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OER Canvas: Το πρότυπο για την δημιουργία Ανοιχτών Εκπαιδευτικών Πόρων και στα ελληνικά

Alexandra Ioannou - March 2, 2018 in Canvas, News, open-education, resources, ανοιχτοί εκπαιδευτικοί πόροι, εκπαίδευση

Πώς μπορεί κάποιος να οργανώσει και να σχεδιάσει ανοιχτούς εκπαιδευτικούς πόρους (open educational resources); Αν και υπάρχουν οδηγοί που καλύπτουν το κομμάτι των αδειών και της εκπαιδευτικής αξίας των πόρων, δεν υπήρχε μέχρι στιγμής ένα γενικό πρότυπο δημιουργίας ανοιχτού εκπαιδευτικού υλικού. Αυτό το κενό ήρθε να συμπληρώσει το OER Canvas που δημιουργήθηκε από το Open Education Working Group σε συνεργασία με το OER.info.

OER Canvas: Το πρότυπο για την δημιουργία Ανοιχτών Εκπαιδευτικών Πόρων και στα ελληνικά

Alexandra Ioannou - March 2, 2018 in Canvas, Featured, Featured @en, News, open-education, resources, ανοιχτοί εκπαιδευτικοί πόροι, εκπαίδευση

Πώς μπορεί κάποιος να οργανώσει και να σχεδιάσει ανοιχτούς εκπαιδευτικούς πόρους (open educational resources); Αν και υπάρχουν οδηγοί που καλύπτουν το κομμάτι των αδειών και της εκπαιδευτικής αξίας των πόρων, δεν υπήρχε μέχρι στιγμής ένα γενικό πρότυπο δημιουργίας ανοιχτού εκπαιδευτικού υλικού. Αυτό το κενό ήρθε να συμπληρώσει το OER Canvas που δημιουργήθηκε από το Open Education Working Group σε συνεργασία με το OER.info.

OpenEdu Policies reports: JRC Research Centre

Javiera Atenas - January 25, 2018 in open-education, WG Open Education

This blog has been reposted from the Open Education Working Group blog and has been written as a joint effort by Javiera Atenas and  Paul Bacsich, co-coordinators of the Open Education Working Group.  Hot off the press: OpenEdu Policies reports . These reports are the final outcome of one and a half intense years of research into open education policies involving many stakeholders, particularly ministries of education, research and science across Europe. ‘Going Open’ is a report bringing policy recommendations on open education at regional, national and EU levels. ‘Policy Approaches to open education’ is a report covering the 28 EU Member States, presenting case studies about how each country approaches open education policies. Both reports are part of the JRC’s OpenEdu Policies project. The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission has just published a comprehensive overview report (164 pages) on Policy Approaches to Open Education across all of the 28 EU Member States. The Foreword to the report, by Yves Punie (Deputy Head of Unit DG JRC Unit Human Capital and Employment) summarises the conclusions as follows: “The diversity of polices and approaches presented herein reflect the diversity that is intrinsic to the European Union. Each Member State has specific goals for education and priority areas to address when formulating its policies. However, this research shows that Member States are aware of open education issues and that in one way or another nearly all of them have implemented some sort of initiative or action plan in relation to open education, even though that goal is not explicit in some cases.” He goes on to describe the report as “another step taken by the European Commission (DG EAC and JRC) to meet Members States’ requirements for more research and evidence on open education in support of policy-making in Europe.” The work for the overview report was carried out by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in collaboration with the Research Institute for Innovation & Technology in Education (UNIR iTED) at the Universidad Internacional de la Rioja (UNIR) in Logroño, Spain. An international team based in Spain (Daniel Burgos), Italy (Fabio Nascimbeni and Stefania Aceto) and the UK (Javiera Atenas and Paul Bacsich) carried out the work, with assistance from 28 ministry officials and other experts who agreed to be interviewed. The interview work was supported by substantial desk research across all Member States, for which a further large number of experts on open education were consulted, along with outputs from key projects such as OER World Map, OERup!, D-TRANSFORM, ADOERUP (for the European Parliament), POERUP and earlier JRC projects and reports on open education. In particular all identified policies were analysed using the OpenEdu Framework produced by JRC, which identifies six core dimensions of open education (Access, Content, Pedagogy, Recognition, Collaboration and Research) and four transversal dimensions (Strategy, Technology, Quality, Leadership). The report is available here. The report, together with additional research and expert consultations, forms the basis for the also just released JRC report “Going Open: Policy Recommendations on Open Education in Europe (OpenEdu Policies)”, which highlights policy options to further open up education in Europe. Our long report is, we believe, the first one of its kind to bring together at a detailed level policy work in open education for a complete geopolitical region. The team will be happy to explain the methodology to other interested research groups. We can see no reason why the approach, including use of the OpenEdu Framework for analysis, cannot be replicated for other geopolitical groupings such as Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Commonwealth of Nations, La Francophonie and more widely across Europe. Regarding the last, it would perhaps be most immediately useful if funding could be found for those countries in the European Economic Area and the European Neighbourhood to carry out similar work. Inevitably in such a detailed report, there will be items at the Member State level that get rapidly out of date. Indeed, we hope that such reports as this and the overview reports from JRC will foster an increased climate of policy formation and creation of initiatives at Member State level, not only at EU level. As part of its ongoing work, the Open Education Working Group will continue to make its email list and blog available to interested researchers and specifically to encourage them to produce similar and updated material for their countries. For more details see this recent update blog.

