About the competition and winners
The inaugural “Teaching in the 21st Century” Teacher Competition, jointly organized by UNESCO IITE and NetDragon on the global teacher platform E-Library, culminated successfully in July 2023, receiving enthusiastic participation and widespread attention from educators worldwide. The competition elicited a robust response, drawing 476 teachers from 13 different countries. Consequently, four distinguished winners, representing Latvia, Russia, Tunisia, and Indonesia, were selected. One of the esteemed rewards included a study tour to China, designed to facilitate knowledge exchange and the exploration of academic and EdTech innovations.
The study tour was organized from November 27th to December 1st, aiming to enhance the exchange of pedagogical expertise among educators worldwide, while fostering collaboration in the realm of digitalized education. The esteemed partners from NetDragon and Beijing Normal University (BNU) made necessary arrangements, enabling visits to all educational institutions and other organizations. Among the guests were Galina Udayadas, one of the project leaders at UNESCO IITE; Tatiana Korshikova, an English and French teacher from Saint Petersburg State School № 630 in Russia; Marselino Fransye Giovani Sundah, a high school mathematics teacher from Binus School Bekasi in Indonesia; Bouslimi Chokri, a life and earth sciences teacher from Lycée Secondaire Jendouba in Tunisia; and Anna Bikerniece, an international relations instructor from Dalian University of Foreign Languages.
The first part of the study tour in Beijing
On November 27th, the study tour group visited the Smart Learning Institute of BNU and learned about the institute’s groundbreaking projects, including the Global Smart Education Conference, Global Competition on Design for Future Education, as well as other research activities related to the use of AI in education.
The following day, on November 28th, the group continued their quest, visiting the Museum of BNU History to explore the university’s educational excellence and distinctive pedagogical philosophy. Later that same day, the participants paid a visit to the High School Affiliated to BNU, where they were introduced to its rich history and the use of smart technologies in a real English teaching classroom.
To further inspire, the four winners showcased their remarkable projects, covering a wide range of areas: information literacy and life skills learning driven by SDGs, application of AR in English classrooms, AI’s revolutionary impact on agricultural production, and the power of graphic software in the teaching of integration.
On November 29th, the study tour group visited the National Center for Educational Technology (NCET) under the Ministry of Education of China. The leadership team of the NCET presented the national platform “Smart Education of China” and the Exemplary Course Program. Following this, Galina Udayadas provided an enlightening overview of UNESCO IITE’s endeavors and projects in the realm of educational informatization, highlighting the E-library initiative.
The visit to the NetDragon’s Headquarters
The subsequent leg of the study tour continued in Fuzhou at the Headquarters of NetDragon. The visit to the cutting-edge 101VR Immersive Classroom at China Fujian VR Experience Center on 30th November provided valuable insights into potential classroom technologies and tools suitable for the winning teachers. The latter part of the day was devoted to a presentation of NetDragon’s educational products, such as Future Lab, Edmodo Classroom, and Edmodo Academy.
During the visit to the Star Epoch Academy primary and high schools (founded by NetDragon) on December 1st, catalyzed discussions with local educators took place, addressing common challenges, including classroom management, language barriers, elucidating advanced concepts, and the challenges of safe integration of technologies.
At the culmination of the study tour, Galina Udayadas presided over an award ceremony for the first “Teaching in the 21st Century” Teacher Competition. Together with the winners, she recorded teaching experience interview videos for the E-library platform. The teachers voiced their unwavering appreciation for the platform, recognizing its immense value in providing a locale for teachers to enhance their ICT skills.
The competition and study tour serve as a pivotal moment, exemplifying the critical role of the E-library platform as a global hub for teacher training and exchange. It signifies a bold exploration, propelling the world towards a shared and collaborative educational ecosystem. In the next phase of this remarkable journey, the platform will forge powerful connections among teachers worldwide, fostering international cooperation, expanding the boundaries of education, and contributing to the digitalization and innovation of education.