Oct 8 2018 - Dec 30 2018
"What opportunities and challenges do digital technologies present for the development of our society?"
Tech for Good is a free massive open online course (MOOC) investigating the role that information and communication technologies (ICTs) play in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It was developed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Cetic.br/NIC.br, the Brazilian Network Information Center's Regional Center for Studies on the Development of the Information Society, in partnership with the SDG Academy, an initiative of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Tech for Good is designed for technology specialists, sustainable development practitioners, and advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Learners will explore the rapid and dynamic growth of the internet, mobile phone usage, big data, artificial intelligence, and other trends that are helping to implement and measure sustainable development around the world. The course: introduces learners to ICT governance and infrastructure; covers thematic areas including health, finance, and education; looks at how "big data" are being used to inform evidence-based policies; and addresses the challenges technology can introduce, such as privacy, data management, risks to cybersecurity, e-waste, and the widening of social divides.
Specifically, the modules in the 10-week course include:
- Welcome to the Digital Age
- Technology for Governments and Citizens
- ICT Infrastructure
- ICT Innovations in Health
- Learning in Knowledge Societies
- Promoting Financial Inclusion
- Measurement and Metrics
- Artificial Intelligence
- Concerns for Our Digital Future
- The Way Forward
The MOOC will feature: video lectures, readings, quizzes, a discussion forum, and live Q&As with course faculty, which includes experts from: UNESCO; AGESIC (Agency for e-Government and Information Society) in Uruguay; the International Telecommunication Union (ITU); Millennium Promise Alliance, Fundação Getulio Vargas in Brazil; the UN Statistics Division; the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network; and the University of Wollongong in Australia, among others.
Some of the key points expected to be highlighted in the course content:
- ICT can improve access to knowledge and services, promote transparency, and encourage collaboration.
- Responsible collection and use of data requires governance, security, and trust.
- ICT projects should be contextualised and inclusive.
- Technology is not neutral; it is prudent to be aware of bias in design and implementation.
The course, hosted on the MOOC platform edX.org and offered in English, will launch with Module 1 on October 8 2018. Content will be released weekly for 10 weeks and conclude on December 30 2018 after a 2-week "catch-up" period. Learners can enroll at any time, and they will have access to all materials until the course closes. The time commitment is estimated to be 3 to 5 hours per week.