Moodle’s mobile capabilities were featured at UNESCO’s Mobile Learning Week – UNESCO’s flagship ICT education conference at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
We sit down to talk with Bob McDonald, one of our Education team members, about his UNESCO presentation with Solange Lalonde and ask some questions about how Moodle Mobile’s capabilities are essential to promoting digital skills.
Moodle HQ: Bob can you tell us a little bit about how you see Moodle supporting UNESCO’s sustainable development goals?
Bob: According to UNESCO’s 2017 Report on the State of Broadband,only about 48% of households across the globe have access to internet. Mobile networks offer greater connectivity in underserved regions.We are really proud of the work from the Moodle mobile team and the way they have brought 100% of Moodle’s learner experience to devices. It seems really natural to talk about this at UNESCO’s event highlighting quality education for all learners made possible with mobile devices.
Moodle HQ: From an educator’s perspective, what does mobile learning change?
Bob: It changes access. Learners can be located almost anywhere and have a complete learning platform in their pockets. Access has always determined who gets to learn. In our UNESCO presentation, I highlighted how Moodle was born out of a desire to create access to the many. It feels good to share with the UNESCO audience the ways Moodle empowers teachers and learners around the globe every day.
Moodle HQ: What Moodle access stories did you share?
Bob: I referenced Moodle’s role in UNESCO’s partnership with Rwanda’s School of Open and Distance Learning to teach over 100 university professors to design online classes. USAID and Oxfam both use Moodle to train staff and support sustainability initiatives. I also mentioned World Vision’s use of Moodle to support front-line staff in 15 countries supporting 35,000 smallholder farmer households. I am always proud to be connected to Moodle and to talk about the incredibly important work people do with it.
Moodle HQ: Following our conversation with Solange last week, how do you see Moodle’s mission of “Empowering educators to improve our world” aligning with UNESCO’s sustainable development goals?
Bob: I have been part of the Moodle ecosystem of open source Moodle and the Moodle Partner companies that support it since 2004. Sustainability has always been the magic sauce in this ecosystem. How can you empower learners? How can you empower educators? How can you empower schools and businesses? How can you empower the companies that help those institutions?
You always have to create win-win-win scenarios. Tricky stuff, but you do the hard work in the name of sustainability and access. Our job as educators is to reduce barriers to delivering sustainable access to learning resources. A lot of this work happens today. A lot more will happen in the future. I was glad to be able to spread that message at UNESCO.
Moodle HQ: Lastly, what role do you see Moodle having in ongoing support of UN sustainable development goals?
Bob: The focus of our presentation was a new curriculum that HQ has been designing. We’ve focused on “teaching with Moodle” which boosts an educator’s confidence in the software, as well as confidence in creating effective lessons online. Helping educators be more successful with their learners in their own contexts is really our ongoing mission. More global access, more local success, more sustainable learning.
Thanks for your time Bob and for representing Moodle at UNESCO.