Educators ask for a better copyright

Javiera Atenas - January 17, 2018 in copyright, open-education, WG Open Education

This blog has been reposted from the Open Education Working Group page.  
Today we, the Open Education Working Group, publish a joint letter initiated by Communia Association for the Public Domain that urgently requests to improve the education exception in the proposal for a Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM Directive). The letter is supported by 35 organisations representing schools, libraries and non-formal education, and also individual educators and information specialists.  
In September 2016 the European Commission published its proposal of a DSM Directive that included an education exception that aimed to improve the legal landscape. The technological ages created new possibilities for educational practices. We need copyright law that enables teachers to provide the best education they are capable of and that fits the needs of teachers in the 21st century. The Directive is able to improve copyright. However, the proposal does not live up to the needs of education. In the letter we explain the changes needed to facilitate the use of copyrighted works in support of education. Education communities need an exception that covers all relevant providers, and which permits a diversity of educational uses of copyrighted content. We listed four main problems with the Commission’s proposal: #1:  A limited exception instead of a mandatory one The European Commission proposed a mandatory exception, which can be overridden by licenses. As a consequence educational exception will still be different in each Member State. Moreover, educators will need a help from a lawyer to understand what they are allowed to do. #2 Remuneration should not be mandatory Currently most Member States have exceptions for educational purposes that are completely or largely unremunerated. Mandatory payments will change the situation of those educators (or their institutions), which will have to start paying for materials they are now using for free. #3: Excluding experts The European Commission’s proposal does not include all important providers of education as only formal educational establishments are covered by the exception. We note that the European lifelong-learning model underlines the value of informal and non-formal education conducted in the workplace. All these are are excluded from the education exception. #4: Closed-door policy The European Commission’s proposal limits digital uses to secure institutional networks and to the premises of an educational establishment. As a consequence educators will not develop and conduct educational activities in other facilities such as libraries and museums, and they will not be able to use modern means of communication, such as emails and the cloud. To endorse the letter, send an email to education@communia-associations.org. Do you want to receive updates on the developments around copyright and education, sign up for Communia’s newsletter Copyright Untangled. You can read the full letter in this blog on the Open Education website or download the PDF.

