Morning view of the river Dahme, Berlin

First Team Meeting 2017 Berlin

From the 16th to the 17th March we met for our first “physical” team meeting in 2017. The two days were filled with lively discussions and effective teamwork. Our colleague Felix was our host. We met at the office of graphthinking in Berlin, Köpenick. Many thanks for the hospitality and possibility to meet in the German capital only hundred meters away from the lovely river Dahme! Continue reading

Open Education Week 2017: Making Sense of the OER World Map through the Use of Folksonomies

The OER World Map collects and visualizes information on organizations, persons, projects, services and events related to OER. Using linked open data technology, all entries can be easily connected, allowing the World Map to provide a the most complete and reliable model of the global OER movement so far.

At its core, the platform provides a fundamental data set, which supports a multitude of use cases. Currently we concentrate on three main user stories, which, in its shortest form, can be described as 1) finding OER sources, 2) connecting OER actors and 3) providing statistics on the OER movement. Arguably, after two years of development, the platform starts to offer real value for its users. Nevertheless it still can be difficult to find relevant data using the World Map platform. During Open Education Week 2017, we are planning to show, how the simple but powerful tool of folksonomies can be used to generate helpful lists of data included in the OER World Map. Continue reading

Stockholm, Sweden by JarkkoManty via pixabay.com

Open Education Sweden by Ebba Ossiannilsson

Sweden has a longstanding tradition of high quality education and it has dedicated great efforts into opening up their educational models and materials. Here you will find an overview on education in Sweden, the historical and political background, and a summary of Open Education Initiatives in Sweden. This country report for Sweden was written by Dr. Ebba Ossiannilsson, a Swedish researcher, advisor, and consultant with great expertise in open education and e-learning. This Article was written on 2017-02-07. Continue reading

Cologne Cathedral

Our Team Meeting at Cologne

Our last team meeting for 2016 from the 24th to the 25th November took place at Cologne. Here in holy city of Cologne is the North Rhine-Westphalian Library Centre (hbz) where four people of the OER World Map team are located. So the other members of our geographically dispersed team had to travel this time. The two days were filled with constructive discussions and effective teamwork. Continue reading

Update to the OER community

The following project update was sent to the Athabasca 
OER-community list at the 4th of October 2016.

Dear friends of the OER World Map,

I hope you all had a great summer break! I would like to give you an update of the development of the OER World Map project. As many of you will know, this work followed from the initial discussion in this community 2012. 2013 the Hewlett Foundation decided to fund the project. After an initial development of several prototypes, the North-Rhine Westphalian Library Service Centre (hbz) based in Cologne, Germany, started developing a production system in 2015. All proposals are available online.

The OER World Map can be seen as an Social Education Management Information System which aims at accelerating the evolution of the global OER ecosystem by strengthening the ability of the OER community to organize itself. It combines elements of a social networking platform, a business information system, a geoinformation system and a library catalogue and will contribute to overcoming the challenge of mainstreaming OER by collecting and visualizing the building blocks of the global OER ecosystem. By doing so, it connects OER actors with each other, facilitates sharing of experiences and resources between them and fosters collective learning. At the same time it provides a sound operational information basis for developing infrastructure and policies in favor of Open Education. Continue reading

How OER World Map determines search result order

OER World Map collects a lot of data. This is essential for making data centrally available, but as more is collected, the difficulty of finding a specific item increases, regardless of license or data content. Therefore, as data in OER World Map increases, it is very important to implement efficient and targeted search and ranking algorithms.

There are search algorithms, whose complexity, efficiency and confidentiality are impressive. The major search engines in the world are clear examples. Of course, a relatively small non-profit project as the OER World Map can not develop a such complex search algorithm from its own resources. This is also not desirable because the platform is built on the principles of transparency and openness. Continue reading