Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, COL and the OER Foundation (OERF), New Zealand have joined forces to establish an Open Educational Resources for COVID (OER4COVID) community. The goal is to assist education institutions around the world, especially in the Commonwealth, to transition to online learning.
Currently, over 80% of the world’s students are impacted by school closures, and many countries are in lockdown to reduce transmission. Online learning is a key strategy for governments and educational institutions to ensure continuity of learning during the crisis.
“OER is a renewable and sustainable resource which can save valuable time in transitioning to online learning,” said Dr Wayne Mackintosh, Managing Director of the OERF and UNESCO / ICDE Chair in OER. “Working together, we can respond to this crisis more effectively than if we each work alone.”
The UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE) and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) will join the initiative as supporting partners to widen global access to relevant expertise.
Dr. Sanjaya Mishra, Education Specialist: eLearning, COL said: “COL is a pioneer in online learning and OER. The OER Foundation has a network of partners beyond the Commonwealth and has contributed significantly to promoting the use of OER and open technologies in education. With this collaboration, we are also expecting to establish an open, online community support group to curate openly licensed resources to assist educators and learners transitioning to online learning.”
OER4COVID will host a series of synchronous sessions and online trainings to build capacity among educators to design and develop OER-enabled online courses.
The first online consultation will be held on the following dates and times:
For Asia, Pacific and the Caribbean: April 8, 2020, 20:00 pm PDT
(Examples: April 8, 2020 for Belize (9pm), Jamaica (10pm), St Lucia (11pm); April 9, 2020 for Pakistan/Maldives (8am), India/ Sri Lanka (8.30am), Bangladesh (9am), Malaysia (11am), PNG (1pm), Fiji (3pm), Samoa (4pm)).
For Africa and Europe: April 9, 2020, 12:00 am PDT
(Examples: April 9, 2020 for Ghana (7am), Nigeria/UK (8am), France/Norway/ South Africa (9am), Russia/ Tanzania (10am), Mauritius (11am)).