Category Archives: Workshop

Open Educational Resources in Lithuanian Language: teachers’ competences and quality of teaching materials

On 27-28 May 2016, the International Scientific conference Society, Integration, Education – SIE2016 was held at the Rezekne Academy of Technologies, in Latvia.

The aim of this conference was to provide a platform for researchers to share knowledge and ideas on the recent trends in Higher Education, Pedagogy, Lifelong Learning, Information Technologies in Education etc. The target audience in the conference included lecturers, researchers, scientists and educational stakeholders from Lithuania, Latvia. Russia, Poland, Italy, Australia and other countries.

Colleagues from Mykolas Romeris University (LangOER project partner) contributed to the conference with a presentation within the workshop Lifelong Learning and Information Technologies in Education, focusing on The problem of using Open Educational Resources in the Lithuanian language as a less widespread language in the world.

The aim of the presentation was to reveal the importance of Open Educational Resources in the Lithuanian Language for the development of teachers’ competences and for the quality of teaching/learning material, by providing a possibility to disseminate innovations and to develop creativity and consistency, as well as to share teaching resources.

The presentation received great interest from the audience, who got engaged in the discussion by sharing experiences about promoting and using OER to widen access to education in a perspective of lifelong learning.

A paper based on the presentation will be available in the conference proceedings.

Author: LangOER project team at Mykolas Romeris University

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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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OER from the bottom-up perspective – engaging teachers as ambassadors?

In the workshop about OER in practice about educators’ involvement at the LangOER conference in Brussels, there was an engaging discussion about how to increase OER awareness with teachers. The four short presentations about OER in different contexts lead to suggestions of what vital policy recommendations are need for teacher training.

First, the moderator Anna Skowron from Jan Długosz University in Poland presented the pilot course Going Open with LangOER, which was a successful initiative run in the seven partner countries of the LangOER network for a large number of teachers. The result from the pilot project set up by the Polish team was a handbook being used by teachers. From investigating the OER situation in Poland, there were some noteworthy reflections to bring back: Although there are a number of vibrant OER initiatives in Poland, when you scrape the surface it turned out that they were not OER after all. Also, there were national initiatives on open text books but they are not implemented in schools. There is an ambiguity as far as the terminology of “open” and “OER” is concerned.

The next speaker was Linda Bradley from University of Gothenburg who presented the Swedish version of the Going Open course and lessons learned. For the teachers engaged in the course, learning about OER was an eye-opener. Many teachers are really interested in knowing more about openness, open licenses and what is actually possible to share online.

The third speaker Vaiva Zuzevičiūtė from Mykolas Romeris University in Lithuania, presented the Going Open course in Lithuania. It attracted a large cohort of interested teachers. Instead of the 25 teachers that were invited, they ended up with 70 teachers! This shows that teachers are very interested in what OER can bring to teaching and learning, something that was manifested by one of the participating teachers being interviewed saying that it is necessary to “cut down the talking about using technology and instead get to work”. In the Lithuanian study it was clear that teachers need hands one materials that they can use directly in class.

The fourth and final speaker was Florentina Costea from The Arman Community from Romania, displaying a good practice example for lesser language e-learning investigating the Arman/Aromanian language. The OER movement can facilitate connections and spreading materials about a very small language, particularly in this case, where speakers are located in various places throughout the world.

The policy recommendations brought up, concerned how OER training within initial teacher education and continuing professional development programmes could be increased for teachers via online platforms. We discussed how it is possible to facilitate teacher and support staff training in the creation, adaption and use of OER. One solution could be to work more on the bottom-up perspective, with teachers as ambassadors, engaging teachers to be more active. However, the sustainability question still remains. Who is going to update and maintain the materials produced?

Author: Linda Bradley – University of Gothenburg

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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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LangOER Conference 2016 – Call for proposals

Conference “Open Education: Promoting Diversity for European Languages”

Brussels, September 26 & 27, 2016 – coinciding with the European Day of languages (September 26).

LangOER (http://langoer.eun.org) is a network of European partners supporting the enhancement of teaching and learning of less used languages through Open Educational Resources (OER) and Practices (OEP). The network, which is supported by the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme, runs from January 2014 to December 2016. In September 2016 LangOER will organize its final seminar, in cooperation with EdReNe , the Educational Repositories Network.

