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IGF 2020 - Day 9 - WS212 Learn from Home During COVID-19

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the virtual Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), from 2 to 17 November 2020. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

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>> EDMON CHUNG: Let's get started.  Welcome, everyone.  This is Edmon Chung from DOTAsia and welcome to this session, Learn from Home During COVID‑19.  This is a topic where when we first submitted the workshop, of course, it's a new topic.  Now it's like a talk to death by now, anything to do with COVID‑19, we have to cover your ears to something.  But hopefully, what we want to really talk about here is not just reviewing what has happened and what to do right away, but also pointing towards the future.

Lots of things were done in the last half year, nine months or so, in response to COVID‑19, especially in terms of education and learning.  We are really excited to have a number of speakers with us, including Veronica Stefan, from Romania, and Tim Unwin from UNESCO, Rilla Gusela Sumisra from Indonesia and also from part of the Net Mission Ambassador Program from DOTAsia, very excited to see you here.  And also Paola Galvez from Latin America, and to share with us different experiences about how the response from the education sector has been during COVID.

As a parent of two kids, one just into grade one and one getting to grade three, it has been a very difficult time, I could tell you, to suddenly have them always at home.  I always miss them but it's very tough for a parent working to have kids at home all the time.  So this is also, this particular topic, I hope to ‑ besides the Panel Discussion, really hoping this is a topic that we almost know by heart by now and hope to engage in open dialogue.

This is also a topic that was discussed in the Asia‑Pacific Regional IGF.  So this is sort of a following on a series that the Net Mission Ambassadors and DOTAsia, we have been promoting.  Here is some takeaways from the discussion from the Asia‑Pacific Regional IGF.

There was a lot of highlight on how we implement and how different education institutions implemented the on‑line learning, very much ad‑hoc to start with.  Everyone was trying to shuffle and adapt.  And then after the summer, especially in the northern hemisphere ‑‑ sorry to talk about Summer or Winter that way ‑‑ but after the initial outages, if you will, coming into September a lot of things changed.  A lot of schools were much more ready.  But then a lot of the inequalities and the social infrastructure starts to show.  When most of the students are expected to get on line, things started ‑‑ other types of issues started happening.  Internet connectivity, physical infrastructure that supports it, the digital divide within the classroom, even the situation where your background, maybe it shows that you're home is in a very crowded area or those types of issues become a kind of issue that needs to be looked at.

Of course education‑wise, the loss of physical, non‑verbal cues within the education programs.  But then also discovering that education programs can be disseminated through on line platforms.  That really challenges educators to a number of things.  Here is some of the conclusions that we came up with in the Asia‑Pacific Regional IGF session.

Teachers really need guidance and documentation on how to use these technologies.  They have been working ad‑hoc and trying to figure things out but if this is going to go on and if we look at a future where digital support for education is part of the future, that is going to be important.  How we approach it, the utilization of them, and really to rethink what we ‑‑ we often talk about the new normal these days.  What would be the new‑new normal post‑COVID, afterwards?

The next pandemic ‑‑ hopefully not ‑‑ or post‑COVID back to normal, what we have learned today in form us for the future.  So those are some of the things that hopefully we will touch on.  But before I pass it on to our first speaker, this is what it looks like in my kid's classroom today, which is really interesting.

Usually you would have a bunch of kids with tables and stuff and most ‑‑ this is a setting where it's back in my days, which is like 30 years ago ‑‑ well, sorry, 40 years ago ‑‑ when I was in grade school.  This is the setting of the classroom.  Nowadays usually classrooms are in little clusters and groups.  This is not your typical classroom but now they are back to this.  They are back to doing this.  But not only that, it's more.  Look at all the barriers that are surrounding each of the kids.  That's a very interesting time.  I think this is a very interesting time in the entire education system that we are looking at.  And hopefully this session will lead us into, not only talking about what happened in the last nine months battling COVID, but leading towards what the future might look like for education with that learning and with that infrastructure in place.

So, without further adieu, let me have our first speaker.  I'll go by the list I have here with Veronica first and then Tim and Rilla and Paola.  So I'll pass the time to Veronica who will talk a little bit about her research in terms of the digital behaviors and the youth in terms of inclusion and in response to COVID.  Veronica?

>> VERONICA STEFAN: Thank you.  Thank you to all of you for being here and for having the patience to go in a debate about education.  I'll be honest.  I think if I am to share a perspective, we are talking a lot but it's also that we might remember the wrong side of history in a certain way because it's like we are just discovering that on line education is a thing, first of all, and we can do it.  So of course we are forced about the circumstances but so many things could have been foreseen or anticipated a little bit.  So probably this is the food for thought for all of us and it is the way we prioritize digital issues and digital learning as a whole, as a process, as an organized structured process.  So it's not just accidental as it is right now.

I'm also afraid about inflation about digital everything and not so much sure that actually digital is reflected in any recent policies.  So short‑term programs and projects that we can see and know structural change that is can anticipate at least what is happening in one or three years from now.  With this in mind, I believe it's always good to start from the data we have.

Just brief introduction about me.  I'm basically in Romania but I do work for many years now International context.  I have been working with the UNICEF for 15 years and let's say lately I have been working with the Youth Mission with the Consulate and European agencies a little bit as well to frame a little bit and have a better in‑depth analysis and understanding how youth participate in the new digital world.

But the data I put here is the data that we already knew.  So based on this data in 2017, and this is of course gross data from the countries we do have certain sets of data.  It's not comprehensive.  We know about 71% were connected to Internet to a certain extent.  And that was much more than the overall population.  Since I'm from Europe and I will be talking about it, it is important to know that here the connect activity is way much better.  So at least in terms of Internet usage we already have young people connecting about 97% quite often.  So at least a couple of (?) and world population was really great.  But here is the data that I never understand why is not reflecting in national policies and sometimes the European institutions framework.  That is the skills.  And we imagine I come from Romania and Romania ranks the lowest.  So we range between Croatia in terms of expense.  More than 90% and for Romania which barely goes about 50%.  So the difference is at least if we add with the U.K. and Nordic countries, the situation is not any better.  So definitely some things could be differently and I have worked on research on youth utilization and inclusion and also of fun fact, we started working on this last year because digital was becoming the priority.  We never knew the crisis was coming.  But the data is rather important.

