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[liberationtech] Call for Proposals for the UNESCO Mobile Learning Week

Yosem Companys companys at
Tue Sep 11 22:09:37 PDT 2012

From: Steve Vosloo <stevevosloo at>


Please consider posting the Call for Proposals for the UNESCO Mobile
Learning Week -- below or at

Steve Vosloo
UNESCO Programme Specialist

Call for Proposals:
UNESCO Mobile Learning Week

18-22 February 2013
Mobiles for literacy, education quality and gender equality

UNESCO is currently inviting proposals to present at Mobile Learning
Week 2013 (MLW).  This important event will be hosted at the
organization’s headquarters in Paris, France from 18-22 February 2013.

Presenters will have an opportunity to address an international
audience of mobile learning experts, high-level education policy
makers, and individuals from relevant NGOs and corporations.

To submit a proposal, please review the themes and submission
guidelines below.  We also encourage you to refer to the website for
the First UNESCO MLW which was held in 2011.

UNESCO looks forward to receiving your proposal and would like to
thank you in advance for your time and participation.


Presentations for MLW 2013 should relate directly to one or more of
the following themes, which stem from UNESCO’s Education for All (EFA)

Mobiles for Literacy:
According to the latest data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics,
approximately 793 million adults lack basic literacy skills, almost
one fifth of the world’s adult population. Nearly two-thirds of these
people are women and most live in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
Literacy levels for millions of children are also disturbingly low.
As in the adult population, illiteracy disproportionately affects
females and is concentrated in specific geographic regions.  UNESCO is
committed to understanding how mobile devices—either alone or in
combination with other information and communication technology (ICT)
and education initiatives—can support the literacy development of
adults and children.

Presentations focused on this theme should showcase innovative case
studies or research that explores how mobile technology is being used
(or might be used) to support literacy development.  Presentations can
also highlight particular policies and practices capable of supporting
progress in this area.

Mobiles to Support Teachers and Promote High-Quality Education
The need to train high-quality teachers is urgent.  In order to meet
the EFA goal of providing universal primary education, the world needs
to train and employ an additional 5.4 million teachers by 2015.
Compounding this numerical challenge are concerns surrounding teacher
quality.  Data collected by the UN has shown that a large number of
teachers are unqualified or underprepared to meet the educational
demands of the twenty-first century.  Far from being evenly
distributed, teacher shortages and deficits in teacher quality are
most urgent in communities confronting other difficulties, including
high unemployment, poverty, unreliable infrastructure, and political

Conversations about ICT in Education sometimes overlook the key role
played by teachers in learning processes.  For this reason, UNESCO
wishes to explore, directly rather than as an afterthought, how mobile
technologies can (or might) support teachers and contribute to their
professional development.

Presentations on this theme should illustrate how mobile technologies
can help ensure that teachers who work with students are skilled and
empowered professionals.

Mobiles for Gender Equality in Education
For every 100 boys in school in Afghanistan there are just 66 girls.
In Somalia gender inequality is even more severe, with only 55 girls
in school for every 100 boys.  Despite important progress in gender
parity, educational opportunities for men and boys and women and girls
are often inequitable.  Had the world achieved gender equality at the
primary level in 2008, there would be an additional 3.6 million girls
in school today.

While the primary global challenge with respect to gender parity is
making education more accessible and inclusive of women and girls,
increasingly men and boys are not taking advantage of educational
opportunities at the same rate as females, especially at the secondary
and post-secondary level.  The 2012 UNESCO World Atlas of Gender
Equality in Education explains that “whereas the challenge of gender
equality was once seen as a simple matter of increasing female
enrolments, the situation is now more nuanced.”

In light of this data, UNESCO hopes to understand how mobile
technologies can help ensure that all people—women and men, girls and
boys—have full and equal access to education of good quality.

In addition to gender gaps in education, a gender gap also exists in
the ownership and use of mobile devices.  On average, fewer women than
men own mobile phones in low- and middle-income countries.  This gap
is primarily attributed to the total cost of ownership of mobile
devices, technical literacy, and cultural barriers that discourage or
prevent some women and girls from owning or using mobile technology.
UNESCO wishes to explore how some of these challenges be overcome to
ensure that women and girls have full access to mobile learning

Presentations on this theme should share the best examples of
achieving gender equality through the use of mobile technologies.

Selection for presentations

A review panel comprised of UNESCO members and participating
organisations will review submitted presentations. Specifically the
panel will be looking for presentations that:
Have topical relevance to the themes of MLW 2013.
Advance cutting-edge research.
Describe innovative pilot projects that can be replicated elsewhere.
Introduce new project approaches and designs.
Explicate valuable lessons learned.
Share projects with implications for mobile learning policies.
Presentations in English, Spanish or French will be accepted.

Format of presentations and proposal template

Presentations should last 15 minutes with an additional 5 minutes for
questions and answers. PowerPoint presentations as well as other
audiovisual materials are welcome. UNESCO encourages presentations
that involve interactivity and engagement. The organization hopes that
presenters will involve the audience in dialogue and utilize the
expertise of collected participants. Live demos of mobile learning
initiatives are especially encouraged.

To submit a presentation proposal please use the template below and
email it to mlw at with the subject line MLW 2013.  To be
considered, presentations must be received by UNESCO on or before
midnight Paris time, 15 October 2013.

Proposal template (English) -

Important dates

Call for Proposals      1 September
Proposals due to UNESCO By 15 October
Notification of selected presenters     15 November
Presenters to confirm attendance        22 November
Draft presentations due 15 December
Final presentations due 15 January
UNESCO MLW      18-22 February
Thank you for your interest in participating in the MLW.

Please note that although there are no registration fees for MLW 2013,
presenters and participants will be responsible for all costs
associated with attendance.

Contact Information
For any enquiries related to the MLW please contact us at mlw at
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