Massive Online Open Course on “Crowdfunding for Development”


As part of the Centre’s innovation fund we explored the added value of ‘crowdfunding for development’. The results of this investigation have been documented step-by-step throughout the entire crowdfunding cycle and we think it’s about time to scale up this learning journey. In collaboration with GIZ and the Common Wealth of Learning we want to engage, jointly with you, in a massive open online course (MOOC). The objective of this collective networked learning experience is not only to share what we have learned already but to build upon this knowledge and crowdsource on interesting ‘crowdfunding for development’ cases globally. If your organisation or institution is interested to explore the added value of crowdfunding than joining this MOOC might be an excellent opportunity to transform your ideas into practice. The course will run over an eight week period and will start on the 4th of May. Signing up is free and can be done here.

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Mobile Learning with Tablets: Free E-Book for Trainers

We have recently written a post about the Learning with Tablets pilot, the first large scale ITC-ILO Academy supported by tablet computers, which took place in October 2014. The reasons behind the integration of tablets into learning activities were mostly related to creating interactive experiences for learners and gradually moving towards a paperless strategy where tablets are going to be used throughout multiple activities at the Centre. If you want to know more, there is a paper about the impact evaluation conducted here.

One of the key insights from this experience is that technology integration into learning is not only about the availability of devices but rather about trainers and facilitators effectively using technology. Therefore, despite all technical evolutions, trainers are the most important factor for success when using and integrating technology inside and outside the classroom. However to effectively use it, trainers firstly need to get familiar with it and acquire key competences. Media literacy is today recognized almost universally as one of the key competences in the educational system. According to UNESCO publication on Media Literacy and New Humanism, it is a basic skill that includes the individual capacity to using any media competently, a skill that supports many others.

That is why we are sharing the Mobile Learning with Tablets, a guide for trainers and facilitators interested in designing learning activities enhanced by tablet computers. The guide is available as a FREE eBook on the iBooks store for IOS.


You can also find it in PDF format on this ITCILO Community of Practice on Learning & Technology.

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Takeaways from the UNESCO Mobile Learning Week 2015

From our colleague Alessia Mesutti

With a keen eye for innovation in learning, ITCILO attended this week the annual event on mobile learning hosted at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

Since 2011, UNESCO hosts the Mobile Learning Week (MLW) to attract education leaders, researchers and practitioners from around the world to discuss the latest practices, experiences and issues related to how mobile technology (either alone or in combination with other technologies) can enable learning and open access to education.

With more than 1000 participants coming from 70 countries this year, the conference lasts for 5 days and offers the opportunity to attend workshops and breakout presentations from learning and development experts (USAID, UN WOMEN, UNESCO, GIZ, UNHCR, OECD…), private sector representatives (Pearson, Qualcomm, Intel, Microsoft, Vodafone…) and academics (UCL, ODU, …). Last but not least, the conference is FREE of charge. therefore an attractive opportunity for all those involved in leveraging technology for education.


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Learnscapes. Towards new learning landscapes.

The Centre is currently exploring new ways to combine design thinking, architecture and learning. This resulted in the ‘Learnscape’ project which gives you an interesting perspective on how to consider the importance of the physical environment for learning and training. The learning journey helped us to think outside the box of a typical classroom setting and made us aware that there is a fundamental need to introduce the important notion of a learning ecology. Feel free to download the publication and please share your views with us.





Visualization techniques for facilitating learning

After a guest contribution of Nancy White on graphic facilitation we have a new guest post on the same topic from Leen De Kort:

People learn in different ways. Some of us like reading or feel the urge to rewrite important information; others seem to retain a lot of visual information. But whilst reading and writing are always present in learning and training, visual information generally isn’t. Yet there are reasons enough to start integrating visual aids more consistently.

Not only would we help ‘visual learners’ by doing so. We could all benefit from combining different senses to retain information. Not to forget that using visuals simply makes things less boring, and thereby motivates people to pay closer attention. Fortunately, due to the rise of technology, integrating visuals becomes easier than ever.

This year’s International Training of Trainers Forum focused on visualisation. Next to including sessions about visualisation techniques (graphic recording, digital storytelling and the use of apps), we also tried to be as visuals as possible in our own preparation and communication. Therefore different tools were used.