OpenCon Santiago 2017: No more streaks in the water

Javiera Atenas - January 4, 2018 in #opencon, Data, Events, Featured, guestpost, oer, Open Data, Open Science, open-education, world

Guest post by Ricardo Hartley @ametodico and Carolina Gainza @cgainza

When organizing any event, questions always arise; Will enough people come? Do those who have positions to make the changes come? Will come those who should have interest …

Leveraging the fight for stronger openness in education

Muriel Poisson - October 19, 2017 in open-education

This blog has been jointly written by Muriel Poisson (IIEP-UNESCO) and Javiera Atenas (Open Education Working Group): their full bio’s can be found below this post. Education and corruption: these two themes tend to come out in every discussion about development, although, there is little discussion on corruption in the educational systems, or how to teach students and teachers to learn about corruption, ethics and governance. Open school data and open education resources constitute two distinctive areas, but which both contribute actively to the improvement of transparency and accountability within education systems:
  • Open school data constitute a powerful tool to promote citizen control over the transfer and use of financial, material and human resources. Their publication allows the users of the system to better know their rights and to stand up for them.
  • Open education resources, the development of open textbooks, and the adoption of OSS also contribute to promote more transparent practices across the educational sector, with the support of the Open Education Community.

Improving accountability via open school data

The UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP-UNESCO) maintains ETICO, an online platform which provides resources to fight corruption in education and to provide the community with instruments to understand what corruption may mean. As summarised on ETICO, corruption may be found in all areas of educational planning and management – school financing, recruitment, promotion and appointment of teachers, building of schools, supply and distribution of equipment and textbooks, admission to universities, and so on”. The tool has recently been relaunched with improved features and updated content on ethics and corruption in education. It provides open, easy access to all of IIEP’s research and training materials on the subject, a media library, a global agenda, and over 1,000 press articles on corruption in education. In addition to a multitude of other resources, ETICO brings to the forefront new initiatives around the use of open data. Its users can access IIEP’s research on an in-depth review of 14 school report card (SRC) initiatives from around the world, which was published as a book in late 2016. It shows that school report cards can be powerful tools to engage communities and hold schools accountable for providing students with a high-quality education. If the process is inclusive and participatory, SRCs can serve as a unique channel allowing education stakeholders to make more informed decisions based on school-level data.

 

Improving accountability via open education resources

When the open education and science communities talk about transparency, they often have in mind developing open resources and opening up their academic, teaching and research practices, promoting data sharing, and publishing in Open Access Journals, and collaborating towards widening up the participation in the sciences and humanities, and also at the school level by engaging students and teachers in co-creating knowledge by using open resources and practices. The Open Education Working Group, in partnership with other organisations such as the Open Initiative for Open Data (ILDA), Núcleo REA, Abriendo Datos Costa Rica and Giggap, have been working towards promoting openness and the use of Open Data for teaching and learning, by giving workshops for academics in Uruguay and Costa Rica. Also, A Scuola di Open Coesione in Italy has been training secondary school teachers and students in using open data to teach citizenship skills, and Monithon Italy works with higher education students to help them with developing and understanding policy by using Open Data. As a community, we need to start thinking about fighting corruption in the educational systems, promoting a more transparent and open governance, supporting the adoption of Open Contracting Partnership and its standards and work towards developing policies that not only promote the sharing and openness of resources, data and research papers but also fair contracting, transparent governance and accountability of educational institutions. Also governments need to be more transparent with their budgets and how the finance schools and universities and how public funds are administered towards improving education and research.

How to contribute to the ETICO online resource platform

ETICO serves anti-corruption specialists working in ministries, international organizations and agencies, non-governmental organizations, universities, and research institutions as well as policy makers and others. Its main features are available in English, French and Spanish and include:
  • a resource base of over 650 items including case studies, analytical tools and country-specific documents,
  • over 1,000 press articles on corruption in education going back to 2001,
  • a media library presenting short films on the subject from around the world,
  • a global agenda of all related events,
  • a quarterly bulletin about ethics and corruption in education (subscribe here),
  • a blog featuring innovative initiatives designed to tackle corruption.
Users now have more opportunity to get involved, share resources on the subject and contribute to the blog. The enhanced search function also has the ability to scan thousands of national and international documents, media articles, and IIEP’s training materials and research findings spanning over 15 years.

