Tag Archives: OER; language learning;

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.

Share This:

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.

 

 

Share This:

Value of OER for language learning

The LangOER runs smoothly for over five months now and although work package 2 (OER in less used languages: a state-of-the art) is the one prevailing, the set of activities for work package 6 (Innovative Open Educational Practice for language learning) comes up.

There are many activities scheduled from Fall 2014 to Fall 2015, with the first one being a desktop research on this topic.
One of the most interesting pieces of information gathered is the symposium “An OER kaleidoscope for languages“, held at OCWC 2012. The full recording is here

There are tons of recordings of talks on the Internet, but this one is worth watching from start to end, it is a mix of short presentations and a brilliant Q/A at the end (with experts in the audience).

Speakers-organisers of the symposium are:Alannah Fitzgerald, Durham University and SCORE, The Open University, UK; Concordia University, Canada Anna Comas-Quinn, SCORE, The Open University, UK Antonio Martínez-Arboleda, Leeds University and SCORE The Open University, UK

Two chunks are embedded here, for the most busy of you (thanks to Giulia Torresin for editing those). In the first, Anna Comas-Quinn, Open University, UK (full profile here), heavily engaged in the LORO repository of OER for languages, discusses open translation and crowdsourcing as a potential for expansion of OER in less used languages

In the video extract that follows Allanah Fitzerald points out vested / commercial interests that empede OER expansion in the language teaching field.

Some research papers on the value of OER for language learning start to be collected in our Mendeley shared library.

More about this topic soon!

 

Share This: