[Open-education] World Education Forum and Open Education / OER

Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams cheryl.hodgkinson-williams at uct.ac.za
Fri May 22 12:12:05 UTC 2015

Dear Bjoern

Good to know that you are aware of ROER4D! I would like to take these proposals to the broader ROER4D team before I commit to any new development, but in principle I agree that working together will help the broader open education cause. One of our colleagues, Sukaina Walji, is currently presenting at eLearning Africa and has made some new contacts who may very well be interested in such a group. It might also be good to locate other potentially interested parties such as emerge Africa (http://emergeafrica.net/ ), headed up by my colleague Tony Carr, which has a specific focus on online learning in higher education in Africa.

The new OER World Map project might also be a useful partner with respect for the pooling of OER. We have been in conversation with Jan Neumann in this regard and I am cc'ing him here too.

It will take a week or so to get comments back from our broader group before we can get back to you.

Kindest regards
From: Bjoern Hassler [bjohas at gmail.com]
Sent: 22 May 2015 01:31 PM
To: Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams
Cc: open-education at lists.okfn.org; freda.wolfenden at open.ac.uk; Thomas King; Sukaina Walji; Sarah Goodier; Tess Cartmill
Subject: Re: [Open-education] World Education Forum and Open Education / OER

Dear Cheryl, dear all,

thank you very much for the response, I'm aware of ROER4D, and it's great to hear that you are working with TESSA.

I'd like to make a couple of concrete proposals:


I suggest setting up an advocacy group (or join forces with one if there is one already) that will lobby donours and NGOs  for open licensing in international development, specifically in primary, secondary, and teacher education. Obviously millions are invested in UPE and secondary, and often the resulting resources are not publicly available. Sometimes this is despite such organisations have policies that suggest use of open licensing (i.e. policy/practice gap).

IMHO there's a really great bunch of organisations doing things (OER Africa, TESSA, TESS-India, CoL, VVOB, IICD, Bibliothèques Sans Frontières, ..., and of course ROER4D, and I may add OER4Schools as well), but I think we could do even more if we worked together more closely, systematically lobbied, etc.

(Why not also HE? I do think the situation in HE is different: There's much more traction for OER in HE, and even in developing countries, universities tend to have reasonable connectivity these days, students are more empowered to find the resources they need etc - of course, I'm not saying that OER in HE is unimportant, far from it. But my suggestion is a group focussed on primary/secondary, where there are fewer resources, despite the international priority as per EfA/GMR/SDGs.)


I would also suggest a joint pool of resources of OER for primary, secondary, and teacher education, available for offline use. OER Africa already has a resource bank, that we could build on. However, IMHO the (comparatively few) OER that do exist (and are specifically for primary, secondary, TE) are not promoted enough, and at times (for the intended audience!) relatively hard to get hold of.

I think the existing OER for primary/secondary in SSA, S/SE-Asia etc) don't have high enough visibility - so lobbying is important. But we also need to put together what we have achieved, so that the existing OER can be easily used in structured programmes for teachers and in schools (offline where needed).

For instance, there are many projects that do "Wikipedia offline for schools" (with ZIM, Rachel Pi, IdeasBox, etc) - I do know the community well, and they are doing great things. However, I would argue that community is not connected enough with the education community: Often such offline projects do not include TESSA, OER4Schools, etc. Wikipedia and KA is fine, but why not also provide resources that are specifically meant for teachers?  So we need to package our resources as well as Wikipedia and KA do, so that they can be easily part of offline solutions.

Cheryl, does this sound of interest from an ROER4D perspective, and would ROER4D be able to contribute to such an effort?

Similarly, are there others on this list who'd be interested in contributing? What are the next steps?

All the best,

On 22 May 2015 at 09:51, Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams <cheryl.hodgkinson-williams at uct.ac.za<mailto:cheryl.hodgkinson-williams at uct.ac.za>> wrote:

Dear Bjoern

Thanks for raising the issue of OER in developing countries. The Research on Open Educational Resources for Development (ROER4D)(http://roer4d.org/) project is endeavouring to find out exactly how OER is being adopted or not, in a range of Global South countries in three regions, South America, Sub-Sarahan Africa and Asia. ROER4D comprises 18 sub-projects around seven clusters engaging 86 researchers and associates across sixteen time zones investigating the adoption and impact of Open Educational Resources (OERs) in 26 countries.

We are still in progress, so no data just yet, but you might want to follow our progress on our website or be in contact directly. For a quick overview the current ROER4D Slideshare deck (http://www.slideshare.net/ROER4D) should be a good start.

But to answer your direct question: “Given the global aspirations for Open Education, OER, and CC, is this ok? Should we do more? Is enough being done for primary/secondary education in developing countries regarding ‘open’?”, the answer is no, we need to understand a lot more about what people actually need as OER from the ‘bottom-up’ in terms of content and format. You will be pleased to know that one of the ROER4D Sub-Projects is specifically investigating the impact of the TESSA project under Freda Wolfonden’s leadership.

Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams
Principal Investigator of ROER4D

-------- Original Message --------
Subject:        [Open-education] World Education Forum and Open Education / OER
Date:   Wed, 20 May 2015 19:53:21 +0200
From:   Bjoern Hassler <bjohas at gmail.com><mailto:bjohas at gmail.com>
To:     open-education at lists.okfn.org<mailto:open-education at lists.okfn.org> <open-education at lists.okfn.org><mailto:open-education at lists.okfn.org>

Hi all,

Is there anything OER or Open Education related going on at the World Education Forum "Equitable and inclusive quality education and lifelong learning"? It's possible that I've missed it... please tell me if I have!

Also, the last two Global Monitoring Reports only mention OER in passing, with no mention of Open Ed. / Creative Commons or e.g. TESSA / TESS-India. Here's how OER is mentioned:

"Of greater significance is identifying other settings and learning frameworks – for example, distance and open education, non-formal education, on-the job training and adult education – that may significantly augment skill acquisition among adults over the life course." (2015 report)

"The use of ICT for distance education also requires investment in infrastructure, hardware and materials. South Africa is an example of a country that is addressing this need through innovation in Open Education Resources (South African Institute for Distance Education, 2010), which can dramatically reduce costs for participating institutions and learners." (2013/14 report)

(My bold. Of course, even those brief mentions, if looked at in detail, are to some extent problematic.)

Given the global aspirations for Open Education, OER, and CC, is this ok? Should we do more? Is enough being done for primary/secondary education in developing countries regarding "open"?

Looking at the tweets for the World Education Forum, there is of course a big focus on equity, which is of course important, as that message hasn't been fully heard yet by everybody. But we know from education that the "what" is often easily agreed - the how is more complex. Of course OER alone won't solve any problems, but I think we're probably agreed that OER should be part of an equitable solution.Â

Any thoughts?

(For those who prefer twitter for discussion:Â
https://twitter.com/bjoernhassler/status/601073454524321792 )


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