality of education in ASPnet Schools: impact of innovative educational technologies and ICTs” and “Unified information-education-cultural and administrative environment of Smart School as a Platform for Sustainable Development of ASPnet Schools”.

The role of UNESCO Associated Schools in processes of integration of principles, values and better practices in sustainable development and ICTs application was the main topic for discussion at the plenary sessions. The participants acknowledged special importance of the issue at the stage of global learning society which the contemporary world is advancing. Also some reports involved the questions of the quality of education in UNESCO Associated Schools. National coordinators and representatives of UNESCO Associated Schools in the Russian Federation, CIS and Baltic countries and UNESCO Chairs guest members took part in the dialogue underlining common approaches in implementing innovative educational technologies to improve the quality of education.

At the section devoted to unified information-education-cultural and administrative environment of Smart School of the Future representatives of UNESCO Associated Schools and IT-companies’ representatives discussed the main tendencies and outlined the work out prospects of co-operation.

The discussion, which took place at the second section, involved the effective ways to raise the level of qualification and professional development of teachers and directors of UNESCO Associated Schools using a competence approach, which includes ICT box model of ICT-CFT competences worked out by UNESCO together with its strategic partners.

Another key subject discussed at the forum was ICTs implementation for social communications inside and outside of UNESCO Associated Schools, which will enable the creation of a radically new synergetic environment for interaction between students, parents, teachers and social partners of UNESCO Associated Schools. This theme is of special importance to overcome a digital gap between participants of educational and pedagogical process in Smart School of the Future.

Special focus at the conference was given to the questions of information security. Besides, an exclusive training course in libraries development and ICT literacy, specially prepared by the colleagues from Bulgaria for UNESCO Associated Schools, was presented alongside with master-classes on interactive technologies application in educational process.

After discussions the Resolution of the Conference was adopted.

Materials of the International conference of UNESCO IITE and UNESCO Associated Schools (26-27 April 2011, Kazan, Russian Federation)

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