LINQ Session 1-1: Selected Workshop “Learning Communities”

LINQ Session 1-1: Selected Workshop “Learning Communities”

I have a dream keeping Ithaca always in my mind“

Exploring Impact and Value for Developing and Empowering Learning Communities and the User’s Perspective on Sustainability: The Open Discovery Space Platform

12 of May 2015 (LINQ Conference day 1): 11:30 – 13:00 in Room Macke/Ernst

Facilitators: Lampros Stergioulas, Munir Abbasi, George Xydopoulos, Maria Fragkaki (all: University of Surrey, UK), Luis Anido, Manuel Fernandez (both: University of Uvigo, Spain), Marlies Bitter (Open University of the Netherlands), Alan Bruce (Universal Learning Systems, Ireland)


Description of the interactive Workshop Session:


What do we have? Information and Communication Technology & Open Educational Resources!

How we utilize OER and ICT pedagogically through e-Learning Portals?

In the context of a worldwide educational paradigm, the shift towards eLearning, student-centred approaches, and the development of digital communities of learners in schools and outside school premises have given rise to highly publicized eLearning portals. Nowadays, many eLearning portals are ubiquitous in schools across Europe, providing teachers with tools to interact with students in web-based environments, learning scenarios, best practices, social and community building options, training content and networks.

What is the problem?

In parallel, a hotly debated and highly controversial issue has emerged amongst the communities of pedagogists: What is the pedagogical added value of these ICTs and OERs to the individuals (e.g. students, teachers, parents) and to the community (e.g. school framework, educational framework, social framework)? What is their impact towards a Social-Critical Education that unearths interesting and authentic issues? Through what ways can these ‘modern’ technologies empower the communities of learners to be active, creative, critical and efficient? How can teachers and students make the most of the social and economic potential of ICT, most notably the internet, for doing business, working, communicating and expressing oneself freely? How can these digital platforms be sustainable and innovative in the face of rapid change, disruption and the multi-dimensionality of our globalized world?

Any ideas? We have an Open Discovery Space dream!

We have a dream – a resource-based eLearning space for an open and exploratory educational experience. We aspire students and teachers not to be simply passive receivers, but drivers of their own journey and creators of their educational roadmapping.

This dream can become true through our “Open Discovery Space” (ODS)! The ODS consortium comprises 51 partners from 27 European countries and offers an e-learning socially-powered platform with many benefits for all educational stakeholders (students, teachers, headmasters, parents, policy makers). The ODS project aims to stimulate teachers, students, and parents to (re)utilize eLearning resources and to exchange their experiences and best practices on usability and quality of these resources. Furthermore, students will be equipped to learn, and relearn new skills, tools, technologies and practices through ODS. In this emerging world, collaboration, communication, critical evaluation and creativity, combined with digital literacy, are essential to meet the demands of a rapidly changing environment and contemporary personal development.

“Open Discovery Space” offers:

  • The creation and evolution of a socially-powered, multilingual portal, where teachers, pupils and their parents can intuitively discover, acquire, discuss and improve eLearning;
  • The stimulating innovative development of the resources, testing the utilizing of these resources in real settings, and identifying best practices of utilization;
  • The exchange of best practices and motivating selected groups of teacher trainers, teachers, pupils, and their parents to utilize eLearning content and tools through a series of appropriate activities;
  • 807.347 Open Educational Resources from many renewable repositories for several cognitive domains;
  • Participation and creation of 530 Learning Communities of teachers for different cognitive interests;
  • Navigation of 2.756 schools of ODS network;
  • Connection with 7.535 teachers from all over the Europe;
  • Templates with Pedagogical Scenarios for many cognitive domains, for primary and Secondary Education;
  • Learning Activities and best practices for 51 participants countries;
  • ICT environments, transformative technologies and tools

When the dream doesn’t remain “just a dream”.

Literally and figuratively, our dream will come true when the educational stakeholders, and mostly teachers and students, will first identify educational challenges through ODS and then integrate them, pedagogically, in several constructivistic and critical-reflective ways of learning. The utilization of elearning resources in schools across Europe is not “just a dream”. ODS will augment teachers’ professional development, in order, together with their students, to:

  • Be active members of the Open Educational Resources movement that aims to create and share educational resources that are freely available online for everyone at a global level;
  • Extend the reach of education, expanding learning opportunities and enhancing teaching and learning;
  • (Re)utilize, retrieve, share, discuss, reuse and adapt eLearning resources via a pedagogical way, exchanging their experiences with their colleagues;
  • Develop and exemplify innovative pedagogical scenarios and materials that will help to accelerate the effective use and adoption of eLearning resources;
  • Participate in community building between European schools, and expand the initial communities of practices into large-scale communities of implementation;
  • Explore new cognitive areas, understand the components of each domain of interest, of each concept, situation and problem;
  • Navigate them pedagogically to reflections on issues, to reconstructions through transformations and real constructivist changes in teaching and learning;
  • Synthesize new ideas and provide efficient options, developing their own skills towards a meaningful 21st Education.

The main objectives of this workshop are:

  • To investigate opportunities, challenges and requirements on the adoption and use of e-learning resources;
  • To discover pathways of the pedagogical utilization of e-Learning Portals and especially the ODS platform;
  • To co-create learning scenario templates within the ODS tools, utilizing Behaviourist and Social-Critical Constructivist learning paradigms serving our students educational needs and learning styles;
  • To develop a shared “dream” on the desired future of what we refer to as resource-based eLearning and to explore the perceived value of ODS eLearning portal’s services;
  • To explore the potential impact of digital technologies on education at various levels (learner, teacher, class, educational system, & policy maker tec.) and how they can be used reflectively in order to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions in the educational/training process.


Set-up of the Workshop Session:


Session 1: “Future Cafe”: I have a dream today @@@

“I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted,

and every hill and mountain shall be made low,

the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight;

(M.L. King)

1st Session topics (Duration: 60’)

  • Trends: Resource based eLearning; introduction of the socially-powered, multilingual portal;
  • Opportunities: ODS Pedagogical scenarios and support materials, communities of best practices;
  • Challenges: Multiple ways of ODS implementation in schools for all the educational stakeholders in order the “dream” to come true.
  • Requirements: what do teachers need in order to uptake resource-based eLearning; how can teachers be motivated to actually do so; requirements that should be taken into account in the implementation process.


Session 2: “Design your roadmap, keeping Ithaka always in your mind”

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich” (K. Kavafis).

The main target of the 2nd session is for all participants to map out a route to the pedagogical utilization of eLearning resources through the use of ODS tools.

2nd Session topics (Duration: 60’):

Social-Critical Constructivist Learning Paradigm through ODS (for an Education towards 21st C. Skills, for the ethical crisis alleviation, etc.).