On November 15 and 16, World Education hosted the Saint Lucia ConnectED Activity Consultative 360 Collaborative Workshop. Attended virtually by youth-focused organizations as well as public, private, and civil society agencies across Saint Lucia and the broader Caribbean region, the workshop facilitated exchange and coordination between ConnectEd and digital education stakeholders. Participants also worked in small groups to refine ConnectEd Saint Lucia activities, outputs, and outcomes, and identify ways to enhance the program’s implementation and sustainability.
Day 1 began with remarks from Alison Ascher Webber, director of strategic initiatives for the EdTech Center @ World Education, followed by a panel discussion on fostering digital literacy and leadership among teachers and students, featuring Germain Anthony, education technical specialist, Organization of Eastern Caribbean States; Royston Emmanuel, e-Learning specialist, Sir Arthur Lewis Community College; and Nina Oduro, senior advisor for youth and leadership, IREX.
The panelists explored gender representation, employability, and entrepreneurship in the education sector, and sparked a fruitful discussion on the use of technology and how to integrate core technical and non-technical skills into secondary school curricula in Saint Lucia.
Mr. Emmanuel reminded his colleagues that “[Technological] devices are not a panacea. [access to] devices does not solve anything. The true technology is really how people engage with these devices.”
Ms. Webber added that “‘technical’ and ‘human’ skills should not be taught separately. An integrated approach opens the door for more student-centered pedagogy in digital skills development.”
“We have to think about how we can engender creativity, belonging, self-efficacy, and resilience among young people,” said Mr. Anthony, “I think those ideals are important and [we need to think] about how we use all these platforms and technology to achieve that.”
Noting that women have been excluded from or marginalized in science, technology, engineering, and math, Ms. Oduro emphasized the importance of connecting young women to private sector mentors outside the classroom. “In learning digital literacy skills, it’s not just about what you do digitally, it’s also about what you do outside the digital space.”
In the ongoing pursuit of coordination opportunities for ConnectEd, Day 2 featured presentations on digital education and inclusion initiatives implemented by the Organization of American States; Division of Public Sector Modernization Information and Communications Technology Association of Saint Lucia; Orbtronics; and the Saint Lucia Development Bank.
Sacha Harris, technical advisor and education manager for Saint Lucia ConnectED, facilitated the event and encouraged participants to discuss their work to help ConnectED identify additional resources and potential linkages between the program’s goals and youth-focused initiatives.
The Consultative 360 Collaborative Workshop yielded a common vision for the ConnectED program among participants. ConnectED plans to align its activities with the desired future outcomes of Saint Lucian youth and community stakeholders.