So you remember, 95% of young people use Internet daily.  What do you know?  I'm happy we have our representatives here because their global monitoring tool show at the peak 91% of the world learners have been impacted by lockdown.  It didn't help anything.  And here the discussion should break a little bit because access to technology and Internet and what else is behind that?  What was, at least these obstacles were not at the centre of the problem because they were also part of the solution in the future.

And these are the details I like us to have in mind.  We are talking about on‑line learning but it is not on‑line learning.  This was distance learning.  We improvised everything with the tools we had available.  But this is not on‑line learning.  And I stress that because on‑line learning has methodology.  That is learning objectives and it has a different way of happening.  We didn't do that.  We haven't trained our teachers.  We haven't trained our youth workers or educators to be able to deliver this.  They are simply improvising so distance learning is the best that describes it.

And young people connected to Internet, some of them consider well skilled but how are they using the technology?

That should have been a sign so long time before.  So this is data for 2019, just 5% were using for on line education.  30% for civic engagement.  But they were using it a lot for social media and entertainment and some of them, and this is quite considerable for health information or applying for jobs, but at the same time we were missing many other things.  And the education on line should have been right there.  High on the radar.

And then we go deeper and the deeper part is, the one should concern us because this divides, these are inequalities that exist between my countries and highest level developed.  Imagine about us looking at the entire world from Asia to Africa to Europe to Latin America and so forth.  Young people and probably all of us were not actually designed for technology.  We have been suppressed by this technology and that's why mental health became quite an issue.  The issue would have been as well if we at least, as much as we could have through the services we created, could have provided support for this and the interesting research.  We are trying to map some models, some practices of organizations and people who have done a little bit on this because this services could have been at least for half of the population that was connected to the Internet.  70% of young people.

The loneliness, risk of suicide, learning and working from home is really concerning and domestic violence, especially for children, very young people and women.  So these realities should be concerning for us.

Then of course we did survive in this world.  And I think this is important to be remembered that we have survived with little ‑‑ next to nothing organized health because some other things were in place.  And even for ‑‑ remember 95% have access to Internet almost constantly but how many of them were able to work remotely?  Less than half because also many of them were affected by job losses, not just they had the possibility tow work remotely but also because jobs were disappearing.  And this is effects that will haunt us in the long run.  But also because we have been through another crisis and we can see the numbers already and anticipate the policies.  So my mission today is to say all of this data have been there before it is now, what we do with it now.  Not three years from now.

In terms of platforms.  This is also research I have done.  Zoom is the winner followed by Microsoft, Google, again available to all of you.  But it is important to say these platforms like this one we are using right now, they are not educational platforms.  They are not job management platforms.  They are communication platforms.  But that was missing a lot, especially for educators because the content was not there.  It was a tool and it's a tool that we have been using a bit too much.

And I would like to highlight some other things as well because we were living at home and learning and working, it also means being exposed to all sorts of content and the content was challenging here because it's clear that young people have been affected.  And this admitting that we are discussing now about data that we have identified through on‑line research but on‑line research in itself is limiting in terms of who responds to that.

The fact that young people, a quarter of them, identified that they are being influenced by the news and sources of information it's quite challenging.  And I will not go into the safety and security issues but I do think that what we can learn from now on, is that we need a more inclusive approach to education, to developing digital competence but also more standardized work.  I have included here two frameworks.  One developed by UNESCO some time ago and another by the European Commission who looked in the entirety of what digital skills, media, information, so on and so forth.  We need to discuss about that.  We didn't discuss this before.  We are discussing about digital inclusion.  It is a core matter of access and that has to be cognizant and universal, right?  So I still hope that even we'll take onboard at least this recommendation and create the space or maybe regulation on that, access and universal free access to Internet.  But then on how we work on skills we have to have an understanding because otherwise opportunities will be lost in the future.

So these are my initial findings and I do not want to continue more because I would like to have more time to share feedbacks.  I'm feeling these realities will be extrapolated to different communities and countries.  They are not so new but it was a highlight.  In one of those very developed regions, things were not so much improved because we were simply oblivious before that.  And that is on us. 

>> EDMON CHUNG: Thank you, Veronica.  It's very true.  Everyone was really adjusting.  We look at it and it looks like it's really encouraging for digital or Internet learning but in reality, we are just trying to ad‑hoc and not really utilizing to the full extent what can be achieved and that seems to be something that is interesting.  So that flows very nicely into Tim and what UNESCO and Veronica mentioned about the UNESCO framework as well.  I now pass the time to Tim who is from UNESCO and maybe share with us a more macro‑view on how this is happening as well.  Tim?  Tim, you're muted.

>> TIM UNWIN: Sorry about that.  It's just been ‑‑ actually, I should say UNESCO and its relationship is complex but nothing I say represents UNESCO.

We were asked a whole list of questions that Jenna prepared and so what I'm going to do is pick on two of those questions and just say two or three things about each of them.  But to liven things up a bit, let's go into a school in northern Tanzania.  Here we are.  So this is the world in which we are talking about.

The first question I want to just say a few words about really builds on what Veronica was saying, which is what's the rule of multi‑stakeholders in the implementation of learning from home?  And I should say it's wonderful to be with such young people.  I was programming in the early 70s and my kids are 32, 29 and 29.  So one is a teacher and his wife is a teacher.  Anyway, but lots of insights.

