Education/Newsletter/September 2014/Wikimedia Deutschlands recent activities: events, events and more events

By Christopher Schwarzkopf (Wikimedia Deutschland)

The last weeks we at Wikimedia Deutschland spent a lot of time preparing and executing different events focussing on educational topics. A more detailed report about the respective events will follow in next months issue of the newsletter (including pictures and video footage) but here is already a brief summany of what we did:

  • Event on open science in Vienna (15 September): On 15 September an international event took place onboard the exhibition ship MS Science in Vienna. The event covered various topics such as open science, open data and citizen science and was organized by Wikimedia Deutschland, Wikimedia CH and Wikimedia Österreich as well as the Open Knowledge Foundation in Germany and Austria. It was funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). Together with scientists, politicians, experts and the general public we discussed different aspects of openness and free knowledge in science.
  • Open educational resources conference 2014 (12 & 13 September): On 12 and 13 September the largest event by Wikimedia Deutschland in 2014 took place in Berlin: The Open Educational Resources Conference 2014 (OERde14). About 400 people with backgrounds in education, science, politics, media and publishing attended the conference and its numerous talks and presentations. We were very happy to welcome a number of international guests such as Dirk van Damme (Head of the Innovation and Measuring Progress Division at OECD) and Nicole Allen (Director of Open Education for SPARC, USA) who were the keynote speakers at the conference. The goals of the conference were to bring together activists, educators and representatives of the political level and to discuss the future of OER in Germany. Our evaluation is not finished yet but we are so far very happy with the turnout, the mix of people and the feedback given to us. More information on this will follow next month. Also, we officially announced our open education coalition (Bündnis Freie Bildung) at the conference. The working group is an initiative of Wikimedia Deutschland, Creative Commons Deutschland and the Open Knowledge Foundation. It consists of a number of OER-experts that will develop a white paper with political recommendations for Open Educational Resources until the end of the year. The first meeting of the working group took place prior to the conference in mid-August and more meetings will follow throughout the rest of the year. One of the first publications of the group was a statement on the “digital agenda” of the German government that was announced in August and that disappointed by not mentioning Open Educational Resources as part of the digital landscape.
  • Digital competencies (1 September): On 1 September we had our second event within the “Digital Competencies”-Project that we started in late June. This time the topic was the term “Digital Natives” and we had speakers from different backgrounds (science as well as media education) that discussed whether the term is used in a correct way and what it actually means. We were happy that more than 60 people attended the event. The next event will take place on 29 September and will focus on “digital safety at work”.