Open Education is regarded as a major trend in education around the world. With the rise of online platforms dedicated to sharing knowledge and making it accessible and free of charge, open education is a key player in how we learn and share knowledge.
“Open education is a collective term to describe institutional practices and programmatic initiatives that broaden access to the learning and training traditionally offered through formal education systems” – Wikipedia
In this revolution of how we learn and share knowledge, a South African-based organisation is pioneering the use of Open Education to transfer knowledge to millions of school children across the country. Siyavula, the organisation behind this innovation, is making groundbreaking advances in the way we learn and educate.
Basing almost all their publications and content on work that is under a Creative Commons license, Siyavula aims to be as open as possible, and to harness the power of sharing and spreading knowledge. Siyavula believes in using technology and openness to revolutionise education and in so doing, they have been able to make significant social impact and are continue to reach tremendous milestones. Their aims are closely aligned with the Siyavula story.
The delegates of the #OpenAfrica14 training course at the Africa Centre visited the headquarters of Siyavula in Cape Town to gain greater insight into their work and to learn how this organisation is changing the Open Education approach, by putting relevant books in the hands of those lacking. Led by Kelsey of Creative Commons South Africa (also the course convener) and participating in the discussions and presentations were Bridget and Megan of Siyavula. A lot was learned and as delegates, we all resolved to implement the ideas in our respective countries.
Megan, who is instrumental in authoring the books and working with volunteer professors and teachers in writing and designing the publications, shared the overall process with us. Bridget, Communications Manager for Siyavula, explained the practical steps she takes to invite education practitioners to get on board so they can advance issues they wish to tackle. The delegates will be engaging with others to promote the use of Open Education in research and learning in their countries.
Siyavula organised a typical South African braai for the delegates to end their day at Siyavula, giving us the opportunity to interact with other staff at the Open Innovations Studios.