So three points about multi‑stakeholder.  The first is, I think it's incredibly depressing how many people have gone on the ed tech bandwagon through COVID‑19 and the amount of funding that has gone into initiatives that actually the thing they were meant to solve hadn't been designed but they are being paid tens of thousands of dollars to do it already.  There has been huge wastage in the system.

91% at the peak of COVID at the start of April.  And that went down to 57% to the end of May and it's only on the 13% today.  This hiatus is short‑term.  And you mentioned is it going to last afterwards?  I think it is.

Under this multi‑stakeholder umbrella, we need to identify the different roles and very, very briefly, just some thoughts.  I believe passionately governments have to take the lead on ensuring that means terrible inequalities that are caused by digital tech are reduced.  And my interest is with like the kids here, some of the most marginalized.  These children are in places where there is no electricity.  You could go to a school in Pakistan where actually it's only boys at school.  The girls aren't at school here.

So the most marginalized don't have access.  And actually, learning has continued for the most marginalized much as it has been for their whole lives.  So governments have to take a lead in doing something.  They have to have vision.  International agency is key in sharing good practices, donors giving a bit of program on them already, but they have to fund things that are appropriate and I think a key thing is not the latest idea.  We know what works in the use of digital in tech and that is what should be funded.

Private Sector crucial role.  Innovative and also enabling things that are sustainable.  If a business doesn't sustain itself, it's going to be bust.  Teachers, and I'll come back to them briefly at the end, learning to be more adaptive.  Families, communities, Civil Society, supporting learners.  And the learners themselves and learners being encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning.

So very briefly, many different stakeholders working together can provide solutions.

I'd like just very briefly, Veronica shared some of her findings.  This is also partly for you Marcel.  We have been working over the last six months or so to develop a report on how education and using technology can use the interest of the most marginalized.  And I just like to sort of focus in on the five green points in the middle.  I think these go some way to the solution.  It needs to be a whole society approach.  We have got to have infrastructures for education.  We have to be ‑‑ if relook up here, content‑specific in both the technologies and the content.  We have to ensure that there are appropriate pedagogies and this point that Veronica mentioned about safe and secure, terribly important because if ‑‑ we have horrendous examples of where children, particularly girls, are being incredibly badly treated and harassed and abused in learning on line.

So just thoughts about multi‑stakeholders.  The second question that you asked me or asked us to talk about, Jenna, was question 5.  How is the pandemic redefined the role of educators in society?  I think that's absolutely crucial and just three reasons why.  I think from all I hear in difficult parts of the world, one biggest impacts that ‑‑ Edmon, I'm not sure if you're going to agree with this, but biggest impacts of COVID‑19 related to educators, is the huge respect that families, grandparents and parents now have for teachers because they realize just how tough it is to train their children.

I think we have to use that moment to go back to what we have known all along.  And this is really my second point.  We have to train teachers in the use of digital tech and Veronica, not in using off‑suites and software, but how to use this amazing kit and resources are available on it, to empower and enable young people and also with vocational training, older people, to learn.  So it's not just giving them digital skills but enabling them.

Look at this amazing teacher in China.  The digital techs there but he is here ‑‑ this was taken before COVID.  But I love it because the tech is there but he is actually here working with the children, one of those groups of tables you were talking about.

So respect for teachers.  I'm just shocked over and over again when I see laptops, tablets, digital in the schools but not into the teacher training colleges.

This is my second point.  Stories in some parts of the world, I have been hearing stories of how teachers are trying to teach as they are doing classrooms with Blackboard but using WhatsApp on their mobile phone.

That doesn't make sense.  So train teachers appropriately.  Give them the skills not just learning office.

And then finally and again in response to some of the comments on the chat, and maybe to disagree with you a bit Veronica because I'm old and have been doing this for 50 years ‑‑ almost.  But we know what works.  We are on a continuum.  And the first time I was in Africa working on digital in schools was more than 20 years ago.  We know what works.  We know how to do it.  And COVID has accentuated those trends.  It's being used as an opportunity particularly by the Private Sector who were making huge fortunes out of it.  And I'm not really serving the interest of the poor and mismarginalized.

We can be much more positive and we can rethink education for the future and using digital, and make sure that in the future, when something else like this happens, or in countries where there is a tsunami or earthquake, that disrupts education, we can move seamlessly into new resilient education systems that use digital technology to serve the interest of everybody, and not just the rich.  Perhaps I can leave you with a wonderful cartoon by a superb Indian cartoonist.

This is a running track and here you can see the rich young boy with his laptop and Wi‑Fi and connectivity leaping ahead and the title is on line education.  But here, we see somebody immersed in poverty who has an old textbook and is being left further and further behind.  So thank you for the opportunity to share very briefly some ideas with you.

>> EDMON CHUNG: Thank you, Tim, and hopefully this story ends more like the hare and the tortoise where the tort us has the opportunity to overtake.  But in real life, we know it's much harder.  But what you mentioned about teachers and the appreciation for teachers is really interesting.  I certainly actually very much agree.  I really hope school continues.  We are in Hong Kong right now and we have schools, back to school about a month ago and hopefully that can continue but we are looking at potentially third, fourth waves coming in as well.

What you highlighted in terms of the ‑‑ it's a gradual process.  It's not something that suddenly happened.  We certainly have learned over the past 10‑15‑20 years leading us to here.  But I still think this is an opportunity as you said, because this is now headline news and how we really capture that is going to be something that will really change the course of history because the last 20 years, we have been struggling, really struggling to get this to become mainstream and now we have an opportunity.

With that, I go to Rilla who will talk to us about the Indonesian experience and also from a youth perspective.  So Rilla?

