of Prof. Roumen Nikolov, UNESCO Chair Holder,
UNESCO Chair on ICT in Library Studies, Education and Cultural Heritage (2012),
State University of Library Studies, Education and Cultural Heritage, Sofia, Bulgaria,
for the 2011 edition of the UNESCO King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa Prize for the Use of ICT in Education,
Theme: Educating Youth for Responsible Global Digital Citizenship

Description of the candidate's background and achievements

Prof. Nikolov has been working in the area of ICT in Education since 1981. In the period 1981-1989 he participated in a large scale educational experiment carried out by the Research Group on Education (RGE) in Bulgaria, and in the International Research Program and Conference Children in the Information Age. Prof. Nikolov was involved in three UNESCO missions - Syria (1990, 1991) and Egypt (1992). During the last 30 years he has been leading a strong team of researchers and educators and participated in more than 100 national and international projects and initiatives related to ICT in Education. He is author of more than 120 scientific papers and books, including the first Bulgarian textbook in informatics for 5th grade pupils (1983), translated in Russian and Spanish. Most of the recent projects and activities of Prof. Nikolov are dedicated to research and applications of new ICTs in education, such as Web 2.0 technologies, serious games, mobile technologies, etc. He is member of TC3 of IFIP. Prof. Nikolov was invited expert at EDUsummIT (2009, 2011) and his team organized the UNESCO International Workshop Re-designing Institutional Policies and Practices to Enhance the Quality of Education through Innovative Use of Digital Technologies (Sofia, 2011).

Summary of the work or the results of the work;
publications and other supporting documents of major importance submitted for consideration

Work Title: Education in the Digital Age - the Global Campus (1981 - lifelong), http://rnikolov.unibit.bg/

We can expect that the ultimate result of the process of transformation of education based on ICT in the next few decades will be for the whole world to become a Global Campus. (Roumen Nikolov, The Global Campus, 2009)

Currently Prof. Nikolov is Head of Department of Computer Science and Chair-holder of the UNESCO Interfaculty Chair on Information and Communication Technologies in Library Studies, Education and Cultural Heritage at the State University of Library Studies and Information Technologies (SULSIT). His 30-year long professional carrier has been dedicated to research, education, development and implementation of advanced ICT application in different areas of Digital Society, mainly in the area of the award theme Educating Youth for Responsible Global Digital Citizenship. This theme was in the focus of the International Workshop QED: Re-designing Institutional Policies and Practices to Enhance the Quality of Education through Innovative Use of Digital Technologies, Sofia, 2011 (http://qed.unibit.bg) organized by the Prof. Nikolov's team and the UNESCO Section Teacher Policy and Development,The workshop was linked with the International Summit of ICT in Education (EDUsummIT) events in 2009 and 2011 (http://edusummit.nl/). It aimed at establishing a regional platform (for Central and Eastern Europe and Western Balkans) for building a shared vision of policy makers, experts and educators for teaching and learning with ICT in the 21st century. The participants generated several proposals of actions, e.g. launching the Children in the Digital(as a successor of the Children in the Information) which would become a principal task of the UNESCO Chair at SULSIT.

Prof. Nikolov is author of more than 120 scientific papers and books and has strong international recognition. His recent visionary book The Global Campus consolidated most of his work during the last 16 years and catalyzed a number of new developments, including the establishment of the UNESCO Chair at SULSIT. The developments, experience and conceptual models presented fit directly to the 2011 award theme.The book analyses the need of an institutional change of schools and universities to adapt to the current requirements of networked and knowledge society. The e-learning phenomenon, the needs of implementing new pedagogy models and the ongoing ICT driven global educational reform are analysed as well. The book focuses on the Web 2.0 technologies and e-infrastructures and their impact on education and research in schools and universities. The teacher's professional qualification designed to meet the new challenges is considered as a key challenge for a successful penetration of ICT in the schools. The book provides a number of specific examples extracted from more than 100 ICT-in-Education related national and international projects Prof. Nikolov has been deeply involved in. A list of such projects is provided in ANNEX II. Some recent developments, inspired by the book, are described in papers and they enjoy substantial international recognition. The start of such research and developments was reported at the IFIP WG3.6 Conference, Vienna in 1996: A Virtual Environment for Distance Education and Training (co-authored with Iliana Nikolova). Further on, the achievements of the Prof. Nikolov's team got wide international recognition through several other publications and public presentations, through his participation as lecturer in the Bruce Street Visiting Scholar Program Issues in Online Learning, the University of North Texas, July 9 - August 10, 2001, as well as through a number of European projects, such as:  EC 6th Framework Program Project (network of excellence) KALEIDOSCOPE: Concepts and methods for exploring the future of learning with digital technologies (2004-2007) and EC 7th Framework Program Project SISTER: Strengthening the IST research capacity of Sofia University (2008-2011).

Another example of his international recognition was his being invited for Section Editor (Section 7: Distance Education in K-12) in the International Handbook of Information Technology in Primary and Secondary Education, Berlin: Springer Verlag (2008) and for a participant in the EDUsummIT in 2009 and 2011. His paper (co-authored with Iliana Nikolova) Distance Education in Schools: Realities and Perspectivesanalyzes the lessons learnt during the early days ICT in Education - the large scale educational experiment carried out by the Research Group on Education (RGE) in twenty nine schools in Bulgaria between 1979 and 1988, where some rudiments of the ongoing educational reform could be observed . The main assumption was that due to the advent of mass produced microcomputers the educational system should be reformed as a whole as to embed their potential in education as an integrative component. The major educational principle of RGE was the integration of school subjects (through ICT)and enabling students to see world objects and phenomena from different sides while learning. The paper discusses also the effectiveness of ICT based distance education and teacher education, which is  considered as the major way to struggle for excellence. The future of the ICT based distance education is mostly considered in the context of the so-called Web 2.0 schools. Such vision and some specific experiences were presented in his paper Towards Web 2.0 Schools: Rethinking the Teachers Professional Development at the IFIP IMICT2007 conference in Boston.

In 1999 Prof. Nikolov established the Centre of Information Technologies (IST) at Sofia University (under the PHARE/TEMPUS Project Centre of Excellence in IST). This centreis considered as one of the most successful Bulgarian institutions in international cooperation now. Prof. Nikolov is a member of the commission for nominations of young ICT researchers for the Award John Atanasov of the President of Republic of Bulgaria. In 2000 he got the IDG Award for Contribution in IT Training for the period 1991-2000, in 2005 - the Award of the Minister of Education and Science for managing a successful research team in European projects, in 2007 - the Award of the State Agency of Information Technology and Communications for contributions for development of the Information Society in Bulgaria, and in 2009 - his team got the Award of the Ministry of Education, Science and Youth for the best quality project in Life Long Learning  - I*Teach: Innovative Teacher.

Description of the candidate's contribution to the Prize's objectives

The contributions of Prof. Nikolov to the prize objective have impact at different levels:


The team of the Centre of IST played a pivoting role for integration of advanced ICT and Web 2.0 technologies in education and for overall quality of education, research and management of Sofia University as the national leading university (1999 - 2009). Another example is the establishment of the UNESCO Chair at SULSIT.


Influencing the whole school system in Bulgaria during the last 30 years through: innovative teacher training; textbooks, embedded advanced ICT into the curriculum; advanced educational software; providing professional ICT training and advisory work at national level.


His pioneering works triggered several national projects in other countries and paved the way for improving the quality of education through using advanced Web 2.0 technologies at global level through his participation in numerous international projects and initiatives, including the e-Learning Project of Russian government