How to contribute to the Open Education Working Group Initiatives in Open Data

If you have a case study or if you are using open data as school or HE level, or if you are interested in organising a training session on open data for academics, management or policy makers, email us at OKFN.edu@gmail.com. You can read more about the Open Education working group at https://education.okfn.org.  

Authors:

Muriel Poisson (@etico_iiep) is the task manager of the IIEP-UNESCO’s project on Ethics and Corruption in Education. She is responsible for research and training activities dealing with a variety of topics on the issue, such as the use of open education data, public expenditure tracking surveys, teacher codes of conduct, and academic fraud. In this capacity, she trained more than 2,000 people on how to design and implement diagnostic tools aimed at assessing distorted practices in the use of education resources; and on how to design and implement strategies to improve transparency and accountability in education. She also provides technical assistance in the area of transparency and integrity planning, for instance to national teams in charge of the development of an integrity risk assessment, a PETS, or a code of conduct. Finally, she is managing the ETICO resource platform, a dynamic platform for all information and activities related to transparency and accountability issues in education. Muriel has authored and co-authored a number of articles and books, including: ‘Corrupt Schools, Corrupt Universities: What Can Be Done?’ (UNESCO Press).   Javiera Atenas has a PhD in Education and is the co-coordinator of the Open Education Working Group and the Education Lead of the Open American Initiative for Open Data. She is responsible for the Open Data agenda, with focus in capacity building across the higher education sector towards supporting the adoption Open Educational Practices and policy development. She works with the OpenMed project for capacity building in South Mediterranean countries and is an associate lecturer at the University of Barcelona, Spain. She has also authored a series of papers and studies about Open Education and Open Data.    

The Open Education Working Group: What do we do and what is coming up next

Javiera Atenas - August 22, 2017 in open-education, WG Open Education

The Open Education Working Group (https://education.okfn.org) is a very active community of educators, researchers, PhD students, policy makers and advocates that promote, support and collaborate with projects related with the advancement of Open Education in different fields at international level. This group aims at supporting the development of Open Educational projects at international level but also, at promoting good practices in Open Education. In this blog we give an update on our recent activities. The coordinators of the group are Paul Bacsich (@pbacsich) (Open Policies), a professor with a large experience in educational policy and open education, Annalisa Manca (@AnnalisaManca) (Open Science), an expert in critical pedagogy currently completing her PhD in Medical Education and Javiera Atenas @jatenas (Open Data) a lecturer with a PhD in Education with interest in Open Data and Media Literacies. Our ethos is to be a platform that promotes Openness in education at all levels, including OER, Open Science, Open Education and Open Access focusing on Open Educational Practices to democratise and enhance education at all levels. Our mission is to support organisations and individuals to implement, support and develop Open Education projects, research and policies and also to support communities of open practice towards ensuring that everyone can have democratic access to education. In the last years we have done lots of things, published books, worked with Open Education international organisations, and participated in a large number of projects, some of which can be summarised as follows: Publication of the Open Educator Handbook, which has been written to provide a useful point of reference for readers with a range of different roles and interests who are interested in learning more about the concept of Open Education and to help them deal with a variety of practical situations. Publication of the book Open Data as Open Educational Resources: Case studies of Emerging Practice. This book contains a series of case studies related with use of open data as pedagogical materials. The authors of this chapters are academics and practitioners who have been using open data in different educational scenarios and the cases present different dynamics and approaches for the use of open data in the classroom. Involvement in the POERUP policy project and the OpenMed project, aimed at opening up teaching and learning resources in the southern Mediterranean countries – in partnership with UniMed Rome. Organisation of a pre-Open Data Day event at UCL,  which was round table to discuss challenges and opportunities of the use of open data as teaching and learning resources with a group of expert  and practitioners  and with the Latin American Open Data Initiative. We also organised a course for academics on Open Data as Open Educational Resources with the support of the Open Education Unit of the Universidad de la República Uruguay in partnership with A Scuola di OpenCoesione. The outcome of the course can be read in the blog Putting research into practice: Training academics to use Open Data as OER: An experience from Uruguay. In regards with campaigning we have worked with Communia in support for their rightcopyright.eu campaign for better education, aimed at collecting petitions from educators throughout Europe to let the European Parliamentarians know we need a better copyright for education. You can read more about it in this blog. Our blog at https://education.okfn.org/blog reflects the current state of the arts in Open Education around the world. We have blog posts from Croatia, Sweden, Brazil, Scotland, Finland, Germany, Italy and Spain on different topics, from Open Educational Resources Toolkits, Open Education Policy, Open Data and Open Education  Research. In our forum we have spaces for different communities of practice to interact, exchange and discuss. You can join the discussion through: https://discuss.okfn.org/c/working-groups/open-education At the moment we are supporting the 101openstories, a collaborative project led by a group of Open Practitioners aimed at collecting stories and ideas of openness from educators, researchers and learners in general. Also, we are supporting the development of local Open Education Working Groups such as the Italian network of Open Educators, who met recently in Bologna to discuss an agenda to promote and enhance open education accross all the educational sectors in Italy (read more). In this Year of Open we will be participating in a series of events and congresses, including the Latin American Open Data Conference in Costa Rica in August, Con Datos and the OER congress in Slovenia in September. Also, we have joined the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data towards collaborating with different initiatives towards improving Open Data literacies. We are always open to collaborations and willing to support innovative projects on Open Education. If you would like to get in touch with us, you will find us on twitter as @okfnedu or via email at okfn.edu@gmail.com.