>> RILLA GUSELA SUMISRA: Thank you very much.  Maybe I would like to share my screen.  So, thank you very much.  I'm Rilla from Indonesia.  It is illegal to promote understanding and positive use of Internet in Indonesia.  And also I'm working at the (?) so automation system and software and so on.  So first of all, I would like to say thank you for the people behind me.  So actually when we heard about IT fails ‑‑ there is a lot of job descriptions and various positions.  So maybe the Haitians or so on, we did the team work to provide digital solutions that can be used today.

The best quote of 2020, and we already know about that.  And the first is, I'd like to talk about digital infrastructure.  Actually, in this year, it's really hard for me as a technical company because we get a lot of requests and demands but at the same time, we are very thankful because we can help everyone with our skill and so on, even I'm really happy to see that President of Indonesia said that he will give the Internet reach to the remote areas.  It's really great for me.  And even I travel to other cities in this area and it's really great experience to help the others to know and to ‑‑ can use the Internet.

And the next is, the practices now, for example like the Internet package.  We have to separate.  For example, like 15 gigabytes and the same gigabytes is for the media conference and then the 5 gigabyte is for the other.  And it's easier for students and even for the workers because mostly we use this App.  And because all of the mobile providers have a partnership with the government and Ministry of Education Indonesia gives subsidy like Internet tech package for students.  So the teacher will register the student's phone number and then they can use the Internet for access Zoom, Google Classroom, and the Best Practice that happens in Indonesia right now.

My brother is in senior high school and he still do on‑line learning.  Okay, it is the learning management system.  So this App is really famous in Indonesia and it provides additional lessons for students and also they help the government to give the skills to the students, to the first graduate because it is really important for them to get the knowledge and to get the active knowledge by these Apps.

I have some learning management system for some schools.  What I have learned is we have to listen and understand what are needs.  We don't have to provide all the features and things like that, but we have to listen about, so because this school or maybe the institutions have different goal, different conditions.  For example like they want to have on‑line chat and on‑line call feature for the students because basically Indonesia in junior high school and senior high school, we have a counseling teacher like psychologist or psychology scholars to help them maintain mental health, like that.  It's also the key points of last month.

For the general, Best Practice is, I think like microlearning, like we have to make the small modules to make them not really stress about, there is a lot of things to learn and so on.  So we can give them the Best Practice of this.  And for the interactivity, the UI/UX and gamification, what is important is on demand.  So for example, maybe the elementary student need it because like on math it needs gamification so they were not bored about lessons.  But maybe for University or so on, maybe have the different treatment.  And the last, mobile learning.

I have to ‑‑ for mobile learning, not all of the students have laptop so they just have a smartphone.  That's what happened in Indonesia for now.  So we have to ensure that they can access from smartphone and from laptop so can use anywhere.  And for the spaced repetition, it's kind of maybe we can include or leverage the algorithm so which, for example, like the students get the answer wrong or the right ones and we can focus on the wrong and we can give the situation again to repeat the questions to gain the memorization.

Next is the Best Practice like the other speakers said before.  Like user documentation and guide and training.  Not only effective for teacher or for the students but also for the agencies itself.  In my experience, I have to sometimes get (?) if there is no user recommendation or things like that, it is really hard for me or for the others to update the software system.  So it's really great practice like the user reputations.

Or for the user guide in the learning management system, we can make it kind of the user guide inside the system itself, like if we hover the feature then will pop up the functions and so on.  And we can implement by demand.

Improvement in Technical Community.  What happens in my country is the Ministry of our city provides official International (?) they have a partnership with Google and so on and it is really effective for graduate, for the worker to update your skills and to help because the demand of the IT people is higher than before because of this pandemic.  So this is a great improvement.

That is all from me.  Thank you very much.

>> EDMON CHUNG: Thank you Rilla and very interesting to see what is happening in Indonesia, especially the Technical Community, Educational and Technical Community, not just the grade school or secondary school.  But that is a very, not only niche but interesting and related to what we want to talk about here and what some of the challenges and opportunities there are.

So with that, I'll move to ‑‑ we heard from the European side, a little bit from the Asia‑Pacific side and now we pass the mic to Paola Galvez who will give us a little bit of perspective from the Latin America side.

>> PAOLA GALVEZ: Thank you and good morning, good afternoon and good evening to everyone.  It's great to be with you all today.  First of all, I want to thank the IGF Secretariat as well as my fellow Panelists and organizers for giving me the opportunity to participate in this important discussion.

Regarding the challenges and the limitations faced by the management of the schools and educations in my region, I must say that according to the World Economic Forum more than 154 million children are out of school due to COVID‑19.  Or about 95% of the enrolled students are temporarily out.

Students in more Developed Countries have moved to on‑line learning but data location is not an option for everyone and I see the audience has been discussing this on the chat.  And in a study carried out, concluded in many lack countries the children under 15 years old who are considered Internet users, is under 50%.  This result exposed the region's significant digital divide.  After this I will share on the chat the link to the study.

Also, the educational management and information systems study revealed that most of the countries in the Latin region do not have basic digital conditions and therefore they are not in a position to provide on line education to all students except the only country in the Latin region that has basic data conditions (?)

In early September, we had an informal debate about education from home and I had the pleasure to moderate.

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‑‑ reach as many students as possible.  The crisis has exacerbated widespread educational inequalities due to factors relating to gender, immigration, or learning difficulties and special needs.

Likewise, the learning from home experience affects the student teacher relationship that is so crucial for students access and I have seen leaders myself since I teach at the University of Lima and I can see that this year the relationship with my students is not as close as it used to be.  There is no doubt that even the best technologies cannot completely eliminate ‑‑

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‑‑ primarily based on the use of data technology, e‑mail, document sharing platforms.  The crisis has highlighted the need to develop teachers data literacy.  Many teachers still lack the required knowledge and it's just not to give them the platforms but to teach them how to use it and how to leverage those platforms.

