From 7 to 11 March 2016, UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) took part in one of the key annual events in the UNESCO calendar – Mobile Learning Week (MLW 2016), which is traditionally held at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. The main goal of the event was to present modern technologies and promote mobile learning in order to address crucial questions in education, such as literacy and access to education, gender equality and quality education for all.
The theme of MLW 2016 “Innovation for quality” confirmed the intentions of UNESCO on the realization of the Sustainable Development Goal 4, which focuses on providing quality education by 2030 and emphasizes the role of ICT in strengthening education systems and the creation of favourable conditions for quality and effective education. Leading officials and UNESCO experts in the field of information and communication technologies in education, leaders of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and representatives of other international organizations, ministries, academic community and private sector, attended the events of the MLW 2016.
UNESCO IITE specialists took an active part in preparation and conduction of the Mobile Learning Week 2016. Head a.i. of UNESCO IITE Prof. Alexander Khoroshilov was a member of the International Working Group of Experts to consider applications for seminars and presentations for the Symposium. In the thematic session "UNESCO's work in mobile learning" he also presented his report "Personalized Learning and the New Generation Textbooks for ASPnet Schools”, which was prepared jointly with Dmitry Izmestiev, Vice President for innovation, Group of companies LANIT,
The programme of MLW 2016 included webinars, workshops, a two-day symposium, accompanied by an exhibition and the Political Forum. On 7 March, UNESCO organized online seminar held in collaboration with the Initiative "Education Fast Forward». During the webinar, presentations on how mobile technologies can facilitate the learning process and improve the quality of education were made by the expert of UNESCO IITE prof. Alexander Uvarov and leading international experts of UNESCO.
Seminars and workshops designed to enhance the capacity of practitioners in the field of learning with mobile devices through the exchange of knowledge were held on 8 March. The Symposium was held along with the exhibition, at which IITE had its own exposition at the joint stand with the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU), Dubai, UAE. The Chancellor of HBMSU Dr. Mansoor Al Awar is the Chairman of the UNESCO IITE Governing Board. Ms. Marina Korobeinikova, Programme Specialist of the Section of Teacher Professional Development and Networking of UNESCO IITE supervised the stand with IITE publications, including “Mobile learning for quality education and social inclusion”, “ICT for Inclusion: Reaching More Students More Effectively” and “ICTs in Primary Education” as well as a multimedia presentation about the activities of IITE.
Important outcome of the work of UNESCO IITE at the Mobile Learning Week 2016 was signing of Memorandums of Cooperation with Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, International Foundation Millennium@EDU and JP – Inspiring Knowledge (JP-IK). Within the framework of the signed agreement on cooperation the new UNESCO IITE partner Foundation Millennium@EDU will gratuitously provide the Institute with equipment for "flipped classes", which will become the technological basis for training teachers of innovative ICT-integrated educational approaches in the IITE’s Center of Innovative Educational Technologies “ETIC” to be created.
Policy Forum held on the final day of the MLW 2016 was organized together with a partner of the UNESCO IITE – International Telecommunication Union. At the opening ceremony of the Forum, Ms. Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General, and Mr. Brahima Sanou ,Director of ITU, made a welcoming speech. Deputy Director of the international Department of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation Igor Ganshin took part in the Political Forum. In his speech at the meeting of high-level round table, he noted the active work of the UNESCO IITE and its assistance in developing and implementation of policy on ICT in education, including mobile learning.
The Mobile Learning Week 2016 concluded on eleven March with a strong statement that policy is key to success in using mobile technology to serve quality education. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova stressed the need for an integrated policy in the field of mobile learning: "Meeting the full promise of mobile learning calls for supporting innovation and scaling-up what works. To succeed, it calls for crafting and conducting well-designed mobile learning policies”.