The Open Education Working Group: What do we do and what is coming up next

Javiera Atenas - August 22, 2017 in open-education, WG Open Education

The Open Education Working Group (https://education.okfn.org) is a very active community of educators, researchers, PhD students, policy makers and advocates that promote, support and collaborate with projects related with the advancement of Open Education in different fields at international level. This group aims at supporting the development of Open Educational projects at international level but also, at promoting good practices in Open Education. In this blog we give an update on our recent activities. The coordinators of the group are Paul Bacsich (@pbacsich) (Open Policies), a professor with a large experience in educational policy and open education, Annalisa Manca (@AnnalisaManca) (Open Science), an expert in critical pedagogy currently completing her PhD in Medical Education and Javiera Atenas @jatenas (Open Data) a lecturer with a PhD in Education with interest in Open Data and Media Literacies. Our ethos is to be a platform that promotes Openness in education at all levels, including OER, Open Science, Open Education and Open Access focusing on Open Educational Practices to democratise and enhance education at all levels. Our mission is to support organisations and individuals to implement, support and develop Open Education projects, research and policies and also to support communities of open practice towards ensuring that everyone can have democratic access to education. In the last years we have done lots of things, published books, worked with Open Education international organisations, and participated in a large number of projects, some of which can be summarised as follows: Publication of the Open Educator Handbook, which has been written to provide a useful point of reference for readers with a range of different roles and interests who are interested in learning more about the concept of Open Education and to help them deal with a variety of practical situations. Publication of the book Open Data as Open Educational Resources: Case studies of Emerging Practice. This book contains a series of case studies related with use of open data as pedagogical materials. The authors of this chapters are academics and practitioners who have been using open data in different educational scenarios and the cases present different dynamics and approaches for the use of open data in the classroom. Involvement in the POERUP policy project and the OpenMed project, aimed at opening up teaching and learning resources in the southern Mediterranean countries – in partnership with UniMed Rome. Organisation of a pre-Open Data Day event at UCL,  which was round table to discuss challenges and opportunities of the use of open data as teaching and learning resources with a group of expert  and practitioners  and with the Latin American Open Data Initiative. We also organised a course for academics on Open Data as Open Educational Resources with the support of the Open Education Unit of the Universidad de la República Uruguay in partnership with A Scuola di OpenCoesione. The outcome of the course can be read in the blog Putting research into practice: Training academics to use Open Data as OER: An experience from Uruguay. In regards with campaigning we have worked with Communia in support for their rightcopyright.eu campaign for better education, aimed at collecting petitions from educators throughout Europe to let the European Parliamentarians know we need a better copyright for education. You can read more about it in this blog. Our blog at https://education.okfn.org/blog reflects the current state of the arts in Open Education around the world. We have blog posts from Croatia, Sweden, Brazil, Scotland, Finland, Germany, Italy and Spain on different topics, from Open Educational Resources Toolkits, Open Education Policy, Open Data and Open Education  Research. In our forum we have spaces for different communities of practice to interact, exchange and discuss. You can join the discussion through: https://discuss.okfn.org/c/working-groups/open-education At the moment we are supporting the 101openstories, a collaborative project led by a group of Open Practitioners aimed at collecting stories and ideas of openness from educators, researchers and learners in general. Also, we are supporting the development of local Open Education Working Groups such as the Italian network of Open Educators, who met recently in Bologna to discuss an agenda to promote and enhance open education accross all the educational sectors in Italy (read more). In this Year of Open we will be participating in a series of events and congresses, including the Latin American Open Data Conference in Costa Rica in August, Con Datos and the OER congress in Slovenia in September. Also, we have joined the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data towards collaborating with different initiatives towards improving Open Data literacies. We are always open to collaborations and willing to support innovative projects on Open Education. If you would like to get in touch with us, you will find us on twitter as @okfnedu or via email at okfn.edu@gmail.com.