In the fast developing digital era, Open Educational Resources (OER) and Practices (OEP) provide new ways to extend participatory learning and help support innovative teaching practices. This represents an important opportunity for less used languages and their speakers but also gives rise to a number of challenges. For example, the adoption of OER/OEP for less used languages can be slow to take off as a result of limited public investment and/or limited market size. There is a real danger, therefore, that barriers to OER/OEP for less used languages can impact on linguistic diversity and cultural diversity on a global scale.

This LangOER-EdReNe conference aims to bring together experts in open education and digital content repositories with educational researchers and a variety of policy makers concerned with language learning and teaching, pedagogical use of ICT, and social integration and inclusion.

It will particularly address key issues related to the uptake of less used languages.

The agenda that is currently being developed will explore:

  • How cross-border collaboration can address current challenges and provide new opportunities to extend OER/OEP in less used languages.
  • How OER/OEP can be optimally transferred to language communities where there are limited financial resources and political support.
  • How new policies and initiatives can address existing roadblocks for OER/OEP adoption.
  • The added value of OER/OEP from a (less used) language teaching perspective.
  • Current state of the art on initiatives and digital resources in Europe

If you wish to submit a proposal for the conference, please, send the following information to langoer@eun.org  no later than March 1st, 2016

First name:

Last name:

Affiliation:

Email:

EdReNe member: Yes/No

LangOER project partner: Yes/No

Title of presentation:

Abstract (max 250 words):

More information soon available on the project website LangOER Conference 2016

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A LangOER workshop at the EMINENT2015 / Scientix conference in Barcelona!

A LangOER workshop has been organized at the EMINENT2015/ Scientix conference: “STEM in education and life” held on 19-20 November in Barcelona.

EMINENT is the Experts Meeting in Education Networking annual event organised by European Schoolnet (EUN). It brings experts in education, Ministries representatives and other stakeholders to discuss the latest trends in education and technology. EMINENT 2015 was focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in Education and Life and was organized in collaboration with Scientix, the community for science education in Europe, as well as the Department of Education of Catalonia. The collaboration with Scientix impacted the number of participants (increasing the participation from ~150 to 260).

lefkosLangOER was invited by European Schoolnet to organize a workshop about Open Recourses focussed on Science Education and was facilitated by Ioannis Lefkos (Web2Learn).

There were about 20-25 participants, educators, policy makers and representatives of administration and other stakeholders of the educational community.

The discussion started by exchanging experiences about openness in schools in different countries and the culture of sharing resources between teachers. The situation appeared to be quite similar, with teachers sharing their work usually only between the boundaries of their own institution but not to the larger community.

While in this discussion, the issue of copyright came up and also questions about the way to overcome such a restriction.

After this short introduction of the existing situation, the presentation was divided in three parts.

The first part was dedicated to the LangOER project. The partners, the scope, the languages involved the outcomes of the research that was carried out were presented in brief. Additional information was provided also about the documents released from the project and the relevant links.

A core concept for this part was the definition of Open Educational Resources adopted by the project (according to UNESCO / Paris declaration) and of course David Wiley’s proposal about the 5 R’s of Openness:

  • Retain
  • Reuse
  • Revise
  • Remix
  • Redistribute

The second part was about handling copyright issues by using the Creative Commons licenses. At this point the CC licenses were described and also tools were presented about how to find CC content, how to choose the correct license, how to attribute the source either from a single or from a mixed content.

The third part was the longest and the attendants were initially provided with specific examples of OER Repositories concerning Science Teachers.

With a bit of search in the content the issue of under-representation of small languages in OER’s came up (addressed by the LangOER Procect) and how this could be overcome by creating a culture among the Teacher community to Revise, Remix and Redistribute the Resources that they use or give the others the opportunity to do so if they are creators.

Finally, a detailed presentation followed of:

  • Phet Simulations,
  • TED Ed Lesson creator and
  • Amara on-line translation utility

Under the scope of Revise, Remix and Redistribute OER’s and help the enrichment of Open Educational content in Less Used Languages.

The LangOER project has been working to provide teachers with training and tools on how to be able use and create OER in their languages. A booklet for teachers will soon be released. Learn more about LangOER: http://langoer.eun.org

View the workshop presentation and all related resources and tools Ioannis  used: Open resources for Science education on Slideshare.

