European Commission launches Opening up Education action plan
The aim of this action plan is to boost innovation and digital skills in schools and universities in order to deliver the high quality education and digitalskills which 90% of jobs will require by 2020.
Open, distance, online and flexible learning are all components of the action plan, as are OER and MOOCs. ICDE is mentioned in the official Communication as a key international organization with which the Commission will work and cooperate.
The initiative will focus on three main areas:With regards to higher education, the Commission notes that the sector faces a digital challenge: "With the number of EU students set to rise significantly in the next decade, universities need to adapt traditional teaching methods and offer a mix of face-to-face and online learning possibilities, such as MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), which allow individuals to access education anywhere, anytime and through any device. But many universities are not ready for this change."
Creating opportunities for organizations, teachers and learners to innovate;
Increased use of Open Educational Resources (OER), ensuring that educational materials produced with public funding are available to all; and
Better ICT infrastructure and connectivity in schools.
Coooperation with ICDE
The official Communication states on page 12:
"[The Commission] will continue to work and cooperate with national regional and local authorities, social partners, business, students, new educational providers and other international organisations such as UNESCO, the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) and the OECD, to better understand the implications of technology in the education world while harnessing the potential of these changes it brings."
New European website for OER
To coincide with the launch of the Opening up Education initiative, the Commission launched Open Education Europa, which will allow students, practitioners and educational institutions to share free-to-use open educational resources.