The conference began with some wonderful Balinesian dancing followed by a welcome from Dr. Richardus Eko Indrajit from Indonesia. I did not know much about Indonesia before arriving so welcomed his review of some statistics related to his country. Other speakers this morning also provided additional information about Indonesia and its place in the world including:
⁃ Indonesia has 243 million people scattered among 187,000 islands
⁃ Denpasar (close to where we are) is the capital of the island of Bali
⁃ Indonesia is the 3rd largest democratic country in the world with the 16th largest economy
⁃ 55 million skilled workers are in the Indonesian economy
⁃ Indonesia is the #4 adapter of mobile learning technology, the #3 country currently in the use of textbooks and the #5 country in the use of Twitter
⁃ 95% of Indonesia has telecommunications coverage
Anka Mulder, the president of the board of OCWC, gave a short reminder at the start of the conference of the main points of OCWC which are the 1) Access to education for all, 2) an unbiased view to open and online education and 3) the inclusion of innovation. She also mentioned that by 2025, 80 million more students worldwide will be in higher education and that to meet this need we would have to build 3 universities a week that would hold 40,000 students each. Open resources and open courseware delivered via distance and online learning are an international imperative to meet the educational needs of a growing population of learners.
Tian Belawati, president of the Open University of Indonesia, gave an overview of Open Educational Resources (OER) and their place and importance in the educational system of Indonesia.
A wonderful lunch (where we were joined by a young monitor lizard pictured above) with spirited conversation and dialogue was followed by the ACE awards reception. Awards for Open Courseware Excellence (ACE) are international awards selected by the OCWC board and/or an appointed committee. These awards have traditionally gone to individuals and efforts at university member institutions. However, this year, community colleges were well represented. Barbara Illowsky, from De Anza College in California, was presented with the ACE Educator Award. Barbara is an early adopter and support of OER and is best known for her work on a open statistics textbook used by more than 20 colleges in the U.S., Canada, and beyond. Congratulations, Barbara!
I was also very pleased to see that my Basic Arithmetic online course received one of 5 Multimedia Course awards. These awards are given for exemplary courses that contain a high level of multimedia and interaction.
I also want to mention that James Glapa-Glossklag from College of the Canyons was recently elected as a member of the OCWC Board of Directors. Community colleges are beginning to find their place in the international world of OER.