Category Archives: OER

LangOER Conference 2016 – Call for proposals

Conference “Open Education: Promoting Diversity for European Languages”

Brussels, September 26 & 27, 2016 – coinciding with the European Day of languages (September 26).

LangOER (http://langoer.eun.org) is a network of European partners supporting the enhancement of teaching and learning of less used languages through Open Educational Resources (OER) and Practices (OEP). The network, which is supported by the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme, runs from January 2014 to December 2016. In September 2016 LangOER will organize its final seminar, in cooperation with EdReNe , the Educational Repositories Network.

In the fast developing digital era, Open Educational Resources (OER) and Practices (OEP) provide new ways to extend participatory learning and help support innovative teaching practices. This represents an important opportunity for less used languages and their speakers but also gives rise to a number of challenges. For example, the adoption of OER/OEP for less used languages can be slow to take off as a result of limited public investment and/or limited market size. There is a real danger, therefore, that barriers to OER/OEP for less used languages can impact on linguistic diversity and cultural diversity on a global scale.

This LangOER-EdReNe conference aims to bring together experts in open education and digital content repositories with educational researchers and a variety of policy makers concerned with language learning and teaching, pedagogical use of ICT, and social integration and inclusion.

It will particularly address key issues related to the uptake of less used languages.

The agenda that is currently being developed will explore:

  • How cross-border collaboration can address current challenges and provide new opportunities to extend OER/OEP in less used languages.
  • How OER/OEP can be optimally transferred to language communities where there are limited financial resources and political support.
  • How new policies and initiatives can address existing roadblocks for OER/OEP adoption.
  • The added value of OER/OEP from a (less used) language teaching perspective.
  • Current state of the art on initiatives and digital resources in Europe

If you wish to submit a proposal for the conference, please, send the following information to langoer@eun.org  no later than March 1st, 2016

First name:

Last name:

Affiliation:

Email:

EdReNe member: Yes/No

LangOER project partner: Yes/No

Title of presentation:

Abstract (max 250 words):

More information soon available on the project website LangOER Conference 2016

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Seminar “Open Learning in Minority Languages: Chances and Perspectives”

The seminar Open Learning in Minority Languages, is taking place on the 7th and 8th of October in Leeuwarden (Netherlands).

Langoer_seminar_logo

All the seminar highlights will be shared with you on the padlet wall: http://padlet.com/alacre/langoer1015

The seminar will offer selected presentations and discussions fostering collaborations around open educational practice and regional and minority languages.

The program includes presentations by OER experts Robert Schuwer (SURF Special Interest Group on Open Education), Alastair Creelman (Linnaeus University) and Sofia Papadimitriou (Ministry of Education of Greece). Download the program here: program.LangOER.Seminar.RML .

The seminar is organized by the LangOER project and hosted by the Fryske Akademy, which is the home of the Mercator Research Centre.

We also offer for a select number participants funds to participate in the seminar, if you wish to apply for this, please fill in your motivation in our registration from.

  • Date: 7-8 October 2015
  • Location: Post Plaza hotel Leeuwarden (Netherlands)
  • Registration: Please go here for registration. With regards to any questions you might have, you can send and e-mail to mercator@fryske-akademy.nl

 

 

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Webinar on EU-US cooperation on OER/OEP and language learning (September 15, 2015)

LangOER webinarLangOER organizd together with the Centre for OER and Language Learning (COERLL) in the US the webinar “Out in the Open, reaching for the stars: EU-US insights into Open Educational Practices for language education”. it took place on September 15, 2015, at 16h CET (09h CDT, 17h GMT).

The recording of the webinar is now available as well as the slides.

The registration was open and more than 100 participants registered to the event.

This webinar is a joint cooperation of US and European peers working in the area of OER/OEP for language education and is one of the components of the new EU-US initiative whose aim is to enhance exchange of practice and know-how across continents. More information can be found here.

