Education International, the global confederation of national education unions, recently announced a set of important principles to provide international technology suppliers with a roadmap to join with educators to deploy modern tools for teaching and learning to under-served and disadvantaged areas around the globe.
The agreement begins a planning process in the coming weeks to match technology systems and strategies to the needs of teachers and students in specific areas and explore new collaborative efforts between teacher organizations and school authorities to provide student curriculum and teacher training.
Education International, which brings together 401 education unions from 172 nations, representing some 30 million teachers, is launching a campaign entitled “Unite for Quality Education”, to elevate the importance of quality teaching and quality tools and safe and supportive environments for teaching and learning.
“Teachers have been open source since the beginning of our profession – borrowing, sharing, and collaborating. Technology gives educators the opportunity to take professional practice to an entirely new level,” said Fred van Leeuwen, General Secretary of EI. “Research shows teachers at home in their own time are researching and developing curriculum to reach their students, and create learning opportunities to improve their skills.”
Shelly Esque, Vice President in the Legal and Corporate Affairs group and director of Corporate Affairs for Intel said, “Collaborative work with educators is a major focus of our work. We help teachers around the world integrate technology into classrooms and promote student-centered approaches to engage students in learning and prepare them with critical skills for success. We are excited to sign onto these principles of collaboration and urge our GBC colleagues to do likewise. We look forward to working with EI and we are committed to providing teachers with the tools and resources they need.”
The agreement was announced in a meeting with Gordon Brown, special envoy for education to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Brown, the former British prime minister, said, “This is a new day in the relationship between educators and their organizations worldwide and those who create and make available modern tools to assist teaching and learning education.
Since taking on the role of United Nations Special Envoy, Brown has brokered partnerships internationally to support the Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education, which recognizes education as critical to global development and the alleviation of poverty.
“In the past imaginations for teaching and learning have been bounded by limits of budgets and national conditions,” said Brown. “Now we are bringing to education powerful tools to help develop high order thinking skills and unlock experiential learning opportunities in myriad ways. It’s a new day for teachers and students, not just as consumers of content but as producers.”
Van Leeuwen said, “Members of Education International have seen the power of technology in the hands of professional teachers and their students. Although the digital divide is a stubborn reality in many parts of the world, the divide is shrinking as communication devices and methods considered unthinkable just a few years ago are now available. We want to put them to work in the hands of teachers.”
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