Alecso Initiative for E-Learning in Corona Crisis Period
Amid the current global emergency situation resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, which caused school closures in at least 30 countries, impacting no less than 290.5 million children and youth around the world (according to the March 4, 2020 UNESCO’s report).
As the Arab World has not been immune to the adverse effects of the COVID-19 global crisis, with education being totally or partially disrupted in a number of countries, such as Saudi Arabia, UAE, Lebanon, Kuwait, and Bahrain,
Drawing on ALECSO’s pioneering experience in the Arab World in terms of e-learning, especially through the Arab OER Hub and the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and keen on developing Arab educational systems and ensuring the continuity of learning in countries going through emergency crises, an e-learning initiative in response to COVID-19 educational disruption will be launched based on the latest electronic educational content software, and in cooperation with Arab partner educational platforms. The initiative involves placing all curricula and teaching materials on these platforms, and raising awareness of their importance and efficiency through social media networks (Twitter, Facebook). There will also be an integrated scientific training program for teachers to familiarize them with modern learning/e-learning methods, and enable them to produce and disseminate courses and acquire synchronous online teaching skills.
The initiative is essentially designed to :
- Contribute to developing alternative technological solutions, by taking best advantage of ICT to respond to educational disruption in the Arab countries and ensure the continuity of learning;
- Enable Arab students and teachers to freely access Arabic educational contents available through ALECSO’s platforms and specialized Arab websites and portals;
- Promote open and electronic learning to cope with educational disruption in times of crisis, through the use of the Arab OER Hub and other educational platforms;
- Organize training courses, via ALECSO’s e-training platform, for Arab teachers, and provide them with the needed technical guidance and coaching so that they can make best use of platforms and tools for producing and sharing educational contents;
- Promote cooperation and partnership with the competent parties, organizations, institutions, experts and partners active in the field of e-learning, and share expertise, experience, best practices and technological solutions to ensure the continuity of learning during the period of educational disruption.
ARAB OER HUB
ARAB OER HUB
The Arab OER Hub is a unified platform for Arabic Open Educational Resources available online on the global OER platform www.oercommons.org. The Hub provides unified access to all OER contents developed in the Arab countries. It helps to promote, use, develop, share, and adapt open educational resources. It also offers vast opportunities for cooperation, sharing and exchange between Arab teachers and authors of educational contents with the aim of producing and sharing these resources and facilitating access to them by teachers and learners across the world.
The Arab OER Hub also provides users with several tools that enable them to add, host, and create digital contents and grant appropriate open licenses, and thus to make these contents available and accessible online as open educational resources. These tools include in particular :
- Sharing existing educational resources, making them available via special online links and addresses (national platforms, specialized websites, …etc.), typesetting and indexing them by adding relevant standards and metadata, and allocating the appropriate open license.
OER Author : the Hub includes a tool for creating and managing digital content, which enables OER authors to edit digital educational content, present it in the form of learning units, and then add the needed metadata to facilitate automatic typesetting and ensure more effective search and access.
The OER Author tool makes it easy to combine digital contents in various formats (text, images, audio/video files,…etc.) and to save them as open, licensed educational resources. These resources are then made available and shared by teachers, learners and all those interested from all over the world. Resources can be printed and downloaded as PDF files. All multimedia files contained in these resources can also be downloaded. The OER Author tool has other characteristics, including the following :
- Importing external resources from Google Docs : a new resource can be created by downloading a Google Doc and using it via the OER Author tool;
- Adjustment: the open content can be adjusted and adapted to meet the basic characteristics of the Commons, the State’s requirements, and the special needs of learners and classrooms;
- Setting up and integrating open educational resources : it is possible to set up, integrate, adjust, adapt, allocate, and reorganize/reformulate existing resources in order to create new resources.
ARAB OER HUB
To feed the Hub with open educational resources, national coordinators have been appointed across Member States. This is, in fact, to ensure that quality and credibility standards are observed in the digital contents provided at the level of each country. The structure of the Arab OER Hub is based on groups that contain the contents created/added and typeset by source. Accordingly, twenty-two groups were created, representing ALECSO’s Member States. In each Member State, the national coordinator is in charge of managing his country’s group through the Hub, supervising and coordinating the work of OER authors, verifying their qualifications, and checking the quality of the content created and added.
Hereafter is a list of national coordinators :
“Rwaq” is an educational platform for MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) provided by ALECSO, in cooperation and partnership with “Rewaq Al-Maarifa (Rwaq)”. It offers MOOCs for learners and for all those interested in these courses in the Arab region and across the world.
MOOCs are among the most recent educational methods, and are part of a new generation of e-learning systems, increasingly in use all around the world. Through its central MOOC platform, ALECSO seeks to contribute to promoting open education and lifelong learning, and to support and localize e-learning across the Arab World.
ALECSO also works to :
- Develop MOOCs in several disciplines of wide interest, in response to large and urgent demands for this type of courses;
- Host courses developed by teachers from Arab universities and education/ training institutions in the ALECSO Rwaq platform, and use them in sessions organized to that end;
- Organize sessions to foster awareness about the use of MOOCs at all educational levels and take best advantage of this type of learning;
- Hold training sessions for Arab teachers and trainers in the production and use of MOOCs.
