An international jury selected The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME) as the winner of the prestigious 2011 OPAL Award for Bodies Which Influence Policy. ISKME was recognized at the OPAL Awards delivered at Online Educa Berlin on December 2, 2011, on the basis of its OER Commons Teacher Training Initiative. The Award for Bodies which Influence Policy is given to a global, regional or national organization providing the conditions or resources for open educational practices, or encouraging excellence in open educational practices.
ISKME’s OER Commons Teacher Training Initiative offers teachers a collaborative professional development model centered on engagement with Open Educational Resources (OER). Since 2009, ISKME has trained over 1,500 teachers from 25 countries in its program focused on collaborative innovation and social learning using open curriculum and open teacher-led approaches. In 2011, ISKME launched a Green OER Commons micro-site with Greek partner Agro-Know, delivering sustainability-related learning resources and interdisciplinary lesson plans, including a focus on STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Math) resources.
The OER Commons Teacher Training Initiative is rooted in the idea that equitable access to high-quality education is a global imperative. Open Educational Resources, or OER, offer opportunities for systemic change in teaching and learning through accessible content, and importantly, through embedding participatory processes and effective technologies to engage with learning for all. Partnering with key stakeholders and working with teachers globally, ISKME is addressing the central issues related to teacher roles and skills, and to the challenges related to access and customization of high-quality curriculum worldwide.