BY ELIZABETH HERITAGE

April is Open Education month here at NZCommons. Over at the Open Education Working Group, they have been putting together a series of blog posts about OER around the world. Here are a few snippets that caught our eye.

India

Subhajit Ganguly is an Ambassador for Open Knowledge Foundation India, a group of professors, scientists, researchers, hackers, programmers, government and civil society representatives. He says: “Improving education in India is one of our priority areas and we are exploring open education approaches. We have to work as much as we can in ensuring at least basic education for those children who are not likely to see the light of education due to various reasons. This is a monumental task, taking into account the gigantic size of the population of India. However, every little helps. … We aim to arrange for vocational, profession-based education for the adult population. This way, we can work towards uplifting the economy from the grassroots.” Read more here.

Indian schoolchildren

Indian classroom for kids by Yorick_R, Flickr

Rwanda

Bernard Nkuyubwatsi, formerly of the Rwandan Ministry of Education, says: “The Open Learning Exchange Rwanda has been making educational resources more accessible and One Laptop per Child has distributed more than 100,000 laptops and aims to hit 500,000 computers distributed in primary schools.  … The most compelling accomplishment in opening up education in Rwanda is probably a high primary school enrolment, which was 98.7 percent in 2010. However, the road is still steep for secondary education (35.8 percent) and more importantly, higher education (5.5 percent).” Read more here.

South Africa

Dr Anna Wertlen is founder and chairperson of the Village Scribe Association for the advancement of innovative ICTs in development. She says: “The Village Scribe Association (VSA) is a small NGO in the poorest province of South Africa, the Eastern Cape. The Trust partners with a small IT company called eKhaya ICT, and together they have developed an online learning network that is suitable for school computer labs with no or low-quality internet access. Awarenet is a P2P social network, which combines the functions of well known social networks such as facebook, YouTube, Flickr and Wikipedia additionally to personal messages, blogs, chat rooms and creative spaces such as a scribble tool.” Read more here.

South Korea

Stella HaYoung Shin is a Ph.D candidate of Educational Policy and Administration at Sookmyung Women’s University in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea. She says:

“Much of my work at Sookmyung Women’s University (SMWU) has been devoted to developing OER surroundings in South Korea through launching and running SNOW (Sookmyung Network for Open World) during 2009–2010. SNOW has launched a vision of an ‘OER missionary’ to Korean users under the motif to provide valuable global OER to Korean users and accessible guidelines to make use of them. Comparing other OER interfaces and service providing organizations and web-sites, SNOW can be one of the most ‘kind’ and ‘open’ OERs allowing users find localised OER easily.

“SNOW developed an interactive OER localising platform for not only students of SMWU but also general users seeking ‘kind, local’ OERs. The most remarkable achievements of SNOW are the user-based content uploading-sharing-review system, SNOW Wiki system, as cooperative translation and interactive revision system and SNOW Eco-system as unique credit-saving system for donation system. SNOW can be a frontier model to envision the way to distribute OER efficiently, legally based on Creative Commons licences, and suggests a mutual vitalisation of Asian universities’ OER projects.” Read more here.

If you would like to write for NZCommons about an aspect of Open Education, please get in touch: elizabeth@creativecommons.org.nz.

Elizabeth Heritage is the Communications Lead at Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand.

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