Yesterday the 25th of November 2012 I wrote a blog post on Disruptive Innovation. I claimed that Open Educational Resources, OER unfortunately are not very high ranked and on the agenda in the Nordic countries, whereas OER are discussed widely on a global, European and sometimes even on a Nordic level. For example the OER Paris declaration is almost unknown, sorry to say. This is very strange in countries where education always have been part of democratic processes and where education in different settings always have been valued very high, for example so called "folkbildning". Many countries around the world have even had the Nordic countries educational system ranked very high and as good examples. For example Finland are ranked year after year as number one in PISA studies. At the same time in all the Nordic countries Internet is available and accessible everywhere for everyone.
The OER Paris declaration shows the importance of Open Educational Resources and gives recommendations to governments and institutions around the globe. The European Union has just launched a large-scale initiative on “Opening Up Education” and the Cyprus EU Presidency in cooperation with the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research organises a Ministerial Conference on “Opening up education through technologies” in Oslo in beginning of December 2012. The Nordic countries need to consolidate and to act!
Towards a Nordic Alliance for Open Educational Resources
These developments have been the starting point for a Nordic initiative on promoting and utilizing Open Education in the Nordic countries with a focus on creating a strong base for OER and Open Educational Practices (OEP) amongst the Nordic countries and in the Nordic region, but also with a global outreach in mind. The Nordic countries have the potential to become a forerunner in OEP and the use of OER activities in Europe:
The Nordic countries share many values related to education and technology development and use; the political and governmental institutions are quite similar; and there is a tradition for cooperation, exchange of knowledge and solutions between the countries. To focus on a relatively homogeneous region which shares many basic values allows us to build knowledge and come up with specific recommendations that can be useful for policy makers at different levels, be implemented in policies and practice, and used to form new co-operations (from the Nordic Alliance for OER policy paper, November 2012)
Contacts persons in this initial phase are Jan M. Pawlowski (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Tore Hoel (email@example.com).
Questions and comments can also be sent to Ebba Ossiannilson (firstname.lastname@example.org)