The UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) in close partnership with the Saint-Petersburg State University of Aerospace Instrumentation (SUAI) and UNESCO Chair “Distance Education in Engineering” of SUAI (St.-Petersburg, Russian Federation) organized an International Conference of the UNESCO IITE and UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs “UNESCO Chairs Partnership on ICTs use in Education”. The Conference took place in Saint-Petersburg, Russian Federation within the XIII International Forum «Modern information society formation – problems, perspectives, innovation approaches» on 5 – 10 September 2012 on the board of the comfortable cruise ship «Vissarion Belinsky».
More than 50 participants (UNITWIN/ UNESCO Chairs’ Chairholders and their representative authorities and experts, representatives of the universities’ authorities, teacher training institutions and researchers and practitioners involved in the use of ICTs in education and teacher and students development, international experts, the representative of the Commission of Latvian Republic for UNESCO) from 11 countries took part in the conference. Furthermore, following to the Conference 9 participants from China were invited by IITE to take part in the meetings with the UNESCO Chairs of the leading Universities of Saint-Petersburg and Moscow on 10-14 September 2012.
Main objectives of the conference were as follows:
- to analyze the trends and issues of further networking as well as to identify the good practices, successful innovative initiatives and projects contributing to developing and strengthening sustainable, inclusive and diversified systems and institutions for and with the innovations;
- to motivate the UNESCO Chairs working in the field of ICTs, pedagogy and/or ICTs use in education to contribute more effectively to implementation of the IITE International Master Degree Programme/Advanced Training course “ICTs in Teacher Professional Development” using by them the whole Curriculum or separate modules, and to approve the model of the Curriculum for Russian-speaking countries;
- to establish the interaction and elaborate the trends of collaboration within the framework of UNESCO IITE pilot project “Learning for the Future” (LFF) and UNIVOC Centres;
- to identify the good practices and successful innovative initiatives and projects contributing to developing and strengthening of information security in the framework of a specialized round table.
The opening ceremony began from the welcome speeches by Prof. Anatoly OVODENKO, Rector, St.-Petersburg State University of Aerospace Instrumentation; Chairholder, UNESCO Chair on Distance Education in Engineering, Russian Federation; by Prof. Alexander KHOROSHILOV, National Programme Officer, UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education, who presented the welcome speech of Mr. Dendev Badarch, UNESCO IITE Director a.i.; Prof. Jianzhong CHA, Chairholder, UNESCO Chair on Cooperation between Higher Engineering Education and Industries, Jiaotong University, Beijing, China, etc.
The Plenary session “UNESCO Chairs role in fostering ICTs use for developing effective education systems and furthering lifelong learning” was chaired by Prof. Jianzhong CHA (China) and Prof. Alexander KHOROSHILOV (UNESCO IITE) and 8 reports were presented by the invited participants.
Three sections were organized in the framework of the Conference.
Section 1 “UNESCO IITE and UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Partnership” chaired by Prof. Roumen NIKOLOV, Head of Dept. Computer Science, University of Library Studies and IT & Chairholder, UNESCO Chair on ICT in Library Studies, Education and Cultural Heritage, Sofia, Bulgaria, and Prof. Lyudmila BALIASNIKOVA, Deputy Chairholder, UNITWIN Network on Pedagogical Education: the Multicultural Dialogue Cooperation Programme, Herzen Pedagogical State University of Russia, St.-Petersburg, Russian Federation began working.
The main objectives were:
- Discussion and approval of the Concept of the UNESCO IITE and UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Network working in the field of ICTs in education and innovative pedagogy;
- Further development of partnership and cooperation within the Network;
- Identification of best practices, successful innovative initiatives and projects contributing to developing and strengthening sustainable, inclusive and diversified systems and institutions for and with the innovations.