Providing an Arab central platform for e-learning and developing a number of MOOC courses that attract the interest of thousands of Arab young people, will certainly contribute to the training and upgrading of Arab youth from all categories, and help them to face the problem of education or unemployment in times of crisis. This type of online learning can also support formal education and lifelong learning in the Arab World. This will help give rise to a new generation of learners and teachers capable of penetrating the world of modern technologies and remote working. These areas actually need cooperation, expertise and joint efforts to ensure quality outputs and thus achieve the set goals.Link to Rwaq platform
As part of its initiative to promote open education and e-learning during the Corona crisis, ALECSO offers training courses for teachers and students to help them use technology platforms and tools in their teaching and learning practices.
The registration period for this course has expired
- Rwaq Company
- Beijing Higher Institute
- Commonwealth of Learning
Rwaq (Arwiqat Al-Maarifa) is an information technology company that works on developing fully Arabic e-learning initiatives and projects, and seeks to promote online learning in the Arab World.
Rwaq has developed and implemented various digital education initiatives, such as
- “Rwaq” : Arab Platform for Open Education,
- “Aanaab”: Arab Teacher Digital Training Platform,
- “Mahara” : Arab Training Platform for Sciences and Skills.
In 2015, ALECSO concluded a cooperation and partnership agreement with Rwaq, which enabled the Organization to use the Rwaq educational platform and take full advantage of the services of the Rwaq platform to host, manage and follow up on MOOC courses developed for all those interested across the Arab World.
ALECSO’s MOOC platform (Rwaq) can be accessed via the following website : http://www.rwaq.org/orgs/alecso.
Classera e-learning system
Classera has ten years of experience providing e-learning solutions, starting in 2010 from the United States of America and then expanding to the Middle East and many other regions. Classera solutions are now spread in more than 15 countries where they have implemented hundreds of projects to serve thousands of schools and millions of users in the public and private sectors.
During this trip, Classera has received many international awards such as the BETT 2017 award, the GESS 2018 award and the Learning Awards 2018 award in London, among others, for our contribution to digital transformation projects in education. Classera has also led many community support initiatives such as: One Nation, the largest virtual school in the Middle East, a luminous initiative for blind students and Gateway to the Future, the national project for digital transformation in Saudi Arabia.
The most important Classera products:
- Classera e-learning system for pre-university education;
- Smart Classera Academy for Corporate and Government Training SVA
- Classera e-learning system for university education
All Classera systems apply the latest technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Social Learning and Gamification to support personal learning through more than 27 subsystems.
Classera also has a number of strategic partnerships with a number of international companies such as Microsoft, Intel, HP to integrate their services within Classera, as well as partnerships with content providers such as Pearson, Designate, Britannica and others.Website
’’ISKME’’ : Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education is an independent, not-for-profit educational institution whose mission is to contribute to the development and improvement of teaching and learning practices, continuous learning and cooperation aimed at bringing about change in the education sector in the world. Founded in 2002, ISKME is conducting research in the social sciences and developing evidence-based innovations that improve knowledge sharing in education. ISKME is headquartered in Silicon Valley's Half Moon Bay, California. The Foundation has many pioneering open education initiatives that support teaching and learning practices around the world, perhaps the most prominent of which is the global platform for open educational resources OERCOMMONS. ISKME assists policymakers and educational institutions in designing, improving and evaluating educational policies, programs and practices.
The Arab Organization for Education, Culture and Science has a partnership and cooperation agreement with "ISKME" since 2017, which enabled ALCO to take advantage of the pioneering programs of this institution in the field of open education and open digital educational resources, especially the development and use of the ALECSO Arab OER Hub platform, housed in the global central platform for open educational resources www.oercommons.org supervised by this institution, which enables the Arab member states of the organization to produce and inhabit their open educational resources Digital Arabic via this platform and from There is a facilitation and facilitation of the process of indexing, researching, accessing and accessing these digital resources, and promoting, sharing and exchanging them on the Arab and international level.
The Commonwealth of Learning (COL)
’’COL’’ is an intergovernmental organisation of The Commonwealth headquartered in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Working collaboratively with governmental and nongovernmental organizations and other institutions in the Commonwealth, as well as with international development agencies, COL has the mandate to promote the use of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies.Website
ClassIn is an online classroom for synchronous learning (real-time audio and video communication) with a collaborative and interactive whiteboard. Particularly, it provides teachers the ability to create high multimedia activities, resulting in engaging learning experiences. Additionally, based on the use of big data and learning analytics, ClassIn generates automatic dashboards to help teachers monitor their classrooms easily. Besides, the ClassIn Cloud further allows loading a wide variety of document formats directly into the classroom, while the distributed network supports over two million simultaneous users, allowing a fast and stable learning experience.
ClassIn is partnered with over 7,000 partners worldwide, such as Udacity, Pearson, Peking University, University of Maryland, Microsoft and ByteDance (creator of TikTok), New Oriental and TAL Education Group.Website