UNESCO OER Platform to be tested at celebrations of World Press Freedom Day in Windhoek
Journalism educators from Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa will meet to provide input to the UNESCO Open Educational Resources (OER) Platform in Windhoek, Namibia, on 6 May 2011 as a side event to the World Press Freedom Day celebrations in Namibia. The event is hosted by the Media Technology Department of the Polytechnic of Namibia.
UNESCO is developing a new, innovative OER Platform, in cooperation with the Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) at Wits University (South Africa).
Open Educational Resources are learning materials that have been released under an intellectual property license such as Creative Commons or in the public domain that allows their free use by others.
The OER Platform will offer selected UNESCO publications and allow communities of practice, including teachers, learners and education professionals, to freely copy, adapt and share their resources.
The first UNESCO publication to be made available is the <a href="ev.php?URL_ID=25263&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">UNESCO Model Curricula for Journalism Education</a>. It enables journalism education institutions to adhere to the latest global trends in the field and serves as a guideline for them to adapt the Curricula to their own environment.
The Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) will provide some background information on the OER Platform development process and a walkthrough of the OER Platform using the UNESCO Model Curricula for Journalism Education.
The workshop will be attended by lecturers from:
<li>National University of Lesotho,
<li>Polytechnic of Namibia,
<li>Tshwane University of Technology,
<li>University of Namibia, and
<li>Walter Sisulu University.
Media law lecturers will also have the opportunity to populate the OER Platform with their media law course outlines in order to test the user interface and functionalities of the Platform.
The OER Platform is part of UNESCO's strategy to foster universal access to information and knowledge and the development of info-structures. The Platform will feature UNESCO OER publications for a free use by Member States' institutions and is expected to be launched by the end of 2011.
The workshop in Windhoek will be a side-event to the Windhoek +20 Conference on Media in Africa 20 Years On: Our Past, Present and Future, and will take place on 5 and 6 May 2011. Media law lecturers, who are scheduled to participate in the OER Platform workshop, will also attend a panel discussion on Self-regulation and Media Law in Africa, which will take place on 5 May in Windhoek.
World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) is celebrated across the globe every year on 3 May, representing an opportunity to commemorate the fundamental principles of press freedom. The theme of WPFD 2011 is "21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers". This year's WPFD would mark the 20th anniversary of the Windhoek Declaration on Promoting Independent and Pluralistic Media. The Windhoek Declaration was endorsed by the UNESCO General Conference at its twenty-sixth session in 1991, and the date of the Declaration's adoption - 3 May - was subsequently declared World Press Freedom Day.