Promoting 21st century citizenship for and with ICT: Current initiatives from UNESCO Bangkok

Ms Jonghwi Park  | Presentation (PDF)

UNESCO Asia Pacific Bureau for Education (UNESCO Bangkok)



This presentation introduces two current initiatives from the UNESCO Asia Pacific Regional Bureau for Education (UNESCO Bangkok) that aim to promote of 21st century core competencies among the youth. These include fostering digital citizenship through safe and responsible use of ICTs and secondly, developing an education application for disaster risk reduction. 

There is no doubt that ICT has brought about tremendous benefits and opportunities in almost every aspect of our lives, let alone its power to transform education. However, the very same technologies have posted an array of social and ethical issues with which to contend. Numerous concerns and issues have been raised equally in developed and developing countries, ranging from online safety (identity theft, scams, system phishing, hacking, online predators and cyber bullying) to misuse of information (plagiarism, access to inappropriate contents and misrepresentation) to health and mental hazards (long exposure to screen and game and internet addiction). The first part of the presentation will focus on UNESCO Bangkok’s initiative that addresses the need to develop the core competency of digital citizenship through the promotion of ethical, safe and responsible use of these technologies, towards minimizing risks and maximizing opportunities for citizens to fully participate in and contribute to the knowledge society. The project aims to map the current issues and policy responses, create policy recommendations and build the education sector’s capacity in fostering students’ digital citizenship.

The second part of the presentation introduces Sai Fah: The Flood Fighter, the first educational game application (‘app’) developed by UNESCO Bangkok. In an effort to raise awareness around flood safety and preparedness, UNESCO Bangkok developed this mobile app in response to the severe damage to property, the spread of disease and significant loss of life caused by massive floods in Thailand in 2011. The app makes use of the growing trend of ‘gamification’ – using game structures in other contexts – to engage young learners to discover key concepts and imbibe good practices on disaster risk reduction in a fun way. The game is currently available in Thai, with an English-language version set for wider release across the Asia Pacific region in February 2014. In less than a month, the app’s Thai version has already hit the 10,000 download mark. An extensive marketing and PR campaign is planned to promote the English version in the most flood-prone countries in the region, with a target of 100,000 downloads by mid-year 2014.



Ms Jonghwi Park is Programme Specialist in ICT in Education at UNESCO Bangkok. Her main duty is to support Member States of the Asia Pacific region in integrating ICT in their education system in a holistic manner. Led by Ms Park, ICT in Education Team at UNESCO Bangkok provides policy review, technical supports for policy development and regional comparative research on ICT in education. Prior to joining the UNESCO Bangkok, Ms Park managed e-learning projects in both private and public sectors in South Korea, including Korea National Open University, Hanyang Cyber University and Digital Learning Institute. She also worked as ICT-pedagogy consultant for secondary teachers and tertiary educators in Canada. Ms Park holds MA in Educational Technology from Hanyang University, South Korea and PhD in Educational Psychology (Learning Sciences) from McGill University, Canada.

Mr Ichiro Miyazawa is Programme Specialist in literacy and lifelong learning at UNESCO Bangkok. His work primarily focuses on promoting literacy and basic education for disadvantaged youth and children through flexible learning strategies. For the past 20 years, he has been engaged in educational development for disadvantaged populations in Asia and Africa, having worked in countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Lao PDR, Tanzania and Kenya. He has expertise in designing and implementing programmes related to literacy, non-formal education, teacher education, education and ICT and educational statistics. Mr Miyazawa holds a MEd from Columbia University, New York, United States, where he majored in literacy and national development. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and Technology from Keio University.


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