Welcome to my Blog

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.

It’s time for the next generation of leadership

In the last year/s I have researched and reflected a lot on next generation of leadership in the digital era. I clearly see, and are convinced that even leadership has to change to respond to, and to be in the forefront to face,the rapid global changes, due to digital explosion in societies, which  clearly are pointed out by the UNESCO Sustainability Goals and especially SDG4, Education for all 2030, as well as the upcoming requirements due to the 4th industrial revolution, and in Europe the Digital Edcuation Action Plan 2020.

We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. It is not clear how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sector to academia and civil society (World Economic Forum, 2016). In brief SDG4 aim to ensure inclusively, equality, equity quality education for all, and to promote lifelong learning.  In Europe, the European Commission adopted January 2018 a Digital Education Action Plan which includes 11 initiatives to support technology-use and digital competence development in education.

The action plan has three priorities, setting out measures to help member states meet the challenges and opportunities of the digital age:

Priority 1: Making better use of digital technology for teaching and learning

Priority 2. Developing digital competencies and skills

Priority 3: Improving education through better data analyses and foresight

It is becoming clear from my current research on next-generation leadership for education for all 2030, that there is an urgent need for modernization of not just the approach to education, but also for effective organizational leadership in the digital era. Leaders and managers can make a difference in higher education’s offers, services, processes, quality, and impact. The cultivation of a culture of quality is critical, and has to be in the interests of everyone, but also empowered, and encouraged by leaders (Ossiannilsson, 2017a 2017b, 2018, Accepted). There is an urgent need for people who have the knowledge, abilities, competencies, and attitudes to lead this process and analyze and evaluate digital work environments, using appropriate methods used to analyze complex digital environments.

In Europe, the D-Transform project aims to implement training programs for leaders of European Universities focusing on the major role played by digital technologies and OER in the necessary transformation of their institutions.

The premise is that e-education (digital pedagogy and training) can become a strategic tool for European universities, enabling them to be pedagogically more effective, more cost-effective, more attractive and able to meet the needs of the professional world with regard to youth training and life-long learning (D-Transform).

Some examples of my recent publications

Ossiannilsson. E. (Accepted, Published in May 2018). Leadership in a Digital Era: The Ecology of Ubiquitous Inclusive Learning. Distance Education in China, An International Forum.

Ossiannilsson. E. (2018). Leadership: In a time when learners take ownership of their own learning. In: K. Buyuk, S, Kocdar, and A. Bozkurt (Eds.). Administrative Leadership in Open and Distance Learning Programs, (pp.1-33). IGI Global.

Ossiannilsson, E. (2017a). Leadership in Global Open, Online, and Distance Learning. In: Keengwe, J. & P H Bull (Eds.). Handbook of Research on Transformative Digital Content and Learning Technologies, pp 345-373. IGI Global.

Ossiannilsson, E. (2017b, December 16). Re: It is time for the next generation of leadership (Web log message). Retrieved from ALTC Blog

Some examples where I have presented this urgent topic at conferences, just to mention the latest ones

MMVC2017, 2017. Innovative Leadership for Systemic Change (online)

Connecting Online Conference 2017. Leadership in a digital education and learning context

LUXATIA International, 2016. Leadership for quality in innovative learning spaces- Systemic sustainable changes

OEB16, 2016. Digital transformation: An Opportunity- or a treat to quality in higher education? 

OER and OEP for reaching the UN SDG4 Goals

My latest article has just been published  (3rd July 2019) in the International Journal of Open Educational Resources (IJOER). The article is entitled OER and OEP for Access, Equity, Equality, Quality, Inclusiveness, and Empowering Lifelong Learning. The article discuss  OER related to the UN SDG4, but also on the work by ICDE OER Advocacy Committee. The members in the Committee are all Ambassadors for the global advocacy of OER. 

I am in the Board of IJOER, and the ICDE OER Advocacy Committee, which I Chair collaborate and support IJOER.

Open educational resources (OERs) are catalysts of lifelong learning (LLL) and continuous professional development (CPD). OERs are used in microlearning and nanolearning by lifelong learners, including those in the workplace. OERs have the potential to expand the access to lifelong learning opportunities, achieve quality in education, and establish legal and political frameworks that promote, social justice, collaboration and coordinated partnerships. The mandate, visions, missions, global work, and activities of the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) and its Open Educational Resources (OERs) Advocacy Committee (OERAC) were presented at a symposium during the ICDE Lillehammer Lifelong Learning Summit 2019. The work of the ICDE and the OERAC is aligned with the United Nations UNESCO Recommendations (2019). Some of their activities involve collaborative projects and visions that were proposed at the Open Education Leadership Summit 2018 (OELS18). In particular, the ICDE and OERAC will respond to proposals regarding policy. Their responses will identify opportunities for developing some proposed projects and activities and for establishing links with existing and emerging projects and trends around the world. Another activity involves developing guidelines for advocacy and best or better practices for OER advocacy in various settings and levels (e.g., macro, meso, micro, and nano levels).

Keywords: continuing professional development (CPD), human resources (HR), International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), leadership, open educational resources (OERs), lifelong learning

Ebba Ossiannilsson is an e-learning expert and consultant with a range of research interests in the use of digital technologies for learning, teaching and research.
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