» UNESCO 2012 World Open Education Resources Congress opens with key supporters
21.06.2012 - UNESCO

UNESCO 2012 World Open Education Resources Congress opens with key supporters

Sir John Daniel, Fostering Governmental Support for OER Globally - CC-BY

Yesterday afternoon, government representatives and education experts from around the world gathered at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris to discuss the present and future of Open Education Resources (OERs). Prominent keynote speakers included Harvard Professor and Creative Commons co-founder Lawrence Lessig, Ministers of Education from Ghana and Madagascar, and Sir John Daniel of Fostering Governmental Support for OER Globally.

OERs are teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain or released with an intellectual property license that allows for free use, adaption and distribution. As Dr Lessig reminded us, open licenses have the potential to save lives by providing access to scientific articles on health for those who need it.

Many of the speakers highlighted the ways in which OERs are being used to innovate and improve local communities. Ms Franka Alexis-Bernardine, Minister of Education and Human Resources Development in Granada, spoke of her objective to create a “culture of sharing among teachers” in order to improve education for children.

The primary objectives of the 2012 Congress are to release the 2012 Paris Declaration, which calls on governments to support the development and use of OERs, as well as to showcase best OER practices and celebrate the 10th anniversary of UNESCO’s 2002 Global Forum that launched the term OER.

The event, which continues through Friday, 22 June, will feature prominent OER supporters and government representatives. Starting this morning, an Open Seminar and Exhibition showcases innovative OER projects from universities around the world, as well as from organizations such as Creative Commons and the SAIDE/OER Africa initiative.

The Congress is streamed live online at unesco.org/oercongress, and remote participants are encouraged to submit questions and comments through the Twitter and Identi.ca hashtag #oercongress.

The 2012 World Congress is organized by UNESCO in full partnership with the Commonwealth of Learning with the generous support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

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