The Siemens Stiftung Media Portal now offers unrestricted media access without registration, its own student area and other useful functions for teachers. With the newly exclusive CC licensing, teachers throughout the world can modify downloaded classroom material to meet their didactical and cultural needs and then share it.
The Siemens Stiftung Media Portal has provided free, quality-checked classroom material for scientific and technical subjects since 2009. About 3,500 Open Educational Resources (OER) are now available in German, English and Spanish on the new teaching platform. The new Media Portal is attractive, informative and useful for classroom instruction. It also provides young students with direct access to materials that offer a broad understanding of natural scientific topics.
The Media Portal uses only teaching materials that are under open CC license, based on the distributed standard licenses of the non-profit organization Creative Commons. That means they can be used, modified, combined, and shared under the same licensing terms with attribution to the author. In the heterogeneous classroom settings that shape everyday life in schools today, this option has almost become a virtual must: Teachers can modify teaching materials to meet the individual abilities of their students and thus maintain learning in the community.
“Open media have lots of potential for teaching, but they do not necessarily improve it per se,” said Dr. Franziska Frost, the project manager of the Media Portal. “The key factor is the teachers themselves, the individuals who not only energetically and skillfully use the material, but also modify it to meet the needs of their classrooms.” In the new Media Portal, we demonstrate how they can succeed by using handouts and teaching concepts.
New in the Media Portal:
- Separate student’s area with a selection of interactive learning and knowledge media on the topics of energy, the environment and health – for purposes of browsing, trying and experimenting. Students will find puzzles, tests, learning games and explainer videos for learning and presentations here.
- An optimized media search option that quickly and easily brings users to their goal. Using refined filter and sorting functions, they can search for entire media packages on a topic or for individual media. Teachers can save and manage them in the future via personal bookmarks. The bookmark function enables media to be viewed as a collection, downloaded or easily shared with colleagues or students. Different bookmarks lists can be made for individual classes.
- New method pages give experts an opportunity to explain modern teaching and learning forms for STEM instruction. Media in the portal and application examples demonstrate potential uses. Research-based learning and Service-Learning get things started. Other teaching concepts are being prepared.
- The latest news about OER, interesting events, media tips and much more round out the new portfolio of the Media Portal – all combined into a quarterly newsletter.
“With the relaunch of the Media Portal, we have taken a huge step toward achieving our vision,” Dr. Franziska Frost said with a smile. “It is a vision of a globally connected community where users from different countries talk about learning content, create their own media and share their results and experiences.”
About the Media Portal for STEM education
The Siemens Stiftung promotes sustainable social development, which is crucially dependent on access to basic services, an understanding of culture, and high-quality education. The foundation’s Media Portal supports real-world-oriented teaching in science and technology around the larger themes of health, energy, and the environment. Teachers and students may modify, combine, and share the about 3,500 quality-checked Open Educational Resources (OER). This makes it possible to adapt them to the cultural and educational needs of various regions and countries and to the individual requirements of the students. With this, the Siemens Stiftung is doing its part to create more equal access to education and opportunity. The prepared classroom materials promote modern teaching methods such as research-based learning, inclusive learning, and cooperative learning. The free materials are appropriate for all age groups and school types and are available in English, German, and Spanish.