Author Archives: lindabradley

The winner of the LangOER teacher award from Sweden

The Swedish contribution with Marie Carlström won the LangOER competition of the most creative and innovative OER and a prize of 1000 EUR (to be spent on classroom equipment via Amazon). The OER will be showcased at the closing conference in Brussels in September 2016.Marie Carlström 2

The nomination is as follows: This product is outstanding in the way that it really engages the students, especially training their collaborative skills. The context around working with book-trailers with students has a long tradition. This specific OER can be remixed in a range of multilingual settings.

Have a look at the winning contribution!

Marie Carlström has been teaching children aged 12-16 for the last 20 years. Her subjects are Swedish, French and English. This is Marie’s statement: “I love teaching; there is never one day that is the same as another and as a teacher I enjoy staying in touch with creative and curious teenagers. I would like to open up all pupils’ eyes to knowledge, and how fun knowledge can be.

That is why I always aim at making my lessons interesting. Since children today are used to computers and tablets, and most of them (maybe everybody) will use digital tools when working as grown-ups, I think it is important to take digital tools into the classroom and to use them in my teaching. I also try to be innovative in my way of thinking and teaching, and I am constantly searching on the Internet for new materials to use. I also try to encourage the collaboration and the communication between learners, to make them learn as much as possible from each other, because I believe that you get a deeper understanding of what you learn, if you have to discuss it and explain it to a friend.

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Swedish language teachers engage in questions of openness

Swedish language teachers are eager to find ways of implementing digital activities for their students. Therefore, the Internet is increasingly used for finding resources and practice material. However, there are recurrent questions of how this material can be used and what different licenses mean. For this reason, the Going Open Sweden online course was held with some active and dedicated language teachers contributing to discussions of openness in education and production of OER. The participating teachers all have an active interest in the use of IT in language learning.

The announcement of the course took place on Facebook groups for Swedish language teachers. When the invitation was posted it attracted immediate responses from more 40 teachers. The Going Open Sweden course had it’s final meeting in Stockholm on 15 June, with the participants and the course leaders Sylvi Vigmo from University of Gothenburg and Linda Bradley from Chalmers University of Technology. The teachers who had engaged in the project from all of southern Sweden were invited to this meeting.

LangOER 15 June 2015 Final meeting
Participants in the final seminar in Stockholm

Swedish language teachers are eager to find ways of implementing digital activities for their students. Therefore, the Internet is increasingly used for finding resources and practice material. However, there are recurrent questions of how this material can be used and what different licenses mean.

The announcement of the course took place on Facebook groups for Swedish language teachers. When the invitation was posted it attracted immediate responses from more than 40 teachers. The Going Open Sweden course had it’s final meeting in Stockholm on 15 June, with the participants and the course leaders Sylvi Vigmo and Linda Bradley from University of Gothenburg. The teachers who had engaged in the project from all of southern Sweden were invited to this meeting.

The fact that we focused specifically on language teachers in Swedish schools has meant engaging in a group that has shared ideas and resources with each other. It has also been very valuable being able to discuss methods of teaching and sharing pedagogical ideas related to online learning.

The course was set up with four course modules dealing with openness in education, licences and critical testing of software for language learning. The participants have been enthusiastic working thoroughly with the course assignments. The course ran from 26 March to 6 May 2015, during a very hectic period for Swedish teachers in the end of term. Even though most teachers had a heavy work period, they have been active with assignments. In the final evaluation, they mentioned that the layout of the course with a content allowing for possibility to work whenever there has been a possibility, has meant that they have been able to carry through the course.

The course leaders have communicated with the participants regularly, encouraging them to attend OER webinars and promoting OER content in the modules. Also, supporting them in their online work has been essential. Apart from the introduction seminar with Swedish OER expert Ebba Ossiannilsson we also had a mid-seminar through the video conferenceing programme Adobe Connect where Ebba was invited again. In addition, Ebba has answered questions from the participants throughout the course, which has been highly appreciated.

Ebba_webb
Ebba Ossiannilsson, OERSverige.se

In the final seminar in Stockholm, we discussed plans for disseminating the course content to even more Swedish language teachers. The participants were encouraged to invite colleagues, displaying their produced OER and inviting the colleagues to get involved in the open learning debate in Sweden. This process is in fact already an ongoing process. The participants appreciate the “extended classroom“ that online possibilities offer through social media. To conclude, we’d like to thank all participating teachers who have now started the process of being ambassadors of OER in Sweden. Engaging in this course has had an impact on spreading OER to langauge teachers in Sweden.

