Here, I will discuss topics, and current trends on open, online, flexible and technology enabled/enhanced learning (OOFAT), including Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), Open Educational resourses (OER), Open Educational Practice (OEP, and Open Educational Culture (OEC). In addition I will discuss current trends and news related to quality, innovation, serendipity, rhizome learning, agility, and leadership.
This Special Issue, entitled Innovation and Sustainable Development of Seamless Education and Teaching Methods, is dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of knowledge on methods, strategies, and technologies to increase the sustainability of the development of the future of education and the new social contract for education by considering global challenges such as globalization, changing demographics, digital transformation, climate change, environment and social pillars of sustainable development.
The response to the pandemic, and to the widespread discontent that preceded it, must be based on a New Social Contract and a New Global Deal for education that creates equal opportunities for all and respects the rights and freedoms of all (UNESCO; 2021). Such a new social contract suggested by UNESCO must build on the general principles underlying human rights—inclusion and equality, cooperation and solidarity, and collective responsibility and interconnectedness—and be guided by the following fundamental principle: guarantee the right to quality education throughout life.
We face the dual challenge of delivering on the unfulfilled promise of ensuring the right to quality education for every child, youth, and adult, and of fully realizing the transformative potential of education as a pathway to a sustainable collective future. To achieve this, there is a need for a new social contract for education that can address inequities while transforming the future. This new social contract must be based on human rights and the principles of non-discrimination, social justice, respect for life, human dignity, and cultural diversity. It must embrace an ethic of care, reciprocity, and solidarity.
Sustainability is also a perfect field for the interdisciplinary and multicultural assessment of complex systems. In light of all this, this Special Issue is intended to provide an opportunity for global researchers from a wide range of fields to develop, discuss, share, and disseminate new ideas within the fields of Innovation and Sustainable Development of Seamless Education and Teaching Methods.
Prof. Dr. Ebba Ossiannilsson
This is a new Europen Union ERASMUS+ project, which I have the honor to co-ordinate. Project coordinator: Ossiannilsson Quality in Open Online Learning (QOOL) Consultancy (Lund, Sweden). Project partner: Lithuanian College of Democracy (Vilnius, Lithuania).
Target groups of DI4All project: students, school staff, schools, other education providers, public bodies,national agencies.
Duration: 01/03/2022 – 01/03/2024
You Matter, more than you think, is a crucial core value for a change. All change starts with you. Your values, your attitudes, and your mind are the starting point for change. You can not just wait for someone else to get started, or for a policy or strategy to effect change. Making a difference requires a change in culture and systems to bring about truly sustainable change.
You have to be the change and to design the change and lead with change
Leadership is critical to change and transformation because it starts with culture. It takes a lot of courage and creativity to challenge old patterns, systems, and paradigms. But you can also learn that you can train that courage. It is critical to be trained to be a values-based leader who is able to activate the agency and potential of the people around you to develop transformative solutions. The narratives we create make a difference, and this is where you matter more than you think. So how you design projects that solve problems, change cultures and systems, and bring to life what people really care about matters. It is critical to use common, powerful language to change disempowering conversations and narratives and develop a network of deep, value-based partnerships for results. It is also important to implement solutions in ways that create and support new patterns for thriving futures.
In times of crisis, profound questions arise, and deep down we all have an idea of what is important. For many people, it is important to be alive, to feel connected, and to feel that we matter and that our lives have meaning. We share an innate longing for justice, dignity, compassion, and love." - You are more important than you think, (Karen O'Brien, 2022. p.2).
You Matter More Than You Think is part of an initiative we call The Quantum Leap Initiative. The goal is to create a space for new conversations and to support and inspire practices and paradigms that create transformative change.
In mid-February (09Febr, 2002) 2022, UNESCO launched the report on Knowledge-driven actions: transforming higher education for global sustainability. The report is an urgent global call on what is needed globally for achieving the SDGs.
Universities, and by extension higher education institutions, must use the knowledge they produce and the training of new professionals to help solve some of the world's greatest problems, as addressed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations (UN). Humanity is facing unprecedented challenges, particularly in relation to climate change, loss of nature and biodiversity, inequality, health, the economy, and a range of issues related to the 2030 Agenda. Given this new reality, where the future of humans and other species is at stake, it is time for higher education institutions and their stakeholders to systematically rethink their role in society and their key missions, and how they can serve as a catalyst for a rapid, much-needed, and equitable transition to sustainability. Given the complexity of the issues at hand, solutions should be part of a radical agenda that requires new alliances and new incentives. It is also time for higher education institutions to make sustainability and SDG literacy a basic requirement for all faculty and students. Sustainability education should expose students to real-world problems and immerse them in real-world issues. Valuing the well-being of people and the planet and contributing to values beyond just making money will excite and inspire students and faculty alike. Ultimately, the educational culture at universities and colleges must encourage students to learn through experimentation and critical thinking from diverse perspectives. This report is undoubtedly about the SDGs, but it is important to recognize that they will be phased out in 2030. We therefore strongly recommend that while universities are part of this agenda, they should also look forward - not only to the implementation of the SDGs, but also to engage deeply in the elaboration of the next steps and goals beyond 2030. A long-term perspective must be taken for both activities and policies HEI. The UNESCO report calls on universities and colleges to actively participate in an agenda that has the consensus of 193 countries and aims to solve some of the world's most pressing problems, as outlined in the 17 SDGs. The challenge for higher education institutions is to embrace the 2030 Agenda because if they do not, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to achieve the SDGs. The SDGs represent a unifying challenge for all universities and higher education institutions, which must be reflected in plans and actions for research, education, and outreach. Universities have played a critical role over the centuries as agents of social enlightenment and change, maintaining their role as free and critical institutions while seeking, to varying degrees, to provide service to society. It is critical to maintain and promote this important role and to enable universities to combine their traditions of critical thinking with problem-solving activities while adapting their role in light of societal changes. The future of humanity and our planet is threatened, and the need for critical thinking and social change is, therefore, more urgent than ever. Higher education institutions should, when necessary, stimulate societal change, take a leading role in the transitions necessary for humanity, and emphasize that change is immediate. This also means that higher education institutions should critically rethink their own practices, curricula, and research and consider how they can motivate their staff, students, and society at large to do the same.