of UNESCO Interfaculty Chair on ICT in Library Studies, Education and Cultural Heritage,
at the State University of Library Studies, Education and Cultural Heritage, Sofia, Bulgaria,
for the 2015 edition of the UNESCO King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa Prize for ICT in Education
Theme: Pedagogical Innovation in the Use of ICT in Teaching and Learning
Description of the candidate’s background and achievements
UNESCO Interfaculty Chair on ICT in Library Studies, Education and Cultural Heritage was established in November 2012 as a project of the State University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (SULSIT). The project complies with the following priorities of UNESCO:
- Youth – realisation of modern education process aimed at studying of interdisciplinary knowledge and skills relevant to the new requirements in the career development of students;
- Sustainably protecting and enhancing cultural heritage into the complex processes of globalisation – to develop the Chair as a custodian of heritage and a repository of knowledge for South-East Europe;
- Enhancing universal access to information and knowledge - the project supports equal access to education, information and cultural heritage in support of the Education for All UNESCO Program.
The project corresponds to the Millennium Developments Goals and contributes to the National Strategy for Smart Specialisation and National Strategy for Science and Education. In addition, the project contributes to the Regional Development by taking into account the existing experiences and good practice across the world, and in synergy with other UNESCO chairs strengthens the existing networks of partners at regional level.
Special focus of the project team is put on the role of creativity in teaching and learning, and how ICT can enhance the role of creativity in the context of multidisciplinary curricular frameworks and goals. The project team applies a variety of teaching methodologies and tools, such as: Competence-Based Education, Inquiry-Based Learning, Exploratory-Learning, Project-Based Learning, Problem-Based Learning, Social Learning, Learning 2.0, Teaching 2.0, MOOCs, Open Educational Resources , Virtual Learning Environments, Constructionism, Connectivism, Personalised Teaching And Learning, Simulation-Based Learning, Serious Gaming Learning Methodologies, etc.
Summary of the work
The UNESCO Chair team applies methodologies to minimize educational gaps and to promote educational (digital) equity. Special attention is given to applying appropriate methodologies, access and usage of digital technology by teachers and students for exploratory and creative learning by following the UNESCO ICT Competence Framework for Teachers (adapted in Bulgarian language by the Chair’s members), as well as by fruitful cooperation with the Information Technologies in Education (IITE) Network of UNESCO chairs on ICT in Education and Innovative Pedagogy and the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network. A model of virtual academic and student mobility is applied as well. The UNESCO Chair project aims to develop strategies, projects and academic programs in the field of ICT in Library Studies, Education and Cultural Heritage and Erasmus+, such as ICT in education for librarians, ICT professionals, school and university teachers, professionals from cultural institutions and heritage conservation professionals with the following main objectives:
- strengthening inter-university cooperation by facilitating exchange and share of learning methodologies, methods and technologies in education among the UNESCO Chairs and partners;
- enhancing universal access to information and knowledge for students by use of e-learning in addition to traditional face-to-face form to support the collaboration and mobility of librarians, teachers and heritage conservation professionals between SULSIT and other universities;
- extending the collaboration and transfer of knowledge with other UNITWIN/UNESCO chairs;
- developing an appropriate infrastructure and new institutional relations.
The SULSIT UNESCO Chair has put an ambitious goal – to be a Driver for Research and Innovation Excellence, and Sustainable Regional Development and to become the core of a Centre of Excellence in Future Internet, Smart Cities and Open Innovation, in cooperation with a large number of regional and international partners. The models of Knowledge Triangle and Quintuple Helix (university-industry-government-civil society-natural environment) are being applied in development of Sofia Smart Specialisation Strategy in order to build a sustainable ICT-driven regional innovation ecosystem.
SULSIT has as its strategic aim the sustainable development as a leading higher education institution with a significant scientific, technological and innovative potential. SULSIT has the ambition to continue the implementation of the so called Third Mission of the universities – to work on projects with national, regional and international significance, including projects linked to the Sofia Smart Specialisation Strategy, National Strategy for Research Development 2020, the Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation of the Republic of Bulgaria (2014-2020), etc. In harmony with the social mission of SULSIT the UNESCO Chair prepares highly qualified specialists, socially and personally motivated, and adaptive to the labour market. Training and participation in national and European training schemes includes:
- Leadership in the ERASMUS+ Strategic Partnership project APInno: Action project for Innovation aiming to create learning materials based on a new methodology in Innovation management training.
- Participation in the ERASMUS NETWORK under the project FETCH: Future Education and Training in Computing: How to support learning at any time anywhere;
- Development of a course History of Library Art and Information Literacy for the UNESCO Institute for IITE;
- Training of colleagues from Russia and Kazakhstan under TEMPUS project PICTET: EQF-based professional ICT training for Russia and Kazakhstan;
- Development and implementation of an e-Learning program for the regular education (Bachelor, Master, PhD) of the whole university which covers over 30% of the courses and teachers/facilitators;
- Providing Distance Learning as an alternative mode of education and life-long learning.
The UNESCO chair plays the role of a Centre of Excellence and innovation zone in the area of ICT in Library Studies, Education and Cultural Heritage. Members of the Chair are among the founders and active participants of the International Summit on ICT in Education (EDUsummIT). The UNESCO Chare spreads in an innovative manner the EDUsummIT results to Bulgaria, Central and Eastern Europe and South-East Europe through regular follow-up events - UNESCO International Workshops (in Sofia, Bulgaria): QED’11: Re-Designing Institutional Policies and Practices to Enhance the Quality of Education Through Innovative Use of Digital Technologies (follow-up of EDUsummIT’11); QED’14: Quality of Education and Challenges in a Digitally Networked World, (follow-up of EDUsummIT’13); forthcoming UNESCO International Workshop QED’16: Technology Advanced Quality Learning for ALL, June 13-14 (follow-up of EDUsummIT’15).
