On November 9-10, 2017 the International Conference “Open Professional Cooperation for Open Learning” was organized by the European Network of Distance and E-Learning (EDEN), the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas (Lithuania). The objective of the conference was to discuss the challenges related to open professional collaboration and open education in Higher Education, Adult Learning, School Education and VET & Companies.
The conference was organized as part of the European Distance Learning Week and brought together more than 200 experts from 19 countries. The participants discussed the strategies for the interaction of national, regional and European initiatives and programmes, the joint activities of professional associations, the partnership of educational institutions and commercial organizations. The main topics of the conference were:
- Open Education: Trends, Resources, Practices and Challenges
- From Open Educational Resources to Open Educational Practices
- Open learning for personal, professional and societal development
- Digital competences of teachers and students
- Transformation of educational programs for the purpose of open education
UNESCO IITE was widely represented at the conference. Keynote speeches were made by Mr. Gard Titlstad, Secretary-General of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) and member of the Governing Board of the Institute, and Ms. Svetlana Knyazeva, Chief of the Section for Digital Pedagogy and Training Materials. Ms. Tatiana Murovana, Programme Specialist of UNESCO, spoke at the session on school education. The attention of the conference participants was presented to the new UNESCO IITE publications – a study on open educational resources in Germany and the publication “The future of higher education and ICT: changes related to the use of open content”.
The conference was held in a mixed format – speeches at the plenary sessions were broadcasted online, online participants had the opportunity to ask the speakers their questions and send comments.
Speeches and discussions at the conference earmarked the agenda for open professional cooperation and prospects for the development of open education in Europe. This event also became a platform for strengthening partnerships and international cooperation of researchers, practitioners, teachers and other stakeholders.