MIT Haiti Symposium

By Invitation Only

October 2010
Cambridge, Massachusetts

This invitation-only symposium, organized in collaboration with Haiti’s Foundation for Knowledge and Liberty (“FOKAL”),  focused on the role of Information & Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Open Education Resources (OER) in improving Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (“STEM”) education, language-teaching and related areas in Haitian universities.

One fundamental assumption underlying this initial effort — an assumption that is shared by both MIT faculty and FOKAL —is that ICT and OER can be leveraged to radically transform universities in Haiti and increase the capacity and the quality of education from primary to tertiary education.

We invited:

  • 15 Haitian university professors and administrators and ICT experts; and
  • 35 MIT faculty and staff.

Our objectives were to increase capacity and quality of education in Haiti by:

  • providing MIT faculty with reliable background information about the educational baseline and landscape in Haiti, including limitations, challenges, assets and opportunities
  • establishing a framework for the use of OER & ICT to advance higher education in Haiti, including the training of primary- and secondary-school teachers
  • showcasing and sharing best practices in OER & ICT; and
  • exploring teaching/research partnerships between MIT faculty and Haitian academic institutions.

The symposium explored the advantages of OER & ICT in higher education.  Participants identified Haiti’s basic needs and challenges vis-à-vis ICT and OER in the context of potential projects to be pursued jointly by faculty at MIT and in Haiti. Participants engaged in hands-on exercises with ICT and OER for curriculum development and educational practices through panel presentations and demonstrations, group discussions and  “Action Plan” exercises. The concluding session featured a presentation and discussion around a summary of take-away opportunities, action plans, obstacles and challenges.

For more information, check out the highlights page.