Latin American Forum for Educational Connectivity: Summary and Future Agenda

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Darlin Bejarano, UACP, Gobernación de Boyacá, Colombia Darlin Bejarano, UACP, Gobernación de Boyacá, Colombia

Education in the digital age does not only take place in schools but also at home, at work, and in public spaces. For this reason, today, more than ever, quality education requires great efforts and investment in innovation and digital transformation. The critical axes of this process are the universalization of connectivity (with appropriate speed and bandwidth) and access to smart devices and digital and audiovisual content of proven relevance (including ‘edutainment’). Universal access to these services, and therefore, to quality education for all, constitutes an ambitious agenda for Latin America, which requires an effective and relevant education model in the digital era supported by large investments and public-private coordination.

Responding to the challenges of promoting quality education for all, the Inter-American Dialogue convened the Education in the Digital Age: Latin American Forum for Educational Connectivity in October 2023 in Washington DC., United States. With the support of the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, the Forum sought to address a central question: How do we promote sustainable public-private strategies and investments to develop an education model adapted to the digital age? Addressing critical regulatory, public policy, and coordination and financing issues, the Forum was divided into three thematic areas: I) strategies to connect and equip schools, II) affordable and quality connectivity, and III) content development and platforms. 

The Forum mobilized key players of the Latin American education and digital ecosystem to drive the digital transformation and innovation necessary for 21st-century education. National and subnational authorities from the areas of education, communication, technology, planning, and management were among the Forum's participants. In addition, representatives of companies, experts, philanthropic foundations, and other civil society organizations relevant and active in this agenda were present. 

In the following summary, the Inter-American Dialogue introduces the key messages, lessons learned, recommendations, and valuable experiences shared by key participants during the Education in the Digital Age: Latin American Forum for Educational Connectivity event.

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