LEARNING THROUGH SHARING: OPEN RESOURCES, OPEN PRACTICES, OPEN COMMUNICATION Centro Interfacoltà di Linguistica Teorica ed Applicata (CILTA) University of Bologna, 29-30 March 2012
Open Educational Resources (OER) are defined as “materials used to support education that may be freely accessed, reused, modified and shared by anyone” (Downes, 2011). Open Educational Practices (OEP) are practices which “support the production, use and reuse of high quality OER through institutional policies, which promote innovative pedagogical models, and respect and empower learners as co-producers on their lifelong learning path.” (ICDE, 2011). Open Communication is reciprocal and respectful exchange which contributes to social presence in online learning (Gunawardena & Zittle, 1997), and the development of intercultural awareness and competence in language learning.
One of the affordances of the web is that is provides easy access to knowledge, and this constitutes one of its greatest potential to transform education. “A culture of sharing resources and practices will help facilitate change and innovation in education” (OER Commons, 2011). Open access initiatives to make research publications freely available online or the adoption of open source software solutions, such as Moodle or Mahara, are already having a big impact on education. Flickr, iTunes U or YouTube, all based on the idea of sharing content openly, can also provide excellent resources for teachers and learners. The web also offers unprecedented access to interlocutors from different cultures and contexts, and open environments with multimodal channels for communication which can be harnessed for language and intercultural development.
This two-day conference focuses on the impact of adopting openness as a key principle in education. It explores how open resources, open practices and open communication can be integrated in language teaching and learning, and in the initial and continuing development of language teachers.
theories that underpin openness as a key principle in education
using of OER in teaching and/or course development, including reusing and re-purposing existing resources for different contexts or resource-based learning
integrating learner-generated content into language courses
developing a culture of sharing amongst the teaching community (barriers to and advantages of sharing)
sharing resources and/or practices in teacher education (e.g. through peer review of resources)
sharing resources and intellectual capital with others to raise individual or institutional profiles (e.g. through publishing resources on itunes U, or through a resource repository, open access publishing of research papers )
promoting learner communication in 'open' environments (e.g. through online gaming, virtual worlds, international discussion boards (Hanna and de Nooy), blogs ...)
facilitating open communication in CMC - where 'sensitive' topics can be broached and diverse opinions are valued.
HOT OFF THE PRESS!!!
To celebrate the European Day of Languages 2013, we are officially launching the publication Case Studies of Openness in the Language Classroom. The book is a compilation of case studies written by practitioners in different educational settings, each of whom explores the concept of openness in language teaching and learning. The book is structured in five sections, covering open tools for collaboration, sharing resources, sharing practices, collaborative learning and student-generated content, and learner autonomy. The editors sincerely hope readers will enjoy reading the collected case studies and trying out some of the activities proposed by the authors. Download the book free of charge from http://research-publishing.net/publications/2013-beaven-comas-quinn-sawhill/.