Half of the world languages are dying really fast – how you can save yours

Subhashish Panigrahi - July 4, 2017 in open-education

Languages are a gateway to knowledge. How can digital tools be used to help native language speakers access and contribute knowledge? In this blog, Subhashish Panigrahi shows how endangered languages can be documented and preserved using open standards and tools. The world’s knowledge that have been accumulated and coded over ages in different languages are valuable to learn about others’ cultures, traditions, and everything about their life. But not every language is not privileged to be a language of knowledge and governance. Almost half of the 6909 living languages of the world will be vanishing in a century’s time. The most linguistically diverse places like Papua New Guinea are also the most dangerous places for languages. Every two weeks, a language dies and with it a wealth of knowledge forever. In my home country India alone, there exist more than 780 languages. The rate in which languages are dying here is extremely high as over 220 languages from India have died in the last 50 years, and 197 languages from the country are identified as endangered by UNESCO.

Word cloud depicting several Indian languages in their native scripts

With these languages dying, there die all that knowledge that is preserved in those languages. Languages that do not have tools for everyone to access knowledge and contribute to often go out of use. India for example is home to the highest number of visually impaired and illiterate people in the entire world: more than 15 million Indians are visually impaired and 30% are illiterate. But there do not exist many digital accessibility tools either for web or mobile, even though there are about 450-465 million internet users and 60% of them are mobile users. In fact, accessibility tools for most Indian languages are not affordable and are proprietary in nature.
There have been some efforts by the Indian government—like the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL)—to grow the 22 officially recognized languages and some of indigenous languages. Founded in 1969, CIIL has been working to deepen research on Indian languages, and a program called “Protection and Preservation of Endangered Languages of India” was introduced in 2014 to help CIIL specifically to begin several projects for the conservation of endangered languages. Only 10-30% of India’s population can understand English, which is predominantly the language of the Internet. A recent report that was published by Google and KPMG states that more than 70% of the India’s Internet users trust content in their native language over English. The lack of native language content and the lack of electronic accessibility tools therefore plays an important factor in stopping a large number of people from accessing information and contributing to the knowledge commons. When confronted with a problem of this magnitude, there are a few vital things that must be to done to preserve and grow dying languages. Creation of audio-visual documentation of some of the most important socio-cultural aspects of the language such as storytelling, folk literature, oral culture and history is a start. When done by native language speakers, along with annotations of the same in done in a widely-spoken language such as English or Hindi, it is one way of creating digital resources in a language. These resources can be used to create content and linguistic tools to grow the languages’ reach. Sadly, there is little focus from the central government on many of these languages, but there are some effort from several organisations to document native languages. There is something every single individual that speaks a less-spoken language or is in contact with a native speaker of an endangered/indigenous language can do. Languages that are dying need digital activism to grow educational and accessibility tools.That can happen when more public and open repositories like dictionaries, pronunciation libraries, and audio-visual content are created.

