ICT have been increasingly utilized by educational institutions worldwide for developing course materials, delivering content and sharing content, communication between learners and teachers, creation and delivery of presentations and lectures, academic research, etc. In accordance with the Strategic objective 1 “Developing education systems to foster quality and inclusive lifelong learning for all” formulated in the UNESCO Education Strategy for 2014–2021: “The UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO-IITE) will contribute to the implementation of activities related to the development of ICT in education, with a particular focus on policy support, adaptation of the ICT-CFT and promotion of OER”.
OER has the potential to make a significant contribution to SDG 4 with its key pillars of access, equity and inclusion. OER work has focused on implementing the 2012 Paris OER Declaration and the Ljubljana OER Action Plan 2017 with a view to making OER more widely used by educational stakeholders worldwide. The Education 2030 Agenda reaffirms a political commitment, facilitating policy dialogue, knowledge sharing and standard setting. In this regard, as stated in the Qingdao Declaration, OER “provide educational stakeholders with opportunities to improve the quality and expand access to textbooks and other forms of learning content to catalyse the innovative use of content, and to foster knowledge creation”. The Qingdao Declaration also calls for sector-wide strategies and capacity building programmes to fully realize the potential of OER to expand access to lifelong learning opportunities, achieve quality education and establish legal and political frameworks that promote, inter alia, coordinated partnerships.
To achieve the project objectives – implementing 2012 OER Paris Declaration, evidence-based advocacy of the OER movement and capacity building in production, sharing and use of OER in UNESCO Member States – the following activities should be taken:
- Providing support for the development and contextualizing OER policies;
- Exploring OER initiatives and best practices;
- Facilitating the exchange of pedagogies and instruction methodologies in using OER;
- Capacity-building in the use of OER in non-English-speaking countries;
- Developing indicators for monitoring OER adoption.
The following major action lines are envisaged for the Activity:
- Research and policy advocacy.
- Capacity-building and networking.
- Information dissemination and knowledge sharing.