Tim Unwin

Beyond 9Tim Unwin, UNESCO, is stranded at an airport in Finland, so he has recorded and sent a video to the conference organisers while his slides are presented in the room. Tim is speaking on “Open Educational Resources and ICT for Development” – he examines why are OERs not more widely used by people in Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) when intuitively they should be so valuable? Tim draws on experiences with:

Physical infrastructures are blamed for failure to develop OER, but these are NOT the real issues. There are bigger challenges: changes in personnel (not sustained leadership), diversity of funding mechanisms, time commitments, failure to understand ‘meanings’ e.g. ICT4D more than just computers in labs. Some realities of experiences in Africa include:

  • the structures and financing of African universities including issues surrounding new private universities
  • traditional didactic model of teaching
  • intellectual elitism – is it really serving the development needs of the people?
  • dependent mentailities (‘Where is the next grant coming from?’)
  • HE is based on individual gain and benefits rather than communal good
  • fundamental questions about the quality of the content. Tim challenges the audience to ‘think about what makes good content?’

But the projects have been more succesful in the area of African story-telling – an interactive, shared learning experience. So how do we use collaborative learning resources to share stories?

Some other links from Tim’s presentation: [links to follow]

  • UNESCO OER story providers
    • OER providers
      • BCcampus, Canada (Paul Stacey)
      • Digital Learning Pathway, Italy (Leonardo Tosi)
      • Free Courseware Project, University of the Western Cape, South Africa (Philipp Schmidt)
      • Klagenfurt OpenCourseWare, Austria (Thomas Pfeffer)
      • Knowledge Hub, Tecnol√≥gico de Monterrey, Mexico (J. Vladimir Burgos Aguilar)
      • New Zealand OER Project (Richard Wyles)
      • OpenER, Open University of the Netherlands (Robert Schuwer)
      • OpenLearn, The Open University, UK (Laura Dewis)
      • Qedoc (James McCormack)
      • SCOLA pilot, Italy (Giusy Cannella)
      • SLIDESTAR, Europe (Volker Zimmermann)
      • WikiEducator, Commonwealth of Learning (Wayne Mackintosh)
  • Other OER stakeholders
    • African Virtual University (Philise Rasugu)
    • OLCOS, Europe (Ildiko Mazar)
  • Stories of personal OER creation and useConnexions:
    • Kitty Schmidt-Jones, USA
    • National University of Rwanda (Gerald Rwagasana)

“We have much to learn from our African brothers and sisters…”

Session 4 Beyond 2010.

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