Digital connectivity and use increased worldwide in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and this does not look to be slowing down any time soon. While this has brought new opportunities for many, according to UNESCO, it has also translated into increases in online harms, and it has highlighted difficult issues surrounding privacy and the handling of personal data. For the benefits of digital technologies in education and learning to be fully achieved, especially by the most vulnerable, the safety of everyone involved in education and learning, must be protected.
“Education for the most marginalised post‑COVID-19: Guidance for governments on the use of digital technologies in education” UNESCO EdTech Hub
Through this project COL is mobilizing new and innovative partnerships to provide opportunities for professional women in higher education and women policymakers to update their knowledge and skills on select education technologies and policies that will support safe and enabling online learning environments for all.
Through this project, COL is supporting digital leaders across the Commonwealth to share what they have learned with a wider audience, scaling up their important work to ensure safe and inclusive digital learning spaces.
The project also aims to develop breakthroughs in women and girls’ participation in ICT education and career pathways through leadership training, dialogue, ICT skills and policy education, research, and new resources.
In the course of these activities, participants will have the chance to learn about the innovative and insightful work of partners across the Commonwealth on safe and inclusive TEL, OER, ODL, as well as some of COL’s work on TEL.
Girls Coding for Common Wealth
Since the onset of COVID-19, activities have sprouted up around the Commonwealth to help girls to learn coding at home. COL is supporting partners to build digital and leadership skills online and in-person, including piloting innovative ways to teach digital literacy in communities who are lacking connectivity or electricity. These initiatives will inspire and contribute to the Commonwealth’s efforts to close gender digital divides through education.
COL organised a Pan-Commonwealth Training Programme on Women and Leadership in ODL to build the leadership capacity of mid-career women in ODL institutions. The initial three-day workshop in Penang, Malaysia in June 2018, provided training in different aspects of leadership to participants from 23 countries. The second workshop was organised in April 2019 to help build a network of role models and mentors who can provide ongoing guidance, encouragement and support to enable women leaders to realise their full potential; participants from 22 countries were in attendance.