On September 18-20, the Fifth International Summit on Information Technology in Education 2017 (EDUsummIT’17) with the theme “Rethinking Learning in a Digital Age” took place in Borovets, Bulgaria. EDUsummIT is a global knowledge creating community of researchers, policy-makers and educators committed to supporting the effective integration of Information Technology (IT) in education by promoting active dissemination and use of research. In 2017, the event was hosted by the University of Library Studies & Information Technologies (SULSIT), Sofia, Bulgaria, in cooperation with the Netherlands Institute for Curriculum Development. One of the main organizers of the event Prof. Stoyan Denchev, rector of the SULSIT, is also a member of UNESCO IITE Governing Board. The EDUsummIT’17 is held under the patronage of UNESCO, Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, and Eva Maydel, member of the European Parliament, of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO).
The event looked at various initiatives at regional, national, and international levels to address successfully the challenges educational systems face in the digital age. Members of the Summit were assembled into nine thematic working groups (TWG), topics of which included: equal access to education in digital age, informal education and IT, creative development of students and educators, new digital opportunities in upbringing and others.
UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE) was represented by its former Officer-in-Charge Prof. Alexander Khoroshilov and IITE expert Prof. Alexander Uvarov who participated in the TWG3: “Professional development for technology-enhanced Learning leaders” and TWG8: “Upbringing in a digital world: Opportunities and Possibilities of schooling”. The discourse in the third section revolved around the issue of appropriate leaders’ training in the sphere of digital learning and IT. Within the eighth section, the discussion was focused on the topic of educational work organization in a digital world: participants addressed an urgent need in raising awareness of problems, which are faced within the sphere of digital learning. Crucial comments were also made on revision of the established ideas about intergenerational and intercultural dynamic, familial and educational institutes.
This year the participants of the EDUsummIT’17joined the QED’17 UNESCO International Conference Children in the Digital Ageheld on September 20-21 in Sofia, Bulgaria. QED is traditionally hosted by the University of Library Studies and Information Technologies and organized by the UNESCO Interfaculty Chair ICT in Library Studies, Education and Cultural Heritage at SULSIT under the Patronage of the National Commission for UNESCO – Bulgaria. The topic of the QED’17 is Children in the Digital Era, which is an upgrade of the “Children in the Information Age” initiative started in Bulgaria 32 years ago. A special session was dedicated to sharing the outcomes of the global forum EDUsummIT’17 thematic groups. As a result of the work during the EDUsummIT’17 and the QED’17 the participants elaborated a number of recommendations aimed at work of policy-makers, educators, researchers and representatives of the corporate sector from across the world.
The next EDUsummIT 2019 was decided to be held in Canada.
Additional information about the events is available at http://unesco.unibit.bg/en/EDUsummIT17