The report “Report on using information and communication technologies (ICTs) in education for persons with disabilities”, published in 2012, is the outgrowth of a joint initiative by UNESCO and the Trust for the Americas, non-profit organization cooperating with the Organization of American States (OAS).
The joint project consisted of a significant study, country by country in South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean, elucidating achievements and shortfalls, while demonstrating that democratizing free access to ICTs for persons with disabilities in the field of education is an attainable goal.
As a result, the final report provides a meaningful assessment of the status of access to ICTs for such persons and identifies both the good practices and the problems and pending needs that require the most support. It also evinces the need to enhance access to ICTs and the duty for all societal stakeholders, both governmental and non-governmental, as well as international organisations, to work toward attaining this goal.
The overall goal of the study is to provide recommendations to improve information policies, strategies for using ICTs to educate persons with disabilities and incorporate issues related to disability.
The publication targets especially decision-makers, national and regional educational institutions, organisations and associative movements of and for persons with disabilities.
The 2012 Paris OER Declaration was formally adopted at the 2012 World Open Educational Resources Congress held at the UNESCO Headquarters in June 2012.
The Declaration marks a historic moment in the growing movement for Open Educational Resources (OER) and calls on governments worldwide to openly license publicly funded educational materials for public use.
The Declaration recommends UNESCO member States to:
- Foster awareness and use of OER.
- Facilitate enabling environments for use of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT).
- Reinforce the development of strategies and policies on OER.
- Promote the understanding and use of open licensing frameworks.
- Support capacity building for the sustainable development of quality learning materials.
- Foster strategic alliances for OER.
- Encourage the development and adaptation of OER in a variety of languages and cultural contexts.
- Encourage research on OER.
- Facilitate finding, retrieving and sharing of OER.
- Encourage the open licensing of educational materials produced with public funds.
UNESCO proposed with all relevant stakeholders to design and implement a series of global activities based on all the 10 points of the Declaration. This project aims to assist Member States in developing national-level OER policies and implementing the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (ICT CFT) by harnessing Open Educational Resources (OER).
The Inception Meeting of the "Implementing the Paris OER Declaration" project took place on 26 and 27 March, 2013 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
“The Industry and Policy Context for Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion: Market Analysis, Future Prospects and Key Challenges in Videogames, Serious Games and Gamification” is a report published by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in 2013 aiming to help policy makers and other stakeholders in their decisions about the potential contribution to economic and social goals of the creative, cultural and technological industries that develop digital games and gamification.
The effective use of Digital Games for Empowerment & Inclusion (DGEI) of people and communities at risk of exclusion will be shaped by, and may influence the development of a range of sectors that supply products, services, technology and research. The principal industries that would appear to be implicated are the videogames industry, and an emerging “serious games” industry.
The videogames industry is an ecosystem of developers, publishers and other service providers drawn from the interactive media, software and broader ICT industry that services the mainstream leisure market in games, The “serious games” industry is a rather fragmented and growing network of firms, users, research and policy makers from a variety of sectors.
These actors are trying to develop knowledge, products, services and a market for the use of digital games and products inspired by digital games for a range of non-leisure applications.
Authored by James Stewart and Gianluca Misuraca, from the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), the report provides a summary of the state of play of these industries, their trajectories and the challenges they face. It also analyses the contribution these actors could make to exploiting digital games for empowerment and social inclusion.
Finally, it explores existing policy towards activities in these industries and markets, and draws conclusions as to the future policy relevance of engaging with them to support innovation and uptake of effective digital game-based approaches to empowerment and social inclusion.
The European Commission’s report “Survey of schools: ICT in Education”, collects information from 31 European countries (27 EU Member States, Croatia, Iceland, Norway and Turkey) and provides detailed, up-to-date and reliable benchmarking of Information and Communication Technologies in school level education across Europe, painting a picture of educational technology in schools: from infrastructure provision to use, confidence and attitudes.
According to the survey, based on data collected during the school year 2011-12, students and teachers in Europe are keen to "go digital", computer numbers have doubled since 2006 and most schools are now "connected", but use of ICTs and digital skill levels are very uneven. These skills and support for teachers to deliver them need a strong boost.
Some of the key findings of the study indicate that teachers are generally confident and positive about the use of ICTs for learning and most of them believe there is need for radical policy change. However, teacher training in ICTs is rarely compulsory and therefore most teachers devote spare time to private study of these skills. Teachers use computers to prepare lessons more often than they use them in lessons.
The report shows there are marked country differences. Scandinavian and Nordic countries have the best equipment (Sweden, Finland, Denmark); while students in Poland, Romania, Italy, Greece, Hungary and Slovakia are most likely to lack the right equipment. However, lack of equipment does not mean lack of interest: some countries with the highest use of computer equipment are the ones with the lowest scores on equipment provisions (e.g. Bulgaria, Slovakia, Cyprus and Hungary).
The findings and recommendations of the 163-page report will feed into the Digital Agenda's effort and assist the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs (which plans, for example, to promote Massive Open Online Courses for teachers and spread the use of incentives and coordination in teacher ICT training), and other Commission initiatives such as the Rethinking Education Strategy and the forthcoming Opening Up Education proposal.
The study was undertaken by European Schoolnet and the University of Liège. This is the third European survey of ICT in schools, and the first to survey students directly.
INTUITEL is a project that promotes e-learning systems with a strong emphasis on guidance and feedback for learners. INTUITEL-enabled management systems provide automated, personalised learning support.
The objective of INTUITEL is to enhance e-learning content and Learning Management Systems (LMS) with features that so far have been provided only by human tutors. It creates an integrated learning environment that can reconfigure and adapt itself to the needs of any learner.
