Open Education Links #17
This review has been prepared collectively by members of the Open Education Policy Forum community. During the call (which was hosted by Centrum Cyfrowe last Wednesday) 20 activists from around the World shared their thoughts and experiences related to open education in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
OER20: Care in Openness
We all know how important it is for our movement to meet each other and participate in events. Organizing an international event requires time and effort, so it’s not so easy to cancel it. As a result of the recent developments with the COVID-19 outbreak, ALT had to cancel the face to face OER20 Conference in London at the last moment. Instead, they offered a reduced program of activities online. The online program took place on 1-2 April 2020. Now on the conference pages, you can find a summary of presentations. We would like to recommend two of them: “The OE policy registry – An open benchlearning tool” and “Changing Educational Policies with a Collective Impact”
As school closures impact nearly 80% of the world’s students population one of the challenges is to overcome digital exclusion in a short time. In Estonia, there is a new initiative called “Computer for each student” which connects people who can give away their old laptops/computers for families who need computers for kids studying at home. They have already helped hundreds of families. A similar initiatives can be found in the USA and other countries . In Poland, Centrum Cyfrowe in cooperation with other Polish organisation prepared the analysis about the digital exclusion in distance education. From our work, we have learned that one of the biggest problems in Poland are limited access to the broadband internet and necessary equipment ( according to our estimates, this problem affects at least one million students).
Search for OER
As a result of the recent developments with the COVID-19 outbreak and educational crisis, OER is becoming more popular. There is a French educational channel that was almost unknown until now and which is typically delivering OER . In Poland, although the platform with open textbooks was released by the Polish Ministry of Education in 2015, many teachers have just started using it. If you are looking for a list of OER in German, the list from Dominik Theis can help. A special website was released by International Council For Open And Distance Education. “Keeping the doors of learning open education” project is also a good source of useful resources and practices.
Well-being in times of the educational crisis
Open Education is not only about resources, but also about open education practices and competences. We talked about it during our call. We all agreed that it is important to support teachers and educators in this new reality. But how to do this? For example, Centrum Cyfrowe is now running research among Polish teachers to understand their current needs. They also released a website with self-care practices that can help teachers and educators to deal with stress, frustration and a sense of loneliness.
The Global Education Coalition
The Global Education Coalition launched by UNESCO seeks to facilitate inclusive learning opportunities for children and youth during this period of sudden and unprecedented educational disruption. Another global initiative is #OER4Covid. To minimise the impact of COVID-19, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) and the OERu are joining forces with the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE) and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) to support education institutions around the world transitioning to online learning using open educational resources (OER).