Week 1: Why Open Education?

Of course, the right to education is a basic human right, and if there is something I can´t understand is why this basic human right is still a privilege for so many people. Obviously, there are a lot of economy interests behind this unfair reality. The millions of children who cannot go to school because of poverty would be the most important problem for any government. That´s why I feel ashamed when I hear mass media talking about stupid questions like fashion tendences, new fragances or another invented needs. The real need we all must feel is the need to live in a world without human rights violations. Yes, is a difficult work because there is an economic structure really powerful and finally we are broaching a political problem. Incurable optimism is an essential prerequisite for any difficult work, and human rights work is a really difficult work, but in my opinion is the most urgent work in this moment, in this world.  As Tomasevski writes, “without education, people are impeded from access to employment”, so we can say that education is the root for other human rights. It means that if we can seriously protect the right to education it could be possible to protect other human rights that are suffering the same violations. Obviously, the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund could change this situation easily, but how can WE change the current negative domino-effect for the opposite kind of domino-effect? Maybe Open Education can help us to resolve this question. If the key to progress is the identification and elimination of obstacles, Open Education could be the solution for one of the main obstacles to the realization of the right to education: the obstacle that means living in developing countries. Free access to educational resources seems the perfect solution, but information and communication technology is not yet a global phenomenon (only 5% of people in the world have access to it). OLPC is trying to solve this shortage and is one of the most important challenge in Open Education. 

We must recognize with David Wiley that education is changing because of new technologies. Now teaching and learning at university are experiences always linked with digital resources. “Higher education must continue its efforts to become digital and mobile, while working to become significantly more open, connected, personal, and participatory”, writes Wiley, and I hope that these efforts could also help the human rights work.



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