Mark West

Education Sector, UNESCO

Speaker Bio

Mark West works in UNESCO’s Education Sector where he examines how technology can improve the quality, equity, and accessibility of learning.

He advises governments – from Sudan to Norway and Indonesia to Colombia – about opportunities and risks for education in an age of accelerating digital change.

Mark spent much of the past three years researching the ed-tech experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and their implications for the future of education. The culmination of this work is the newly published UNESCO book 'An Ed-Tech Tragedy?'. It has been well received by education and technology experts as well as popular news outlets, including the New York Times and the Financial Times.  

Mark’s prior publications of note include 'I’d Blush if I Could' (2019), 'Reading in the Mobile Era' (2014) and the ‘UNESCO Guidelines for Mobile Learning’ (2013).

'I'd Blush if I Could' prompted technology companies to make major changes to the way AI voice assistants and chatbots project gender. It clarified how education can help close digital gender divides and was covered by media organizations around the world, provoking everything from outrage to high praise.

'Reading in the Mobile Era' brought international attention to the ways governments, schools and families can leverage inexpensive mobile technologies to advance literacy.

The 'UNESCO Guidelines for Mobile Learning' helped governments understand how to leverage increasingly ubiquitous mobile technology to expand learning opportunities and enrich the vital work that happens in schools and classrooms.

Prior to joining UNESCO, Mark worked as a teacher and teacher trainer and completed a Fulbright Fellowship in Azerbaijan.

He is a graduate of Stanford University.