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Less used languages in digitally mediated contexts

How can we increase the low online presence of OER for less used languages? This is a theme that was brought up in the LangOER webinar. In an increasingly digital world there is a risk that small languages are marginalised and taken over by large, more widely spoken languages.

Sylvi, Alastair, Anna, Kate

The four speakers in the webinar: Anna Comas-Quinn, Sylvi Vigmo, Alastair Creelman, and Kate Borthwick

Sylvi Vigmo from University of Gothenburg highlighted the potential role of co-design when developing OER for less used languages. This implies finding ways collaborating on a multicultural level to share OER. One suggestion was how to involve learners in the OER community. Sylvi presented some results from the state-of-the art report from the LangOER project. The general picture is that there are few OER in less used languages set up from the UNESCO definition. Even though there are a number of open learning resources, they are not necessarily always possible to for instance modify or re-purpose.

The next speaker, Kate Borthwick from University of Southampton in the UK brought up some inspiring projects with OER where teachers from less used languages have gathered to share ideas. This has created a sense of community for the teachers who don’t need to work in isolation any longer. It has also raised their awareness of learning from each other and increasing the number of materials.Kate stressed that we must consider “how we reach new and wider audiences alongside increasing OERs available”.

The final speaker, Anna Comas-Quinn at the Open University in the UK, raised translation as a way to reach out to small languages. Anna stressed the importance of translation as a step in making ideas accessible to other people. Translation communities are growing. The idea is based on how the power of the crowd can facilitate for online presence in OER in less used languages.

There were some challenges brought up in the webinar, for instance management issues and how repositories of OER are sustained. There were discussions of how to get some common guidelines for how to organise OER. In the discussions in the webinar chat and twitter feed there were questions of how to validate the quality of OER and how to control the content, if indeed it needs to be controlled. There are no simple answers to these questions, but it is useful to discuss ways forward of working with it.

The chair, Alastair Creelman from The Linnaeus University did an excellent job moderating the webinar.This webinar has been an important step in connecting with everybody interested in the potential of OER for less used languages. Networking together and finding ways to promote OER, sharing work and collaborating has only started.

To round up: here are two relevant reflective twitter feeds from the webinar:

OER practice opens the world up to lesser used smaller languages and provides them with a lifeline

How can we use open education practice to reach out to teachers & learners who are outside the mainstream?

Voices from the Twitter feed

 

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Two upcoming events

We will participate in two events comming up that will feed the LangOER project:

Workshop 28 APRIL, 2014, ICDE, Oslo, Norway
Leading world experts in post-secondary eduaction

EFQUEL Innovation Forum 2014 and international LINQ Conference, Crete, 7-9th May 2014
Changing the Trajectory – Quality for Opening up Education

efquel

We will lead a workshop titled: Framing quality indicators for multilingual repositories of Open Educational Resources – The LangOER  European network

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Sustainability in OER for less used languages – Webinar link

OERlangoerHere’s the link to our webinar from 14 March 2014 during the Open Education Week! The sound first starts after 7 minutes in the webinar (when Anne starts talking!) but you can see the slides and also the chat all the time.

Recording: https://connect.sunet.se/p1njvdjp04a/

Slides: http://fr.slideshare.net/LangOER/final-lang-oer-webinar-march-14-2014 

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Presentation on sustainability in OERs

Thanks for contributing with very interesting input in the Open Ed Week webinar! Some really crucial issues were brought up and let’s continue our discussions. For example valuable input about some strategic initiatives in Estonian. Also Wales has initiated work that we are looking forward to following. Next year OER2015 will be hosted in Wales.

For the LangOER project, the work around the state-of-the mapping is progressing and we brought up some preliminary results for discussion. The concept of OER is interpreted from many perspectives and there are different views put into this word.Thanks for all relevant contributions from experts in the webinar!

/Sylvi and Linda

 

 

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Join us online at the Open Education Week Friday 14 March 11:00-12:00!
In the webinar we will discuss multilingual dimensions of OER where a few national OER projects dealing with less used languages will be brought up as examples, one from Welsh and one from Estonian. The following questions will be addressed: What are the opportunities for national less used language OER projects and how can they be sustained? What is the future for national, unilingual OER projects?

 open ed week2

 

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Input about OERs

At the moment we’re in the process of gathering data for the state-of-the art report of OERs used in small languages! All tips and ideas are most appreciated!

Thanks!
Sylvi and Linda

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