Different trends were shared during CIIE 2021, organized by Tec de Monterrey.
By CONECTA National News Desk* - 12/16/2021 Photo Udell Jiménez, Alejandro Salazar, Gabriela Beltrán

Experts from Mexico and around the world shared trends in education with the attendees at Tec de Monterrey’s 8th International Conference on Educational Innovation (CIIE for its initials in Spanish).

At this hybrid event, presenters shared expectations for the future that the world’s educational institutions are preparing for in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, more than 5,000 attendees from 34 countries participated in keynote lectures and other related events on education.

At CONECTA, we share some of the trends presented during CIIE 2021:


David Garza, rector y presidente ejecutivo del Tec de Monterrey.
David Garza, rector and executive president of Tec de Monterrey


The Web3 trend and education

David Garza, rector and executive president of the Tec, said that Web3, in which content creators have their own platforms and do not depend on intermediaries, is an opportunity to develop educational innovation projects.

“The main feature of Web3 is the decentralization of the Internet, and the creator economy emerges in an important way because there are no longer intermediaries in certain processes.”

In the CIIE keynote, Garza said that the Web3 platform is based on blockchain, which has begun to impact mainly areas of finance, legal documents, art, music, entertainment, and digital environments. 

“I’m not here to give solutions. I’m here to present an environment of challenges, and I’d like us to see it as opportunities for the education sector,” Garza said.


“Education will be multi-diverse in the future.”

David Garza, executive president and rector of Tec de Monterrey, said that education in the future will diversify into new models, formats, and styles in a change that has accelerated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I call this concept multi-diversity because there are several ‘multi’ aspects that I think will arise or will become heightened,” Garza said.

He pointed out the relevance of technology in educational innovation and the importance of pedagogy in the development of such technology.

For his part, Juan Pablo Murra, rector of undergraduate and graduate studies, presented the 8 areas for implementing the Tec21 Educational Model, which is based on challenge-based learning.



Presenting an online internationalization strategy

The Tec presented the Global Shared Learning (GSL) initiative, an online internationalization strategy that provides students with different options to make connections with students and professors from other countries.

Patricia Montaño, director of Innovation and International Networks at the Tec, said that the model has 6 pillars, with one of the most important being the GSL Classroom, which consists of Tec courses that connect through technology with courses and professors from other partner universities.

“This initiative had been brewing since 2017 as a response to the need we detected in our students for international experiences without needing to move abroad,” said Montaño.



Put students at the center of education, says Paul LeBlanc

Paul LeBlanc, one of the leading education innovators in the United States and president of the University of Southern New Hampshire, said educational systems should be built around students to allow them to develop holistically.

During the CIIE, he shared aspects that can help put students at the center of education.

These were bridging gaps in access to education, providing greater flexibility, thinking about the person and their emotional needs, innovating in teaching, and creating working connections with other outstanding teachers.



“Emergency” university teaching: challenges in the pandemic

Panelists agreed that the pandemic had accelerated the practice and integration of technological resources in education that in turn caused new challenges in education.

Beatriz Palacios, director of Educational Innovation and Digital Learning at the Tec; Álvaro Galvis, associate professor at UNIANDES; and Josep Duart, professor at the Open University of Catalonia, addressed these challenges and opportunities.

Duart points out that the pandemic created an emergency teaching situation in which teachers had to adapt quickly to change by making use of technology and pedagogical resources to transition to flexible and hybrid education.



Education for sustainable development

Part of the objectives of education for sustainable development (ESD), a topic that experts spoke about at CIIE 2021, is achieving a sustainable future in areas such as the environment, education, and health to achieve a fairer world.

Rosa Wolpert, education officer at UNESCO Mexico, pointed out that universities can influence the future by including ESD in their curricula and creating alliances to make the need for Education for Sustainable Development visible and put it at the center of the discussion.

Tania Alonso, professor at the Complutense University of Madrid, said that it was previously believed that education should try not to compromise the future of the next generations, but now it seeks to develop students to their maximum potential.

