Tag Archives: languages

Language learning challenges competition: discover who’s the winner!

Agnieszka Foltyn, Poland, has been selected as winner of the LangOER competition “Language Learning Challenges”. Her work has been highlighted as an exemplary good practice in language learning.

jaI’m a secondary school teacher of English in Poznań, interested in taking up challenges like searching for things that my students might find helpful and motivating.

I’ve been in this „business” for exactly 20 years now and regard it as my place.

When I’m not shaping my students, I’m trying very hard to shape myself with good literature, music and films. And most of all- good people.

Cheers, Agnieszka Foltyn

 

View the resource: http://ed.ted.com/on/Ha0B3YIc

Dzień dobry.

Pracuję w liceum w Poznaniu jako nauczyciel j. angielskiego.

Lubię wyszukiwać nowe sposoby na motywowanie moich uczniów do nauki, szczególnie takie, które im  naukę ułatwią i uprzyjemnią.

Nauczaniem zajmuję się dokładnie od 20 lat i uważam, że to jest moje miejsce.

Kiedy nie kształtuję moich uczniów, usilnie staram się kształcić siebie poprzez dobrą literaturę, muzykę i filmy. A przede wszystkim poprzez kontakt z dobrymi ludźmi.

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How can open education empower minority languages?

The seminar “Open Education in Minority Languages: Chances and Perspectices” organized on the 7-8 of October 2015, had a the central theme to “get a grasp” on how minority languages can make use of the fast developing field of Open Education. The seminar was organized in the framework of the LangOER project and was hosted by the Fryske Akademy (home of the Mercator Research Centre).

All seminar highlights and presentations are gathered on the seminar’s Padlet page.

Summary

The seminar offered interesting perspectives on open education, as it brought together experts of the field of open education with minority language representatives. The fact that (most) of minority languages have limited or no access to open educational resources, urged the participants, speakers and the consortium partners, to come up with practical and creative solutions on how to empower the ” smaller languages”. The challenges often encountered by minority languages are a lack of financial and/or political support.

Importance for regional and minority languages to adopt Open Educational Resources and Practices

During the seminar, a presentation was given by Giulia Torresin and Katerina Zourou, (Web2Learn, Greece). This presentation highlighted that “the adoption of OER/OEP is much more pressing for smaller languages, which have very limited digital presence, threatening linguistic diversity and cultural diversity on a global scale”.

OER initiatives presented during the seminar

During the seminar, several initiatives were presented to inspire participants, representing various languages in Europe:

  • Photodentro (Sofia Papadimitriou, Greek Ministry of Education)
  • Wikiwijs (Robert Schuwer, chair Special Interest Group on Open Education, Netherlands)
  • NDLA (Christer Gundersen,Nordic Digital Learning Arena)
  • OER Wales (Deborah Baff, University of Wales)

Examples of challenges encountered by smaller languages:

  • Manx (Isle of Man): This language is recently being taught on a few schools again, however due to the lack of written publications in the Manx language, teachers are often challnged by the fact that they have to create their own material.
  •  Arbëresh (Southern Italy): Arbëresh is spoken in Southern Italy in the regions of Abruzzi, Basilicata, Calabria, Campania, Molise, Apulia and Sicily. With almost no written tradition of the language, it is a challenge to keep the language ‘vital”.

Hence, OER’s could be very valuable for these language. This also stressed the need for more OER’s which can easily be adjusted to a specific context or language ( see also the ‘Travel Well Criteria of European Schoolnet“, What makes some educational resources more useful for different cultural and linguistic contexts).

OER policy for Regional and Minority Languages

During practical sessions organized during the seminar, participants were invited to share ideas on how they see the future of their language with regards to OER in 2025 and also what the role of policy could be in this respect. The outcomes of the discussion or gathered on the seminar’s Padlet Wall.

Solutions

One solution to further engage the smaller communities is to use a bottum-up approach, with true community driven engagement. A good examples is to refer to the ExplOERer project, which focuses on the: value of design of national OER repositories of small languages in creating user engagement, through social networking and game mechanics, as a means of OER expansion and appropriation. Also, to facilitate further OER uptake by smaller languages, it is important that more OERs are produced by the “bigger” languages, that are easier to use for different cultural and linguistic contexts.

On the blog of Alastair Creelman (Partner of the LangOER project, Linnaeus University), you can find more solutions discussed during the seminar, on how minority language communities can be empowered by use of open educational resources and practices.

 

 

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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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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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Open translation as enabler of multilingual OER?

This is just a piece of reflexion that started to emerge in our project team. Alannah’s Fitzerald blog post on “Open Linguistic Support in the Context of Open CourseWare and MOOCs has been very helpful. She writes:

When it comes to the development of open linguistic support for the world of Open CourseWare and MOOCs, we are still very much educating in beta with language learning and translation technologies. OER14 and the OCWC 2014 Open CourseWare Consortium Global Conference): Open Education for a Multicultural World are fast approaching and this year at the OCWC in Slovenia the focus is very much on multiculturalism with the following presentations addressing multilingualism in OpenCourseWare:

We’ll have a close look to this links shortly.

Some very insightful papers collected so far:

Lane, A., Comas-quinn, A., & Carter, J. (2013). The potential of openness for engaging communities. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 1–3.

Beaven, T., Comas-Quinn, A., & Arcos, B. de los. (2013). The Open Translation MOOC: creating online communities to transcend linguistic barriers. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 1–14. Retrieved from http://oro.open.ac.uk/37583

Both available on our Mendeley space.

We’ll keep posting!

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Welcome to the LangOER blog

LangOER is taking off!

LangOER teamThe LangOER project has officially started at our kick-off meeting in Leeuwarden on 27/28 January. It was a pleasure to meet all the partners and to get to know each other a bit better. We had fruitful discussions and partners shared their enthusiasm about 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?  We are all looking forward to learning more about those topics, addressing the needs of educators, overcoming the barriers to OER uptake, and, most of all, collaborating all together over the next three years.

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