Category Archives: Digital culture

Managing cultural diversity in the context of open education: lesson learnt

A talk Managing cultural diversity in the context of open education – lessons learnt was given by Malgorzata Kurek (Jan Dlugosz University, one of the LangOER partners) at the 16th edition of the international IALIC conference, which took place at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, in Bellaterra university campus, Spain, on 25th – 27th November 2016.

The presentation was based on the outcomes of the teacher training package designed and offered within the LangOER project to teachers from 6 different cultures operating with less-used-languages.

IALIC (International Association for Languages and Intercultural Communication) is a very well-known organisation of global reach which promotes an interdisciplinary perspective on the interplay between languages and intercultural factors. The event attracted as many as over 130 researchers, educators and practitioners interested in interculturalism and multilingualism.

The leading theme of the conference was Bridging across Languages and Cultures in Everyday Lives: New Roles for Changing Scenarios and main aims were:

  • to promote critical engagement with the notion of mediating between cultures and languages;
  • to explore the role of technology in bridging between diverse languages and cultures;
  • to explore the role of ‘broker’ in cross-cultural situations, including growing instances of ‘child language brokers’;
  • to promote understanding of how language brokering is perceived by researchers and practitioners from cross-cultural situations;
  • to provide a forum for a critique of existing analytical models of culture and language mediating practices that integrate current theories of language and intercultural communication;
  • to provide a forum on ways in which research into language and culture mediation can inform teachers’ praxis.

This broad spectrum enabled the penetration of various aspects of multilingualism and interculturalism.

The presentation delivered by Malgorzata Kurek drew on the outcomes of the teacher training courses designed with the purpose of equipping teachers working in less-used languages with skills needed to locate, repurpose and create their own resources. The pilot course in English was piloted and then re-purposed by project partners to address the needs of their local teachers from Greece, Poland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Latvia and Lithuania. The course is available on demand from https://www.openlearning.com/courses/goingopenwithlangoer/Homepage

The presentation focused on the stage of adapting and appropriating original instructional design to the unique characteristics and constraints of local educational cultures of Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and Frysia. The research presented was based on the analysis of strategies used by facilitators to accommodate the training content to the profile of their local educational cultures.

The main points made by the author were the following:

  • Instructional designers involved in designing open content need to consider the inevitable prospect of the materials being re-purposed and adapted to other educational contexts.
  • The quality of open content is not its inherent feature but it emerges in the process of adaptation (Conole & Ehlers 2010; King 2013);
  • Successful appropriation to local contexts is not free from cultural meanings and, thus, cannot be approached as an automatic procedure.
  • Educational cultures should be accounted for in task appropriation and instruction delivery so that recipients feel assisted in their gradual adaptation of new practices.
  • Facilitators play an active role in the process of adapting resources – they should be autonomous in their judgments and decisions about which modifications respond best to their local contexts.

The article on which the presentation was based had been published in the special issue of ALSIC and is available at:  https://alsic.revues.org/2904

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References:

  • Conole, G.C., & Ehlers, U.D. (2010). Open Educational Practices: Unleashing the power of OER. Paper presented to UNESCO Workshop on OER in Namibia 2010. Windhoek. Retrieved from http://efquel.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/OEP_Unleashing-the-power-of-OER.pdf
  • King, T. (2013). The “Onstream” Project: Collaboration between higher education teachers of Russian and Teachers of Russian in mainstream and supplementary schools. In T. Beaven, A. Comas-Quinn, & B. Sawhill (Eds.), Case studies of openness in the language classrooom (pp. 110-120). © Research-publishing.net.

Author: Malgorzata Kurek – Jan Dlugosz University

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The LangOER Digital Showcase: the project’s resources in a nutshell

One of the latest releases of the LangOER has been the Digital Showcase, featuring all the valuable resources created during the 3 years of the project.

How can less used languages, including Regional and Minority languages, benefit from Open Educational Practices (OEP)? How can Open Educational Resources (OER) be shaped to foster linguistic and cultural diversity in Europe? What policies are favourable to the uptake of quality OER in less used language communities?

