The Educational App Store is going to Paris! (to attend UNESCO’s Mobile Learning Week 2013)
UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) will be holding its second Mobile Learning Week early this year. The event will take place from the 18th to the 22nd of February at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France. Leading worldwide representatives from the fields of Education and Technology shall attend in order to discuss the ways that Mobile Learning can make significant contributions in the quality and accessibility of education around the world. The Educational App Store has also been invited and their representative shall be discussing in particular the ways that mobile learning can further learning outcomes at the individual as well as classroom level.
Mobile Learning (any educational tools that are available via the usage of smartphones, laptops, tablets and/or any other mobile devices) is one of the most innovative developments of our time. UNESCO (in partnership with the GSMA) has identified its potential on a mass scale as a result shall be considering the types of mobile learning content that is available, the technology that we can use and also, the types of policy that countries can implement in order to ensure a smooth and easy transition towards the incorporation of mobile learning tools on a mass scale.
Although UNESCO recognizes that learning and, indeed, mobile learning is a life-time activity, the event itself aims to focus on mobile learning as a means of increasing the quality and availability of educational materials to anyone who is currently within the educational process (i.e.pre-school to university level). In addition, the primary topics for discussion will be; the improvement of literacy levels, the improvement of the quality of education and the improvement of levels of gender equality.
UNESCO is one body out of many global governments and organisations that are backing the international initiative known as ‘Education For All’ (EFA). EFA aims to achieve six worldwide goals; To expand early childhood care and education, to provide free and compulsory primary education for all, to promote learning and life skills for young people and adults, to increase adult literacy worldwide by 50%, to achieve equality in education by 2015, and overall to improve the quality of education across the globe for everyone. The aim is for all goals to be achieved by 2015.
Mobile Learning Week will provide the Education Community with information to understand the capacity that technological developments have in realising the goals set out in the EFA initiative. The Educational App Store (EAS) aims to discuss the way that mobile apps can be created to act as learning materials in line with national curriculums that will support the teacher community. Furthermore, the EAS aims to consider the ways in which to make access to education easy irrespective of age and gender.
For those interested, UNESCO’s Mobile Learning Week will be comprised of three main events; two open to all and one by invitation only. The Symposium on Mobile Learning will last two days from February 18th through to the 19th. This conference will involve keynote speakers, demonstrations and displays of mobile learning technology. This is the cornerstone event of Mobile Learning Week. Next, on the 20th, is the invitation only Senior Policy Maker’s Forum. Here, high level government officials shall discuss the issues arising with the future of mobile learning technology and the necessary policies it will dictate.
Finally, on the 21st of February the Mobile Learning Week ‘Webinar’ will begin (and finish the next day). This virtual seminar will allow those unable to attend the event in Paris to get involved. Moderated by leaders in the field and featuring discussions with and online demonstrations by experts in mobile technology, members of the public can participate in question and answer sessions and discussions revolving around the central topic. Anybody with an interest in the area should log on and take part, and maybe even help to shape the future!
The EducationalAppStore shall be contributing in shaping the future of mobile learning so that mobile learning can achieve its full potential at a worldwide level and to play a part in instigating the cumulative network benefits of a continuously curious and learned society.
For those interested, the online webinar can be accessed online on the 21st of February. Times and web addresses have yet to be released.
-by Adam Bannister – Independent specialist in Educational Apps-