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Educators and Learners in Saudi Arabia Connect in Open Resources Network

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Contact: Shep Ranbom (866) 955-9560 x315, sranbom@communicationworks.com

ISKME partners with Saudi National Center for e-Learning to expand access to open resources; launches network for open educational resources

April 2, 2018— (Half Moon Bay, CA) – The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), an education nonprofit and pioneer in open educational resources (OER) and innovative learning practices—announced today its collaboration with the National Centre for e-Learning (NCeL) in Saudi Arabia to launch SHMS, the Saudi OER Network. SHMS is an online community of students and educators with the goal to provide all students and teachers with access to and engagement with high quality teaching and learning resources that are openly licensed.

ISKME, which launched the public digital library and collaboration platform, OER Commons, in 2007, is supporting NCeL and this new national network with a managed SaaS library service, curatorial expertise, and OER adoption strategies.

“The project expands access to open resources in Arabic, which have been curated for the Saudi education system across all grades and subjects,” says Lisa Petrides, ISKME CEO and founder. “We hope it may serve as a flagship example to inspire the use of OER and collaboration practices in the region generally.”

The Minister of Education and Chairman of the National Center for e-Learning, Dr. Ahmad bin Mohammed Al-Essa, highlighted the SHMS project, launched in March, as an integral part of a vision for more accessible and effective learning content and tools to serve the nation’s students and educators.

“NCeL, with its national program dedicated to providing open educational resources, will support progress and excellence in the education arena, toward the vision of 2030 development goals that we aspire to achieve,” notes Dr. Abdullah Almegren, the Director General at NCeL. “The participation of educational institutions, from universities and education departments, during the past year has resulted in the provision of more than 80,000 educational resources on the SHMS site. We hope that it will open the way for academics and students in Saudi Arabia to enrich content through well-defined processes that ensure quality. We appreciate ISKME’s partnership in support of our OER ecosystem.”

The launch of the SHMS project, which was the recipient of the 2018 Open Education Award for Excellence by the Open Education Consortium, will be accompanied by trainings and other activities to bring awareness of OER to educators across the country.

About ISKME

ISKME is an independent education nonprofit with the mission to improve the practice of continuous learning, collaboration, and change in education. Established in 2002, ISKME supports innovative teaching and learning practices globally and is well known for its open education initiatives.

About NCEL

Founded in 2005, the National Center for e-Learning is responsible for e-Learning in Saudi Arabia to improve the efficiency of the educational and training process in all its forms and quality control. The Center is financially and administratively independent, and linked to the Ministry of Education on a regulatory basis.

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