Digital Learning

Working Group Co-Chaired by:

Audrey Azoulay
Director General, UNESCO, Co-Vice Chair of the Broadband Commission
Houlin Zhao
ITU, Co-Vice Chair of the Broadband Commission​
Erik Ekudden
 Senior Vice President, CTO and Head of Group Function Technology, Ericsson
Sun Yafang
Member of Core Elite,

The COVID-19 crisis led to a sudden and large-scale use of digital learning practices. The range of solutions put in place to ensure continuity of education and training was wide, including high-low-no tech solutions, with marked differences within and between countries. However, data indicate that educational inequalities have been exacerbated, the challenges are related, among others, to connectivity, lack of digital skills of learners and teaching staff, lack of quality education resources. Evidence shows differences between levels, sectors of education and training and countries. Online learning has been provided as a solution -for at least a proportion of students- in all high-income countries, but not as uniformly among countries in the other income groups. Many education and training institutions lacked expertise and struggled to offer distance and online learning opportunities to all their students (UNESCO, UNICEF, World Bank, 2020; UNESCO, ILO, OECD, forthcoming).

Though no one can predict how education and training systems will evolve in the months and years to come, there is evidence that the future of education will be characterized by its increased integration of digital learning and the important role of the education technology industries and communities.

The Global Education Meeting (GEM) organised late October 2020 by UNESCO, called among others, for protecting and investing in education and for narrowing the digital divide in education, develop quality open educational resources and build digital commons as a complement to face-to-face learning, with a view to enabling inclusive and equitable technology-supported learning.

Objectives of the Group:

The Working Group Members will advise on challenges and opportunities related to digital learning including: (i) equitable quality digital learning ecosystems; (ii) Digital skills and competence framework for life and work; (iii) Ethic, governance, finance and anticipation.  The aim is to benefit from the unique composition of the Commission and its expertise and perspective of the top/key players in the Technology industry, policy makers and IGOs and to engage with all relevant stakeholders and sharing knowledge about other existing resources and initiatives.

The group was launched in September 2020 during the Broadband Commission’s Annual Fall Meeting.

Social media graphics, key messages, videos, and presentation materials to support the report can be found on the Digital Learning Advocacy Trello.


digital learning report thumbnail

Connecting Learning Spaces:

Possibilities for Hybrid Learning

The report introduces a range of factors that should be in place in order for hybrid learning to be a viable option for students, requiring deliberate planning, informed decision-making and substantial investment. It addresses considerations for accessing hybrid learning, especially those related to equitable access as required by SDG4.


Broadband Commissioners

  1. Mr. Erik Ekudden, Ericsson
  2. Ms. Sun Yafang, Huawei
  4. ITU
  5. Mr. Carlos Jarque, America Movil
  6. Dr. Dato Ir. Lee Yee Cheong, Malaysia
  7. Mr. Robert Kirkpatrick, UN Global Pulse
  8. Mr. Achim Steiner, UNDP
  9. Government of Rwanda
  10. Mr. Mats Granryd, GSMA
  11. Dr. Ann Aerts, Novartis Foundation
  12. Dr. Hyeonmo Ku, KT Corporation
  13. Mr. Piotr Dmochowski-Lipski, EUTELSAT IGO
  14. Mr. Hans Vestberg, Verizon
  15. Mr. Qu Dongyu, FAO
  16. Ms. Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka, UN Women
  17. UNHCR
  18. UNICEF
  19. Ms. Bella Rwigamba, Chief Digital Officer for the Ministry of Education in Rwanda  

External Experts

  1. Mr. Alexandre Barbosa, UNESCO Regional Centre for studies on the Development of the Information Society
  2. Mr. Christopher Yoo, University of Pennsylvania
  3. Mr. Kris Gopalakrishnan
  4. Mr. Urs Gasser, Executive Director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and a Professor of Practice at Harvard Law School
  5. Ms. MienDee Yong, CourseNetworking
  6. Ms. Lucia Dellagnelo, Center for Innovation in Brazilian Education
  7. Mr. Han Liqun, former dean of School of information engineering, Beijing Technology Business University
  8. Ms. Liesbet Steer, Education Commission
  9. Ms. Amy Bellinger, Education Commission
  10. Ms. Rose Sagun, Education Commission
  11. Mr. Ravi Suchak, Vice President, Public Affairs, American Tower Cooperation
  12. Mr. Maikel Wilms, Boston Consulting Group
  13. Ms. Joanna Rubinstein, World Childhood Foundation
  14. Mr. Amer Baig
  15. Ms. Maria Florencia Ripani, Fundación CEIBAL
  16. Mr. Turhan Muluk, Intel
  17. Mr. John Roman, Intel
  18. Mr. Nuno Martin, Intel
  19. Dr. Mutlu Cukurova, University College London
  20. Mr. Joel Hellermark, SanaLab
  21. Dr. Carol O’Donnell, Smithsonian Science Education Centre
  22. Dr. Tarek Chehidi, Teach For All
  23. Mr. Larry Irving
  24. Prof. François Grey, Director, Geneva Tsinghua Initiative, University of Geneva
  25. Mr. Dejan Jakovljevic
  26. Mr. Mike Sharples, Professor, The Open University
  27. Mr. Mitja Jermol, UNESCO Chair in Open Technologies for Open Educational Resources and Open Learning 
  28. Ms. Tracey Burns, Senior Analyst in the OECD’s Centre for Educational Research and Innovation
  29. Mr. Dominic Vergine, Head Of Sustainability, VP at Arm, Founder WEF 2030Vision, Co-founder The Centre for Global Equality, ARM.com
  30. Ms. Nicola Doody, Senior Strategy Manager at Accenture
  31. Mr. Luis Pinto, Education Venture Capital expert, BizDev Udemy Government 
  32. Ms. Audrey Scozzaro Ferrazzini, Senior Director, Government Affairs, Qualcomm
  33. Ms. Liz Sproat, Global Head of Learning and Outcomes at LEGO Education
  34. Mr. Mario Franco, Founder & Chairperson Millennium @EDU SUSTAINABLE EDUCATION
  35. Ms. Radhika Iyengar, Director Education Sector, Center for Sustainable Development, The Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York
  36. Mr. Charley Wrigh
  37. Shanti Jagannathan, Asian Development Bank:
  38. Jeanette Burmester and Marina Janssen, GIZ
  39. Alessandro Brolpito, European Training Foundation (ETF)
  40. Karine Sonigo, International Labour Organization (ILO)
  41. Pasqualino Mare, European Commission