There are disparities in teacher's abilities to integrate into instruction and transform their lessons into digital interface.  It has been a challenge for me even that I consider myself a geek person and young and actually an Internet native user.  It's been a challenge and it is still a process, but I believe with the right training from the University we will go through that.

Because at least in Peru, the on‑line education is mandatory until July 2021.

Another conclusion is that parents are experiencing difficulties in terms of their abilities and availability to support their children because they are working from home as well.  And of course as you mentioned, it is great to have kids at home, but they need parents and they need the parents to help them in their learning process and in the use of technologies and later on we will talk about the privacy challenges that are next to the situation.

This is also factor I like to bring into the discussion that parents are experiencing difficulties as well as teachers are.

Last but not least is students from more vulnerable context should be a priority in terms of crisis and it is the contents of this education with all students, especially those who come from more vulnerable context.

So, how did the governments in Latin America respond to the education crisis?  The administration incorporated different channels in order to facilitate teaching and learning.  In March, a broad consultation was organized to discover the initiatives programs that Latin‑American countries that were activated in response to the crisis.  By that time, all participants have been implemented.  Another repository of data resources.  In Peru we are using the Cloud thanks to the private support.  Or also a learning management system where a student could connect with their team.

Internet is not accessible for all.  One way government in Latin America are still attempting to avoid interruption of education and access for all children at home, including those without Internet access, radio and television instruction.

For instance, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and El Salvador governments have government programs on both television and public radio for students as well as through on line platforms.  In Peru, this channel is called, learning at home.  And it's great to see that also adults that didn't have the opportunity to finish school are now learning watching T.V.  That good news after this crisis.

Similarly, the workshops at the non‑profit organizations join efforts to deliver quality educational television content to children in this region.  The programming was made available to the mainstream of education and it will run until June 2021.  That's also great news from a multi‑stakeholder perspective because this is a joint effort between the public and private sectors.

In other countries such as Costa Rica, the government offered hard copies for resources for students who need to rely on their parents to collect physical copies because they don't have Internet access.  In Dominican, the government decided to increase public Wi‑Fi access as a result.  More than 1000 free public Wi‑Fi access points have been set up to facilitate resource distribution.  And as you have seen some governments work quick to take action and help secure students have a way to receive educational materials.

In spite of that, there is still significant gaps.  The education is a challenge for everybody.  I believe that in order to overcome the challenges of connect activity and warranty access to education for the region's most vulnerable populations, and later on in the discussion, I want to share where we see development opportunities I see in this new nor malty.  Thank you.  Looking forward to the discussion and questions.

>> EDMON CHUNG: Thank you.  And it's very important.   It's very important in terms of the digital divide issue and people and students having connection in order for education to work and also to not leave people behind.  One of the highlights I found interesting you touched upon that students can now learn, be learning watching T.V.  That's obviously very exciting for my kids.  Just a year ago we would be in this forum talking about how to limit screen time for kids.  And I'm looking at how to limit screen time but now I cannot ‑‑ there is no logical argument to say you're not supposed to look at your tablet for more than three hours because you're actually having school through that for five hours.  So now we have a challenge for pulling those devices out of kids hands.  So on who hand, we have an issue of digital divide, having devices to people.

On the other hand there is an interesting dynamic that, how do we ever get these devices out of some of the kids hands?

Now I would like to move to more interactive discussion with the ‑‑ with everyone participating here.  I'm excited to see a number of questions that are already in the Q&A box.  So I encourage everyone to put in your question through there.  I will be biased and whomever puts their hand up and is willing to speak up, you have the priority in my mind.  So please feel free to put up your hand and I'll pass the mic to you to ask the question or add to the discussion.

Put up your hand at any time because we'll keep the queue and no worries for whenever we are speaking.  You can still put your hand up and we'll come to you.

Both Tim and Veronica responded to this question.  But to me, this is a very core question to what the session really wants to talk about.  What does the future hold?  How do you see ‑‑ eventually hopefully fingers crossed, we will come out of this COVID.  We will come out of COVID.  And we will get back to whatever you call the old normal or new‑new normal.  We'll get out of this.  So how do you see going forward?  Will we really go back to the usual classroom settings?  And this is a question for all of the Panelists.  Do you see education going back to 2019?  And most of the teachers will forget all of the Zoom sessions and all the things that they learned?  And sigh a big sigh of relief and say, okay, fine, we are back to the usual.  Or do you see that there is a possibility beyond?  And we can really see almost like an augmented version of digital education on line, whether you call it remote learning ‑‑ is there a future where we would see a hybrid being developed?  And what are the key elements?  Is it technology and the digital divide issue?  Is it more of a management issue for schools?  Whose management decisions in or is this ‑‑ or must this be a government policy direction issue?  What does the future hold and how do you see ‑‑ whether we would see a hybrid or whether we would see us go back to the old normal.  Anyone want to jump in?

>> VERONICA STEFAN: Sure.  Well, tough question, I think on the mind of everyone.  I don't think there will be either.  First of all we should not go back.  We should not stay as we are either.  Also the hybrid, I think, has different understandings and practices even right now so I cannot assume it will be realistic to say we have one class of young people and another one staying on line ‑‑ I hardly have the feeling that will ever work.  But blending them and using on line tools, on line videos and materials complementary within the class and outside of the class, yes.  I think that should be the norm.

I'm including in my comments as well, we should not really have exclusively focus on technology and access.  But maybe even that should be prioritized or seconded fragmented in a way.  Either we focus on equipping all schools and then think also what is or could be outside of the schools that could have access to this infrastructure because I cannot expect that even by 2030 or 40 everybody home will have Internet access.  So I want to stay realistic and see what can be done in next year and two years from now.  So investing in infrastructure in schools, developing community centers where young people outside of the school can also get access to and then also creating a legal framework.  So if you don't have a legal framework that is it, digital skills are important for teachers, for employees in all sectors so they need to be reskilled and so on.  These things will happen by ear.  Everyone will do whatever they think and probably will lose more money.  So pushing for policy reforms now it should be the one thing to do at least.