All these questions are part of the raison d’être behind the project and have been considered when designing the tool.

The Digital Showcase offers a wide range of materials (including videos, handbooks, courses, policy briefs, papers etc.) and its goal is to showcase them in an accessible and illustrative way. In this regard, all resources have been identified depending on the year of creation, format, type and, what is more important, the key stakeholders (teachers, policy makers and experts).

The following resources are already available in the main page of the Digital Showcase according to the target audience and the set will updated with the latest documents and tools in the upcoming weeks.

Teachers

  • Going Open with LangOER – Course
  • Going Open with LangOER – Handbook
  • LangOER Collection of educational resources
  • eTwinning Online Seminar
  • LangOER prize winners

Policy makers

  • Open education Resources in your Own language, in your Way
  • Final policy paper
  • Policy consultation
  • EU-US cooperation Webinar
  • LangOER prize winners
  • OER in less used languages: state of the art report
  • LangOER video interview series
  • Conference materials
  • Desktop research of OER
  • “Chances and Perspectives” Seminar

Experts

  • Social dynamics in Open Educational Practice
  • Web 2.0 Library
  • LangOER prize winners
  • OER in less used languages: state of the art report
  • LangOER video interview series
  • Conference materials
  • Desktop research of OER
  • “Chances and Perspectives” Seminar

Other external research-based resources related to OER/OEP and less used languages may also be found here: http://langoer.eun.org/other-useful-resources

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“Start creating your own OERs” Workshop at the eTwinning Conference 2016

From 27 to 29 October 2016, the eTwinning and Digital Citizenship Annual Conference was held in Athens. The goal of the conference was to explore possibilities on how to raise the capabilities of the schools of today, in order to be prepared for the challenges of the fully digital society of tomorrow.

Professor Elena Shulman, expert member of EUN’s LangOER team, was responsible for the activity entitled Open Educational Resources: Start creating your own OERs, organized as 2 separate workshops taking place on the same day. These sessions were aimed at teachers engaged in professional development activities under the eTwinning programme.

Around 70 participants from a wide variety of European countries (including Italy, Netherlands, Finland, Moldova, Ukraine, Turkey, Lithuania and Portugal among others) joined the LangOER workshops. The expert, answered questions throughout the sessions and engaged teachers in considering and discussing issues around OER, copyright and best practices for creating and licensing their own OERs.

The workshop’s topic was based in the Going Open with LangOER online OER course, the related handbook and other relevant tools and resources. The first part of the session, focused on providing an overview of Creative Commons licenses and examples of open resources and how to find them. Then, the speaker went on presenting opportunities for teachers to explore resources and tools that facilitate their own efforts to discover, reuse and create their own OERs and to license these resources appropriately using Creative Commons licenses. The hands-on part of the workshop was followed by a questions & answers slot and the final wrap up.

Overall, participants provided feedback to the expert on the issues that teachers found challenging when it comes to Creative Commons licenses, the type of resources teachers were more likely to find useful in similar learning opportunities and insight into what motivates or acts as barriers to teacher’s willingness to share OERs in online communities.

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International Conference on Bilingualism in Education

A talk on OER: insights into a multilingual landscape was given by Marit Bijlsma (Fryske Akademy), at the international conference Bilingualism in Education, which took place at Bangor University, North Wales, on 10-12th June 2016.

The event attracted around 150 international researchers and practitioners within bilingual and multilingual education.

The main goals of this conference were:

  • To increase the understanding of bilingualism world-wide, as regards both the individual and the community;
  • To build research capacity on bilingualism by developing a vibrant ‘laboratory’ for the study of bilingualism in action which aims to serve as a platform for interactions between bilingualism experts and junior researchers;
  • To develop strong bidirectional links with practitioners and policy makers concerned with bilingualism, so as to ground research and theory in the needs of those users and ensure dissemination of research findings;
  • To develop new collaborations.

The event covered a broad spectrum of themes of interest for the LangOER project to relate to and to exchange knowledge on and, in particular, the topic of ‘Understanding students’ attitudes towards post-compulsory study in minoritized languages’.

