Over three intense weeks from Nov. 13 to Dec. 1, I participated, along with 700 others, in the UNESCO-sponsored virtual conference on Open Educational Resources. "Organized in partnership with the OECD Centre for Research and Innovation, this Internet discussion forum is the latest in a programme of activities designed to raise awareness and build capacity on Open Educational Resources."
I would say that this conference was the best of the three UNESCO virtual conferences that I've "attended" about OER over the past year, partly because of the quality of leadership guidance by Susan D'Antoni, Claude Martin, Alexa Joyce, and Jan Hylen, and partly because of the quality and focus of the postings from well-qualified participants such as David Wiley, Stephen Downes, Fred Beshears, Marianne Phillips, Derek Keats, Wayne Mackintosh, and many others. Also this conference clearly benefitted from the formulations and exchanges that emerged from earlier UNESCO conferences about OER, especially the preceding conference about Free and Open Source Software in relation to OER.
In the past when I've participated in UNESCO's and other conferences, virtual and actual, I've blogged about them while the conferences were underway. For this conference I'm going to blog retrospectively by posting a number of items that I kept on my computer from the hundreds of postings that were made over the three week period. I'll also post links to the reports about the conference as they become available.
High on my education wish list is a very strong request that many, many other educational organizations begin to run open virtual conferences, if not to replace their regular conferences, then in parallel with them and in between them. The bountiful possibilities for enriched educational exchanges that are now available with via simple communication tools on the web would be mutiplied exponentially if only organizations and conferences would move in this direction. (And we can leave suitcases at home.)
Conference Invitation from Jan Hylen
I would like to invite you to participate in an online discussion that will focus on the findings and conclusions from the OECD study on Open Educational Resources. The forum will run from Monday 13th November through Friday 1st December.
We hope that you will be interested in participating since you have actively contributed to the OECD study – either by answering our survey, carrying out case studies or participating in expert meetings. This study is approaching its final stage, and it is time to summarize our findings and draw some conclusions for the final report that is scheduled to be published in March/April 2007. By inviting you to participate in the discussion we would like to give some feedback on your participation and offer you the opportunity to discuss, comment and have a say regarding the conclusions and the recommendations coming out of the study.
The forum will be organized as follows:
· Week 1 (13 – 19 November): What do we know about users and producers of Open Educational Resources?
· Week 2 (20 – 26 November): What are the motives or incentives and barriers for individuals and institutions to use, produce and share Open Educational Resources?
· Week 3 (27 November – 1 December): What are the policy implications and the most pressing policy issues on institutional, regional and national level coming out from this study?
Participants in the discussion will receive two background notes summarizing the main findings from the OECD study on who the users and producers of OER are, and the motives or incentives for individuals and institutions to use and produce OER.
The forum is one of a series of discussions organized by UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) for the purpose of awareness-raising on OER. The Community of Interest that has been formed has been active since October 2005 and has more than 600 members from 94 countries. You can find information on previous topics of discussion at: http://www.unesco.org/iiep/virtualuniversity/forums.php
To participate in the forum, please send an e-mail to Susan D’Antoni at: firstname.lastname@example.org and mention the OECD study. Your name will then be added to the OER Community for this specific online discussion.
And for more information and continuous updates regarding the OECD study, you can refer to: www.oecd.org/edu/oer .
We hope that you will be able to join us and contribute further to the reflection and discussion of OER and our findings.
With best regards,
Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI)
Directorate for Education, OECD
2 rue André Pascal
75775 Paris Cedex 16, France
Tel: +33 (0) 145 24 17 06