- Published on 19 April 2017
Rob Abel, CEO of the IMS Global Learning Consortium, in 2016 said that "although open source was beginning to achieve substantial gains in education" around the time that he was appointed CEO in 2006, he also believed that "interoperability and open standards held the potential to maximize the return on investment across a variety of sources."
The drive towards openness was brought to the fore even more in 2012, when the Internet Society (ISOC) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), amongst other organisations, jointly affirmed a set of ‘open standard' principles.
Over the past number of years the importance of ‘open' in education was underpinned by numerous initiatives such as Open Access, Open Educational Resources, and Open Science, to name but a few. OPENCOLLAB is of the opinion that openness, including open source software and open standards, are key to today's ‘edtech' and is already changing the way educators and researchers approach their daily task.
Openness will also be key to the vision of the New Generation Digital Learning Environment (NGDLE), encompassing learning analytics, lecture capture and many other tools that support e-learning. The importance of these initiatives and developments are supported by Gartner's 2017 strategies for education such as interoperability, open micro credentials, digital assessments and an open educational resource ecosystem.
The Apereo foundation is a community built around openness, inclusivity, collaboration and innovation that fully supports open source and subscribes to open standard principles. Their ethos is characterised by an open and consensus driven process and support for interoperability, that assists educational organisations worldwide to collaborate and foster, develop and sustain open technologies in education.
At the upcoming Apereo Africa 2017 conference, that will take place at the Cornerstone Institute (https://cornerstone.ac.za/) in Cape Town on the 9th and 10th of May 2017, the principles of open standards and how that is embraced by Apereo foundation will be showcased.
Dr Leti Kleyn, keynote speaker and Manager of the Open Scholarship Programme at the Department of Library Services, University of Pretoria will give a South African perspective on ‘opening up'.
Other local presenters will share their experiences in the use of Apereo products such as the Sakai learning management system and Opencast lecture capturing, while the audience will also be updated on the NGDLE by Mr Ian Dolphin, Executive Director, Apereo Foundation and Dr Charles Severance from the University of Michigan. Remote presentations about the Open Academic Environment (OAE) by Miguel Laginha from Portugal and a presentation on Learning Analytics architecture as planned by Jisc as a service to organisations in the UK by Mr Michael Webb, will further highlight the valuable contribution of open source and open standards to education.
OPENCOLLAB and individual higher education institutions in South Africa believe that we may not have the power to individually influence the education marketplace, but as a group and in collaboration with the Apereo community, we have an opportunity to do so!
OPENCOLLAB is the only Apereo partner in Africa and as such, aims to embrace openness, inclusivity, collaboration and innovation by co-hosting the second Apereo Africa Conference 2017
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