The last week of March marks the annual Mobile Learning Week, UNESCO and the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) flagship ICT in education event. TASCHA’s Director Chris Coward and researchers Stacey Wedlake and Maria Garrido will be traveling to UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris to attend. The week long conference is a chance for TASCHA researchers to learn from other researchers and thought leaders working in the ICT development field as well as share their work in the mobile learning space.
The week will expand the international knowledge base about digital skills education and focus on the challenges and strategies to offer digital skills development opportunities for all. This year, under the theme “Skills for a connected world”, the conference will specifically examine the types of skills needed for a connected economy and society, with a focus on digital skills and competencies. Attendees will review strategies and ways in which these skills can be delivered and assessed within the context of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4).
Stacey and Maria will be participating as symposium speakers and will present the Mobile Information Literacy (MIL) project— a combination of digital, internet, and information literacies for smartphone-first and smartphone-centric populations. This work fills a critical gap between access and engaging with the benefits mobile technologies and applications can have. The MIL training modules are designed to be adapted for various geographies and audiences, taking into account local contexts and conditions. Their session will discuss some of the most relevant findings from the adaptation and implementation of the MIL in Myanmar and Kenya public libraries.
Chris has been invited to speak during a plenary discussion, ‘Defining and mainstreaming digital skills’, a talk focused on ways to promote an integrated approach to digital skill development that is relevant for self-fulfillment, jobs, and social inclusion. The plenary discussion is planned to cover how regional and national initiatives define digital skills, the subsequent integration of these skills in curriculum, and the lessons that can be drawn from the implementation of these initiatives. Chris and TASCHA researcher Michelle Fellows have been working with ITU to produce a Digital Skills Toolkit that is planned to release at Mobile Learning Week as well.
By presenting their work, TASCHA researchers will support the conference’s continued mission to provide a platform to share knowledge, innovations and good practices in mobile learning to facilitate policy debate and promote peer learning.