UNESCO IITE training workshop in Georgia: development of higher education in the context of digital transformation of society

On 22–23 November 2018, the international training workshop “Digital technologies and transformation of higher education” organized by the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) in partnership with Georgian Technical University (GTU) was held in Tbilisi, Georgia. The workshop brought together 56 university and college administrators, teachers and staff members from Tbilisi, Batumi, Sukhumi and Kutaisi to discuss various aspects of harnessing the potential of digital technologies in order to improve the efficiency and quality of universities’ performance.

Mr. Sang-Baek (Chris) Kang, Director of Global Cooperation at Korea Local Information Research and Development Institute (KLID), Mr. Alexander Fadeev, Vice-Rector for Digital Affairs and Director of the Center for Digital Education at Tomsk Polytechnic University, Ms. Natalia Dneprovskaya, Associate Professor of the Department of Information System Management and Programming at Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, and Ms. Tatiana Murovana, Programme Specialist at UNESCO IITE were speakers and facilitators of the workshop. Two professors of Georgian Technical University – Ms. Mariam Tsatsanashvili, Head of the Institute for Public Administration Research and Mr. Levan Imnaishvili, Head of the Academic Department of Computer Engineering – presented technical, technological and managerial innovations implemented at GTU.

The event was opened with greetings addressed to the workshop participants on behalf of Mr. Archil Prangishvili, Rector of Georgian Technical University and Mr. Tao Zhan, Director of UNESCO IITE, by Mr. Zurab Gasitashvili, Deputy Rector of Georgian Technical University and the UNESCO IITE representative Ms. Tatiana Murovana. Mr. Gocha Chogovadze, Academician of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, Former Rector of Georgian Technical University and Former Permanent Delegate of Georgia at UNESCO, shared his views on the influence of digital technologies upon the dynamics and nature of changes in professional education. At the plenary session, the fundamental review on the content and implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its impact on the future of education were presented by Mr. Chris Kang, while Mr. Alexander Fadeev reported on digital educational technologies used in universities.

At the round table, the participants discussed the main trends of digital transformation of higher education institutions, the potential of modern technologies in changing the landscape of education, as well as their capabilities, limitations and features for the use in local contexts.

The first day of the event ended with the workshop “Digital Skills and Media Information Literacy” delivered by Ms. Tatiana Murovana. During the workshop, the participants were introduced to the various approaches to the development of digital competencies as the most important soft skills of the 21st century. Special attention was paid to understanding the specifics of the algorithms of digital platforms and services, as well as to economic and technological contexts that determine the development and nature of modern media, the knowledge of which becomes crucial for effective communication in digital environments.

At the workshops delivered by Mr. Alexander Fadeev and Ms. Natalia Dneprovskaya, the participants jointly analyzed and searched for solutions for the case studies related to the development of university information systems, design and use of online courses and open electronic resources in teaching and research.

Later on, with the support of experts, participants were offered the opportunity to develop their own strategies for using digital technologies in order to improve the efficiency and quality of their own teaching activity as well as the performance of the whole university or its separate units and areas.

At the end of the international training workshop, the participants and speakers were awarded the certificates and open badges.

Programme