The INTUITEL Project has brought together members of the ICT industry and the commercial e-learning sector, as well as university e-learning expert practitioners to test and evaluate INTUITEL under realistic conditions.
For more information on the project, click here.
Conference Programme for Learning Innovations and Quality: The Future of Digital Resources Available
LINQ event hosts from the University of Duisburg-Essen in Germany have published the final conference programme for LINQ 2013. The conference in Rome will be supported by a variety of prominent figures vital to the fields of technology-enhanced learning, open educational resources, and vocational education in Europe and worldwide. Furthermore, their presence will further the highlight of LINQ 2013: the launch of ICORE, the International Council for Open Research and Education (www.icore-online.org). Registration for LINQ 2013 is still open for all interested parties until May 8th, but seats are limited and should be reserved as quick as possible.
On May 16th, Learning experts and pioneers such as Dr. Tony Bates of Tony Bates Associates, Dr. Ignasi Labastida, director of the OCW Consortium and Creative Commons, and António Silva Mendes, Director of Education and Vocational Training at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture will take part as keynote speakers at LINQ 2013. They will join the already confirmed Prof. Dr. Rory McGreal and Prof. Dr. Fred Mulder, both UNESCO chairs for Open Educational Resources (OER), as well as Christian-Friedrich Lettmayr, Director of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP). Together these esteemed speakers will establish the greater context of international learning innovations for LINQ 2013.
Complementing the established experts, selected researchers from over 150 submissions will also present new and innovative research papers and projects. Four parallel sessions, divided into three parts each, will provide the structure for presentations. The 1st Parallel Session will consist of invited European speakers as well as two workshops respectively on the co-hosting VOA3R project and the innovative ODS project. The 2nd Parallel Session will consist of the selected papers from the LINQ 2013 call. These papers in turn fit into three thematic sections: “Digital Resources & Online Repositories”, “TEL for Schools, Universities, & Lifelong Learning”, and “Innovations & Future Trends in LET”. In addition, the 3rd and 4th Parallel Sessions will be dedicated to the presentations of selected European and international projects, thematically divided into “Quality Management: Evaluation, Standards & Certification”, “Open Access & Open Educational Resources: Policies, Tools and Content”, and “New Knowledge Networks – Ideas & Innovation for LLL” on the one hand, and “VET, New Skills & Quality”, “Teachers in Focus: Competence & Skill Development”, and “Innovation in TEL” on the other. The final conference programme is available on the LINQ 2013 conference website at www.learning-innovations.eu/2013/programme.
Registration for LINQ 2013 is still available for all interested groups until May 8th – only a few seats remain, so please register as soon as possible to ensure your chance to participate. Further information on registration is available at the conference website at www.learning-innovations.eu/registration. For the latest updates on LINQ and related initiatives, follow @LINQ_Conference on Twitter and like www.facebook.com/LINQConference on Facebook.
The International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) invites expressions of interest for producing courseware in the form of an open educational resource for training teacher trainers in high quality open, distance and online learning. The target group for this call is an institution or consortium of actors/ institutions and the initial focus of the project is Africa.
Open, distance and online learning is rapidly expanding in universities and colleges in Africa and Asia, but faculty training has not caught up with the speed of development. According to the African Union Commission, the number of new teachers required in Africa by the year 2015 is estimated to be 3.6 million.
Online training using OERs will facilitate mass training of teacher trainers, which again will facilitate trained teachers in filling the huge gap in demand for educators in Africa. By using OERs, courseware can be adapted to different cultures and languages.
The OER/ courseware to receive an ICDE grant should focus on the needs of teacher trainers to deliver high quality faculty training in open and distance/ online learning. The first regional area of priority should be Africa. A regional focus on Asia will be considered when the project has delivered.
The expressions of interest must be submitted to the ICDE Secretariat, firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 31 May 2013. ICDE will invite a smaller selection of applicants to deliver a bid in the form of a project proposal. One successful bidder will be invited to enter into a contract with ICDE. The value of the grant is USD 8,500.
You are invited to participate in ICERI2013 (6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation). It will be held in Seville (Spain) on the 18th, 19th and 20th of November 2013.
It will be the best opportunity to present and share your experiences in the fields of Education, Research and Innovation in a multicultural and enriching atmosphere.
The attendance of 700 participants from more than 75 countries is expected.
There will be 3 presentation modalities: Oral, Poster or Virtual.
The deadline for abstracts submission is July 11th, 2013.
Abstracts should be submitted on-line at http://www.iceri2013.org/online_submission
For more information about the conference and its venue, you can visit our website www.iceri2013.org
The Dutch programme Digitally Skilled & Digitally Safe aims to enhance the digital skills of the labour force.
Since 2009 public institutions and the business community collaborate within the programme following two lines: Digital skills of the labour force (Digitally Skilled) and Internet safety (Digitally Safe), targeting future employees, working people and jobseekers between 15 and 64 years old in order to enhance the innovation capacity and productivity of the Dutch economy.
The work plan for the year 2013 describes the strategy, approach and activities of Digitally Skilled and Digitally Safe for the upcoming months. Each line of the programme has its own goals, own results envisaged, own activities and own necessary and desired public-private collaboration.
Information and communication technologies (ICT) at present are influencing every aspect educational field; moreover many recognize ICT as catalysts for change; change in handling and exchanging information, teaching methods, learning approaches, scientific research, and in knowledge acquisition. The topic of “E-Competence - Needs and Demands of Innovative Education” is estimated to attrackt an international audience of some 200 participants.