Mobile Learning Week 2018 takes place 26-30 March in Paris, France, under the theme "Skills for a connected world".
Organized by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in partnership with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the five-day event will examine the digital skills needed to create a connected global economy and society. It will also focus on opportunities to leverage information and communication technologies (ICTs) towards expanded educational opportunities for all.
Participants, including ministers of ICT and ministers of education, private sector CEOs, policy and education specialists, technology innovators, informal digital skills training providers, researchers, academics and civil society representatives will exchange knowledge on how digital technologies can be leveraged to improve quality of and access to education.
The event will be opened by the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, who will highlight the importance of gearing education and training systems everywhere to the ongoing revolution in technology.
"In our increasingly connected world, digital skills are a pre-requisite for economic and social inclusion. We need innovative policies and investments to bridge digital divides, provide all learners with digital skills and vastly expand opportunities to acquire them throughout life," said Ms Azoulay.
"As the lead UN agency for information and communication technologies, ITU is proud to partner with UNESCO for Mobile Learning Week 2018 to explore how we can leverage the power of ICTs to ensure inclusive and quality education for all," said Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General.
A Symposium will be held on 27 and 28 March and will feature keynote speeches and high-level plenary addresses from ministers, representatives of United Nations agencies, and other partner organizations. During the Symposium, ITU will organize several sessions which will focus on innovating skills, the ITU/ILO joint Digital Skills for Decent Jobs for Youth Campaign, Artificial Intelligence, and digital transformation.
A Policy Forum will take place on Thursday, 29 March. The Forum will bring together ministers of education, ministers of ICT, telecom regulators and leaders from private sector and social enterprise companies to engage, share experiences and discuss how coordinated action and ICTs can help countries address digital skills gaps and expand learning opportunities using ICTs.
"Improving skills and expanding digital literacy are a must in today's connected world in order to match the employment and entrepreneurship requirements of the digital economy,'' said Brahima Sanou, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau. "Mobile Learning Week offers an excellent platform for governments, the private sector, academia and civil society to collaborate and build sustainable partnerships to promote access to digital skills for people everywhere."
During Mobile Learning Week 2018, ITU will launch its Digital Skills Toolkit to support Member States to design national digital skills development strategies for life and work of all citizens in the growing digital economy.
Mobile Learning Week 2018, has been designed to expand the international knowledge base for digital skills education and facilitate actions to achieve the following objectives:
• Define and mainstream digital skills;
• Innovate skills provision for jobs in the digital economy;
• Close inequalities and gender divides and;
• Map and anticipate changing skill needs.
Other highlights of the week include 18 workshops, which will facilitate demonstrations of innovative policies, research, projects and mobile learning solutions. Presenters will be from a wide range of international organizations, non-governmental organizations, governmental agencies, and academic institutions that are implementing digital skills development programmes.
ITU and UNESCO have also partnered to host Strategy Labs to help guide the conceptualization and refinement of projects for defining frameworks, assessing digital skills across groups and across time, and anticipating the changing needs for digital skills.