Open Educational Practices in Small Languages: The Role of Community-Driven Engagement

A talk on “Open Educational Practices in Small Languages: The Role of Community-Driven Engagement” has been given at the 2016 “Future of Education” conference, in Florence, Italy, by Katerina Zourou. This annual conference is a meeting place for stakeholders working in the fields of digital education and training, literacies, teaching and learning approaches and methodologies.

Our talk dealt with the social dimension in the uptake of Open Educational Resources, by highlighting the role that communities can play in open practice. Due to the limited number of speakers of less used languages, including regional and minority languages, by comparison with the number of speakers of “bigger” languages, the capacity to produce Open Educational Resources (OER), further develop them and embrace them in Open Educational Practice (OEP) is not the same. At the same time, adoption of OER/OEP is much more pressing for less used languages which have (very) limited digital presence, threatening linguistic and cultural diversity on a global scale.

This presentation discussed ways less used languages can benefit from community-driven initiatives to enhance OER uptake. A selection of practices and initiatives were presented, to emphasize the role of bottom-up, community driven engagement as a catalyst of OER uptake.

In the first part of the presentation we showcased crowdsourcing and localization practices carried out by communities of less used languages, such as those hosted by Amara and Khan Akademy. We also identified state initiatives in less used languages that are built on the network based, community engagement of native speakers (cf. the Frisian MOOC).

For thoughtprovoking papers and reflections on the social dimension of OEP don’t miss Catherine’s Cronin blog

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