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
UNESCO Area of Focus: Inclusive OER
Session Format: Presentation
AbstractOver 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