>> EDMON CHUNG: That's very good.  So policy is a very important pillar.  Tim?  Rilla?  Paola?  You want to add to that?

>> TIM UNWIN: I tend to be very provocative.  I think one of the lessons we have definitely learned is even before COVID, digital technologies increase inequalities in the world.  I'm very against the use of the word, digital divide, because that implies it can be crossed.  It can't.  It's getting bigger and there are processes deliberately creating that.  So one thing is for sure, and if we use more digital in learning, those inequalities are going to increase; as that cartoon I showed emphasized.

Everything will depend on where we focus our attention.  It's going to be content‑specific.  We have to remember that there are tens of thousands of schools across Africa that don't have electricity and connectivity.  There are millions of children across the world who don't get near a school.  So all of these global initiatives connect every school, are actually increasing inequality because they are not concentrating on the needs and the lives of the poorest and the most marginalized.  People with Disabilities, children living on the streets, refugees.  The list is huge.

So I think that picture is driven by the interests of global capital who are making a huge amount of money out of digital tech.  And until we completely restructure that, we are not going to get much change.  And jumping long‑term, I don't know how far in the future you want to look, but I very seriously, and this is a provocative bit, believe the future ‑‑ people are working on creating chips to put in our brains, neural connections.  So all the knowledge you will need as a biorobot, semi‑human cyborg, will be chipped into you.  You can reboot, upload when you need to regrade to your new job.  Unless we are very, very careful, that is where the future is headed.  I said it was provocative.

>> EDMON CHUNG: Of course it depends on whose chip.  The Microsoft chip or the Apple chip?

>> TIM UNWIN: And who is doing the chipping.  Are the rich going to chip themselves for better life experience?  Or are they going to chip us just automated to do things.  That's also depending on ‑‑ that is really, really interesting question.  And I don't know the answer to that.  I think it will change over time.  But let's see.

>> EDMON CHUNG: And whether you get the Wikipedia in here or the bido Wikipedia in here.  But one of the things ‑‑ so I want to jump on this hopefully since you throw this provocative side, you're saying that this is going to increase inequality.  Is there a scenario where we can address this?  Obviously as an absolute situation, I understand that, but is there a scenario in your mind that the right types of policy can help these types of digital learning to ‑‑ for the betterment of at least the majority of people, if not understand the ultimate, the real vulnerable ones but is there a benefit to this or you see we really should forget about this and go back to paper and pen?  Where we can establish better equality and then address issues on the longer time scale?

>> TIM UNWIN: Before they answer, yes, definitely.  But it needs a complete change of heart in the whole sector and particularly governments to lead on the focus of equity in education.  We have had agreements around equity in education.  Almost ‑‑ our government certainly hadn't delivered on that.  You mentioned Paola Uruguay, the only country I know where they actually started with the ‑‑ so poorest and most marginalized schools and built out from that.  So it started with the most marginalized.  And it's in our language as well.  People talk about the last mile or the next billion or the next billion.  Let's start calling the poorest and the most marginalized the first billion.  Let's design digital learning technologies with them to serve their interests, not kids in smart universities and richest countries in the world.  I'll shut up now.

>> EDMON CHUNG: I think that is a very fair question.  20 years ago I worked or helped work on the one laptop per child initiative, which you must know, and their starting point was trying to do that, at least the idea was to have ‑‑

>> TIM UNWIN: It failed abysmally.  They were throwing kits at the solution.  It wasn't really beginning with the learning needs of the poorest and most marginalized.  It was a great idea.  It's the same as giving tablets into schools across the world, which are often for just before elections so people will get elected.

>> EDMON CHUNG: It is a fair statement.  But I think that flows into Paola, some of the things you talk about, is there kind of a be where we can use technologies to bring about better equality in education and make the education quality better as well?

>> PAOLA GALVEZ: I want to just compliment what this team said.  A very good initiative to create smart schools, however by bringing tablets and not teaching or giving all the skills needed to the teachers right now this is not being used, for example.  And it was before COVID‑19.  So, yes, I'm a little bit more positive.  I believe technology can be a Democratic tool but the government needs to establish holistic policies in order to tackle this very difficult ‑‑ in the north coast or Peru, they don't have ‑‑ maybe all the experience made him more critical.

But in Latin America, I am pretty sure that a hybrid education needs to be established because just on line, even though the President mandate that it has to be on line until June, it cannot be like that for these months because children are not receiving the quality education that they need.

We have seen Professors that go home to home, walking in Highlands just to do what they are committed to, to give education.  But it's not the way and the government needs to be more responsible and give them with all the access needed to educate as well.

>> EDMON CHUNG: Thank you.  So it seems like the consensus is that the government policy and direction is fundamental to whether this could work into the future.  Right now we are looking at a situation where once in a century kind of a situation where suddenly people ad‑hoc has to solve certain questions, certain issues in this situation.  But Rilla, I wonder if you want to add anything to this?  Your community specifically on educating technical expertise might have a very different situation.  How do you see the future for that?

>> RILLA GUSELA SUMISRA: I can see that maybe there will be learning because I think the full on‑line learning will end.  I mean, like because actually like students like elementary student or kindergarten students, they have to like play with their friends, like face‑to‑face.  So I think that when the COVID‑19 is end soon, it will be better for that learning.  And for the remote areas and students in the remote areas.  I feel like I really hope that the government give ‑‑ give the enforcement to establish the Internet connections like before because there is a lot of islands like 80,000 islands in Indonesia, so we have to take it step‑by‑step.  I hope it will be established all of them like Internet coverage.  Thank you.

>> EDMON CHUNG: Thank you.  And I'll move now to each of the Q&A questions that we have received but again, I said if anyone is willing to put up their hands, I'm going to prioritize any brave soul who would put up their hands and join the conversation.  So we do have ‑‑ I'll pass it on to Roberto, first.