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LangOER made it to the eTwinning Conference!

A LangOER workshop has been organised at the eTwinning conference on  22-24 October in Brussels. eTwinning is the community for schools in Europe and offers a free and safe platform for teachers to connect, develop collaborative projects and share ideas. More than 500 teachers, school heads and educators from 41 countries in Europe and beyond got together in the eTwinning conference with fifty-five workshops, a wide range of networking activities and two keynote speeches to explore how eTwinning has contributed to changing education in Europe.

Should education be about sharing? How open is your school?  Do you have any experience in sharing educational resources? What is the attitude in your country/culture/school to sharing material? Ania Skowron (Jan Dlugosz University) introduced the topic of OER (Open Educational Resources) by asking these challenging questions to the participants.

After discussing different approaches, ranging from “I like sharing my own material because I want to help other teachers”, or, “I don’t like sharing because I am I afraid that my work won’t be appreciated”, Ania talked about the importance of being aware of the openness of educational resources and gave a definition for Open Educational Resources (according to the Paris Declaration).

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Different levels of openness:

  1. just reuse
  2. reuse and redistribute
  3. reuse, revise, remix, redistribute (4 R of openness)

Difference between open and free resources:​

  • Open doesn’t always mean free!
  • Something can be free but not open (you might just be able to copy).
  • The ideal solution is when open equals free.

Ania also guided us through these two concepts: All rights reserved = copyright protected (you cannot use it). Public domain = Complete opposite of all rights reserved (you can use the resource without authoring).

Through concrete examples and fun quiz activities, we learnt how to distinguish between different types of licenses (Creative Commons). If you are still lost among which license to choose.. there’s a wonderful tool to help you: “Choose your license“.
How to be sure to find resources that are openly licensed and you can use? On Google you can go to tools and advanced search and select the usage rights -> free to use, share, modify and commercial purpose.  If you look for videos, again you can run an advance search on youtube or vimeo, and if you are searching for images flickr, pixabay, openphoto are among the best tools.

The LangOER project has been working to provide teachers with training and tools on how to be able use and create OER in their languages. A booklet for teachers will soon be released. Learn more about LangOER: http://langoer.eun.org

View Ania’s presentation and all related tools she used: http://padlet.com/ankaskowron/brussels

 

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Seminar on openness

On Monday, 22 June,  Jan Dlugosz University organised a seminar on openness in education. The seminar was delivered as part of the LangOER  teacher training sessions for Poland. The detailed programme is available here: warsztatyeksperckie.weebly.com  We were very happy to host three renowned expert speakers:

  • Kamil Sliwowski (Creative Commons Poland) who explained the idea of openness and Open Educational Resouces emphasising their importance in Less Used Languages. His presentation (in Polish) is available here: Presentation 1
Kamil Sliwowski

Kamil Sliwowski

  • Przemyslaw Stencel (Edukacja Online) who discussed the process of opening up classrooms and presented some tools which are essential in the process. The presentation he gave is available here: Presentation 2 
  • Tomasz Walasek (Technical University, Czestochowa) who gave a presentation on the challenges modern education is facing right now. His presentation is available here: Presentation 3
The engaged participants

The engaged participants

Our  LangOER colleague Anna Skowron presented the project and explained the principles of open licensing. Her presentation is available here: Presentation 4

Anna Skowron

Anna Skowron

The participants got involved into discussions about the idea of open education, the potential of Open Educational Resources and about the process of opening up their classrooms. They had an opportunity to try out new technologies and to exchange their opinions and experiences in that field.

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Blended course on “OER and their pedagogical value” in Greece

By Katerina Zourou, Director of Web2Learn and LangOER project manager.

The blended course on the topic of “OER and their pedagogical value” was held in Thessaloniki, Greece from May 15 to June 30 2015. Designed as a distance training course in combination with a 2-day intensive face-to-face workshop, it brought together 40 educators, 32 of whom completed all components of the course.

