Mar 23, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

UNESCO recently awarded the King Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa Prize for innovative use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in education to two projects from Morocco and India.

This year, UNESCO sought the use of ICTs to "increase access to quality education."

The prize, funded by the Kingdom of Bahrain and established in 2005, rewards individuals and organizations working to improve teaching and learning in the digital age. It applauds "excellent models, best practices and creative uses of ICTs to enhance overall education performance."

Each prizewinner receives a diploma, USD 25,000 and acknowledgment during a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

Morocco initiated GENIE, a long-term policy and project of the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, Higher Education, and Scientific Research. GENIE aims to use ICT to improve the overall quality and access to education in primary and secondary schools. The program will work on the development of infrastructure, teacher training, and digital resources. 

So far, over 10,000 schools have benefitted from GENIE's infrastructure and digital devices. GENIE has increased overall school enrollment in Morocco to 95 percent. Over 300,000 teachers have also benefited from GENIE's in-service training on digital pedagogy and high-quality training. 

India's Tata Institute of Social Sciences developed the CLIX program, which uses ICTs to improve opportunities for traditionally underserved students. CLIX offers high-quality, platform-based personalized learning experiences in 478 high schools, and affects 1,767 teachers, 46,420 students in four Indian states.

CLIX developed partnerships with multiple stakeholders--universities, foundations, and local governments, to improve the quality of education--specifically in STEM.

The personalized learning opportunities use open source digital materials and cover modules in mathematics, science, English, and digital literacy in three languages. 

CLIX prioritizes teacher engagement, professional development, and evidence-based decision making.

Learn more about degrees in ICT.

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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