“Learning materials for refugees should be free and open.” That is the demand voiced by OER initiatives and players in an open letter – titled the Schmerlenbach Appeal – to the public authorities. Siemens Stiftung also offers open teaching and learning materials (open educational resources or OER) on its Media Portal and so supports this appeal.
The declaration’s initiators and signatories regard education to be vital in integrating refugees. Professional, voluntary and non-formal educational offerings are key to the success of that. The signatories welcome the announcement by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research of a package of related measures worth 130 million euros. Other public sector players have taken and are now taking active steps as well, in particular to have learning materials developed for refugees.
The OER initiatives call for the materials funded by the public sector to also be under open license so that they are freely accessible and can be adapted, developed further and disseminated freely.
The open letter was adopted at a meeting of the OER initiatives in Schmerlenbach.
Siemens Stiftung provides around 5,500 teaching and learning materials that can be downloaded free of charge from its Media Portal, of which more than 600 – and growing – educational media are under open license.