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!
The four of us located at the hbz in Cologne had to travel this time. The two other colleagues from Berlin, Johannes and the second Felix, joined us there. Unfortunately our English colleague Rob from Open University wasn’t able to meet with us so German was our meeting language.
We are very happy that the community of contributors to the OER World Map is growing and the number of entries on the map is increasing steadily. This made us have another look on the representation of the entries on the map. At the moment pins that are located close to one another are shown as little circle with the number of entries represented by it. There are a lot of benefits resulting from this kind of presentation but the clustering is only triggered by distance and not in any way content related and especially near frontiers not related to the different countries.
With the next version of the map we want to change the presentation of the entries from pins and circles to little semitransparent dots. In the consequence in regions with lots of entries the dots will aggregate to a more intense color like the light of streetlamps in cities seen from a satellite at night.
In addition we agreed to establish a function for visitors to mark organisations, projects and services they think that are especially good. As icon we will use a lighthouse. We think of the chosen entries as showing the way towards great OER to others like a lighthouse shows the way to the ships.
We decided to establish a new data type named “publication”. It gives the possibility to place a short description and a link to every kind of published information. We think it will be useful for project reports and results, policies, videos and even single educational resources. We have to work on the integration of the new type in the data structure and in the UI to make it work well for the different use cases.
There is a tradition for the OER World Map to work together with the Open Education Consortium (OEC). This year the cooperation will be intensified. As a start the OER World map wants to support the OEC by mapping the events of 2017 Year of Open. We talked about the technical details of importing data from OEC and give maps and calendars created from this data in return. On the OER World Map everything can be filtered on the basis of different criteria and because of this it is possible to create customized maps for partners and these little maps can be integrated in their websites.
There is a lot of work waiting for us in 2017 and we are really looking forward to see the OER World Map continuing to grow.
As lunch break we went to “Baguette&Buch” (in English “Baguette&Book”) a little bistro in an old building where the municipal library was located 30 years ago. Old book found in the cellar were everywhere on shelves and even as lamps. Especially the Cologne colleagues coming from the North Rhine-Westphalian Library Center enjoyed this.
The district of Berlin where we met was Köpenick, known to everybody in Germany because of the play “Der Hauptmann von Köpenick” a required reading at school. It is about a shoe maker who 1906 masqueraded as a Prussian officer was able to round up some soldiers, took over the town hall of Köpenick, arrested the mayor and got away with the town treasury. As it happens some guys in historical uniforms arrived and acted some scenes from the play for other guests when we were having dinner in the “Ratskeller” located in the cellar of the town hall of Köpenick.