Tuesday, October 25, 2011

UNESCO Chairs in OER Programme and International Network

Photo of Athabasca UniversityImage via WikipediaSpeakers: Rory McGreal Fred Mulder Susan D\'Antoni
The UNESCO Chairs in OER explain their programme, goals and objectives in supporting an international network of OER users.

In Nov. 2006, ICDE launched its Global Task Force on OER at the UNESCO HQ in Paris with strong support from UNESCO. In March 2009 an OER Seminar was organised by the EADTU OER Task force and UNESCO, again at UNESCO HQ. It seemed a natural step for UNESCO to establish UNESCO OER Chairs, which were granted to Fred Mulder and Rory McGreal, both active in the OER community. The Canadian Chair is focusing on stimulating OER capacity building and awareness raising, particularly in Africa, Asia and Latin America and specifically with the world's Open Universities. The Dutch Chair embraces research to underpin and give guidance to the exploration, introduction, implementation and exploitation of OER in a variety of societies at the national level.
The aim of this Panel is to discuss the Activity plans of both Chairs and to amend them where necessary. This under explicit consideration of the continental and national differences and of the self-learning mode as a promising perspective in relation to OER.

The goals of UNESCO include universal education. They are creating an international network of OER chairs for action.

There are chairs in Canada and the Netherlands.

They are building a collaborative mapping of OER initiatives world-wide.

Rory McGreal is the UNESCO chair from Athabasca University. They are supporting OER in Africa and they are partners with UNISA, Africa's online university. They are supporting gender equality. They are promoting OERs to educate youth. They are working on getting chairs in Oceania, Brazil and elsewhere for more chairs. They are active in policy research.

AU Press Open Access Book will be announced soon. They are looking for OER-relevant topics. The OER book will be in the Issues in Distance Education edited by Terry Anderson.

Fred Mulder described an global OER graduate school initiative. There is a substantial need for more research in OERs. Very broad research objectives. The key researchers are PhD candidates under joint supervision by three OER experts.

They want them to spend time doing research abroad but they want that virtually.
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