Wiki Weekend Tirana 2016 (photo: Anxhelo Lushka)

However, not many people know how to contribute in a form that can used by others to grow resources in a language. Especially in India, contributing to a language is largely skewed by the notion of producing and promoting literature. But in a country where more than 30% of the population is illiterate and a large number of languages are spoken languages (without a written counterpart), it is important that the language content is predominantly audio-visual and not just text-based. More importantly, there is a need for openness so that the whole idea of growing languages does not get jeopardized by proprietary methods and standards.

There are plenty of things anyone can contribute for documenting a language depending on their own skillset.

Every language has a wealth of oral literature, which is the most crucial thing to document for a dying language. Several cultural aspects like folk storytelling, folk songs, other narratives like cooking, local festival celebration, performing art forms and so on can be documented in audio-visual forms. Thanks to cheaper smartphones and an ocean of free and open source software, anyone can now record audio, take pictures and shoot videos in really good quality without spending anything on gears. There are open toolkits that aggregate open source tools, educational resources and sample datasets that one can modify and use for their own language.

A home recording setup for the Kathabhidhana project (photo: Subhashish Panigrahi)

In the age of AI and IoT, one can indeed build resources that will enable their languages to be more user friendly. As explained earlier, most screen reader software that the visually impaired or illiterate people would use do not exist because of the lack of good quality text-to-speech engines. Creating pronunciation libraries of words in a language can help a lot in building both text-to-speech and speech to text engines that eventually can better the screen readers and other electronic accessibility solutions. Cross-language open source tools like LinguaLibre, Kathabhidhana, and Pronuncify help record large number of pronunciations. Similarly, for languages with an alphabet, educational resources for language learning can be created with open source tools like Poly and OpenWords. Building these resources might not result in transforming the state of many endangered languages quickly but will certainly help in gradually bettering the way many people access knowledge in their language. The work of some of the groundbreaking initiatives like the Global Language Hotspots by the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages and National Geographic can be used to start language documentation projects. But it is always recommended to make the work output available with open standards so that others can build solutions on the top of existing interventions. However, there is not much about the actual outcome of any government-led activities for endangered language documentations, and especially if there is any open access to the published works. “People’s Linguistic Survey of India” (PLSI), a non-government-led survey was being conducted during 2012-13 in the leadership of Ganesh Devy. A few years back, Gregory Anderson, founder of Living Tongues, and Prof. K. David Harrison, associate professor of Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, US discovered a hidden language called Koro spoken in Arunanchal Pradesh. In 2014, Marie Wilcox, the last living speaker Wukchumni, a North American language, created a dictionary to keep her language alive. Imagine, where these languages would have ended up if Anderson and Harrison, and Marie did not take these baby steps back then.

Right to Education Index 2016 Data Now Live!

