The IITE-2014 International Conference "New Challenges for Pedagogy and Quality Education: MOOCs, Clouds and Mobiles" took place in Moscow on October 14-15, 2014.
The event was organized by the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE), UNESCO Moscow Office for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, the Republic of Moldova and the Russian Federation, the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO, and National Research Nuclear University “MEPHI” in close partnership with UNESCO Chairs/UNITWIN Network, UNESCO ASPnet, and UNESCO-UNEVOC Network. Strong support for the Conference was provided by the IITE partners from the private sector – international companies (Yalong, Cisco, Coca-Cola, Samsung, and ETIC) and Russian organizations (DPI, Agency for Innovative Development, Power of Baikal, Educational Center «Naslednik», and First Autocombinate).
The conference brought together 186 participants from 28 UNESCO Member States – representatives of UNESCO and National Commissions for UNESCO, national coordinators of UNESCO Global Networks, heads of UNESCO Chairs and ASPnet schools, decision-makers and specialists from Ministries of Education, leading universities, academic and educational institutions, teacher training institutes and centers of education development , NGOs, IGOs, and private IT companies, as well as experts, educators and innovators in the field of ICT in education.
The objective of the conference was to provide an effective platform for discussion of strategy, policy and the best practices of ICT application in education and professional development of educators, as well as the issues related to the elaboration and implementation of innovative approaches to the ICT and pedagogics integration to ensure equal access of various social and demographic groups of the UNESCO Member States to high-quality education and lifelong learning within the framework of the UNESCO program priorities for the period after 2015. A special focus of the conference was paid to recommendations and UNESCO’s position on the use of open educational resources (OER) and massive open online courses (MOOCs), teacher ICT competence and professional development, as well as to the assurance of the quality and gender equality in education. Participants exchanged views on the potential of advanced ICTs and analyzed existing experience in the field of information and educational resources, cloud services and mobile technologies to provide access to high-quality education to all members of the emerging global inclusive Knowledge Society, including persons with disabilities, women and girls.
The main conference programme included plenary and parallel sessions, the panel discussions, poster presentations, and expositions of the UNESCO IITE partners. The speeches of the invited experts – the leading international experts on ICT in education and innovative pedagogy – were presented at the plenary sessions.
In the framework of the conference, a meeting of the UNESCO IITE –ASPnet Pilot project “LFF – Learning for the Future” and the UNESCO Associated schools participants took place. It was held in the form of the Special Session “LFF-Forum – ICT in School Education: Quality Learning, Sustainable Development, New Humanism”. The forum gathered more than 50 representatives of National Commissions for UNESCO, national and school LFF coordinators, administrators and school teachers from 13 countries involved in the LFF Project. Within two days, the participants presented and discussed the results of joint projects and other school initiatives in the field of ICT in education to improve the quality of learning, education for sustainable development, as well as to implement the principles of a new humanism. Many interesting ideas and recommendations related to the further development of the LFF Project, the pilot phase of which is successfully completing this year, were considered during the event. Participants proposed to start scaling-up the LFF Project both in of their own countries and in other UNESCO member-states through the involvement of new ASPnet schools in project activities.
The conference became the platform for constructive dialogue between policy makers, heads of education authorities, scientists, practitioners, representatives of the academic community, the state and private sectors, and potential donors. This made it possible to identify current trends and innovative approaches to the effective ICT use in education.