UNESCO Chair is selected to be the host of the EDUsummIT’17 in September 2017.
Definition of the candidate’s contribution to the Prize’s objectives
The contributions of UNESCO Chair to the prize objectives have impact at different levels:
The team of UNESCO Chair at SULSIT played a pivoting role for integration of advanced ICT in education and for overall quality of education, research and management of SULSIT as the national leading university and promoting freedom of expression, media development and access to information and knowledge.
Influencing the whole school system in Bulgaria through: innovative teacher training; textbooks, embedded advanced ICT into the curriculum; advanced educational software; providing professional ICT training and advisory work at national level and empowering learners to be creative and responsible global citizens
The UNESCO Chari triggered several national and international initiatives and paved the way for improving the quality of education and inclusive lifelong learning for all through using advanced ICTs at global level.
Prof. Stoyan Denchev
|Project:||UNESCO Interfaculty Chair ICT in Library Studies, Education and Cultural Heritage
Ongoing project started November 2012
|Implementing organization:||State University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (SULSIT), Bulgaria|
|Contact Person:||Roumen Nikolov
UNESCO IITE Network of UNESCO chairs on ICT in Education and Innovative Pedagogy
Structure and organization of learning
Online content and digital materials
SULSIT has the strategic aim for sustainable development as a leading higher education institution with a significant scientific, technological and innovative potential. SULSIT has the ambition to continue the implementation of the so called “Third Mission” of the universities – to work on projects with national, regional and international significance, including projects linked to the Sofia Smart Secialisation Strategy, National Strategy for Research Development 2020, the Innovation Strategy for Smart Specialisation of the Republic of Bulgaria (2014-2020), etc.
In harmony with the social mission of SULSIT the UNESCO Chair prepares highly qualified (linked to the European Qualification Framework), socially responsible personally motivated and adaptive to the labour market specialists.
Training and participation in national and European training schemes includes:
More than 2 000 students trained during the last 4 years in different programmes of ORACLE (The students of SULSIT with highest achievements).
SULSIT has its own publishing house „За буквите – О писменехь”. Significant progress in this direction was given by the UNESCO Chair ICT in Library Sciences, Education and Cultural Heritage and the Institute for Research in the Field of Organisation, Management and Preservation of the Cultural Heritage
The UNESCO Chair plays the role of a Centre of Excellence and innovation zone in the area of ICT in Library Studies, Education and Cultural Heritage.Members of SULSIT are among the founders of the International Summit on ICT in Education (EDUsummIT) and SULSIT will host the EDUsummIT’2017. An innovative model for transferring the EDUsummIT results to Bulgaria, and based on it – to Central and Eastern Europe and South-East Europe through regular follow-up events have been implemented through:
Challenges and Constraints
The main challenges of the UNESCO Chair are reported regularly at the EDUsummIT and UNESCO QED events. For instance, the proposed challenges to be discussed at the EDUsummIT’17 event are:
- ICT in Education and Upbringing
- ICT in Education in Different Cultural, Language and Economic Learning Environments;
- Effective Models of Fast Exploitation and Dissemination of ICT in Education Research Outcomes, Innovations and Best Practices
Documents in the following categories:
Published research studies / reports available about the programme
UNESCO Chair supports the development of open innovation and foresees to establish significant capacity in the field of technology transfer, users’ experience and IP protection. The selected priority areas have great potential to achieve higher market feasibility, including globally. For example, Telemedicine application, developed within the project of the Seventh Framework Programme of ELLIOT team of UNESCO Chair (including PhD students) enjoys strong interest from potential customers, partners, investors, and citizens. The project used technologies of the "Internet of Things": smart sensors, large data archives, cloud technology, mobile applications, analysis of large volumes of data, geotagging. Such is the case with multilingual digital archive, developed within the ATLAS project by a team involving university professors, PhD students. Developments include: system for management of thermal curtains for industrial and retail outlets, management system for LED lighting, control system of intelligent transport, system for e-learning.
Internal or external evaluations of the programme, reports on impact assessments
The feedback from QED’14, October 30-31, 2014
I very much enjoyed attending the workshop, meeting exciting participants, as well as visiting an innovative school. The atmosphere was great and I felt that attendees enjoyed sharing their work with pride.
The teachers in the poster session of QED’15 showed inspirational use of ICT. They are so creative these math teachers! I really admire them for it. As for the school we visited in Koptivshtica I would have liked to attend a lesson in it. The atmosphere was so warm and good. What a pity that it was a Saturday
Boyka Dulgyarova – Director of Lyben Karavelov Secondary School
We at the school were honored to meet such distinguished guests habing dedicated their professional activities for bringing the education in an international context in harmony with the UNESCO standards. Together with all teachers, we will involve our efforts in meeting the requirements for becoming a associated school of UNESCO.
A student from that school: Communicating with the visiors to our school was the happiest day in my life...
Teaching and learning material
- Proceedings QED’11, QED’14, National conference 2015
- Translation in Bulgarian Languages of the UNESCO Framework
- Integrating the Information Literacy Logo: A Marketing Manual, IFLA - Information Literacy Section / UNESCO - translation in Bulgarian language
- Library, Information and Cultural Heritage Management: Textbook. Compl. byTaniaTodorova. Sofia: Za bukvite-O pismeneh, 2012, 246 p. ISBN 978-954-294-644-1
- Nikolov R., Shoikova E., Kovatcheva E. (2014) Competence Based Framework for Curriculum Development, Sofia, ISBN: 978-619-185-015-0, ISBN online: 978-619-185-016-7
- Learning resources: