Consultation for the 2023 GEM Report on Technology and Education

Charitonos, Koula; Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes; Huxley, Sarah; Hedges, Claire; Law, Patrina; Power, Tom; Akyeampong, Kwame; Mwoma, Teresa; Al-Awidi, Hamid and Whitelock, Denise (2023). Consultation for the 2023 GEM Report on Technology and Education. The Open University.

Abstract

The 2023 UNESCO GEM Report focuses on the role of technology in education, examining the extent to which technology can catalyse the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal for education (SDG4): to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

The Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report is an editorially independent annual report hosted by UNESCO, which, since 2002, holds member states accountable for the progress made on educational commitments, more recently through the Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4). The process of writing a GEM Report begins with the development of a concept note which is further debated, critiqued, and developed through a series of national and regional consultations, together with a landscape analysis, an evidence review, and a suite of background papers from academics, universities, and organisations from around the world. This working paper is one such contribution. It is informed by a virtual consultation that was held at the Open University in November 2022.

The 2023 GEM Report concept note proposes the following questions as a starting point:
• What do we know about the role of technology in addressing each of the education challenges identified with regards to access, equity and inclusion; quality; technology development; and system management?
• What do we know about the potential negative impacts of technology on education challenges in each of these areas?
• How do countries facilitate access to technology to ensure there are no gaps between different learners and schools?
• How do education systems embed the use of technology through reforming curricula, redesigning learning materials and supporting teachers?
• How can the negative consequences of the use of technology be addressed in education and in the way they impact education?

Given the Open University’s pioneering history in providing open and distance learning, and its current position as a global leader in creating opportunities for all to participate in education, the consultation event centred on issues of access, equity and inclusion through reaching disadvantaged learners, reducing barriers and extending access to learning content but also the potential negative impacts of technology- supported programmes. This working paper summarises the key points of interest and recommendations that were raised in the consultation event at the Open University.

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