”It is widely acknowledged that the establishment of school-based educational provision in minoritized languages has been a key factor in language revitalisation in a range of primarily European contexts, where institutional recognition and support have been secured by the relevant minority. In the Welsh context, and elsewhere, the production of new speakers has arisen primarily as a consequence of the growth in the number of school-aged pupils studying through the medium of Welsh”

Andrew James Davies, Prifysgol Aberystwyth

The presentation focused on the following key aspects.

  • Language use and attitudes in a minority language community: The case of Wales. Language use and language attitudes have been longstanding and contentious issues within the field of minority language policy. In order for individuals to succeed in becoming bilingual, they have to receive input through both languages, Often, a lack of infrastructure bears the burden of successful minority language transmission. (Dr Mirain Rhys, WISERD).
  • Do Immigrant Minority Students Succeed in CLIL? Over the last few decades, processes of globalization and immigration have turned educational programmes and policies developed to cater to majority language or regional minority language groups into complex language planning issues. The growing influx of immigrant minority (IM) language speakers in both minority and majority multilingual education has laid bare the limitations of (some of) these programmes to provide relevant and appropriate education for all children in the 21st century. (Thomas Somers, Universidad Auntónoma de Madrid)
  • Trilingual Education in Friesland. Currently, Frisian is mainly taught through ‘weak models’ with ‘limited enrichment’. However, more than 100 primary schools (out of 450) apply a bilingual model, and another 75 schools apply the concept of ‘Trilingual Education’ with both Frisian and Eng-lish as a medium of instruction. The number of trilingual schools has increased, and schools are working step-by-step towards a fully developed, tailor made application of the CLIL approach, using school television programs from ‘Omrop Fryslân’ and digital teaching tools. (Alex Riemersma, NHL & Stenden universities of applied sciences).
  • Teaching mathematics in a Basque-medium pre-primary classroom: interaction resources and problem solving techniques. Early Childhood Education in the Basque Autonomous Community in Spain, in a multilingual education context in which 50% of students complete the curriculum in their L2, Basque. The presentation focused on the explanatory and problem solving expressions used by the teacher to the pupils that serve the dual purpose of teaching both the linguistic and the mathematical content. (Julia Barnes, Arantza Ozaeta, Matilde Sainz, Mondragon Unibertsitatea – HUHEZI).
  • Minority Language Families in Diaspora: Catalans in New York City. Educating multilingual children is an adventure ideally shared by teachers and parents. In order to encourage families to embark on, and persist in, the multilingual challenge, teachers benefit from a deep understanding of why parents decide to transmit which of their languages or not, and how they manage. Mixed and migrant families offer a particularly interesting case, since typically parents are forced to make conscious choices regarding their language repertoire. They can also illuminate the dynamics concerning societal multilingualism, where choices might be more environmentally mediated. (Eva J. Daussa, University of Groningen).

Author: Marit Bijlsma (Fryske Akademy)

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LangOER Conference: ‘Open Education: Promoting Diversity for European Languages’

From 26 to 27 September 2016, the LangOER project, in cooperation with EdReNe, the Educational Repositories Network, will hold its final conference titled ‘Open Education: Promoting Diversity for European Languages’ in Brussels, Belgium.

The conference will kick off in the European Day of languages aiming to bring together policy makers concerned with language learning and teaching, pedagogical use of ICT, and social integration and inclusion, experts in open education and digital content repositories, educational researchers and teachers. Participants will have the chance to discuss the importance of linguistic diversity in Europe and the support of OER in fostering minority languages.

During the first day, workshops and roundtables will address strategies on how OER and OER for Less Used Languages could be integrated in policy agendas, how funding can be identified and what activities can be developed at Pan-European level. In addition, tailored workshops will be organized on the role of teachers and the importance of bottom-up and community building strategies for the OER uptake.

