Category Archives: Conference

Media and Learning Conference Brussels, 20-21 November 2014


OER: Insights into a multilingual landscape

Valentina Garoia (EUN) and Marit Bijlsma (Fryske Akademy / Mercator Research Centre) presented LangOER and its main activities during the Media & Learning Conference, 20-21 November 2014. The session “Media-Based Open Educational Resources” was moderated by Aikaterini Chariopolitou, EduTV, Greece. The audience was for a large part composed of teachers and the presentation gave insights from a practical point of view, on how to use OERs and what to know before starting using OERs.

Marit and Valentina provided an overview of benefits of OER for less used languages from a multilingual perspective, based on the knowledge and insights from the LangOER project. They showed best practice examples of language repositories e.g. LeMill, Loro and LRE. They also explained the open licensing component related to OER, and the importance of making this aspect explicit. Using Creative Common licensing allows the author to define rules on which he or she would like to share the creations with others. Furthermore, in order to develop an understanding of what items to look for on the web concerning less used languages, we looked at how to distinguish OER from other open access materials. We also explored which “search strategies” can be used by OER practitioners. The discussion after the presentation touched upon challenges to move the field forward: Is OER uptake a far- fetched idea or a current practice? How can sustainable OER uptake be ensured?

In the discussion session, several issues were raised by the audience:

  • When it comes to using OER, it is rather difficult for private schools to make use of OER, as many OER as licensed for “noncommercial use”. However, since a private school charges tuition fees, these OER cannot be used.
  • The concept of “OER” is quite novel to a large group of people. Next to that, it can be difficult to find the right material when searching on the web. Answer: Indeed, we aim to address this as well in our training sessions next year. What we further suggest is to have a look again at our 3 proposed search strategies or go to the following link:
  • It would be good if a repository would separate OERs that are not suitable for modification and adaption, from OERs which can be modified and adapted. Sometimes, you spend time searching for the right OER but then it appears that the source cannot be modified, which is rather time consuming.
  • When an OER is a good quality OER? Answer: In the LangOER project, we refer to the 5 r’s by David Wiley:
    • Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
    • Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study        group, on a website, in a video)
    • Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
    • Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to   create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
    • Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your    remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

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Discussing the diverse picture of OER at the EUROCALL 2014- symposium, Groningen

At the EUROCALL conference we had the opportunity to give a symposium for an interested crowd. The topic concerned issues of multilingual repositories, management of OER repositories and teacher and learner engagement, and looking for shared questions in need of being tackled. Sylvi Vigmo and Linda Bradley from LangOER discussed the findings the state-of-the art study of OER in less used languages. Tita Beaven from the Open University, UK, talked about LORO and gave useful insights into management of such a large repository. Then Kate Borthwick from University of Southampton discussed work with OER uptake in interesting contexts for less used languages.  We finished with a discussion where the audience were invited to contribute and sign up on a list. We will see if we can make a potential special interest group for OER in EUROCALL.

Here are the happy symposium leaders; Linda Bradley, Tita Beaven, Kate Borthwick and Sylvi Vigmo (Katerina Zourou was also part of the planning team):

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During the symposium, LangOER partner members from Fryske Akademy Marit Bijlsma and Cor van der Meer, who is project coordinator, participated. In the photo together with Linda Bradley and Sylvi Vigmo

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Blogger: Linda Bradley.

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Two upcoming events

We will participate in two events comming up that will feed the LangOER project:

Workshop 28 APRIL, 2014, ICDE, Oslo, Norway
Leading world experts in post-secondary eduaction

EFQUEL Innovation Forum 2014 and international LINQ Conference, Crete, 7-9th May 2014
Changing the Trajectory – Quality for Opening up Education


We will lead a workshop titled: Framing quality indicators for multilingual repositories of Open Educational Resources – The LangOER  European network

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Join us online at the Open Education Week Friday 14 March 11:00-12:00!
In the webinar we will discuss multilingual dimensions of OER where a few national OER projects dealing with less used languages will be brought up as examples, one from Welsh and one from Estonian. The following questions will be addressed: What are the opportunities for national less used language OER projects and how can they be sustained? What is the future for national, unilingual OER projects?

 open ed week2


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