Digital connection offers solutions and potential complications to inclusive education
As Senior Project Manager at UNESCO, Wisdom Weaver Noah Sobe, Ph.D. explores technological futures for human development, equality, and ethics. Noah is intimately involved with UNESCO’s efforts to transform the future of education through a new social contract for education.
What type of progress in education does Wisdom Weaver Noah Sobe, Ph.D. think we have made across the world?
“Long-term trends show that we have actually come a long way in education, in terms of access in terms of learning outcomes of gender equality. But, of course, that progress has been very uneven, and many of today’s gaps are based on yesterday’s exclusions and injustices. One in five children today in low-income countries and one in ten across the world are still out of school.”
How can technology enhance education and improve equal access to resources?
“Digital tools have been very useful as ways to promote communication between teachers, parents, and students, and also to bring parents into supporting their children’s learning in new ways. We need to remember that, alongside the digital being such a valuable communication tool, it’s a really valuable creation tool that students can create videos. It’s not just a matter of receiving things from the world, but it is the way of enabling people to put things out in the world.”
While there are many benefits to using technology in education, in terms of delivery, communication, and access, there are also ethical challenges. Why is monitoring technology so important to Noah, and how can technology contribute to inequality?
“We need strict data protections and to ensure ethical use of AI and algorithms to make sure that when they bring their predictive models, that’s not relying on reproducing existing stereotypes and systems of exclusion.”
What is the role of cultural diversity in managing technology and human development?
“[Technological innovation cannot supersede] other ways of knowing, for example: indigenous or low-tech, the ephemeral, the spiritual, non-commoditized forms of knowledge.”
According to Noah, as technology augments physical and distance learning, what is the role of digital tools in relation to real-life human experience and relationships?
“Digital technologies cannot and should not be allowed to replace schools. Learning cannot be fully displaced into virtual spaces—that is put forward as a lesson of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fully remote online schooling is a poor substitute for the positive learning environments that schools can provide. We really need to work on leveraging digital connectivity around enhancing access to knowledge.”
Resources from Noah Sobe’s talk “Reality of Digital Transformation in Education”
Manifesto for the Future of Education
34 Wisdom Weavers from 15 different countries gathered to reimagine the future of education, using the lenses of coaching, pedagogy, sustainability, technology, social transformation, and collaboration. These discussions inspired us to craft a call to action — a Manifesto for the Future of Education — that establishes a vision for transforming education around the world while integrating the practice of coaching as a catalyst for positive change.