UNESCO celebrates Open Education Week highlighting the implementation of OER Recommendation worldwide

The OER Dynamic Coalition Webinar held 4 March 2021 online focused on progress on OER capacity building, policy and collaboration in multilingual environments, as well as licensing issues in support of the implementation of the UNESCO OER Recommendation.

Mr Cable Green, Director of Open Education, Creative Commons stated that the OER Recommendation has the potential to be an important instrument for supporting Member States in achieving SDG4 and universal access to knowledge.

The Webinar also highlighted the development of OER-based teacher training materials in Egypt and Spain. The important contribution of these initiatives to support the continuation of learning in the context of the Covid-19 educational challenges was underscored in the presentations.

The Creation de Recursos Educativos Abiertos (CREA) project in Spain, presented by Mr Miguel Ángel Pereira, Responsible Officer for the CREA project, aims to provide capacity building for K-12 teachers in Extremadura, Spain in the use and creation of OER. The project has developed more than 300 OER, mainly in Spanish, in content areas such as mathematics, literature, biology and geology. As part of this project, since January 2017, more than 400 courses have been developed for teachers.

From Egypt, the development of OER-based teacher training materials based on the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (ICT CFT) was presented by Dr Gihan Osman, Associate Professor at the American University in Cairo. Dr Osman highlighted the challenges experienced in finding open content in Arabic and ensuring the contextualization of materials, addressing aspects related to multilingualism and capacity building of the Recommendation.

Dr Colin de la Higuera, UNESCO OER Chair, France, and Professor at Nantes University invited all participants to attend the Open Education (OE) Global Conference 2021, which will focus on the implementation of the OER Recommendation. OE Global will take place online from 8 September to 1 October 2021, and in Nantes from 5 to 7 October 2021.

Open Education Week (OE Week) is a global event recognizing achievement and excellence in open education. The objective of the annual celebration is to raise awareness and showcase impact of open education on teaching and learning worldwide. OE Week is an opportunity for actively sharing and learning about the latest achievements in Open Education worldwide.

The UNESCO OER Recommendation is the only existing normative instrument in the field of technology and education to date and sets out five areas of action (i) capacity building to create, access, re-use, adapt and redistribute OER, (ii) supportive policy, (iii) inclusive and equitable access to quality OER, (iv) sustainability models for OER and (v) international cooperation.

The OER Dynamic Coalition was established further to the adoption of the UNESCO OER Recommendation by Member States at the 40th Session of the UNESCO General Conference in November 2019. The objective of the Dynamic Coalition is to support governments in implementing the OER Recommendation by promoting and reinforcing international and regional cooperation among all stakeholders in the first four areas of the UNESCO OER Recommendation.