On 26 and 27 July 2023, the city of Montevideo, Uruguay, witnessed the long-awaited global launch of the 2023 GEM Report, a UNESCO initiative in partnership with the Uruguayan Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC) and the Ceibal Foundation. This highly significant event in the field of education brought together governments, experts, civil organisations and the private sector and teachers and young people from Latin America, the Caribbean and the rest of the world to reflect on and discuss the fundamental role of technology in education and explore solutions to current challenges. It was the first time in the history of the GEM Report that the global launch, a key milestone in the global education calendar, took place in Latin America.
ProFuturo appears in the 2023 GEM Report
The report highlights our Global Framework of Competence for Education in the Digital Age and the technology-assisted learning programmes implemented by ProFuturo in countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa, which provide more than 400,000 primary school teachers with tablets and computers pre-loaded with essential educational content.
It also highlights the programme applied in Luanda, Angola, which has been shown to have a significant impact on active teaching time and practice exercises, thus considerably improving the students’ learning (Cardim et al., 2021).
Moreover, in addition to acknowledging our programme in different areas, the cover photo of the 2023 GEM Report features a student from the Kanata T-Ykua school in Manaus (Brazil) who is developing her training with the digital content available on ProFuturo’s educational platform.
It’s an honour for us to visually illustrate the cover of the report with a true story from one of our areas of activity.
ProFuturo travelled to Montevideo, Uruguay, to take part in the report’s launch event by means of the presence of ProFuturo managing director Magdalena Brier on the panel titled “Learning, data and intelligent systems”, sharing the stage with renowned speakers such as Wayne Holmes, professor at the UCL Knowledge Lab at University College London, and Leandro Folgar, chairman of the Ceibal Foundation.
During her speech, Ms Brier addressed two fundamental issues related to the integration of technology into education. Firstly, she stressed that the challenges we face aren’t merely technological ones, as they also constitute the essence of education. To achieve educational improvements through technology, it’s vital to transform the way we teach and learn, placing children centre stage in their learning process and connecting them with their environment.
Ms Brier also underlined that the sustainability of the educational model lies in empowering the educational community, including teachers, management teams and families. “Excellence is possible in all teachers, regardless of the environment they find themselves in, as long as the means at their disposal are adequate”, in other words, the pedagogical and didactic ones.
Finally, she addressed the issue of cost and the limitations in technology that exist when we refer to guaranteeing digital education in vulnerable contexts. Investments in technology should be regarded as investments in education. Only by properly coordinating all the pieces in the puzzle can real systemic change be achieved.
After the above speech and numerous other ones the conclusion was reached that only by appropriating this vision will institutions and countries be able to ensure that technology is a truly effective tool for improving the quality of education and that the digital world doesn’t create division as the socio-economic gap does but rather provides a means of reducing it.
The 2023 GEM report reflects on the main findings and recommendations on the role of technology in education and draws the following conclusions:
- Major technological advances, particularly in the realm of digital technology, are rapidly transforming the planet.
- Over the last 20 years, students, teachers and institutions have broadly adopted digital technology tools.
- The adoption of digital technology has led to numerous changes in education and learning.
- The extent to which technology has transformed education needs to be debated.
- Paying too much attention to technology in education often comes at a high cost, although education is unlikely to be as relevant without digital technology.
- Clear objectives and principles are required to ensure that the use of technology is beneficial and prevent any potential harm.
The global launch of the 2023 GEM Report has aroused major expectations, and its conclusions and recommendations are expected to constitute a valuable contribution as we move towards more inclusive, equitable and effective education with suitable integration of technology. By means of its participation in the event, ProFuturo has significantly helped to visualise the importance of laying the foundations for a promising and transformational future.
You can download the 2023 GEM Report here
You can view the executive summary here
You can learn more about the GEM Report here