UNESCO has selected mSchools among 170 projects from over 40 countries as one of the best public-private partnership programmes worldwide in mobile learning, digital transformation and inclusion.
«The fact that UNESCO has picked mSchools among so many different experiences proves that we are a solid reference programme, » says mSchools director Albert Forn.
With the title ‘Transforming the education landscape in Catalonia (Spain) through a systemic and inclusive mobile learning programme’, the mSchools programme is featured in UNESCO’s report on best practices in mobile learning as an example on how governments and schools can foster inclusive and effective learning in the digital era. The report was presented by UNESCO representatives during the 5th edition of the mSchools Changing Education Together seminar, celebrated at MWC Barcelona 19 on 28 February.
According to Valtencir Mendes, Project Officer at UNESCO, the mSchools programme shows that «a responsible use of mobile technologies in the classroom combined with a comprehensive set of activities can contribute to mainstreaming innovative pedagogies, student engagement, 21st century skills development and authentic learning. »
In its report, UNESCO emphasizes how mSchools has inspired teachers with a wide range of new learning methodologies, resources and materials, classroom experiences and teacher trainings, as well as the access to industry experts to improve students’ academic results and their employability. «Since its creation over 5 years ago, mSchools has helped teachers in dealing with both the students’ educational needs and the educational changes that society faces», Forn explains.
The report also analyses the Catalan educational context, in which the inclusion of mobile devices in schools is progressing slowly but steadily. According to UNESCO, 69.4% of children between 10 and 15 years of age use their smartphones on a daily basis. It’s a «lost opportunity for schools», UNESCO says, to forbid their use in the classroom. In this regard, Albert Forn makes a point: «With the introduction of mobile devices to new methodologies ─such as project-based learning, co-creation, design thinking or entrepreneurship─, students lead their own education and are deeply involved in the activities held in the classroom».
UNESCO concludes that the success of the mSchools programme is also supported by figures: during the school year 2017-2018, approximately 52,266 students and 3,363 teachers from 2,407 schools participated in the programme, with a very high satisfaction ratio among the teachers involved.
Lastly, the publication sets out what future challenges both the programme and the education sector face, namely the possibility of expanding the programme beyond Catalonia and how to prepare students of all ages to be the digital citizens of the future. The mSchools Director explains how these objectives go far beyond: «even though our initial target are mainly teachers working on technological and scientific areas, benefits are potentially higher to those professionals that are not used to work with technology in the classroom. Our challenge is to impact those teachers and help them enrich their teaching methods».