The Opening up Education initiative
The European Commission's Opening up Education initiative in a nutshell
The main goal of this initiative is to stimulate ways of learning and teaching through ICT and digital content, mainly through the development and availability of OER. Amongst its actions, the most important one is to change the role of digital technologies at school. All the actions within the initiative are put in place with the hope that they help attain the ultimate objective, namely to boost competitiveness and growth at the European level.
Opening up Education calls for EU-level cooperation to push reforms towards the adoption of open learning environments as drivers to enhance digital skills both for pupils and teachers, and in education in general. Another major concern of the European Commission, stated in this initiative and in alignment with the Open Education Europa portal, is to be able to support the deployment and availability of digital technology and content.
This initiative addresses several educational difficulties at the European level. Europe is falling behind in the digital sphere; the great majority of schools are not digitally equipped and their students are not taught by digitally confident teachers, rather teachers who mainly use ICT to prepare their teaching but not as a skill for students to develop in the classroom. In the background, remains the threat of facing a new digital divide between those who have access to innovative, tech-based education and the digitally excluded.
The solution lays in open technologies that grant access to education for everyone and allow:
- students to build knowledge from open and free sources other than their teachers and institutions, and with different methods;
- everyone to engage in learning/study groups, thus creating learning communities beyond their classrooms;
make personalisation and customisation of education a much easier task;
- teachers to create communities of practice to exchange teaching materials and best practices;
provide access to a wider range of educational resources across borders and languages.
The actions foreseen in this initiative hope to enable Europe to gain leadership in education, attract new talent, train its citizens with the relevant skills, and as a consequence fuel innovation, productivity and growth.
The Open Education Europa portal: a key player to improve visibility of high-quality European OER
The main goal of the Open Education Europa portal is to grant access to all existing high-quality European OER repositories in different languages in order to make them easily accessible for learners, teachers and researchers. The ultimate aim is to be able to foster the wide use and creation of OER in several languages, for all educational sectors and disciplines, and to help overcome the current fragmentation of European OER use.