Online Training Model – Contextualizing OER for Teachers’ Digital Skills Development in Francophone Africa and in Russian-speaking countries

This event focused on digital skills training through the “ICT Competency Framework for Teachers: Harnessing Open Educational Resources (OER)” project.

In his opening remarks, Dr Tawfik Jelassi, Assistant Director General of UNESCO for Communication and Information, emphasized the importance of OER in building inclusive knowledge societies: “The global community must act now to make universal access to information and knowledge a reality: OER is a tremendous asset in this regard, and can ensure that we build back better, as we build forward.”

This first online interregional workshop on this topic, brought together key actors in UNESCO’s educational ecosystem from Francophone Africa and the Commonwealth of Independent States, including representatives of Ministries responsible for teacher training and for the use of technologies in education, representatives of teacher training and higher education institutions, instructional designers, and curriculum developers.

The project is based on an innovative multi-stakeholder engagement which brings together a theoretical framework with concrete outputs. It aims to support Member States in contextualizing the ICT Competency Framework for Teachers, so as to meet national and institutional needs through three actions: firstly, aligning the Framework’s components to national objectives related to ICT in education; secondly, developing teacher training materials based on an OER approach; and finally, implementing teacher training programmes, based on these materials.

The meeting focused on the contextualization of the ICT CFT through OER and provided insights on best practices of use of the UNESCO ICT CFT OER Hub. The workshop also included case studies on the use of OER for digital skills development for teachers, through concrete examples of contextualisation in Egypt, Nigeria and Rwanda. The Moderator for the workshop, Mr Andrew Moore, Consultant, Communication and Information Sector, UNESCO highlighted that the ICT CFT OER Hub is a repository of resources that can be adapted to other contexts with the help of the network members providing support for the process and the marriage between the framework and the contextualization.

As Mr Vincent Nyirigira, Program Manager at the Rwanda Basic Education Board, highlighted that the framework is also very easy to use and adaptable to national contexts.

The workshop included two online tutorials, in which participants were able to interact with the tools presented. In the first tutorial, participants explored the ICT CFT document to identify priority competencies to shape teacher training initiatives. In the second online tutorial participants were invited to use the ICT CFT Hub on OER to identify units of study that can be adapted to support local teacher training.

The ICT CFT Hub on OER Commons contains collections of OER curated by UNESCO and partner countries, which are aligned to the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers. It helps to access content and connect with other educators who are using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve teaching practice.

The 2019 UNESCO OER Recommandation is the Organization’s first normative instrument in the field of technology and education. It identifies five areas for action: capacity building to create, access, reuse, adapt and redistribute OER; supportive policy; inclusive and equitable access to quality OER; sustainability models for OER; and international cooperation.

The UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (ICT-CFT) OER Network was created in 2013 to support Member States’ efforts in ICT teacher training by contextualizing the ICT Competency Framework. It aims to support the realisation of national objectives related to ICT in education, develop teacher training materials based on OER, and implement teacher training exercises based on these materials.

The ICT-CFT is a guidance tool for pre- and in-service teacher education that to helps teachers integrate ICT into their practice and professional development, to advance student learning.