Speakers were Dr. Carl Blyth, Director of COERLL, Dr. Joshua Thoms, Assistant Professor, Utah State University;  and Dr. Katerina Zourou, Web2Learn, Greece and LangOER project manager. The webinar has been moderated by Teresa MacKinnon, Warwick University, UK.

Download the poster and the announcement.

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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!

Поздравляa!

[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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Save the date: Open Learning in Minority Languages: Chances and Perspectives , 7-8 October 2015

In the fast developing digital area, new opportunities address themselves for regional and minority languages to engage with other language communities or to engage others with their language. Open Educational Practices (OEP) and Open Educational Resources (OER)  in that respect, are in ideal way to empower a small languages.

How can different language communities and cross-border collaboration advance the development of  OER? How can OEP be transferred to language communities with less financial resources and political support and how? What are the challenges and opportunities from a policy perspective on OER uptake? What is the added value of OER from a (small) language teaching perspective?

OER_Logo_Open_Educational_Resources

These and other topics will be addressed in a seminar taking place on the 7th and 8th of October 2015 in Leeuwarden (the Netherlands). Both researchers, educators and policymakers in the field of regional and minority languages, interested in how they can engage with their language in the field of OEP, are welcome to participate.

The seminar is organized by the European Commission funded Life Long Learning project LangOER and hosted by the Mercator Research Centre (part of the Fryske Akademy ).

Registration will open on the 1st of August 2015. For registration, send an e-mail to: mercator@fryske-akademy.nl.

Download the leaflet (pdf)

Location: Post Plaza hotel, Tweebaksmarkt 25-27, 8911 KW Leeuwarden (Netherlands)

 

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Policy brief now available in seven less used languages in addition to the original English version.

As you probably remember, a policy brief entitled Open Educational Resources in your Own Language, in your way was released and posted on this Blog in January 2015.

policybriefLangOERThe policy brief has since then been translated into seven languages and is now available in ArabicDutch, Latvian, Lithuanian, SwedishGreekPolish, French, Norwegian, FaroeseFrisian and Russian, in addition to the original English version.

Recognizing the importance for nations to adopt OER in their own language, ICDE members have kindly offered their services in translating the policy brief into French, Norwegian, Arabic and Faroense.

In summary, the policy brief recommended governments to:
– Adopt national policies in support of Open educational Resources in less used languages
– Facilitate in partnership with private, public and the educational sector, market places and collaborative arenas for quality OER
– Take the leadership in facilitating the development of open frameworks and standards to ease the ability of OER repositories and systems to work together (provide and accept educational content, compatible applications and contextualized services).

In order to go one step further in policy development, ICDE is launching a vast communication campaign targeting 54 Ministries of Education in Europe (EEA ,EFTA and CIS countries in addition to Macedonia, Serbia , Montenegro, Kosovo, Bosnia, Albania, Andorra, Croatia, Georgia, Turkey and Faroe Islands) and their Permanent Representation/Mission to the EU in Brussels.

Your help in promoting and disseminating the policy brief would be highly appreciated and please let us know any course of action you are taking to inform relevant Authorities in your country and to have them act on the recommendations.

Thank you in advance for your collaboration.

You can read more about other reports published by LangOER at: http://langoer.eun.org/resources.

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Seminar on openness

On Monday, 22 June,  Jan Dlugosz University organised a seminar on openness in education. The seminar was delivered as part of the LangOER  teacher training sessions for Poland. The detailed programme is available here: warsztatyeksperckie.weebly.com  We were very happy to host three renowned expert speakers:

  • Kamil Sliwowski (Creative Commons Poland) who explained the idea of openness and Open Educational Resouces emphasising their importance in Less Used Languages. His presentation (in Polish) is available here: Presentation 1
Kamil Sliwowski

