Teachers learn more about ‘Open Educational Resources’ and ICT in education |21 May 2022
“The open educational resources has emerged as a new phenomenon in the field of education which helps reduce cost of education for students across the world.”
The remark was made by Dr Sanjaya Mishra, communication and learning specialist from the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), at the launch of the Open Educational Resources (OER) and ICT (Information Communication Technology) workshop held yesterday at the Savoy Resort & Spa, Beau Vallon.
Present for the launch was the Minister for Education, Dr Justin Valentin; principal secretary for Education, John Lesperance; principal secretary for Educational Services, Merna Eulentin; consultant for COL, Andrew Moor and teachers.
The two-day workshop has brought together a total of 26 participants from various schools and is aimed at enabling educators on how to use OER as part of their teaching and learning responsibilities. That is to develop open textbooks, open educational resources and the integration of ICT in education.
“A lot of OER exists in various quality and usefulness. However OER has great potential for helping achieve sustainable development, via mass sharing of quality materials that can be consumed and adapted to meet local context,” said PS Lesperance.
Through the workshop, participants will be able to identify potential benefits of using existing, and sharing new, OER, decipher Creative Commons (CC) licenses, remix resources in line with CC licences permissions and generate new CC licences for new OER, search for existing OER using various search techniques, evaluate the quality of sourced OER, adapt and remix OER and share OER created by them individually and as part of their organisation.
PS Lesperance noted that the OERs can be used for credit bearing qualifications in post-secondary institutions and that the materials can be used for distance learning as well as in the classroom.
Dr Mishra acknowledged that the workshop is set with a bigger umbrella than ICT in education.
The communication and learning specialist stated that the ICT in education training policy of Seychelles 2014 recognises open educational resources.
“We came up with the proposal where we would help develop 37 open text books, all the 37 courses which Sidol (Seychelles Institute for Distance & Open Learning) intends to offer particularly for O’level and A’level,” Dr Mishra said.
He further added that all these needs the capacities of teachers especially in building the open textbooks.
Consultant Andrew Moor from COL noted that ICT is a tool that can be used to enhance teaching even if it does not solve all the problems.
He stated that it helps the students become more engaged and interested in the subjects.
Minister Valentin stated that he is in favour of mobile phones in schools and it will be the responsibility of the teachers to teach students how to use mobiles wisely and effectively.
He added that he needs the teachers’ support for this transformation and this will teach students ethics of technology.
He further added that in most schools in Seychelles the IT lab is barricaded and acts as a sort of secret room to which students have very limited access.
His message to the teachers is to unlock the IT labs and make it available to students during break time and after school.
Vicky Aglae, teacher from Cascade school, stated that so far the school is lucky to have the opportunity currently to access the internet.
She added that it was a huge constraint on the teachers previously and that they even had to use money out of their own pockets.
So far only the teachers at Cascade school have access to the internet and Ms Aglae noted that in the future they will hopefully introduce it to the students.
For Glacis school, deputy head teacher Lina Pillay stated that with the support of the parents the school have access to laptops and tablets which is integrated in school activities.
She added that the teachers at Glacis school are very engaged in implementing ICT in education. This has impacted the school so considerably that they won the Reading on my ON Ministry Award.
OER prepared with public funding is to be used and accessed without needing permission from the corporate holder. This has been embraced by the Unesco and since 2019 there is a recommendation for it. The workshop is to help build the capacities of teachers in Seychelles to develop open textbooks for secondary schools, O’level and A’level as open educational resource with an open license. The current constraint is capacity and how to integrate OER in the classrooms.