New Beginnings

My role in openlearning with the voluntary sector is almost complete now. The launch of the online European School of Volunteering (EVS) demonstrated that a number of us across different countries have been moving in similar directions, and I wish them every possible success.

Here in the UK, voluntary sector trainers, managers and policy makers are more aware of Open Educational Resources (OER) and they are increasingly featuring in both strategies and training delivery.

Steven Stapleton, Open Learning Support Officer at the University of Nottingham, is now working on a project entitled PARiS (Promoting Academic Resources in Society) working in partnership with the Ear Foundation on the collection and release of OER. I’ll be particularly interested in their exploration of the provision of open access materials to complement fee charging face-to-face workshops.

Personally, I am now able to return to my core interest of childhood and youth, but I am not leaving the OER movement – I’ve been assembling brief details of free and open educational resources of interest to trainers and academics in childhood and youth. The collection is now published at and I will be adding to it monthly.

It just remains to thank everyone who’s participated in this project during the past year – voluntary sector trainers, training managers, policy makers, academics and of course all those in the Support Centre for Open Resources in Education – without whom, none of this would have been possible.

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OCS & Big Lottery survey of web use by civil society organisations

Survey Icon by: jabernalThe Office for Civil Society (OCS) in the Cabinet Office and the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) are currently seeking views on how the web is used by civil society organisations to access advice & support, funding information and networking opportunities.

BIG and OCS want to know how online services help organisations build learning and develop skills and capabilities. Their survey takes no more than fifteen minutes to complete and closes on Friday 20 January 2012. Complete their survey at:

I’m looking forward to seeing how their findings compare to those from our own Charitywise survey in July/August 2011.

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