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(L-R) Dr. Serrano, Dr. Pascua-Valenzuela and Dr. Biglete represented the Philippines at the 2nd World OER Congress in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

The University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU), represented by Dr. Joane V. Serrano, Director of the Information Office and the Multimedia Center, was part of the 2nd World Open Educational Resources (OER) Congress held at Ljubljana, Slovenia on 18-20 September 2017. The congress, which gathered ministers, educators, and OER advocates from different regions and countries, carried the theme, “OER for Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education: From Commitment to Action.” This commitment refers back to the 1st World OER Congress and the 2012 Paris OER Declaration. The 2012 Paris OER declaration encourages governments to require publicly funded educational resources to be openly licensed. The congress was co-organized by the government of Slovenia and United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in partnership with the Commonwealth of Learning (CoL) and Creative Commons.

The objectives of the congress were to examine solutions for mainstreaming OER into education systems worldwide; showcase the world’s practices in OER policies, initiatives and experts; and identify strategies and action plan for the way ahead. Discussions in the congress underscored the advantages and range of benefits of OER for K-12, technical and vocational education, and higher education. OERs that are well-designed and implemented can help address the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4 - Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning. Results of the six regional consultations on the current levels of progress in mainstreaming OER and the status of national and regional implementation of the 2012 Paris OER Declaration were presented in the conference which gave input to the action plan. The regional consultation, organized by the CoL in partnership with UNESCO, were held in 2016 - 2017 in Malaysia, Malta, Qatar, Mauritius, Brazil and New Zealand. The Asia Regional Consultation held on 1 - 2 December 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was also participated in by UPOU representatives.

At the conference, a ministerial panel comprised of 20 Ministers of Education and Science was also organized which called for a “dynamic coalition to expand and consolidate commitments to actions, strategies and legislation” in OER, with a “call on all educational stakeholders to implement the recommendations of the Ljubljana OER Action Plan 2017”. The statement was endorsed by 20 Ministers and their designated representatives from Bangladesh, Barbados, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Croatia, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lithuania, Malta, Mauritius, Mauritania, Mozambique, Palestine, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates.

During the congress, a UNESCO-funded study wherein UPOU was part of was also presented by Dr. Ethel Pascua-Valenzuela, Deputy Director for Programme and Development of the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO). This study included the development of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Competency Framework for Teachers, which resulted to the development of two course outlines: Technology for Teaching and Learning (TTL) 1 and TTL 2. These outlines produced 17 OERs that are now accessible through the UPOU Commons, UPOU’s OER repository. These OERs can be accessed, used and downloaded by teachers who are teaching educational technology. The OERs developed under this study also form part of the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) Certification Program on Technology for Teaching and Learning developed and offered by UPOU. These are (1) MOOC1: Introduction to Technology for Teaching and Learning; (2) MOOC2: Learning Theories and Principles in Designing Learning Using ICTs and; (3) MOOC3: Social, Ethical, and Legal Responsibility in the use of of Technology Tools and Resources. Interested teachers can enroll in these courses in the MODEL, UPOU MOOC platform.

Dr. Joane V. Serrano represented UPOU in this congress on behalf of Dr. Melinda dela Peña Bandalaria, UPOU Chancellor and President of the Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU). She attended the congress with Commission on Higher Education (CHED) representative Dr. Amelia Biglete, Director of Office of Programs and Standards Development (OPSD). The congress was attended by 550 participants from 111 countries. The congress concluded with the adoption of the Ljubljana OER Action Plan. (Jan Pauline Borce)

UP Open University (UPOU) Doctor of Communication (DComm) Alumnus, Reynaldo Gacho Segumpan, presented his dissertation in Sydney, Australia during the Australia and New Zealand Business, Law and Social Science Conference on August 18-20, 2017.

Mr. Segumpan’s dissertation, entitled “Understanding Mediated Intercultural Communication: An Ethnomethodological Study of Social Media Engagement Practices…

Read more: UPOU Alumnus Presents Doctoral Dissertation in Sydney Conference

21st Century Education in an Open World