Guest Post: Open Covid Pledge for Education…by Helen Beetham, Lorna Campbell, Catherine Cronin and Momodou Sallah

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“We are safe when everybody is safe; we flourish when everybody flourishes.” (UNESCO, 2020)

Do you know about the Open Covid Pledge for Education? We invite you to join a discussion about the Pledge at the ALT Winter Conference on December 15th: Panel Discussion: Open Covid Pledge for Education.

In a time of immense change, we will explore how the Open Covid Pledge for Education can help people and organisations to share what they know and do to support the world-wide educational response to COVID-19, and to prioritise more sustainable and equitable approaches in education. The Pledge has been supported and hosted by ALT and has over 200 signatories already.

During the course of 2020, the pandemic demanded an immense response: shifting learning online, building new environments, developing new policies, and supporting students in new ways. That response would not have been possible without the know-how of online and open educators and learning technologists. The Pledge  recognises the wealth of open resources already available to support policy and practice at this time of extraordinary challenge. The Pledge also encourages educators to find reasons for sharing, and for persuading their departments and organisations to share too. OER for educators, policy documents, open research and public reflections are all of value. It is a chance to make this an ‘open pivot’ rather than just an online one.

As UNESCO notes in Education in a post-Covid World:

“Public health and public education are closely interconnected as they show the undeniable necessity of collaboration, solidarity and collective action for the common good. This global health pandemic will not be defeated by health measures alone. It will be solved by building civic trust, deepening human empathy, progressing in science, and appreciating our common humanity… In public education as in public health, the focus must be on cooperation not competition.”

As we turn towards a post-pandemic world, what have we all learned from this extraordinary time? And how could initiatives like the Open Covid Pledge for Education help us to cooperate, to share that learning, and to prioritise more sustainable and equitable approaches?

All are welcome to join this panel session to explore these ideas.