The 2012 Paris OER Declaration was formally adopted at the 2012 World Open Educational Resources Congress held at the UNESCO Headquarters in June 2012.
The Declaration marks a historic moment in the growing movement for Open Educational Resources (OER) and calls on governments worldwide to openly license publicly funded educational materials for public use.
The Declaration recommends UNESCO member States to:
- 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.
UNESCO proposed with all relevant stakeholders to design and implement a series of global activities based on all the 10 points of the Declaration. This project aims to assist Member States in developing national-level OER policies and implementing the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (ICT CFT) by harnessing Open Educational Resources (OER).
The Inception Meeting of the "Implementing the Paris OER Declaration" project took place on 26 and 27 March, 2013 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is an ambitious project launched in April 2013 with the aim to bring together and make freely available to the world the resources from libraries, archives and museums across the United States.
The DPLA offers a single point of access to millions of items, from photographs to manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images and more. Users can browse and search the collections by timeline, map, format, and topic; save items to customized lists and share their lists with others. Users can also explore digital exhibitions curated by the DPLA’s content partners and staff.
The DPLA aims to expand this crucial realm of openly available materials, and make those riches more easily discovered and more widely usable and used, through its three main elements:
- First, an easy-to-use portal where anyone can access collections and search through them using novel and powerful techniques, including by place and time.
- Second, a sophisticated technical platform that will make those millions of items available in ways so that others can build creative and transformative applications upon them, such as smartphone apps.
- Third, along with like-minded institutions and individuals the DPLA will seek innovative means to make more cultural and scientific content openly available, and it will advocate for a strong public option for reading and research in the twenty-first century.
Wiki for Higher Education (wiki4HE) is a research project being carried out by Spanish researchers aiming to analyse the use of Internet open content for university teaching and explore and propose new ways for using these resources in learning processes.
wiki4HE will specifically examine the educational uses of one of the most important open repositories of knowledge nowadays, Wikipedia, and explore the attitudes and perceptions of university teachers towards this virtual collaborative encyclopaedia (and open resources in general).
The expected outcomes of the project are a clear understanding of the perception, attitudes and uses of Wikipedia by university faculty and the identification of factors influencing these perceptions and practices. Moreover, taking into account this information, wiki4HE will produce a catalogue of educational practices and tutorials involving the use of Wikipedia, which teachers and university staff will be able to adapt to suit their needs and their pedagogical orientations.
Finally a set of recommendations will be drafted in order to help any university teacher to design, plan and implement new teaching practices using open resources in the Internet.
“Collaborative Statistics” is an OER written by Barbara Illowsky and Susan Dean, professors of mathematics and statistics at De Anza College in Cupertino, California. The textbook was developed over several years and has been used in classes that range from 20 to 120 students and in regular, honor, and distance learning classes.
This free online resource presented by Connexions is intended for introductory statistics courses being taken by college students who are majoring in fields other than math or engineering. Intermediate algebra is the only prerequisite.
The book focuses on applications of statistical knowledge rather than the theory behind it, emphasizing on four main concepts:
- thinking statistically
- incorporating technology
- working collaboratively
- writing thoughtfully
“Collaborative Statistics” contains full materials for course offerings, including expository text, examples, labs, homework, and projects. A Teacher’s Guide and supplemental course materials including additional problem sets and video lectures are also available online.
“Build it and they will come?– Inhibiting factors for reuse of open content in developing countries” is a paper written by Mathias Hatakka, from Örebro University (Sweden) and published in 2009 in the “The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries.“
Open content has the potential to change the playing field when it comes to every individual’s right to education. However, despite the benefits of OER, the usage is very low in developing countries. Understanding why content developers choose not to use it is the first step towards finding a solution to the problem.
Mr Hatakka focuses his qualitative study on the question “Which inhibiting factors for reuse do content developers in developing countries experience with open content?” To find an answer, interviews, questionnaires and observations have been made with content developers from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and from UNESCO’s Open Training Platform.
Findings show that many of the inhibiting factors with reuse of open content do not necessarily relate to the actual content. Educational rules and regulations, lack of infrastructure, teaching practices and traditions etc. are major obstacles that need to be overcome if the usage of open content should increase.
The Trend Report: Open Educational Resources 2013 describes trends in open educational resources (OER) and open education in the Netherlands and elsewhere, from the perspective of Dutch higher education.
Famous designs created by renowned designer Zandra Rhodes, and worn by global icons such as Princess Diana, Jackie Onassis and Elizabeth Taylor, are just some of the 500 dresses and garments that have been painstakingly prepared, catalogued and photographed over the past 18 months and included in the Zandra Rhodes Digital Study Collection.
Known for her bright pink hair and cutting-edge designs, Zandra Rhodes has remained one of the most recognisable names in fashion over the last five decades and remains relevant with the likes of Kylie Minogue, Sarah Jessica Parker and Paris Hilton wearing her dresses today.
Actress Joanna Lumley kickstarted the initiative, working with the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) to launch this Jisc-funded digital archive. That has implied locating, preparing, photographing, researching, and cataloguing 50 years of fashion collections in order to successfully compose the Zandra Rhodes Digital Study Collection.
The British Universities Film & Video Council has just published a best-practice guide for citing any kind of audiovisual items.
The style guide covers film, television and radio programmes, audio recordings, DVD extras, clips, trailers, adverts, idents, non-broadcast, amateur and archive material, podcasts, vodcasts, and games.
As this is the first edition and will be reviewed periodically, the BUFVC welcomes comments and feedback via email, or by tweeting @bufvc. A downloadable HTML version will soon be available for organisations that wish to include the guidelines on their own website.