Education for Sustainable Development Needs Virtual Mobility, Digital Literacy and Sense of Purpose

This week I’m attending the UNESCO Partners Forum in Paris, which is a great opportunity to learn and think about global challenges, especially the Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). You can reach me on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss any of the topics below. #access #infrastructure #technology policy #bandwidth #globalvirtualschool

  1. VIRTUAL MOBILITY: Global goals become real in local settings

Virtual mobility means the ability of a learner to virtually access places relevant to their studies, without physically leaving their home. It complements physical mobility; traveling on field trips or abroad to study.

Similar to the overall Internet access, virtual mobility is critical to education by providing students real-world experiences of local places and situations that build into their worldview.

2. DIGITAL LITERACY: Giving students a voice builds engagement

In addition to reading and writing, every student needs the basic skills to understand and express themselves though multiple forms of media: text, audio, video, images, and their combinations. Digital literacy does not aim at memorizing given information as much as continuously searching, critically evaluating, producing and presenting information. For example, a self-made virtual tour to a familiar place in the neighborhood gives students an opportunity to interpret the world around them and share it with others.

3. SENSE OF PURPOSE: Building networks for global collaboration

What do students need to be engaged and motivated in learning? They need a purpose. They need to find their place in this world. They need to feel part of their community. They need to be empowered to find solutions and fix things when they are broken. They need to feel that their contribution matters.

UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals introduce 17 topics for reorienting education and global collaboration. Every student should pick one that they feel personally connected to, and keep that goal as a light house throughout their studies — and their life.

Founder & CEO of ThingLink, education technology company for building visual learning environments in the cloud. Winner of UNESCO ICT in Education Prize.

Founder & CEO of ThingLink, education technology company for building visual learning environments in the cloud. Winner of UNESCO ICT in Education Prize.