On the second day, sessions will be focused on good practices like MOOCs for language learning and future actions for the enhancement of OER and OEP in European and global level. At the finale of the conference, the LangOER prizes will be announced and the role and involvement of teachers in the project will be presented with some experiences and practices.

The conference ‘Open Education: Promoting Diversity for European Languages’ is the closing event of LangOER project that aims at contributing to the promotion of learning and teaching of less used European languages by linking them to the global challenges of Open Education.

If you are interested to know more

Follow the conference live on social media #LangOERconf

LangOER website – http://langoer.eun.org/conference-2016
EdReNe website – http://edrene.org

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Going Open with LangOER webinar at the I-LINC learning event

In June 2016, the I-LINC project hosted a Learning Event on the eTwinning platform, titled First Steps for use of technology in the classroom – Towards Digital Citizenship and Inclusion, aiming at introducing educators of all levels to the concept of technology as enabler and of IT tools as means to support engagement and participation.

Module 2 focused on selection and storage of digital content and LangOER was invited to present its Going Open methodology and the resources for teachers created for the training activities in several European countries, within the webinar Open Source Education – make & share.

The webinar was introduced by an overview of the definition and conceptualization of openness, Open Educational Resources and Practices, as well as the model of open licenses and the most common ones.

The second part focused on the process of finding, reusing and re-sharing OERs from the educators’ perspective, with hands-on approach. We presented some practical strategies for searching, using and adapting materials, contextualised examples of application and useful repositories, such as Open Education Europa, Learning Resource Exchange for schools (which also hosts the LangOER resources for language learning) and Scientix (for STEM-related subjects).

The slides of the webinar are available here.

For information on other activities and Going Open with LangOER, please, contact langoer@eun.org

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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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The LangOER webinar: a successful event attracting many participants

The LangOER webinar gave some food for thought about open learning and OER in less used languages. During the event, Sylvi Vigmo, Kate Borthwick and Anna Comas Quinn gave their views on the current situation how Open Educational Practices and OER could be enablers of multilingualism. The whole event was recorded so if you didn’t have a chance to attend, the webinar can be accessed online.

Access here the recording of the webinar: https://connect.sunet.se/p502lhe6m8f/

Follow the tweets about the webinar on twiter: #langoer

LangOERposter

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Take the opportunity to participate in the upcoming webinar

Open Educational Resources (OER) for less used languages in an increasingly digital everyday culture

What is the future for less used languages online? How can online resources be an effective tool to preserve less used languages? This is the topic that will be discussed in the Webinar Open Educational Resources (OER) for less used languages in an increasingly digital everyday culture: What are the challenges and how will we tackle them?

Time: 19 September 14:00-15:00 (Central European Time)

Access here the recording of the webinar: https://connect.sunet.se/p502lhe6m8f/

Download the poster (pdf)

Speakers:

Kate Borthwick, University of Southampton, UK

KateCoordinator for e-learning at the Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies (LLAS). Experienced developer of online learning materials and an e-tutor. She has a research interest in open educational resources (OER) and managed all of the Centre’s recent projects exploring Open Educational Practice.

 

Anna-Comas Quinn, The Open University, UK

AnnaLecturer in Spanish at the Department of Languages. Leader of LORO, a project to provide free open educational resources for language teaching and learning (http://loro.open.ac.uk). Fellow of SCORE (Support Centre for Open Educational Resources).

 

Sylvi Vigmo, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

SylviTakes a specific interest in interaction, communication and learning in collaborative digital media settings. More specifically this means in-depth explorations of the use of languages in learners’ boundary crossings between contexts in which digital media are used as resources.

 

Chair: Alastair Creelman, Linneus University

AlastairE-learning specialist, business intelligence, project leader. University library / e-Health Institute. Distance/net-based learning, quality in e-learning, open educational resources (OER), MOOCs, social media in education.

 

 

What will you learn from this webinar?

  • The status of OER in less used languages in Europe
  • Some current strategic projects working going on that deal with OER
  • How OER can be used as a resource in teaching and learning of languages

Taking part in a webinar? Have a look at how it works: http://oersverige.se/taking-part-in-a-webinar

 

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