Prior to its start, the course was advertised widely, through the poster and announcement circulated through networks of teachers in Greece. The candidates were selected based on 1) their profile (educators working in the public sector), 2) their prior participation in level A (mandatory) and level B (optional) levels of certification on ICT by the Greek Ministry of Education and 3) their willingness to cover their travel and subsistence expenses to the 2-day workshop, as a prerequisite to complete the training cycle. Indeed, participation in the face-to-face workshop was crucial for team building, group work and collaborative learning tasks designed for the purposes of the whole course. The OpenLearning platform was used for the online component of the course, which is available here.

Elina Megalou presenting "Photodentro", the Greek National OER repository

Elina Megalou presenting “Photodentro”, the Greek National OER repository

Thus the structure of the course was as follows:

May 15-30: [online] module 1: introduction

May 30 & 31: face-to-face workshop in Thessaloniki

June 1-7 [online] module 2: reuse and review

June 8-14 [online] module 3: remix

June 15-21 [online] module 4: redistribute

The structure of the online modules followed the structure commonly agreed among LangOER partners who run the same courses in several countries (Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, the Netherlands and Greece), effectively arranged and coordinated by Gosia Kurek, assisted by Ania Skowron. The content, elaborated by Gosia and Ania for a completely online course in English on the Open Learning platform, was customized for the needs of Greek educators by Ioannis Lefkos and myself.

The face-to-face component of the training was a success, thanks also to the very inspiring talks and presentations by Elina Megalou, Ph.D., Deputy Director of the “Strategy and Digital Educational Content Directorate” at the Computer Technology Institute & Press – Diophantus (CTI)and Sofia Papadimitriou, Ph.D., working at the Educational Television Department of the Greek Ministry of Education. Both presented and ran activities on the Greek repositories of OER (Photodendro), as the planned group work worked very well. The agenda of the face-to-face meeting is available here (in Greek).

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Group activities on day 1

Group work activities were very well received, thanks to the prior preparation by Ioannis, Sofia and myself. One of the most successful activities was inspired by Catherine Cronin’s activity presented here It consisted of small group tasks in which participants were asked to map their open practices on a scale from Low to High, using a colour code (green, blue, yellow and red). The group discussions were vivid and the visualization on paper helped the whole group to better approach the practices developed by other colleagues – I would call it an ice-breaking activity built on OEP!

The trainers (from left to right): Katerina Zourou, Elina Megalou, Sofia Papadimitriou and Ioannis Lefkos

The trainers (from left to right): Katerina Zourou, Elina Megalou, Sofia Papadimitriou and Ioannis Lefkos

Many thanks to the active and engaged group of Greek educators and special thanks to Ioannis, Elina and Sofia for their invaluable help!

 

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Seminar: Re-visiting the pedagogy of the languages of minority communities

On Friday the 26th of June 20915, a seminar on the pedagogy of the languages of minority communities will be organized by the Mercator European Research Centre for Multilingualism & Language Learning (Fryske Akademy) and by SOAS, the Institute of World languages (University of London). This time the focus is on pedagogical aspects and includes policy issues as well as practices involving resources ranging from story-telling to Open Educational Resources (see below for further details). During this seminar, the LangOER project will also be presented.

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Programme

09.30: Registration & Coffee

10.15: Cor van der Meer, Mercator (Fryske Akademy), & Itesh Sachdev, SOAS (University of London):   Welcome & Introduction

10.30: Sarah Cartwright, Our Languages Project, London:  Understanding the languages landscape

11.15: Fatima Khaled, Peace School, London: Motivating teenagers in the digital age

12.00: Manjula Datta, London Metropolitan University: Language development through storytelling

12.45: Lunch

1.45: Marit Bijlsma, Mercator (Fryske Akademy): Open Educational Resources in multilingual European contexts

2.30: Wim de Boer, Afûk Institute for the Frisian Language:  Frisian MOOC

3.15: Coffee

3.45: Anne Pauwels, SOAS (University of London): Advantages/disadvantages of current practices with panel/audience in discussion with panel and audience

4.30: Julia Sallabank, SOAS (University of London): Language pedagogy for endangered languages

5.15: Closure

 Registration deadline: 22nd June, 2015.  Please register as soon as possible to avoid disappointment by emailing: mercator@fryske-akademy.nl

Venue: VG01, Vernon Square Campus, SOAS, University of London, Penton Rise London, WC1X 9EW (closest stations – Kings Cross/St Pancras International)

 

 

 

 

 

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