When preparing for the different sessions, we used visual templates to structure our session plans. Upon request, we shared the templates in an online community on Facebook (RosViz10)

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Learning with tablets

In the  Green Economy Academy we are currently piloting our first large scale – learning with tablets– initiative. The use of tablets in learning activities is moving fundamentally beyond the idea of considering new mobile technologies as interesting gadgets. The following arguments are forming the base of this interesting initiative:

– The creation of more interactive and engaging technology enhanced experiences inside and outside the classroom setting. (cf. polls, surveys, audience response systems, evaluation, …) + the amplification of the learning outside the classroom by setting up backchannels.

– The need to initiate pre- and post-activities / field assignments that could not be achieved in the traditional classroom setting using contemporary technologies.

– The extension of the learning activity before and after a face-to-face training session

– The visibility that a contemporary training centre uses innovative mobile and flexible learning technologies.

– The transition towards a paperless strategy for all learning materials and resources. This aims to increase efficiency in the training processes by cutting costs linked to paper-based material printing, storage, transport etc.


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Learning at the edge of chaos

Aid on the edge of chaos” , written by Ben Ramalingan  re-confirmed definitely the need of changing the paradigm when we think about aid in times of complexity. The book has inspired us to explore what ‘complexity adaptive thinking’ could mean in the context of learning and training.

Learning and knowledge sharing is not just about combining relevant subject matter expertise with appropriate learning methodologies and technologies. It’s more and more engaging in a process of transformational learning where new approaches with specific patterns, principles and flows bring inter-disciplinary perspectives together to address complex inter-related challenges.


On October 6th and 7th a group of complexity experts will gather at the Centre to tackle this paradigm and come up with a roadmap that will guide us on how transformational learning can be embedded in the learning approach of the Centre, starting with a specific focus on gender and diversity issues.

While we are preparing this meeting we would be interested if you can share with us links, resources, insights on:

– Complexity adaptive thinking applied to learning and knowledge sharing
– Guidelines on how to integrate and use complex learning methods (future search, change lab, deep democracy, appreciative inquiry, social network analysis, …)

The focus group meeting will be prepared and documented on the following wiki “Transformational Learning” and we will integrate your contributions.

The Compass Cards are out there! Your direction for learning and training.

A few months ago we launched a crowd-funding campaign to design and develop the compass cards based on our on-line toolkit. The idea was to develop a mobile card set of participatory knowledge sharing methodologies and technologies. The campaign did not reach its financial goal but crowd-sourced on a variety of interesting  and alternative ideas to transform this concept into reality. We are proud to present these compass cards here on our blog.  Below you will find an overview presentation of what the cards are all about.


In case you are interested to obtain a set of compass cards fill in the following form. You will be contacted shortly after with additional instructions:

ITC-ILO capturing interesting practices at E-learning Africa

Next week the E-Learning Africa conference takes place, this time in Kampala, Uganda. It’s the yearly meeting where more than thousand e-learning specialists (mainly African) gather to share interesting practices, to network and to learn about new learning evolutions around the African continent and globally.

This year we will participate to highlight some of our Mobile Learning Practices experienced in Uganda, Kenia, Tanzania and Zambia with a very specific focus on ‘youth’ and ‘entrepreneurship‘.

A joint ILO – ITC-ILO team will be present to capture good practices during the conference and will document them here in this blog to share with you.

If you are interested in specific trends, tools and technologies, let us know and we will capture them for you. Based on our recent projects and applied research we are very interested in the following teams:

crowdfunding sustainable learning solutions through the enhanced use of social media

interactive pedagogical scenario’s through sms based low end mobile devices in rural settings

applying ‘design thinking’ methodologies in the field of e-learning and mobile learning for development.

What are you interested in?


Crowdfunding sustainable learning solutions

During the Learning Link we have addressed the economic dimension of sustainable learning, discussing the availability of resources for development training and how non-conventional sources of funding could be explored with the aim to increase the economic sustainability of learning institutions and their activities. One of the options to explore was the feasibility of crowdfunding which has been on the rise in the last 5 years. The Centre conducted a feasibility study on ‘micro-grants’ to give participants from developing countries the possibility to attend training or learning events in function of their professional development with a specific focus on institutional impact. We hope to organize in the nearby-future a knowledge sharing event on the results of this study as the complexity of such a project cannot be underestimated and we are keen to learn from fellow institutions who are interested in solving similar challenges. The exploration continues. Last week we launched a crowdfunding campaign on a specific training product that is highly in demand. Trainers and Facilitators who are currently using our toolkit were wondering if we could not produce a mobile deck of cards which visualizes this rich set of 60 training methodologies and technologies. In order to test the market specific demand we will use the crowdfunding channel. If you are interested in supporting this project, feel free to go to . A short instructional video about the new project is available here