In its strategic national governmental plan for 2013-2016, the Romanian government mentioned for the first time Open Educational Resources and the integration of IT methods for learning. The strategic plan states that the Romanian Government, together with the Ministry of Education, will ‘support innovative methods for integrating web 2.0 educational resources and open educational resources in the learning process’. At the same time, this governmental plan is backed up by the European Open Data initiative and by signing the Open Government Partnership in 2011. In conjunction to this, the National Education Law mentions a Virtual Library and an e-Learning platform. However, there are no norms as to how this law should be applied.
In short, the progress is slow, but at least there are some policy and legislative texts to fall back on and to give decision-makers a sense of direction.
The purpose of the Fundacja Orange (Orange Academy) grant program is to promote the modern education of children and youth by supporting innovative educational projects that in an innovative and attractive way to encourage the acquisition of knowledge and participation in culture.
The two editions of the Fundacja Orange completed 80 projects, which are innovative and attractive way to encourage young people to work and learn. Children and young people create music based on digital techniques, preparing educational games, interactive maps of regions, video documentation, carry out artistic experiments with other cultures. All materials produced under the project of the Academy Orange is licensed under a Creative Commons 3.0 platform.
The Flemish Ministry of Education and Training has funded the development of online learning materials for distance adult learning. These learning materials comprise over 3,500 reusable electronic teaching packages for learning languages (French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, and Dutch as a second language) each lasting roughly 30 minutes. Each learning object is described according to a standardised set of metadata (such as level of language proficiency, competence taught, etc.) and made available via an online platform so teachers may use the lessons or even entire courses in their own educational environment. The learning materials are well suited for self-study or may be deployed for remedial or complementary purposes in other learning contexts
In 2010, Khan Academy introduced badges as part of a program to promote gamification of learning (Wikipedia). Khan Academy Stories is a collection of unedited testimonials from people whose lives have been impacted by Khan Academy. As of April 10th 2014, the website contains 208 stories from January 1st 2010 to March 27th 2014; 13 of these make reference to the motivating aspect of badges. The following quotes are some examples:
I also love the tracking and levels. I actually look forward to math on your website. It may sound silly for an adult, but the badges and levels really do make a big difference. I am working to beat MY best, not keep up with instruction or other students (or worry about slowing down the class). From Brook, February 25, 2014
I am 25 and planning on changing careers, which will require me to take 10 courses at a community college – mostly in math and science. I haven’t practiced math since high school (so it’s been about 8 years), and have a lot of catching up to do. I’ve only been using Khan academy for 3 days, and I am addicted! The challenges, energy points and badges are really motivating, and I almost can’t stop practicing. Already, I am feeling more up to speed, and am excited to continue learning. It is also really helpful that whenever you are stuck, there is an explanation with steps for each problem. Thanks for taking the frustration out of math! From Brianna, December 2, 2013
My 3rd grader like it because of the interactivity, earning points and badges. It keeps his attention unlike books. From Shane, August 2, 2012
My teaching partner = the other fifth grade teacher – started using it too. The kids loved the points and the “rivalry” was on. When our classes were about to hit 2 million points, there was a huge competition to be the first – when else would you hear whooping and the sound of furious problem solving at 2:30pm on a Friday? From Sonya, April 19, 2012
The Cape Town Declaration is not a definitive statement of open education, but an evolving proposal signed by hundreds of learners, educators, trainers, authors, schools, colleges, universities, publishers, unions, professional societies, policymakers, governments, and foundations.
The declaration makes specific reference to OER by claiming that “openly licensed course materials, lesson plans, textbooks, games, software and other materials that support teaching and learning” should be “licensed to facilitate use, revision, translation, improvement and sharing by anyone”.
It also identifies a need for more robust policies in support of OER: “governments, school boards, colleges and universities should make open education a high priority. Ideally, taxpayer-funded educational resources should be open educational resources. Accreditation and adoption processes should give preference to open educational resources. Educational resource repositories should actively include and highlight open educational resources within their collections”.
This statement of recommendation was passed at The World OER Congress held at UNESCO, Paris on 20-22 June 2012. It builds on a range of previous international statements (see citation) and sets out the following recommendations for member states:
- Foster awareness and use of OER
- Facilitate enabling environments for use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT)
- Reinforce the development of strategies and policies on OER
- Promote the understanding and use of open licensing frameworks
- Support capacity building for the sustainable development of quality learning materials
- Foster strategic alliances for OER
- Encourage the development and adaptation of OER in a variety of languages and cultural contexts
- Encourage research on OER
- Facilitate finding, retrieving and sharing of OER
- Encourage the open licensing of educational materials produced with public funds
This statement of principal, strategy and commitment was signed by a range of academics, librarians, foundations, journals and learned societies. It contains two main strategies for improving open access to peer-reviewed scholarly literature:
- Tools and assistance for the self-archiving of scholarly works including support for search optimization
- Helping journals to ensure permanent access to their articles through open access publication (however this is sustained)
UNESCO has announced a new Open Access Repository making more than 300 digital reports, books and articles available to the world under the Creative Commons IGO licenses. By open licensing its publications, UNESCO not only makes all the knowledge it creates freely and openly available to the world, but it sets an important example for its 195 member (and 9 associate member) nations about the strong policy arguments for releasing publicly funded resources under open licenses.