Tag Archives: open education

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

Announcing v0.2 of OER World Map

Following on from Felix’s recent post about the technical development that has gone into producing v0.2 of OER World Map, I’m writing to announce the official launch of the latest iteration. By the time you read this a whole host of new functionality will have been added to the site.

Firstly – and most obviously – we now have a map that can be browsed and explored more meaningfully.  Several node types have been incorporated and added to the map, with basic reporting available at the country level for users, projects, organisations and services.  I think everyone on the team feels happy to have reached the stage where we could move beyond a holding homepage and publish what we have put together so far.

There’s only a small amount of data included in this version, which is mostly to test functionality.  As we add more data to the map in future releases these fundamental types will be used to build up a summary of OER activity in different parts of the world.  We already have a a lot of datasets available to us and are in the process of prioritising these and cleaning the data. A more detailed account of OER activity is provided in the form of ‘stories‘ written by members of the OER community.  These capture the experiences of OER practitioners in their own words and demonstrate the real impact that OER is having.

We’re always interested in collecting more stories, and we expect to release several new stories in the coming weeks so keep coming back. You can also use this version to see whether your country has been assigned a country champion.  Champions act as regional points of contact and curators of content.  If you’re interested in acting as a champion for the project in your area, get in touch.

We also now have static pages explaining what the project is about; how our legal and privacy policies work; and an FAQ page which attempts to answer some fundamental questions about the project.

As ever, we remain interested in your feedback!  You can comment below or write to us. To get involved in the project, consider:

  • Becoming a country champion
  • Sharing your OER story
  • Raising local awareness of the project in your organisation

OER World Map at #oer15

Helo ffrindiau OER, a chyfarchion o Gaerdydd yng Nghymru (DU)! Here are the slides from today’s presentation by myself and Philipp at the OER15 conference in Cardiff, in Wales (UK). They provide a snapshot of the current progress of the project and we also managed to collect our first examples of user stories. You can access the list of stories (and add your own) at http://tinyurl.com/oermap.

The recording of the session will also be made available, but in the meantime here are some thoughts I picked up in the discussion:

  • Some people prefer to have some suggestions provided for the structure and length of a ‘story’
  • Some people want to embed HTML links in their story
  • Adding a word limit might be helpful for some because it makes the task more manageable
  • The task of curating stories in multiple languages was identified as a risk for the project
  • Any online form for collecting stories needs to be protected from spam
  • There is interest in the alternative (non-map) forms of visualization – it might be good to sketch some of these out
  • There may remain issues around the internationalisation of the platform
  • Emails may lack persistence as a grounding for the map contributions
  • There remains interest in an OER World Map but the important thing from an uptake point of view is the perception that the platform has some permanence and will be maintained in the future

Making connections: #OER World Map in 2015 #openeducationwk

As we enter Open Education Week it’s starting be be a really exciting period for OER World Map.  Since funding for the project was awarded to the team there has been lots of activity behind the scenes to build the technical architecture that will allow us to map complex information in an intuitive and useful way.  I will let others who understand the minutiae of these things better than I do the explaining, but it’s really interesting to see things come together while we work as a distributed team.

As technical progress is made, so we move through to a new phase of the project where reaching out to the OER community to identify national champions and build a register of interested parties.  Open Education Week is a great time for this as people all around the world share their experiences and aspirations for open education.  In addition to a series of blog posts this week, we’ll be reaching out through a Google Hangout (see below) on Thursday.  But we are also entering an important conference season where there will be many upcoming events with an OER World Map presence:

  • On Thursday this week we have planned an online hangout that will afford the opportunity to connect directly with the project team and learn about ways to become more involved.
  • Felix and myself will attend Hewlett’s OER Grantees meeting in Sausalito, California (USA) later this month. This should be a great opportunity to connect with other OER projects and raise awareness of our project with the right people.
  • The annual UK conference for open education, OER15, will take place in Cardiff, Wales (UK) in April. Jan Neumann will present an overview of the OER World Map project. and I will also be there speaking about ethics and openness in education.  Other presentations are also concerned with the challenges of mapping OER, including those of Paul Bacsish, Terese Bird and Alex Tartowski. You can review the draft schedule here.
  • Later in April the OE Global Conference 2015 will take place in Banff, Alberta (Canada).  The schedule includes a panel discussion on the challenges of mapping OER including Paul Bacsich, Jan Neumann, Tel Amiel, Dan Wilton and myself; followed by a workshop that will help us generate authentic user stories for the world map. You can find us in the main hall on Friday 24th April.  I’ll also be taking part in a workshop for ROER4D which means there could be a chance to pick up some champions for the Global South.

My sense is that these meetings will be the start of an ongoing dialogue with the OER community about the ideal design for a map that will meet genuine user needs.  Even this brief review of what is coming up in the next six weeks shows the global focus of the open education movement, and how we will need to connect with all kinds of stakeholders in the world of OER.

To get started with OER World Map, and to nominate yourself as a champion for your country, sign up for project involvement at https://oerworldmap.org where there are lots of exciting things to come.