UNESCO’s Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development second international EdTech (TECH 2018) conference sees the adoption of the Vizag Declaration on Global Guidelines for Digital Learning.
TECH 2018, held over three days, from 15 to 17 November, showcased the role of games and digital learning in enabling a shift from “transmissive pedagogies” to “transformative pedagogies” to create peaceful and sustainable societies. The conference saw participation by over 1,000 registered delegates from over 50 countries on a daily basis and witnessed highly engaging deliberations by experts in various domains related to education and technology such as games for learning, artificial intelligence for education, social and emotional learning and data privacy and ethics.
Digital technologies are beginning to transform traditional relationships of knowledge and learning, making it much easier to achieve many of the long-held pedagogical ideals such as ubiquitous learning, active knowledge making, dialogical and reflexive relationships, and personalized learning. Technological advances are also expanding the possibilities of ‘gamifying learning’, making learning fun, interactive, self-paced and engaging. Digital games have the advantage of combining immersive technology with good pedagogical practice. They are also helping educators answer ongoing assessment questions, develop children’s intellectual and emotional intelligences, and break down the boundaries between disciplines and cultures. Digital technologies offer a huge potential, yet to be fully explored, for transforming education.
Sessions at TECH 2018 included:
- The role of digital games in building social and emotional learning competencies;
- Artificial intelligence and teachers versus teaching machines;
- Can games replace textbooks and exams looking at the design of digital learning tools and the needs of a classroom; and
- The Intelligent Global Hub on Digital Pedagogy (IGHDP), a multi-stakeholder collaboration including government, research centres, education technology companies, game designers, and educators amongst others on the growing demand for certified, quality digital learning resources.
A key output of the conference was the adoption of the Vizag Declaration on Global Guidelines for Digital Learning announced at the closing ceremony of TECH. The Vizag Declaration on Guidelines for Digital Learning were adopted against the backdrop of the IGHDP or iHub announced last year. Deliberated upon by senior policy makers and ministers from nine countries, domain experts in AI, data scientists, neuroscientists, education and developmental psychologists, researchers, curriculum experts, digital instruction designers, game designers, education technology companies, the Declaration calls for establishing standards of digital learning resources to determine digital products best suited to the educational needs of 21st century learners.
The Declaration will be presented to the General Conference of UNESCO to be held in Paris in 2019 for consideration by its 193 Member States.