At first glance, the speed of developments in Europe is overwhelming. Pre-existing conditions created in education established immense possibilities for innovations on the continent. Very complex and concise solutions are already in place. If we think about Open Education, we have a variety of forms on offer (MOOCs, OER, open online learning, virtual mobility, remote experiments and science education, to name a few), as well as regulations facilitating collaboration of education providers on all levels of education (Bologna process, credit transfer, prior and non-formal learning recognition).
ET2020 open coordination groups already proved their important role in fostering developments in member states. The working group on Digital Skills and Competences addressed transversal issues and collaboration on innovation development and implementation through all levels of education. New instruments and tools were established to agree upon digitally competent organizations; citizens, teachers and learners can suggest new training schemes and certification possibilities, as well as recognition of digitally skilled employees in companies.
This speaks of speedy developments, unbundling solutions, micro, mezo, and macro level discussions and the complexity of Europe. Speedy life takes place in EDEN, as well as on the EDEN board.
Right after the ET2020 DSC working group plenary meeting in Brussels, 5 EDEN board members joined the 2nd World Congress on OER in Ljubljana (so nicely described by Ebba Ossiannilsson in her blog).
EDEN Board members took part in Congress and satellite events, dedicated to discuss recognition of open and non-formal learning in formal curricula, through supporting European parliamentary discussion on challenges in recognition of non-formal education, organized by the European Commission Joint Research Centre, supporting European regions to open up, as well as taking part in UNESCO IITE session on the challenges of uptake of OER in non-English speaking countries.
When the question arrived from the audience in the 2nd World Congress on Open Educational Resources in Ljubljana “why does Europe not talk about OER so much?”, Europeans understand – this is one element in the complex picture of Open Education. When the question prevails about the quality, Europeans argue that accessibility and equity are equally important as well. This is our understanding after long and intensive work, but slow and contemplative thinking on education in Europe exists for decades already.
What is most appreciated in EDEN and Europe is the time for thinking and tranquility, which becomes priceless today. “Thinking, fast and slow”, suggested by Daniel Khaneman (2011), puts a request for balance in thinking. We must think about future mandates for ourselves as professionals in open and distance learning, as stakeholders in developing the European policy in digital and innovative education, and as teachers and learners in tomorrow’s education.
EDEN plans and implements several discussions and slow thinking this Autumn:
- EDEN NAP series of chats and webinars
- EDEN Open Classroom in Athens
- EDEN Open Classroom in Kaunas
- 2nd European Distanced Learning Week
- EDEN taking part in ICDE Global Conference in Toronto
Still, we think we might be wishing to slow down a bit more, with such rapid and overwhelming developments around. Let’s think how we can put all this into meaningful learning scenarios.