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Tuesday, November 26 • 11:45 - 12:15
Changing Educational Policies with a Collective Impact

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The Free Education Alliance unites organizations, institutions and individuals that promote Open Education. The alliance is both a forum and a driving force for political and social change in the diverse educational landscape of Germany.

During this session, I would like to talk about how the alliance of a variety of actors works together in order to set impulses in the German educational sector and how our suggestions on how Open Education can improve education, are being heard by decision makers. Also, I want to elaborate the advantages and challenges of the collaborative process within a divers alliance.

Although Germany’s national government agreed upon a comprehensive strategy for Open Educational Resources (OER), its actions testify to a clear reversal of that commitment. Even though the words 'open' and 'digital' are increasingly used in the political scene, digitization is widely reduced to a matter of technical infrastructures. German politicians’ initiatives in this field are short-sighted, vary from one federal state to another, and ignore the necessary advancement of open infrastructure and cultural change that is required for a practice of sharing and participation.

In order to “digitize education” governments and political decision-makers of the German federal states are focusing on the promotion and expansion of closed ecosystems and marketplaces. The means contradict the goal of teaching people digital literacies and the critically reflected confrontation with the internet. This promotion, which is geared towards the preservation of traditional and rigid structures, shows an outdated understanding of education within and for a digital society. A sustainable transfer of competencies – that can be realized through open practices such as working with or producing open educational resources – is rarely considered as an objective.

The Free Education Alliance shows how holistic educational processes can be promoted through Open Education using a Collective Impact approach.

avatar for Dominik Theis

Dominik Theis

Coordinator, Wikimedia Deutschland e. V.: Free Education Alliance

Tuesday November 26, 2019 11:45 - 12:15 CET
BL27.06 ground floor classroom - Presentations