Ally Krupar - April 20, 2017 in open-education

RESULTS Educational Fund and Open Knowledge International are pleased to present the 2016 data from the Right to Education Index (RTEI), a global accountability initiative that aims to ensure that all people, everywhere, enjoy the right to a quality education. RTEI is an action research project using a monitoring tool based on international human rights law and collecting data about the right to education with national civil society organizations in 15 countries in 2016. Civil society organizations, advocates, researchers, and policy makers then use the data in national advocacy campaigns and to better understand national satisfaction of the right to education. The resulting data is now available at www.rtei.org. RTEI 2016 collected data with civil society partners in 15 countries: Civil society partners completed the RTEI Questionnaire. Their findings were peer reviewed by two national independent researchers and provided to government officials for their feedback and comments. The Questionnaire consists of five themes (Governance, Availability, Accessibility, Acceptability, and Adaptability, see link). Index scores are derived by the average of theme scores. Theme scores are an average of subtheme scores, which are calculated by averaging representative data points. Unique values are also calculated to account for:
  • Missing data;
  • National minimum standards concerning pupil-per-classroom, pupil-per-trained teacher, pupil-per-toilet, and pupil-per-textbook ratios;
  • Disaggregated outcome and enrollment data by gender, rural and urban disparity, income quintiles, and disability status;
  • Progressively realized rights weighted by GDP per capita purchasing power parity (PPP).
Further information about calculations is available on rtei.org and will be detailed in a forthcoming RTEI technical brief. The resulting data for 2016 is now available at www.rtei.org. In 2016, RTEI found that Australia, Canada, and the UK had the most robust framework for the right to education across the five themes represented in RTEI; Governance, Availability, Accessibility, Acceptability, and Adaptability. Each theme is made up of subthemes specifically referenced in the international right to education framework. Australia’s, Canada’s, and the UK’s scores were highest on Availability, reflecting the infrastructure and resources of schools, including textbooks, sanitation, classrooms, and pupil-per-trained teacher ratios. On the Index’s other end, Chile, the DRC, and Zimbabwe struggled to satisfy indicators monitored in RTEI 2016. These countries had low Acceptability or Adaptability scores, signifying weaker education systems and difficulty addressing progressively realized rights, such as the rights of children with disabilities. For all RTEI 2016 participating countries, the lowest scoring theme was Adaptability, focused on education for children with disabilities, out-of-school children, and out-of-school educational opportunities. Outside of Adaptability indicators, the Classrooms subtheme had the lowest average score of all Availability subthemes across all countries because of the lack of infrastructure data available in RTEI 2016 and high pupil-per-classroom ratios in several countries. RTEI 2016 also included an analysis of education financing given increase attention to equitable resource allocation and access worldwide.

Research to Action

In 2017, RTEI enters the advocacy phase of data application. In January 2017, RESULTS Educational Fund invited ten current RTEI partners from the Global South to submit proposals to implement in-country advocacy strategies in 2017 using RTEI 2016 findings.  RESULTS and RTEI Advisory Group members reviewed applications and selected the following five RTEI 2017 Advocacy Partners:
  1. Honduras –  Foro Dakar will use data collected in RTEI 2016 related to SDG 4 to focus on national education sector planning, discrimination, and monitoring progress towards SDG 4.
  2. Indonesia – New Indonesia will use data about teacher quality and education for children with disabilities to implement strategies focused on improving national training programs related to inclusive education to further the right to education.
  3. Palestine – Teacher Creativity Center (TCC) will use data related to SDG 4 to measure progress towards SDG 4 through shadow reporting to UNESCO, the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to education, the Ministry of Education in Palestine, and local media.
  4. Tanzania – HakiElimu will use data specifically about girls’ education and inclusive education to focus advocacy on evidence-based policies that promote girls’ education, inclusive, and quality education.
  5. Zimbabwe – Education Coalition of Zimbabwe (ECOZI) will highlight RTEI 2016 findings about continued use of corporal punishment in schools to develop and disseminate alternative policy on positive discipline in schools, training Parliamentarians on corporal punishment issues, and submitting policy recommendations on corporal punishment and free education.
RESULTS and other RTEI partners look forward to supporting these advocacy strategies throughout 2017. Be on the lookout for in-country advocacy updates from our partners posted on www.rtei.org.