ICT has become embedded in the everyday practices of many schools using a range of technologies to support teaching and learning. The role of the teacher is seen as imperative to the process of developing ICT and digital literacy skills in the next generation and we are seeing steps being taken to ensure that teachers receive the support that they need to carry out this vital role. This drive is evident in a number of countries. A decade ago, in December 2008 the Dutch Minister of Education announced the Wikiwijs project https://www.wikiwijs.nl/, an open, internet-based platform, where teachers can find, download, (further) develop and share educational resources. The project was based on open source software, open content and open standards. Wikiwijs was inspired by the idea of wikis: collaborative developing of content. Educational resources are developed by teachers, for teachers. Teachers can freely use anything they find in the Wikiwijs database in their classrooms. Wikiwijs is available to all levels of the Dutch educational system: primary, post-primary and third level. This project clearly showed the commitment of the Dutch government to implementing a clearly defined and realistic approach to incorporating ICT into the post-primary classroom. The project also highlighted the commitment of the government to supporting the development of suitable resources for teachers and students. The legacy of the Wikiwijs project is of particular interest to countries looking to implement a policy around the use of OERs at primary and post-primary levels. One of the findings of the project was that the Dutch government should be more directive in persuading executive boards and teachers to adopt OER as an important part of educational reform and the acquisition of 21st century skills.
However, in 2019, six years after the completion of the Wikiwijs project and with the explosion of rapid authoring tools and dissemination systems that were unavailable to previous ICT initiatives the expected sea change of classroom activity has not happened in Dutch schools. The availability of software such as Articulate or Raptivity that allow for rapid development of classroom materials by non-technical experts for delivery on smart devices and tablets should have led to an Open utopia for both students and teachers. This presentation will explore the many reasons why this has not happened despite huge government support and investment by and will also look at mechanisms for change at a grassroots level.
This 20 minute presentation will discuss how we can try to promote the OER agenda based on recommendations and lessons learned from a government-backed project.
Schuwer, R., Kreijns, K. and Vermeulen, M., 2014. Wikiwijs: An unexpected journey and the lessons learned towards OER. Open Praxis, 6(2), pp.91-102.
Marcus-Quinn, A. and McGarr, O., 2013. Digital Divide in Post-Primary Schools. Research-publishing.
Marcus-Quinn, A. and Hourigan, T. eds., 2017. Handbook on Digital Learning for K-12 Schools. Springer International Publishing.
Mulder, F., 2013. The logic of national policies and strategies for open educational resources. The International Review Of Research In Open And Distributed Learning, 14(2), pp.96-105.
Hummel, H., 2017. Teacher professionalisation tools for developing and arranging OER: Studying the WikiWijs portal.
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