ICOOL 2003 – International Conference on Open & Online Learning

December 17, 2002

The rapid development of ICTs and their application in all aspects of our lives has blurred the boundaries that used to exist between education and other cultural and social pursuits and therefore raises a number of questions about the future of education and education establishments in a global knowledge economy. A number of significant projects have recently been launched which demonstrate the capacity of ICTs to make educational resources of all kinds more accessible and thus to shorten the distance between the laboratory and the classroom or between the expert and the apprentice. These include the elaboration of standards such as those of IEEE, enabling users in different parts of the world to interoperate and reuse computerized resources, the emergence of learning objects available in learning object repositories (LOR), worldwide projects such as the Open CourseWare (OCW) educational initiative developed by the MIT or the Virtual University for Small Island Nations, being proposed by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), and many others. All these projects create a context but are not sufficient for capacity building in less developed regions of the world. Capacity emerges only from a synergy between the availability of resources, the commitment to meaningful projects and the building of communities to bring these projects to life.

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