UNICEF LearnIn Initiative was created to support countries in Europe and Central Asia Region to enable ALL students to continue learning during the COVID-19 crisis and BEYOND, by improving capacity, tools and infrastructure to transform learning and support education systems.
The goal of LearnIn is to grow the capacity of teachers and all others involved in learning (school principals, pedagogues, psychologists, parents, NGOs) to learn and create high-quality learning experiences for their students. This includes personalized and collaborative learning in the online environment and learning in the classroom environment (as direct and blended learning). To enable this pedagogical practice, technology plays a crucial role by providing both the tools and the environment, and education policy and administration at school, local and national level provides the overarching enabling environment.
The starting point for LearnIn is to assess the country-level needs, culture, priorities, resources, and expertise. LearnIn will use this assessment as the basis for designing culturally-sensitive and relevant solutions for each participating country., LearnIn will also reconcile with and complement existing initiatives supported by the ministries of education and/or partners.
¶ Role and Responsibilities
Given the purpose, the goals, and the long-term vision for the LearnIn initiative, establishment of a LearnIn National Task Force (NTF) in each country is critical for coordination of LearnIn activities at the country level. Roles and responsibilities of the NTF are outlined below:
- Participate in all relevant activities initiated by the LearnIn’s Regional Task Force
- Coordinate and manage LearnIn-related activities at the country-level, in collaboration with the leads of each of the communities of practice responsible for the different LearnIn components (Pedagogy, Policy and Administration, Technology)
- Ensure linkages between the three components (Pedagogy, Policy & Administration, Technology) with the goal to strengthen the national education system
- Lead country-level needs assessment efforts to inform the design of customized solutions
- Mobilize stakeholders and partners to harmonize ongoing initiatives in distance/online learning, as well as all other initiatives related to teacher education, curriculum development, assessment, and introduce new initiatives.
- Ministry of Education Lead on distance/online learning and teacher education / curriculum and representatives from related education institutions
- Universities for Teacher Education, and/or other major teacher education providers (schools, NGOs)
- Technology lead in the Ministry of Education or related institutions and organizations
- Parental organizations
- Ministry of Education representative from analytical units or similar structures
- Major partners/donors involved in distance/online learning and related areas
The main role of the NTF is to provide structure and means, initiate the communities of practice (CoPs) and empower them to become independent. We recommend each NTF to consider the following steps for each CoP**:
- Create a clear description of the community purpose for all three communities, meaningful to the respective field (Pedagogy, Policy and Administration, Educational Technology).
- Appoint coordinators for each community and one for the needs assessment.
- Create a short-list of candidates to be the first community members for each group and contact them. This could include participants from the ministry of education and other government institutions, from schools, Universities, NGOs, startups and other partners.
- Create initial procedures and rules of the CoP for the community members regarding community interaction.
- Get familiar with the technical platforms and select tools appropriate for discussion, collaboration and exchange for each community.
- Support and empower the communities as they form by organizing, managing, and disseminating information and activities.
- Consider recruiting “LearnIn Ambassadors”, i.e. personalities who have a wide recognition in their respective communities (Pedagogy, Policy & Administration, Educational Technology), but who don’t have the time to be active members or coordinating the CoPs themselves yet can advertise the CoP.
* Members of the National Task Force should be preferably English speaking.
** The work of the NTF and CoPs will be supported by UNICEF ECARO and UNICEF country offices