>> ROBERTO ZAMBRANA: Hello, Edmon.  Nice to be here.  Good morning, good afternoon to everyone.  It's great to see all of this experience shared by you and the Panelists but also for the different attendance to this session.

I would like to share at some points that I heard some of them are already mentioned in the chat but since this rich chat we might be allowed to see by the people that are going to follow this later.  While this situation found everyone unprepared, no matter what region, what country, what developing situation we have, it found us in the same unprepared situation.

Worst of course in the Global South where Internet is still not affordable and that indeed may increase digital divide, as someone said before in the chat.  Actually it did in my country because on one side we have the private schools that were working and were continuing their activities, but about 30% of the students population.  The other 70% actually couldn't afford to get connected and to continue normally their classes.  And of course they were in a very extreme lockdown, sadly.  Most of them lost the educational year.

And the first reaction that the people had was to move classes to Zoom.  And that is why Zoom was one of the best platforms to do that because it is really friendly.  But of course that was a situation for those that could use Zoom, for those students that could afford this platform.  For now, the option was to implement learning management systems, mobile teams and Google classrooms et cetera.  But these platforms responded well when you had proper training and also adapted content to deliver.  But this is not the case in most of the universities or schools.

And it was fine to quickly overcome the situation using this kind of platform but not smart to continue like this, because as also mentioned in the chat, educational process are not only about platforms, Internet access, it is a very complex process that needs a long debate and long reflection among the different stakeholders but particularly teachers, students and parents and communities.  And it should be performing a very holistic way taking into account not only all of this previously mentioned aspect but also it's not going to be an easy task.

The good thing is that this situation is helping the education process to evolve and hopefully in a better way.  But there is very important tests to do also and if we are going to use Internet as the main channel for doing this, well, we still need to work in inclusion strategies to make ‑‑ really make a lot of Internet affordable for everyone.  Thank you very much.

>> EDMON CHUNG: Thank you, Roberto for the comment.  I understand it's a common building on some of the discussion just now.  Anyone want to, from the Panel, want to add to that?  If I'm not mistaken, it wasn't a question, per se.  But if anyone wants to add to it.  If not, I'll go on to the next ‑‑ thank you Roberto again.  And again, please put up your hand any time.  I'll prioritize.

>> PAOLA GALVEZ: I believe what Roberto said gives us the conclusion that a multi‑stakeholder strategy is needed.  In fact, Civil Society has a great responsibility to ‑‑ a role to play in this situation because when we talk about the privacy effects of use in Zoom, for example, here in Peru, we have the digital rights NGO called (?) and they shared with the Peruvian citizens what are the facts, how to pick the platforms or for instance, you can see that the World Bank Tech Team curated an extensive list of remote learning distance education platforms.  And you can see they are organized by country.  I mean, what we need now is information.  And to have informed opinion.  We need to read and to see just not to use the platforms because they are available.

And I believe everyone have a role in this if we are youth, even upon if we are ‑‑ even if we are economists, we are Internet users so we can have an opinion on this.  And it's important we share and discuss these matters.  Thank you.

>> EDMON CHUNG: Thank you.  And this is a topic that I don't see in the questions but I would like to jump on as you highlighted in terms of privacy because privacy is increasingly an issue especially at IGF and in the Internet Governance discussions.  It is always an issue and increasingly an issue.  And when we are really excited about the education can at least hobble along what impact is it bringing as we go into these platforms on a technical level, the privacy there, and also on what I touched on earlier in my introduction.

There are cases in Hong Kong because of the classes requiring remote connection, they usually initially at least, ask everyone to turn on their webcam.  But there are situations where their home is just in a very cramped environment and therefore there are students that are unwilling to turn on.  And they were actually punished or whatever.  But once they turned it on, it becomes, those who turn it on, they get laughed at and they get bullied somehow because they are picked on.  Their mother is hanging clothes behind them and those kinds of things.  I wonder what is the experience around and especially Tim, if UNESCO ‑ I know you're not part of the UNESCO but in your experience and view and Veronica, how does that play into the situation, especially privacy and privacy of students?  And how do you balance that with the need for schools and teachers to know that hey, we don't each know whether the student is actually joining the class or not.  What should the balance be?  And is that an issue?

>> TIM UNWIN: Just moving my mouse across.  Thank you for raising that.  I'd love to say more.  It's a huge area.  And I would love to put in the chat, we need to think about combined privacy with security and safety.  And all of these come together.  And actually, if you look at the end ‑‑ I'll put up the link to our report, we cover this in great detail.  It's very difficult to answer but I will just make some brief comments.  It does tend to be context specific.  People have very different views about what privacy is in different parts of the world.  And it's how we encompass that diversity.

I think secondly, to your point about balances, how much of your privacy are you willing to give away for what in return?  And I think people who are educated and know about digital own a position to weigh up those pros and cons.  Children, by‑and‑large, aren't.  We just think, for example, about the amount of sexting that goes on.  Now in the U.K. we are almost in a position where sexting is now the norm and it is, if you send a picture of yourself it won't be counted against you in a court almost.  We are almost to that point.  And I think that ‑‑

And the third point I'd make is, and this is again links to cultural sensitivity.  But in general, the poorest people have least privacy already.  If you're living in a house with a room, so a small apartment with six siblings and mother and father and a grandmother, you're not going to have much privacy.  It is totally difficult from the sort of small cellular families in many of the richer parts of the world.

So, and this is really difficult and I haven't quite worked through my own mind through this.  If you never had much privacy does it matter if you have no privacy on line?  I certainly think it does.  But there are those who would say that privacy is a western concept.  So I think we need much more deconstruction of what privacy is and there is a danger of trying to create general norms which by‑and‑large serve the interests of those who are creating those norms.

