As part of the global UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (ICT CFT) Harnessing Open Educational Resources (OER) project, the Ministry of National Education of Turkey held its first National Workshop to launch the contextualization of the ICT CFT using OER-Based Teacher Training Resources from 6 to 9 October 2020.
This Workshop was opened jointly by the Directorate for Innovation and Educational Technologies and Directorate for Teacher Training and Development of the Ministry of National Education, Turkey and UNESCO. It brought together key teachers for the development of these resources from 10 provinces of Turkey, as well as an expert from South Africa who shared best practices in the implementation of this global project.
The ICT CFT Version 3 is a tool to guide pre- and in-service teacher training on the use of ICTs across the education system. It is intended to be adapted and contextualized to support national and institutional goals. Its target audience is teacher-training personnel, educational experts, policymakers, teacher support personnel and other professional development providers. Implementing the ICT CFT will require strong leadership from government, from those responsible for teacher education and professional development of in-service teachers, and also from head teachers and school principals.
The ICT CFT Version 3 responds to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the UN General Assembly, which underscores a prevalent global shift towards the building of inclusive Knowledge Societies. It addresses recent technological and pedagogical developments in the field of ICT and Education and incorporates inclusive principles of non-discrimination, open and equitable information accessibility and gender equality in the delivery of education supported by technology.
Mr Anil Yilmaz, Director-General for Innovation and Educational Technologies, in his opening remarks, emphasized the need for capacity building on teachers' ICT competencies, particularly in the context of the current Covid-19 pandemic. According to him, teachers’ use of OER will increase the quality of learning-teaching processes.
We continue our work with international organizations such as UNESCO and UNICEF for the professional development of our teachers. I believe that these resources will make a difference in the lives of teachers.
During the workshop, the participants were introduced to the resources available on the UNESCO OER Hub, and discussions to identify elements of the ICT CFT to meet Turkey’s needs were undertaken. The ICT CFT Harnessing OER project was launched by UNESCO in 2013 to support ICT in Education Teacher training, through the contextualization of the ICT CFT, the development of OER-based teacher training materials, and the implementation of teacher training exercises with these materials. As part of this project, Ministries of Education and/or teacher training Institutions and/or higher education institutions from over 10 UNESCO Member States have developed training courses, which are aligned to the UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers (CFT) and shared on the UNESCO OER Hub .The participating institutions constitute a network of experts that provide mutual support and sharing of best practices.
Building on the ICT CFT Harnessing network, the workshop included a presentation by Dr Ndlovu Nokulunga from Witwatersrand University, South Africa, who shared the best practices from her institution in collaboration and curation of ICT-CFT aligned OER.
The workshop continued under the leadership of the Project Coordinator Dr Huseyin Kocasarac and with the participation of teachers representing 10 provinces of Turkey: Ms Burcu Sokmek, Ms Ceyda Çelik, Ms Melih Gemci, Mr Halit Bozkurt, Ms Aslı Ocal, Mr Mehmet Akif Hosgor, Ms Emine Sayar, Ezgi Erbis, Mr Ahmet Kaya and Ms Melek Bahar Karahan.
OER are learning, teaching and research materials in any format and medium that reside in the public domain or are under copyright that have been released under an open license, which allow no-cost access, re-use, re-purpose, adaptation and redistribution by others. Open license refers to a license that respects the intellectual property rights of the copyright owner and provides permissions granting the public the rights to access, re-use, re-purpose, adapt and redistribute educational materials. During the 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference in 2019, UNESCO Member States adopted the UNESCO OER Recommendation, the only existing normative instrument in the area of technologies and education, calling on the Member States to undertake actions in five areas:
- building capacity of stakeholders to create, access, re-use, adapt and redistribute OER;
- developing supportive policy;
- encouraging inclusive and equitable quality OER;
- nurturing the creation of sustainability models for OER, and
- facilitating international cooperation.
This Recommendation recognizes that the judicious application of OER, in combination with appropriate pedagogical methodologies, well-designed learning objects and the diversity of learning activities, can provide a broader range of innovative pedagogical options to engage both educators and learners to become more active participants in educational processes and creators of content as members of diverse and inclusive knowledge societies. This is ever more relevant in the current Covid-19 pandemic which has resulted in unprecedented challenges to sharing knowledge and information.
Through the next months, it is foreseen that Turkey will develop OER- based teacher training materials to support the contextualization of the ICT-CFT to national objectives.