:sync: Cracking the “Black Box” of Classroom Instruction: MediaWiki as a Tool for Curriculum-aligned Teacher Resource Curation

Authors: Felix Alvarado, Michael Lisman
Institutions: Online Learning Initiative (OLI), Online Learning Initiative
Countries: Guatemala, United States

Topic: Connecting Open Education to Primary and Secondary (K-12) Education
Sector: K-12
UNESCO Area of Focus: Inclusive OER
Session Format: Presentation


Over the last 50 years in the developing countries of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), many education systems have had great success in approximating the shared goal of “universal access to education.” Today, the main challenge to Latin American education systems, and their related social and economic infrastructures, is ensuring that kids, especially those from poor or marginalized communities, can learn.

To that end, the available evidence is clear that the most important factor in children learning is a quality and well-prepared teacher. Key to this formula is a competency-based curriculum aligned to learning standards, which many developing countries of the LAC region, such as Guatemala (where OLI started), have begun to produce. Still, it will do little good if teachers can’t access the details of it, don’t know how to apply it day to day with their students, or lack the teaching and learning materials that will help them create lesson plans steeped in the competencies they are tasked with building in their students.

This is where the Online Learning Initiative (OLI) comes in. OLI is a not-for-profit, OE enterprise that builds bridges between the conceptual, technical and practical gaps of a well-designed competency-based curriculum, educational planning efforts, production of pedagogical resources, and related teaching and learning practices. OLI has adopted core OE principles in taking on this challenge by leveraging, curating and promoting MediaWiki platforms for teachers that allow them (and others) to share thousands of aligned OE teaching and learning resources.

Effective systems and practices are based on a realistic and relevant curriculum that is made operational in the classroom (or these days, virtual classroom). Socializing and operationalizing new or revised curricula in lower-income or less developed LAC countries is a major challenge, and OLI’s principle contribution to this challenge is embodied by its pilot MediaWiki application to the curriculum - classroom divide.

Using MediaWiki to create user-driven platforms for teachers and educators, OLI curates online repositories for curriculum-aligned materials for teachers and educators. CNBGuatemala.org is OLI’s first application of MediaWiki to curate an online platform to provide curriculum-aligned pedagogical resources in a “just-in-time” manner to teachers who can quickly deploy them in their classrooms, be they brick and mortar or online.


MediaWiki, Primary Education, Curriculum, Teacher Support, Latin America, Guatemala, Caribbean, Dominican Republic

1 Like

Really looking forward to sharing OLI’s online curriculum experiment with you all, and to hearing your thoughts and suggestions about improving and expanding it!

Here is a link to our presentation if you’d like to review in advance!

1 Like

Thank you Michael. Looking forward to your presentation !

1 Like

Hello Felix & Michael,

My name is Kristina Ishmael and I’ll be your session tech facilitator.

  • The link to the Zoom room is now listed and is only available for logged in conference registrants (this is why we have been reminding presenters to create accounts).
  • Please ensure you post all of your session materials for attendees!
  • Please try to arrive at least 10 minutes early (there will be another session going on) and let us know in chat that you are here for the next session so we can provide screen sharing access.
  • Towards the end of your session, your session facilitator, @marcela will gently provide 5 minute and 1 minute warnings via audio. We are planning to record this session and post an archive later. If you prefer not to have the session recorded, let us know.

If there is anything you need from us, please let us know! Thanks for being part of the conference.

Thank you! We don’t have any session materials besides the presentation, which we will share over zoom… is that correct?

Yes! I will make you both co-hosts to give you screen sharing rights.

1 Like

Thanks Kristina, duly noted and all set.

1 Like

Thanks for all the comments and questions in our session. @wernerio look forward to chatting more about OER in LAC in general – hopefully we can do a virtual coffee sometime!

@kmishmael – can you let me know how to obtain a shareable recording of our session? Thank you!

Absolutely. Our colleague @jure will be uploading to YT and the link will be available here in this session listing.

@MichaelLisman here’s the recording of the session:

Unfortunately I missed the presentation yesterday evening. BUT, thanks to the super efficient recording and publishing of the OEGlobal (it is really wonderful to have videos published so quickly !), I was able to watch your session and discover your project. It is very interesting indeed. I shall get in touch with you on two matters. One Is related to a potential OER resource that could be developed next year in Spanish and might be proposed on your platform. The second is that my college Isla Haddow-Flood should be very interested in the curricula part of your project. I’ll follow up by email. Thanks and congrats for your initiative !