Quick final point, what do we do with all the data about schoolchildren?  There are parts of the world where children's eye movements, body position are tracked on line by cameras every 30 seconds and that is fed into the teacher's device so they can see actually how that child is interacting.  And then all of that data is kept.  And used by people for particular purposes.

So you touched on a huge issue.  I just skimmed the surface but I hope it gives some way to offer some suggestions.

>> EDMON CHUNG: Very useful, Veronica did you want to add to it.

>> VERONICA STEFAN: Sure.  Maybe bending a bit on what Tim said.  But I think it should be a bit privacy in the context of education which should be different than privacy in any other context as well because even here it should be very much connected to the methodologies as well.  So right now we are in a situation when basically whatever happened off line happens on line, which is a approach by itself.  That is methodology problem.

So, I will give an example or several examples.  Teachers are upset they cannot see the face of the children they are speaking to.  But then again, children should have that option, especially if they have to spend a whole day in front of the computer.  And sometimes teachers should consider to record or find other ways of young people to have access to that specific moment when a teacher is ‑‑ so nothing happened.  In a different setting when feedback is required and interaction is required and that's part of the whole teaching and learning process, which is very much based on the interaction and the creativity.  So it cannot happen with blind screens or just voices.  They cannot happen especially for the long run and for the younger children and students.  So I would separate those parts.  I think it's a very big problem we had from the day 1 and that they didn't know how these platforms worked, what data is recorded and how long they are in front of security challenges and with Zoom, we had all these horrible events we are aware of now.  Which the platform was not aware but we as educators were responsible.  So going back, we are using communication platforms, not designed educational practical platforms because those could be designed with a different mindset with different security levels.  For me it should be very much connected with part of a more structured well‑designed process with different methodological approaches.  Obviously what he is happening now it's not fair and we should at least make sure the rights of young people, not the ‑‑ are not infringed and they are not being punished for something nobody is so much aware of.  At this point.

>> EDMON CHUNG: Thank you, Veronica.  And quickly we are running out of time.  So I'll jump to Vrikson who put up a hand.

>> VRIKSON ACOSTA: Wherever you are in society, I have been listening to all the interventions.  I want to record something that if somebody doesn't (?) it doesn't matter how much privacy he or she has on line.  And that is global thing because I continue happens that way but.

[ Indiscernable audio ]

They say you can use this phone for classes but they also use for every other sense and they can get a lot of material who are not properly for children or even adults.  So it's a very troubled issue.  The lack of privacy and ethics.  (?) almost two million square kilometers here in Venezuela there is trouble because electricity doesn't get everywhere where there is electricity.  Even in the capital city.  Internet service is very, very limited.  So we have a very, very difficult challenge to adapt both on the part of the.

[ Indiscernible audio ]

Even teachers have been having trouble getting used to technology because they weren't used to it ‑‑ they use WhatsApp or other things just to chat and they now have to use those skills to know what the homework the teachers are sending to their children.  And they have to control more than the children.

And everybody has to be having getting more digitalized but it doesn't mean that it has been most literalized.  So more utilization doesn't really mean more literization.  And it's in trouble.  If you look at digital literacy and ethics, it can go anywhere.  It can go anywhere.  Last point I want to mention is somebody mentioned about Zoom on‑line platform.  But even in this is it pandemic, people are really very tired of webinars and using cell phone for WhatsApp or telegram for classes.  They just had it.  Using platform, I know people in the educational status and they said oh, no!  Maybe March, April, May.  Okay Zoom was something new but now, there are so many.  Whatever?  How long?  What are you going to say to teach me?  Some people are getting really tired of technologies, especially for this use.  So there has to be some kind of a trade off control in the use of technology because we are being (?) and we have to get people to like access that people get data literacy and ethics.

>> EDMON CHUNG: Thank you.  Suddenly we are getting zoomed out.  So digital literacy on ethics and learning and parenting is the comment.  I see Marcel and Rosalia.  Please keep it really short because we are running out of time.  About a minute each and we'll go back to the Panel to almost wrap up.  Rosalia?  We are not hearing from you.

>> JENNA MAN HAU FUNG: I think there is some issues on the audio.  We still have another hand up.  Marcel.

>> EDMON CHUNG: Marcel?

>> MARCEL: Can you hear me?

>> EDMON CHUNG: Yes, please go ahead.

>> MARCEL: This is Marcel from Germany.  I wanted to make a comment on Zoom fatigue.  I don't think it's an issue of the platform.  I don't know any student who likes school at all so I don't think we will find any platform that any student will say hurray, that is another class!  We won't find it.  We can just put a lot of effort into to make these platforms better and to develop methodologies to increase the comfort within the sessions and to educate our teachers and Professors or whomever is going to educate people to leverage these platforms at best.  Thank you.

>> EDMON CHUNG: Thank you.  Rozalia.  Are you able to speak?  I see you have muted yourself but you can try to unmute.

>> ROZALIA KLARA: I tried to unmute myself.  Referring to the dysfunctional digitalization, technology was supposed to solve the educational problems.  It won't.  Technology will not do the education instead of us.  I think it is coming to develop in a hybrid system, we have probably need also a new approach to education.  Participatory approach involving teachers and parents and students in the process of learning.  Something that Zoomers called connectivism.  So it's important to also to look at the methodologies of teaching and the technology aspect and the push button problems is not going to work probably.  Thank you.

>> EDMON CHUNG: Thank you.  So the methodologies behind is highlighted.  The Zoom up issue, the Zoom fatigue issue, the digital literacy on ethics and learning and parenting.  And I also see that in the Q&A there is the question on, especially to Tim, what the KPIs are or should be in terms of the impact of the pandemic on education sphere.  So I'll go around just as we have in the very beginning.  Veronica and Tim and Paula you have the last word and perhaps touch on some of these questions.

 

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