In the past weeks, UNESCO has been busy with several activities to support education in the current COVID-19 crisis, with a specific focus on OER and OEP (Open Educational Practices). They have collected everything on a website. This website is regularly updated. Some resources on this website I find worthwhile.
- Overview of national platforms and tools. Contains among many other things links to available (national) repositories of OER and national and local support sites. (*)
- Overview of distance learning solutions to facilitate student learning and provide social care and interaction during periods of school closure.
- Webinars on the educational dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those webinars provide a venue for stakeholders working in education to share practices, ideas and resources about country responses to school closures and other challenges stemming from the global health crisis.
(*) In the overview, The Netherlands is missing. Some sources I would recommend to add to this overview:
- Vraagbaak Online Onderwijs (Supportsite for online (higher) education), maintained by SURF
- Les op afstand (Supportsite for K12 and vocational education), maintained by Kennisnet
- Digitale didactiek (Digital didactics), maintained by the Open Universiteit
- Wikiwijs, the national repository of OER
Multilateral partners, including the International Labor Organization, the UN High Commission for Refugees, The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the World Food Programme and the International Telecommunication Union, as well as the Global Partnership for Education, Education Cannot Wait, the OIF (Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie) the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Asian Development Bank have joined the Coalition, stressing the need for swift and coordinated support to countries in order to mitigate the adverse impacts of school closures, in particular for the most disadvantaged.
The private sector, including, Microsoft, GSMA, Weidong, Google, Facebook, Zoom, KPMG and Coursera have also joined the Coalition, contributing resources and their expertise around technology, notably connectivity, and capacity strengthening. Companies using learner and educational data have committed to uphold ethical standards.
Philanthropic and non-profit organizations, including Khan Academy, Dubai Cares, Profuturo and Sesame Street are also part of the Coalition, mobilizing their resources and services to support schools, teachers, parents and learners during this time of unparalleled educational disruption.
Media outlets are also invited to join the Coalition, as has done the BBC World Service as part of its commitment to supporting young people in lockdown across the globe. The BBC will be producing advice, stories, and media education materials to help isolated young people understand how the Coronavirus may affect them.
Their aim is:
Specifically, the Coalition aims to:
- Help countries in mobilizing resources and implementing innovative and context-appropriate solutions to provide education remotely, leveraging hi-tech, low-tech and no-tech approaches
- Seek equitable solutions and universal access
- Ensure coordinated responses and avoid overlapping efforts
- Facilitate the return of students to school when they reopen to avoid an upsurge in dropout rates
The UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) and UNESCO International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education (UNESCO INRULED) have published a report: Guidance on Open Educational Practices during School Closures: Utilizing OER under COVID-19 Pandemic in line with UNESCO OER Recommendation. From the preface:
This publication is motivated and inspired by UNESCO OER Recommendations and the innovative experiences worldwide. It aims to show the implications of using Open Educational Practices (OEP) and Open Educational Resources (OER) on learning outcomes. Particularly, it describes, through illustrative examples, innovative approaches to using OEP and OER worldwide during COVID-19 outbreak.
The report can be used as a source of inspiration of how OER and OEP can create online and blended learning experiences. It provides an introduction in both elements, using the Recommendation on OER as structuring framework.