Education/News/April 2020/Fast help for schools: An interactive platform for Open Educational Resources

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Fast help for schools: An interactive platform for Open Educational Resources

Author: Claudia Bergmann (WMDE)

Summary: The new open education platform “Wir lernen online” (we learn online) has been launched in Germany in late April. An emergency aid programme of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) made this project possible.

The entire education sector faces a major challenge because of the Covid-19 pandemic. For pupils and teachers, teaching can currently only take place online - often without suitable structures for learning from home. The crisis reveals the importance of digital education. Contemporary teaching and learning in the digital space must include more than just frontal teaching via video calls and textbooks.

Wikimedia Deutschland e. V. and e. V. want to strengthen the digital infrastructure to support schools in digital home teaching and developed Wir lernen online. The platform offers a variety of learning materials, assistance with software tools and recommendations for online teaching. There are countless individual offers on the internet, but it is often very difficult to find suitable content. Therefore, an educational search engine is needed to access relevant sources and websites, to compile content appropriate to the target group and their curriculum. Teachers also should be able to make their own content accessible by others.

Free content and free software solutions as Open Educational Resources (OER) are used for this purpose. The project is pragmatically designed as a completed sub-project within a project of the School Cloud by the Hasso-Plattner-Institut. The learning content solution will be integrated into this school cloud, but will be available separately and without access restrictions at, too. The portal will also be offered as a blueprint or optionally as an integrable partial solution for federal states and educational institutions that operate their own solutions, e.g. based on Moodle or edu-sharing.

To provide an open solution to support educational institutions with learning content, Wikimedia Deutschland e. V. and e. V. would like to cooperate with central stakeholders in the field of free education and key individuals from the entire education sector. "Now is the time for rapid provision of funds for the promotion of Open Educational Resources and it is very welcome that the Federal Ministry of Education and Research is also involving the German-speaking Open Education community to provide an urgently needed service for teachers," says Abraham Taherivand, managing director of Wikimedia Deutschland.

The project will prepare learning content from existing databases and provide a search engine that can cope with the current increase in usage. Simultaneously, the organisation of participation projects will start: stakeholders from the entire education sector should be able to participate in the improvement and further development.

Open Education, Open Educational Resources, Open Educational Practices, Advocacy, Policy Work, Forum Open Education, Open Edu Hub

Social Media channels or hashtags: Dominik Theis, Free Education Alliance