Alicia Jiménez, director of the Department of Earth International programs, indicated that to generate skills for sustainable development in education it is necessary to promote systemic and critical thinking and to clarify values.



Awarding ventures that seek to combat educational backwardness

During the CIIE, 5 winners received awards for this year’s TPrize 2021 award, which recognizes educational innovation projects that propose solutions for educational challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The challenge of 2021 was: How can marginalized populations in Latin America and the Caribbean develop the skills necessary to access good jobs, better opportunities, and general well-being?

The winning projects were O-Lab (Colombia); MIDE (Chile); Wiixii (Guatemala); ChatClass (Brazil); and T-Share (Chile).

Meanwhile, in Global EdTech Startups (GESAwards 2021) the winner was BRAVE UP!, a platform that prevents bullying, and Poliglota, a platform for practicing English.

These startups will represent Latin America at the global finals to be held in London on January 20, 2022, where they will compete with projects from five continents.



Launching educational research spaces

Tec de Monterrey’s Institute for the Future of Education (IFE) announced the Living Lab and Data Hub initiatives, platforms where they hope to provide real data and a space for educational research.

The presentation was given by Héctor Ceballos, the director of both centers, who explained that their objective is to provide information to influence educational innovation.

The IFE’s one-year results were reported beforehand.



Flexible Netflix-like education, proposed by Jeff Selingo 

Jeff Selingo says that it is worth investing in higher education and states that it is necessary to move towards flexible universities.

According to the expert and best-selling author, the education of the future will be like choosing a series or movie on Netflix: everyone will have access to the same thing but at their own pace.

“We stopped having a ‘TV schedule’ that required us to be at home at a certain time to watch a program. Now we can watch it at any time. We can watch a single episode or binge-watch every episode.


Jeff Selingo.
Jeff Selingo, education expert and best-selling author


Uniting for early childhood to empower the future

The FEMSA Foundation and La Tríada, consisting of Tec de Monterrey, UNIANDES, and the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, are working together for early childhood development in Latin America.

Eva Fernández, manager of social investment in Early Childhood at the FEMSA Foundation, and Raquel Bernal, rector in charge of UNIANDES, explained the importance of creating public policies for the development of children in Latin America.

Both explained that projects for the development of children from conception to 5 years of age are not only necessary but also effective at influencing social development in the future when children grow up.


Going back to educational spaces, the experience of Colombia

María Victoria Angulo, minister of National Education of Colombia, shared the adaptations and teaching strategies they had implemented due to the pandemic.

She said that once vaccination coverage was expanded this year, schools returned to educational spaces to prevent education falling further behind.

She added that for a hybrid educational scheme to work, it is necessary first to provide connectivity and computer equipment and to develop the population’s digital skills.



María Victoria Angulo
María Victoria Angulo, Colombia’s Minister of National Education


Improving teacher planning and preparation

A focus on long-term work and improving teacher training in Latin America were two of the aspects the rectors of the universities that make up La Tríada reflected on during a keynote panel at the International Conference on Educational Innovation (CIIE) 2021.

This panel was attended by David Garza, rector and executive president of Tec de Monterrey; Raquel Bernal, rector in charge of the University of Los Andes (Uniandes), Colombia; and Ignacio Sánchez, rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

There are great challenges in Latin America that we identify as poverty, education, economic growth, and inequality. Through La Tríada and the participation of our academics, more than 70 projects have been carried out in 15 different areas,” said Garza.



Tec de Monterrey’s eighth annual CIIE

Tec de Monterrey’s eighth annual International Conference on Educational Innovation was held in a hybrid format from December 13 to 16, 2021.

“(The CIIE) has established itself as an outstanding space for the meeting of professionals from different parts of the world... We involve everyone who shares the responsibility of creating the future of education,” said José Escamilla, director of the Tec’s Institute for the Future of Education.

This year, more than 5,000 attendees from 34 countries participated.



With information from Asael Villanueva, Ricardo Treviño, Mariana León, Luz Badillo, and Javier Giorgetti.




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