I was privileged to attend the cloisters of Queens College for Cambridge 2012 which combined OER12 and the OCW Consortium’s Global Conference. The conference theme,"Innovation and Impact" was around openly collaborating to enhance education. The event brought together academics, professionals, students and policy makers interested in advancing the impact of OpenCourseWare and Open Educational Resources on education globally.
It was interesting to see two or three articles picking up themes from this conference in the press over the weekend.
New York Times Building Schools out of Clicks not Bricks
Guardian Academic Publishing Does not Add Up
Here are a few bullets that I hope capture the event and the ideas flowing around it. All the presentations from the conference will appear here.
- Indonesia - are building an open educational architecture for life long learning to support their 40 million students They have already digitized 5,000 senior secondary text books these are available freely for everyone to download. The next Global Open Courseware Consortium will be held in Bali Indonesia . Open Education is only way that Indonesia can meet the needs of its learners.
- UNESCO will hold a world forum in Paris in June with the aim of refreshing the Open Declaration. The Draft declaration has been sent to every government for comment. If you have time to take in one presentation from the proceedings watch this one from Sir John Daniel
- The American Community Colleges have made remarkable progress in 18 months in building and developing their own open-course books . These resources are available to everyone under Creative Commons Licences and the print versions will save learners collectively millions of dollars, pounds, yen: insert relevant currency. The programme is gathering momentum
- As learning content becomes free the focus moves to what institutions can add to learning in terms of teaching , learning and social connectivity. The next generation curriculum will reflect competencies scaffolded on problem solving activities with the underpinning knowledge being open and free.
- The volume of content that is going to arrive as open content and or through creative commons licences will impact on learning at every level all around the world
- Institutions and countries need to position themselves to make the most of this shift to open content and collaboration . This willl have an impact on the biggest to the smallest institution.
Education has the power to transform lives but too often access is restricted. Among those excluded are those who lack the right qualifications, who cannot pay the fees or who are unable to accommodate a fixed schedule. The Open Education movement seeks to remove barriers to education by freely sharing educational resources and adopting open educational practices.
By publishing resources with Creative Commons licences, rights owners and authors are explicitly encouraging use and adaptation by both educators and learners. By seeking out Open Educational Resources in preference to copyrighted materials teachers and lecturers are helping more learners to benefit from them.
National organisations such as the Higher Education Academy and the Joint Information Systems Committee in the UK and international agencies such as UNESCO have recognised the importance of Open Education. This Statement of Commitment is intended for individuals to publically pledge their support for Open Education. It has been drawn up by the newly formed Open Education SIG which aims to support, develop, sustain and influence policy in Open Education.
I think this all sits well with Scotland's educational traditions around particularly the democratisation of the intellect . Great too to see Association of Learning Technology taking this issue on.
Education is about to become a lot less cloistered.