6 reports were made by the invited participants. Afterwards, Prof. Lyudmila BALIASNIKOVA (Russian Federation) presented the Concept on formation and development of the «Network of the UNESCO Chairs working in the field of ICTs in education and innovative pedagogy» elaborated by UNESCO expert Prof. Gennady BORDOVSKY, President & Chairholder, UNITWIN Network on Pedagogical Education: the Multicultural Dialogue Cooperation Programme, Herzen Pedagogical State University of Russia, St.-Petersburg, Russian Federation, which was discussed and approved by the participants of the conference. Highest gratitude was expressed by the participants to Prof. Gennady BORDOVSKY and Herzen Pedagogical State University of Russia for fruitful cooperation and permanent support.
Section 2 “UNESCO IITE International Master Degree Programme/Advanced Training course “ICTs in Teacher Professional Development” was devoted to discussion and approval of the model of the Curriculum of above-mentioned Master Programme for Russian-speaking and for English speaking students; implementation of the Curriculum or separate modules by the UNESCO Chairs and Universities, and discussion of the proposals for such implementation. It was chaired by Prof. Alexander KHOROSHILOV (UNESCO IITE) and Prof. Vassilios MAKRAKIS, Chairholder, UNESCO Chair in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in Education for Sustainable Development, Department of Education, University of Crete, Greece. 6 reports were presented, and then all participants decided to divide in two groups for discussions on the Curriculum, intended separately for Russian-speaking and for English speaking students. As the result of these groups’ discussions Recommendations were prepared and approved.
Section 3 “Interaction of the UNITWIN/ UNESCO Chairs Network with UNESCO ASPnet and UNEVOC Centers“ was chaired by Dr. Baiba MOLNIKA, Education Programme Director, Latvian National Commission for UNESCO, Latvia and Prof. Tanzilja NIGMATULLINA, Director, Institute of Social Technologies of the Academy of Labour and Social Relations, Bashkortostan, Russian Federation.
The main themes for discussion were suggested to be the following:
- Determination of UNESCO Chairs’ role in the implementation of the UNESCO IITE pilot project “Learning for the Future” (LFF);
- Establishing the interaction and elaboration of the trends for collaboration of the UNITWIN/ UNESCO Chairs Network and UNESCO ASPnet within the framework of UNESCO IITE pilot project “Learning for the Future” (LFF)”;
- Elaboration of the mechanism for evaluation of the results of activities achieved within the UNESCO IITE pilot project “Learning for the Future” (LFF);
- Discussion on the content of the interactive multidisciplinary training course “Learning for the Future” for UNESCO Associated schools;
- Perspectives of cooperation between UNESCO Chairs and UNIVOC Centers.
6 reports made in the context of suggested themes were presented. The main issues of further development of the IITE Pilot Project “Learning for the Future” (LFF), and ASPnet and UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs interaction were brainstormed at the special Expert Meeting held on 6 September 2012.
Finally, a Work Plan was created, discussed and recommended for action.
Round Table “ICT in Education. Information Security Problems” was carried out jointly with XIII International symposium on redundancy problems in information and operating systems and was chaired by Prof. Alexander KHOROSHILOV (UNESCO IITE) and Prof. Sergey BEZZATEEV, Chairholder, Chair “Information Security Technologies”, Saint- Petersburg State University of Aerospace Instrumentation, Russian Federation.
It was devoted to the following:
- Identification of the good practices and successful innovative initiatives;
- Projects’ contribution to developing and strengthening of information security.
2 reports were made and after active discussions all participants underlined the great importance of discussions on the information security problems and suggested to continue and widen such dialogue in the framework of the XIV Forum to be organized in June 2013 in Saint-Petersburg (Russian Federation). Besides, UNESCO IITE was asked to elaborate a specialized training course on these issues and should present it there.
Also in the framework of the Conference the Amendment to the Memorandum of Understanding on establishing of the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs network working in the field of ICTs use in education and pedagogy was signed by new members joined to the UNESCO IITE Network. The Final Document of the Conference – Resolution – was adopted.