News | Education 23.04.2010

Siemens Stiftung opens the media portal for educational cooperations

The collaboration with national educational institutions based on the new metadata exchange capability serves as a model.

Support for education is an important issue for the Siemens Stiftung: The media portal for teachers offers extensive, free online teaching materials on scientific topics. The user interface and contents are available in German and English. “We aim to provide true-to-life teaching materials to as many teachers as possible,” said project leader Maria Schumm-Tschauder. “Cooperation with other educational institutions was just a matter of time and especially of technological development.”
Effective immediately, teaching materials from the media portal can also be accessed via the Germany-wide educational offerings of the FWU Institut für Film und Bild in Wissenschaft und Unterricht (FWU Institute for Film and Picture in Science and Education) and the school portal of the Thüringer Institut für Lehrerfortbildung, Lehrplanentwicklung und Medien (Thillm/Thuringian Institute for Teacher Education, Curriculum Development and Media). The cooperation agreements with our partners are tailored to the specific situation: The agreement with the FWU is based the new technical capability allowing only the descriptions (metadata) for teaching media to be transmitted using a national standard. The media itself remain with the author, which protects copyright and author information. The media portal has utilized this standard from the very start. The Siemens Stiftung grants the Thillm, which does not have the metadata technology, the license to offer selected media packages from the media portal on the Thuringian school portal. Teachers can access all other materials of the Siemens Stiftung by clicking a link contained in the media packages. This form of licensing is made possible using the secure distribution system for online media at the Thuringian school portal.
The current issue of providing state-of-the-art lessons depends on the consistent use of new support systems such as interactive whiteboards and learning management systems. This changes how media are utilized, and the media must also be adapted to their modified usage.
“The materials provided by the Siemens Stiftung meet these requirements excellently,” said Michael Frost, director of the FWU, confidently. “The innovative approach to metadata exchange will definitely serve as a model for future activities, especially when it allows us to achieve our actual goal of enabling teachers and students to conveniently, quickly and reliably find and use relevant materials for teaching and learning.”
Bernd Kittlau, responsible for the project at Thillm, notes: “The media library in the Thuringian school portal is supported by various partners who make a wide range of modern media available for lessons at Thuringian schools. The cooperation with the Siemens Stiftung allows us to specifically expand the media offerings for scientific and technical subjects. At the same time, the material is well suited for integrating bilingual modules into lessons.”
Siemens Stiftung is already preparing further cooperations.
The Partners
The FWU Institut für Film und Bild in Wissenschaft und Unterricht (FWU Institute for Film and Picture in Science and Education) is a not-for-profit organization of the states of the Federal Republic of Germany. The institute produces and provides media for use in education, with a primary focus on schools and media centers.
The Thüringer Institut für Lehrerfortbildung, Lehrplanentwicklung und Medien (Thillm/Thuringian Institute for Teacher Education, Curriculum Development and Media) is the central institution in the Thuringian educational system for consulting and support of all types of schools in continuously improving the quality of education. The media library in the Thuringian school portal provides digital teaching materials for all schools in the state.
The media portal of the Siemens Stiftung mainly addresses school teachers and lecturers at educational institutions, instructors and other teaching staff. The Siemens Stiftung supports the use of new teaching and learning methods in scientific and technical lessons. The objective is also to reduce young peoples’ reservations and distance to the sciences and technology and to increase their understanding of and interest in these topics. In doing so, the Stiftung aims to counteract the declining standing of scientific subjects.
More information about the FWU is available at www.fwu.de (in German)
More information about the Thuringian school portal is available at www.schulportal-thueringen.de (in German)