LangOER teachers’ course in Latvia

Before this course I thought it is not my cup of tea, but during the two days I realized that it offers quite good things which I will be able to use in teaching my subjects’ [1] (Rēzekne, Latvia)
1114276620395936 (1)The quotation in the title stems from one participant in the LangOER teachers’ course which took place in Rēzekne Higher Educational Institution (RHEI, Latvia). Those words have been chosen because they reflect general feelings and attitudes shown in the evaluation forms after the end of the course.

In the beginning of 2015, teachers from Latgale and other regions of Latvia were invited to participate in a course about lesser used languages and open educational resources, in which they were taught how to create digital tools for teaching different subjects in smaller (i.e. regional, minority, but also smaller national) languages such as Latgalian, Polish, Russian or Latvian. There was a repeated regional media coverage about this project, in particular regarding the teachers’ course, e.g. in the Rēzekne city news (http://rezekne.pilseta24.lv/zinas/55/351368).

We were happy to receive considerably more applications than we could accept for this course. Therefore we (my collegues Solvita Pošeiko, Ilga Šuplinska and myself) decided to create 2 groups with together almost 60 participants. Each group (the first course took place in the end of March, the second in the end of April) had first two days of face-to-face meetings (every day 6 hours, in total 12 hours). Afterwards the participants worked individually at home, creating teaching materials and uploading them to the specially created learning platform (https://www.openlearning.com/courses/esiatvrtsarlangoer). You can read more about this course in an interview which I as co-ordinator of the Latvian group was asked to give to our institution’s PR Office (available on the website of Rēzekne Higher Educational Institution; for readers unfamilar with Latvian the pictures from the course will provide some insight into what was taking place; http://www.ru.lv/aktualitates/1455/).

Both groups reunited on May 21 for presenting the participants’ individual projects. It was a big challenge to evaluate them and decide which of the teachers’ works should be nominated as the best Latvian contribution in order to participate in the international teachers’ competition. In the end we did a triple evaluation: the individual projects were evaluated by the teachers themselves, the course leaders (the three project participants and our IT expert Mihails Kijaško) and by students who have access to the RHEI learning platform.[2] We are happy to announce our winner Diāna Bravacka, a teacher of Latvian language and literature who is working with interdisciplinary approaches and new technologies. Here is the link where you can read (in Latvian) about this competition and its result: http://www.ru.lv/aktualitates/1552/.

Nu sirds sumynojam Tevi, Diāna!

Sirsnīgi sveicam Tevi, Diāna!

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[1] Originally in Latvian: Pirms kursiem domāju, ka šie kursi nav domāti man, bet divu dienu garumā konstatēju, ka ir diezgan labas lietas izklāstītas, ko varēšu izmantot savos mācību priekšmetos.

[2] About the LangOER Project and participation of Rēzekne Higher Education Institution you can read more here: https://twitter.com/RezAugstskola/status/582446322223083520

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