First international symposium brings together major global networks for innovation in education
More than 130 high-level decision-makers from 30 countries, members of international networks active in the field of ICT in education attended the first ICT in Education Networks international symposium on 11-12 June in Rome, Italy. The aim of the event was to build a vision for a common future for education, and set an agenda for future cooperation.
The event was jointly organised by four major education organisations: European Schoolnet (EUN), a network of 31 Ministries of Education in Europe, the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) in the USA, Education.au, the Australian national agency for ICT in education and ANSAS, the Italian agency for innovation in education.
In a globalised world, international networks may face challenges that could be better addressed by sharing knowledge and experiences with other networks. The symposium laid the stone for high-level networking within the global ICT in education community.
The two-day highlighted the need to improve information-sharing and cooperation between international education networks to address key topics such as the nature of 21st century learning and analyse the role of international education networks vis-à-vis decision makers in the field.
“It is the first time an initiative of this scale has been undertaken to build bridges between global networks, and to develop peer-learning mechanisms between all actors in the education sector. International networks are operating in a diversity of education environments and cultures, and the symposium was the occasion to share and exchange on this diversity and cultural wealth. We hope the momentum initiated by this conference will lead to a plan for action as a ‘Rome declaration’”, said Marc Durando, Executive Director of European Schoolnet after the event.
Participants of the symposium came from six continents, representing 30 countries. Delegations from 32 Ministries of Education and education agencies participated.
Key industry partners are sponsoring the event, including eInstruction (www.einstruction.com), Intel Education (www.intel.com), Microsoft (www.microsoft.com), Oracle (www.oracle.com), PASCO Scientific (www.pasco.com), Promethean (www.prometheanworld.com) and SMART Technologies (www.smarttech.com).
Several other organisations support the initiative such as Futurelab in the UK (www.futurelab.org.uk), Apple Computers (www.apple.com), KERIS (the ICT agency of the Ministry of Education Science and Technology in South Korea – http://english.keris.or.kr), South East Asia Ministry of Education Organisation (www.seameo.org) and World Links Arab Region (www.wlar.org).
Other networks which attended the event included African (Schoolnet Africa), middle-eastern (iEARN Lebanon, World Links Arab Region), European (Global eSchools and Communities Initiative, Digital Europe) and South American networks (Interdidatica, Fundação Vanzolini).
Presentations and programme for the event have been made available at: http://is.eun.org. The symposium also marked the start of a series of podcasts featuring key persons from International Networks for ICT in education.
The podcast is available here: http://blog.eun.org/is/podcast/ more episodes will regularly be added to this podcast channel.
A complete report for the event will be published shortly.