News | Education 21.04.2015

Open educational resources as an opportunity for the work of foundations

© Enno Kapitza

Podium discussion on open educational resources (OER) during the 2015 Berlin Foundations Week to include Maria Schumm-Tschauder, project manager for the Siemens Stiftung Media Portal

“On digital life” is the motto of the Sixth Berlin Foundations Week (April 14 - 24, 2015), which plans to illuminate and critically examine the many aspects of the digital world. It therefore makes perfect sense that the initiators have dedicated a special event to open educational resources (OER).

What are the things to look out for when designing OER? What impact – positive and negative – do free licenses for educational materials have on foundations? These questions and many more will be explored at the event: Some rights reserved – Foundations and open educational resources by Wikimedia Deutschland and the Association of German Foundations on April 21, 2015 at 10.00 am in Wikimedia Deutschland's Berlin offices.

The idea of making teaching and learning resources free to as many people as possible and allowing these to be edited, distributed and republished without restriction is a very attractive one, particularly to foundations that offer their own educational programs. It enables foundations to open up participation in high-quality education to as many people as possible, especially children and young people in treshhold and developing countries. Siemens Stiftung is set to begin providing media under an open license in the near future, making it a pioneer for OER in Germany.

“The fact that the topic of OER is so prominently represented at the Berlin Foundations Week shows that the idea of open educational resources is taking shape at foundations. Discussions are still needed when it comes to implementation, but one thing is certain: OER can only be successful if they are of high quality, legally compliant and educationally sound,” says Maria Schumm-Tschauder. “We have always been able to ensure this quality with the Media Portal and it will continue to be the guiding principle of our OER strategy.”

Maria Schumm-Tschauder is taking part in the discussion in Berlin with representatives of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, Joachim Herz Stiftung and Technologiestiftung Berlin. The topic is “OER: Zeitgeist or the future of foundations?” Sabine Süß from the Association of German Foundations is the chair.