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Original Session Description
Since 2015, the Núcleo Interdisciplinario sobre Recursos Educativos Abiertos y Accesibles (Núcleo REAA) of Universidad de la República (UdelaR) in Uruguay, integrates research groups from different fields – Education, Computer Engineering, Librarianship, Sociology, Communication, Psychology and Law – combined with participation of civil society organizations, educational institutions and governmental sector – aiming to promote Open and Accessible Educational Resources (OAER) and Technologies as a way of providing access to knowledge for most vulnerable sectors of society.
OAER is an interdisciplinary and intersectoral area. This communication presents our innovative approach, in which it’s understood that the members of our team arrive with different disciplinary backgrounds and research agendas, yet are sufficiently informed about one another’s perspectives to be able to work together as a collective (Davis & Sumara, 2006). Although it is possible to identify development areas that emerge from technological and social disciplinary fields, these buildouts require a transdisciplinar articulation to understanding social and educational problems, as well as the establishment of technological solutions to address these problems. This integral approach also involves Educational Technology, and Science, Technology and Society studies.
A second pillar of the Núcleo REAA, the inclusive intersectoral dialogue, involves the participation of stakeholders from the research design to the implementation. In that sense, members of the public educational system, and social and governmental organizations (National Blind Union of Uruguay and Ministry of Social Development through its Public Policies on Disability, Social Protection, respectively) among others, are included as full members.
Núcleo REAA addresses research conjugating theory and praxis, setting within a militant research approach (Bookchin, et al, 2013). This approach might be defined as the place where activism and academia meet, involving participation by conviction, where researchers play a role in actions and share goals, strategies, and experience of their colleagues due to their own committed beliefs.
Among a variety of actions towards inclusion, the presentation will dialogue with the audience highlighting two examples that conducted to the creation of national policies.
Through the creation of Accessible Digital Library (BIDyA) a digital library was developed under the rule of Marrakech Treaty (MT), intending to facilitate access to published works for blind, visually impaired or people with difficulties to access printed text. The library also involved the creation of two OAER (tutorials) included in BIDyA repository (Rodés, et al, 2019). This work contributed to the creation of the decree for the implementation of MT in Uruguay (first country to do so) and its monitoring Commission under the scope of the Ministry of Education and Culture.
The second example is related to numerous projects of development of open education technologies and practices, championing the theme in the country (Rodés & Díaz, 2018). These projects involved the participation of numerous stakeholders, and led to the joint realization in 2018 of the First National Open Education Meeting, in which “Guidelines for an Open Education Policy in Public Education of Uruguay” document was approved. Its great impact led to the creation of the Working Group of Open Education, of national scope within Public Education System.
Bookchin, et al (2013). Militant research Handbook. New Rork University.
Davis, B. & Sumara, D. (2006). Complexity and Education. Inquiries into Learning, Teaching, and Research. New York: Routledge.
Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. https://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/marrakesh/
Rodés, V., & Dìaz, P. (2018). Open Educational Resources in Uruguay: Progress and challenges. EmRede – Revista de Educação a Distância, 5(2), 271–287.
Rodés, V., Díaz, P., Patrón, C., Díaz Costoff, A., Podetti, M., de Souza, A., Motz, R., García, C. (2019) Biblioteca Digital y Accesible (BIDYA): innovación inclusiva para la digitalización de materiales educativos y bibliotecas. In: XIV Latin-American Conference on Learning Objects. México. http://laclo2019.com/