Plotting Europeana on the OER World Map
By Jan Neumann, Head of Legal Affairs and Organisation at the North Rhine Westphalian Library Service Centre and Project Manager of the OER World Map project.
Open Educational Resources (OER) are openly licensed learning materials, which can be accessed, stored, used, modified and distributed free of charge. OER make up one important building block of Open Education, a broader movement aiming at innovating educational systems by using digitalisation and cooperation for widening access to education. After more than 10 years of development, the Open Education movement has grown to such a size that it is impossible to keep track of all ongoing activity. To address this challenge, the OER World Map collects and visualises data on organisations, persons, projects, services and events related to OER on behalf of the Open Education movement.
What is in it for Europeana?
The OER World Map provides three core services for the OER movement. Firstly, for repositories like Europeana, it provides a platform that allows global users to find key information about the featured institutions’ offer for the Open Educational community (which can be filtered e.g. by language or subject). Secondly, like a social network, it connects OER actors with each other. This facilitates the sharing of experiences, opportunities (like Europeana’s first matchfunding call) and resources. Initiatives such as Europeana4Education can benefit from collective learning by both contributing their experience and benefitting from the expertise of this vast Open Education network. Finally, it demonstrates the scale of the worldwide OER movement by providing statistics on OER, which supports policy makers in issuing and defending decisions in favour of OER.
What’s next for the OER World Map?
There is always room for enhancement! During Open Education Week, we are planning to highlight how helpful lists about key topics (like, for example, all activity related to textbooks or a list of OER researchers and research projects) can be easily generated by the help of folksonomies. We are also currently working on providing a country map interface within the scope of the OERInfo funding guideline, the first major German OER program, which started at the end of 2017.
We have set out our plans to add long term value to the global Open Education movement. To achieve these, the participation of the whole OER community is needed. If you have not done so yet, follow Europeana’s example and join us in mapping the world of OER today!
The OER World Map is funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and driven by the North Rhine Westphalian Library Service Centre (hbz) in cooperation with graphthinking GmbH and the Open University UK.