Supporting distance teaching and learning
To minimize the disruption caused by school closures, many governments and institutions have turned to distance education to maintain teaching and learning. Yet, even for teachers in countries with reliable information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure and household connectivity, the rapid transition to distance teaching has been challenging.
The Teacher Task Force facilitates knowledge generation and sharing on teacher policy and practice and supports exchanges between education stakeholders and teachers on the new ways of inclusive hybrid teaching. Here are some of the projects that we are supporting.
The Caribbean and Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
In the Caribbean region, available data show that nearly 7 million learners and 91,710 teachers in 23 countries have been affected by school closures due to COVID-19.
To address these unprecedented disruptions, the Distance Learning and Teacher Training Strategies in the Caribbean SIDS project was designed to improve teacher training in digital skills providing high-quality distance and blended learning training to 10,000 teachers in 20 Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Based on a train-the-trainer model with resources to a self-sustained professional development program, it aims to increase access to professional development opportunities for teacher educators, teachers, inspectors and educational community leaders through a coordinated regional approach to design, deliver and maintain quality online learning resources. The project trained over 10,000 teachers in three cohorts between June and October 2021.
Through UNESCO's Global Education Coalition, a multi-sectoral education coalition to protect the right to education during COVID-19, this project was made possible with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and in partnership with Blackboard and UNESCO. UNICEF Jamaica also joined the project to train 5,000 teachers in Jamaica. The TTF supported knowledge exchange as well as sharing the lessons learned in different regions. Additionally, members of the TTF network in the region acted as reference group of the project, reviewing the content and involving national teachers in the programme.
A second component of the project aims to support the development of quality distance education in Peru through the improvement of a course for migrants and refugees, girls and boys – mostly from Venezuelan displaced families. This aims to promote access to a learning platform with content that will be tailored to their needs.
23 September 2021 join the Teacher's Talk: Caribbean Teachers navigating the Digital Turn.
For more information, consult:
- the 2020 pilot initiative webpage,
- the launch event post,
- the teachers’ voices.
In July 2021, the TTF together with the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) and the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IIET) organized a high-level forum on teacher competencies in the digital revolution Reaching the Unreached. Read more here on the outcomes of it.
Teacher ICT education is a particular challenge in low-income countries. Across sub-Saharan Africa, just 64 per cent of primary and 50 per cent of secondary teachers, have met the national minimum training requirements to teach. In many countries, training seldom covers ICT skills adequately.
In 2022, the TTF is planning to facilitate the sharing of experiences and best practices working in synergy with other projects in sub-Saharan Africa. More information on this project will be available here soon.
GEM Report Consultation
In 2022, TTF members were part of a consultation to provide key input into the 2023 GEM Report on Education and Technology, which examines education challenges to which appropriate use of technology can offer solutions focusing on issues of access, equity, and inclusion in education, and how technology can help reach disadvantaged learners. Teachers are critical in this discussion as they face large and increasing demands to engage with technology in education and develop related competencies. The consultation, convened by the Teacher Task Force and the GEM Report looked into the way that education systems can support all teachers to teach, use and deal with technology effectively. Three main areas were discussed: i) barriers to access and equity, ii) teacher professional development and pedagogy, and iii) systemic support and collaboration. The report with the main takeaways from the discussion is available here.
COVID-19 a global crisis for teaching and learning – the digital divide
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