In Poland, training and education is an important part of our work on promoting open, and a necessary support for our policy work. But trainings are time and resource intensive. We realised at some point, that we cannot scale our activities if we continue to train about open on our own. We therefore decided to look for solutions to crowdsource such trainings and workshops.
The “Open Lesson” project is a result of this new approach. In early 2015, we invited a group of trainers with experience in teaching about open, teachers and educators to create a workshop scenario that could be used by teachers to conduct a self-teaching meeting for their peers, friends or collaborators. The “Open Lesson” scenario is a modular training resource, which provides the freedom to customize the workshop. Customization means that while the scenario was initially designed with teachers in mind, it can be used by anyone. We made it available, as an Open Educational Resource, on our „Free the Textbook” (Uwolnij podręcznik) webpage.
„Open Lesson” launched in Poland with 30 workshops
We launched the “Open Lesson” in March during the Open Education Week, with over 30 educators from around Poland committing to conducting such workshops.
Polish Virtual University of Łódź organized a meeting for 20 people involved in academic and remote education, who have drawn attention to the fact that open educational materials are an underrated resource among university staff. The group led by Mrs. Lidia Mirowska used our scenario as a pretext for a discussion on copyright and sharing and reuse of teaching materials in classes conducted on-line.
In one of elementary schools in Warsaw, open lesson was conducted for 6th graders. Strongest emotions arose after conducting the exercise, during which the children had to declare how much they want to protect an art of work that they just created. It turned out that it was only after a long discussion about what would happen if Leonardo da Vinci wanted to hide the Lady with an Ermine, the kids let it go a little bit and stopped being copyright extremist. What is more, the teacher used our scenario also to discuss how to protect one’s personal data on Facebook, and why this is so important.
In Cieszyn, Open Lesson served as an inspiration for the meeting for librarians interested in the licensing of educational materials. An exercise about searching for open content online led participants to the conclusion that there are more resources available if one does not limit their search to open resources. A heated debate on this topic ended when participants agreed that the more people spread the idea of Creative Commons and use these licenses, the more resources will be available and they will be of better quality (becoming a viable alternative for closed content).
The workshop participants in Włocławek, on the other hand, used the Open Lesson to create their own list of online open resources, which might be potentially useful for teachers working with different subjects.
„Open Lesson” goes global
In the next step, we are making the “Open lesson” scenario available for international use. We hope that the resource will prove useful also for activists and educators in other countries. We are publishing it today as an Open Educational Resource, available in English as a PDF file. The lesson is also available as an editable .DOCX file, which also includes all the graphics – which can be used individually.