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Saturday, 16 May 2009

Council of Europe on ICT education

These days I've been following an exciting discussion on ICT in education on Twitter networking website. Read a summary of the discussion on InvesTICant by Isabel Ferrer Arabí. This discussion started after the Spanish government announced an ambitious plan to network all schools in the country. And this is definitely OK, but the problem arouse about how it was going to be developed. It seems now that the Spanish government has read all these opinions and some changes are being introduced to the plan -as for example,in relation to free software, according to this piece of news.

And, because of all that, I wondered what the Council of Europe could have said about this topic. And, of course, I have found some interesting Recommendations on ICT in education. So, here, I link three documents and highlight some ideas in relation to open-source software.

Recommendation 1586 (2002). The digital divide and education.

The Assembly recommends to join forces with other international bodies that are currently considering access to digital material on the Internet in order to establish the public service principle in the digital environment and in particular to develop norms for the use of such material for educational and other socially necessary purposes.


Recommendation 1836 (2008). Realising the full potential of e-learning for education and training.

E-learning can be a powerful means of creating open educational resources accessible to everybody, thus counteracting a society divided by unequal skill levels. In this regard, the Assembly calls on member parliaments to support the so-called “open-source” movement in software development and initiatives for open educational resources – freely accessible on the Internet – and to adopt measures to combat the digital divide in order to close the gap between those who have access to ICT and the acquisition of ICT skills and those who do not, thus ensuring digital literacy for all.

Doc. 11846. Realising the full potential of e-learning for education and training.

The Committee of Ministers also takes note of the Assembly’s recommendation to examine the standardisation of the technical infrastructure and software concerning e-learning, including free open-source software on the Internet, in order to facilitate their use and ensure their interoperability.


Although the open-source software is not the key concept in any of these documents, the fact is that it is considered in all of them as an important element when introducing ICT in all levels of educational systems.

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