Kamil Sliwowski

  • Przemyslaw Stencel (Edukacja Online) who discussed the process of opening up classrooms and presented some tools which are essential in the process. The presentation he gave is available here: Presentation 2 
  • Tomasz Walasek (Technical University, Czestochowa) who gave a presentation on the challenges modern education is facing right now. His presentation is available here: Presentation 3
The engaged participants

The engaged participants

Our  LangOER colleague Anna Skowron presented the project and explained the principles of open licensing. Her presentation is available here: Presentation 4

Anna Skowron

Anna Skowron

The participants got involved into discussions about the idea of open education, the potential of Open Educational Resources and about the process of opening up their classrooms. They had an opportunity to try out new technologies and to exchange their opinions and experiences in that field.

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OER teacher training course in Poland

The course on Open Educational Resources and Open Educational Practices was held in Czestochowa, Poland in April. It was offered in a blended format: two face-to-face workshops were intertwined with the online course held on the OpenLearning platform: Otwarte Zasoby i Praktyki LangOER

The course was announced through various channels using this invitation and teachers who got interested in participating in our course registered through a website dedicated to our training course. The same website was used in the process of product submission.

The online component (Module 1) was made available one week before the first f2f meeting. The teachers who had already registered for the f2f workshop were invited to join the online course and familiarize themselves with the idea of Open Educational Resources.

The face-to-face workshops were organised for two groups of teachers of different subjects and from different educational levels, ranging from kindergarten teachers to academic teachers; from history teachers to physical education teachers. The first face-to-face workshop took place on April 10 (the Friday group) and April 11 (the Saturday group) and was followed by the online component consisting of three modules.

The first face-to-face workshop took place on April 10 (the Friday group) and April 11 (the Saturday group) and was followed by the online component consisting of three modules. The second face-to-face meetings were held on April 24 and April 25.

The first f2f workshop was devoted to the following issues:

  • the idea of openness
  • what are open educational resources
  • examples of OER
  • open licences
  • finding OER
  • working with images and videos
  • correct attribution
Discussion about the idea of openness in education

Discussion about the idea of openness in education

The participants were highly engaged in discussions and were very eager to share their views and experiences.

The second f2f workshop was dedicated mainly to the process of creating the open educational resources and consisted of the following topics:

  • Open licenses – revision
  • Polish open educational resources repositories – a review
  • Hands-on task – creating open educational resources

 

Participants working hard on creating their own OER

The teachers were assisted by Gosia Kurek and Ania Skowron (the instructors in the course)  and managed to start working on their own open educational materials. The completed their work at home and submitted the ready products via this website.

The online component was structured as follows:

  • Module 1: “Let’s meet” – the idea of openness in education, open educational resources and open licenses were introduced to the participants; they were taught how to find an openly licensed image. This Module was made available to the teachers a week before the first 2f2 workshop and served as a sort of introduction to the whole course.
  • Module 2: “Open Educational Resources” which brought the idea of OER closer to the participating teachers who were invited to introduce themselves
  • Module 3: “Our products” in which participants were given a selection of different tools with step-by-step instructions they could use when creating their own OER.

The teachers participating in the training course were very engaged both during the face-to-face meetings and in the online course. Apparently, the topic of Open Educational Resources is of great interest to the teachers who would like to be more aware of the whole idea.

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Lithuanian teachers and the OER

Lithuania, being a small country of barely 3 mln. people, enjoys, however, a team of dedicated and innovation-orientated teachers. Also, the in-service training system works well in Lithuania (for teachers). The project was supported intellectually and from an administrative aspect: Kaunas Teachers’ Qualification center (http://www.kpkc.lt/) announced the course on its web, and the teachers all over Lithuania had an opportunity to participate. Even if the majority of teachers came from Kaunas, we had a participant from Taurage (West of Lithuania), from Vilnius (capital city) (totally: 26 participants). It is important to note, however, and interesting tendency, and namely, that, even if majority of teachers were teachers of languages, we also had teachers who teach biology, social pedagogues, and, most interestingly, deputy head-teachers. While asked why did they become involved (being so buys with responsible tasks), they reported feeling the need to know about innovation, because, otherwise- how will they consult teachers or motivate them to strive for innovations themselves? That was an interesting point, which may explain to some extent the willingness of teachers to innovate. However, being a small country, Lithuania does not enjoy a larger pool of OER, especially, in national language. Another aspect iterated by participants once and again- any OER becomes short-lived so fast in this world of changes. Therefore invest a lot (and a qualitative piece of OER requires that) is a bit futile.vaiva

