How strange it feels to write about openness and sharing today. More important than ever with this weekend in mind. My country is known for openness, a welcoming and including attitude and tradition of giving a helping hand to people in need. A young girl called Jenny Nguyen created the hashtag #openstockholm this weekend which allowed for people to connect. It quickly created a network with people that opened their homes, offered transportation, a place to sleep and food for those who got stuck in the lock-down of our capital. The impact of that little hashtag wouldn´t have been possible without a society which embrace openness in all its forms.
In Education 2030, goal 4 in UNESCOS agenda for sustainable development the following is stated “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” . UNESCO targets education as one of the most important factors to obtain sustainable development in all 17 goals. SDG 4 is therefore connected to several other goals in their agenda. Like SDG 5 – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Even though we strive for it we know for a fact that education isn´t equitable, accessible, equal or open to all human beings. At the same time we know that education is an important catalyst for development in all levels. This is where Open Education and Open Educational Resources are of importance.
According to statistics from ITU (International Telecommunication Union) 95% of the world population now lives in areas covered by a mobile-cellular network. However it´s also important to remember that 53% of the world population is not using the internet and therefore are excluded from this opportunity. Digitalism is a fact and it is expanding fast. More and more people have access to internet via smartphones which facilitates access to MOOCS, OER and other free, sharable resources.
Maybe now more than ever universities and educators have to take a stand and push for more openness and sharing of educational resources. When boarders are closing we have the power to ensure that ideas, research and collaboration remain open so that people all over the world still can connect with each other. We can then make sure that learning is accessible and that development can prosper. For the sake of my children I have to believe that openness and inclusion is the future.
Open education and the future, Short TED-talk by David Wiley,