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On 20 January the European Parliament Committee for Culture and Education (CULT) organised a public hearing on new technologies and open educational resources (OER). The hearing put a strong emphasis on the opportunities behind the usage of information and communications technology (ICT) as well as the European Commission’s communication Opening up Education (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, September 2013).
Experts and stakeholders were invited in order to discuss challenges and prospects of OER and ICT within the field of education. Interesting issues were raised, such as the one-sided focus of the Commission’s communication on OER. In fact, it has been stated that the communication falls short of taking into account the whole potential of European ICT related know-how and expertise. Moreover, concerns over the possibly short life span of MOOCs, the lack of infrastructure and teachers’ competences as well as financial constraints for a proper implementation of the Commission’s targets were raised. Speakers have also brought up insufficient considerations concerning teachers’ competency requirements and revised quality assurance frameworks which would be necessary for an improvement of the digital dimension of education in Europe.
European Parliament committees regularly hold public hearings in order to obtain stakeholders’ and experts’ opinions on policy key issues and hold discussions on challenges and further improvement. The issues raised in the public hearing will be taken into account by Members of the European Parliament and communicated to other EU institutions.