 

 

 

 

Teachers enjoyed the time together, discussions in small groups, trying out technologies, several of them even shared their first impressions of applying OER at school during the conference, organized by the team of University on 2 April, 2015.

by Vaiva Zuzevičiūtė

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Swedish language teachers engage in questions of openness

Swedish language teachers are eager to find ways of implementing digital activities for their students. Therefore, the Internet is increasingly used for finding resources and practice material. However, there are recurrent questions of how this material can be used and what different licenses mean. For this reason, the Going Open Sweden online course was held with some active and dedicated language teachers contributing to discussions of openness in education and production of OER. The participating teachers all have an active interest in the use of IT in language learning.

The announcement of the course took place on Facebook groups for Swedish language teachers. When the invitation was posted it attracted immediate responses from more 40 teachers. The Going Open Sweden course had it’s final meeting in Stockholm on 15 June, with the participants and the course leaders Sylvi Vigmo from University of Gothenburg and Linda Bradley from Chalmers University of Technology. The teachers who had engaged in the project from all of southern Sweden were invited to this meeting.

LangOER 15 June 2015 Final meeting
Participants in the final seminar in Stockholm

Swedish language teachers are eager to find ways of implementing digital activities for their students. Therefore, the Internet is increasingly used for finding resources and practice material. However, there are recurrent questions of how this material can be used and what different licenses mean.

The announcement of the course took place on Facebook groups for Swedish language teachers. When the invitation was posted it attracted immediate responses from more than 40 teachers. The Going Open Sweden course had it’s final meeting in Stockholm on 15 June, with the participants and the course leaders Sylvi Vigmo and Linda Bradley from University of Gothenburg. The teachers who had engaged in the project from all of southern Sweden were invited to this meeting.

The fact that we focused specifically on language teachers in Swedish schools has meant engaging in a group that has shared ideas and resources with each other. It has also been very valuable being able to discuss methods of teaching and sharing pedagogical ideas related to online learning.

The course was set up with four course modules dealing with openness in education, licences and critical testing of software for language learning. The participants have been enthusiastic working thoroughly with the course assignments. The course ran from 26 March to 6 May 2015, during a very hectic period for Swedish teachers in the end of term. Even though most teachers had a heavy work period, they have been active with assignments. In the final evaluation, they mentioned that the layout of the course with a content allowing for possibility to work whenever there has been a possibility, has meant that they have been able to carry through the course.

The course leaders have communicated with the participants regularly, encouraging them to attend OER webinars and promoting OER content in the modules. Also, supporting them in their online work has been essential. Apart from the introduction seminar with Swedish OER expert Ebba Ossiannilsson we also had a mid-seminar through the video conferenceing programme Adobe Connect where Ebba was invited again. In addition, Ebba has answered questions from the participants throughout the course, which has been highly appreciated.

Ebba_webb
Ebba Ossiannilsson, OERSverige.se

In the final seminar in Stockholm, we discussed plans for disseminating the course content to even more Swedish language teachers. The participants were encouraged to invite colleagues, displaying their produced OER and inviting the colleagues to get involved in the open learning debate in Sweden. This process is in fact already an ongoing process. The participants appreciate the “extended classroom“ that online possibilities offer through social media. To conclude, we’d like to thank all participating teachers who have now started the process of being ambassadors of OER in Sweden. Engaging in this course has had an impact on spreading OER to langauge teachers in Sweden.

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