Workshop on Open Educational Resources to take place in Moscow
UNESCO and the Russian State University - Higher School of Economics (HSE, Moscow) are organizing the Joint Workshop on Open Educational Resources and Intellectual Property Rights to bring together experts in these fields. The event will be held at the State University - Higher School of Economics, in Moscow (Russia) from 31 May to 1 June 2011.
Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning and research materials that reside in the public domain, or have been released under an open-content intellectual property license that permits their free use by others.
A 2010 study of the state-of-the-art OER in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Brazil, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mongolia, People's Republic of China, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Moldova, the Russian Federation, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan completed by the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education revealed that:
<li>most of these countries are at a very early stage of OER movement;
<li>the concept of OER is not widely recognized in most of these countries;
<li>the majority of faculty and management staff in higher education institutions remains unfamiliar with OER and related activities.
One of the major barriers to the promotion of OER in these countries is uncertainty about intellectual property rights (IPR) with respect to OER. The Workshop in Moscow will, therefore, elaborate on guidelines for sustainably producing and using OER and recommendations for the application of open-content licences such as <a target=_blank href="http://creativecommons.org/">Creative Commons</a>. More than 50 delegates from 12 countries will meet in order to:
<li>share experiences in the use of OER in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and other non-English speaking countries;
<li>upgrade the capacity of UNESCO Member States in production of local content and repurposing of available resources;
<li>discuss where and how policies and practices in education need to change in order to harness the potential of OER;
<li>raise awareness about UNESCO's OER initiatives, tools and products;
<li>introduce the open licensing frameworks and discuss ways of harmonizing national IPR regulations with Creative Commons licenses;
<li>define and prioritize strategies for next steps and elaborate appropriate guidelines and recommendations to encourage OER sharing and use.
UNESCO will present the beta version of its new OER Platform, which will offer selected UNESCO publications as OER 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=24824&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">Model Curricula for Journalism Education</a>, which enables journalism education institutions to adhere to the latest global trends in the field and serves as a model that can be adapted to their own environment.
The OER Platform is part of UNESCO's strategy to foster universal access to information and knowledge and the development of info-structures. It will feature UNESCO publications in OER format for the free use and re-use by Member States' institutions and is expected to be launched by the end of 2011.