Access2OER:Stories Week 3

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The original OERWIKI seems to be offline (December 2012). The Access2OER discussion pages are preserved here for reference! The final report in pdf is available here: Access2OER_Report,

The report:
Introduction to the report
Part 1 - Issues
What is access?
Issues and classification
Part 2 - Solutions
Solutions criteria
Stories and solutions
Case studies
Part 3 - Proposals
Conclusion and next steps
Additional sections:
Stories 1
Stories 2
Stories 3
Case studies v1
Access initiatives v1
OER Training proposal
Open Educational Resource Centres
OER exchange infrastructure
OER exchange infrastructure diagrams
Additional materials
Access2OER:Additional Considerations
Wiki only
Some technical notes
Discussion Log and Quotes:
Discussion Week 1
Comments on SuperOER
Overview of week 1 activities
Discussion Week 2
Discussion related to solutions put forward
Snippets from the general discussion
Overview of week 2 activities
Discussion Week 3
general discussion
OER training discussion
resource centre discussion
oer exchange discussion
stories discussion
All discussion on one page.
Additional pages
For authors:




1 Your stories and solutions - part 3

This section gathers stories and solutions from the third week. Because the focus on stories was during the second week, there were only an additional two stories put forward. Participants were asked to keep each story simple and follow the previous examples as possible templates, starting with sections Participants, Context, Description, Key Factors, Questions, Implications (for enabling access to knowledge and learning). Participants were reminded that "Access" is being used in the broad sense covering physical access (via a computer, printed, audio, etc.) and the ability to use the resource effectively (i.e. a resource is not truly accessible if it is in a strange language, or pitched at a level beyond the learner's prior learning, etc.).

1.1 Learning English - a story from Attreman Junior

Quote image I base my suggestion upon what we experience in Ivory Coast as English advanced learners. We are officially french speaker. In the first week of our first academic year, we got problem to understand what our teachers were telling to us. In fact, there was a problem of dialectology. the way the teachers (they studied abroad in US and England) pronounced words were quite different from the way our teachers at secondary school did it.

The situation got worse when we started the listening course. This time, we had to listen to tape dealing with english native speakers conversation for filling blanks on our papers. It was as if we were listening to a chinese conversation. We caught nothing. But when we followed it reading a text exhibit , we notice that there was nothing strange. The conversation was really in english language, and in this way we understood very well. It is the same things with songs. It is not easy to perceive the lyrics. But when we read the text, things become easy. To better understand movies in english, we select subtitles (in englisn off course) to really catch what actors say. We assimiltate sounds with words. Without subtitles, it is noises you listen to. Thanks to this system, we are able today to listen to BBC or VOA and be able to understand news.

To sum up English is oraly difficult for us to catch, because the way native speakers express themselves (contractions, slangs ) make us difficult to follow them. but when they are texts exhibit, there is a good understanding, and in the course of time we get accustomed to their dialect. So it would be good to subtitle audio and video documents broadcasted through OER to allow non english beneficiary to understand .

1.1.1 A response from Michael Barclay

Quote image I agree that subtitles do help to learn a language, I learned a lot of English vocabulary because of watching subtitled TV shows. Maybe we could have voluntary community subtitling of OER video material, with the right platform I'm sure a lot of people would be willing to help.

1.1.2 Further comment

Quote image Now to come back to OER, we find an information (in english) that we want to exploit but there is a problem of understanding because it is sometime difficult to catch what is said on the the audio or video document because of the way of speaking that we deem fast or because of the bad quality of the sound (why not?).

"OER refers to educational resources and materials that are open for its use, shared freely and public (for example; text docs, images, audio, video, instruments of software, multimedia, flight simulators and others)" and they give information in all subjects.

Let's consider that I'm looking for more information to enhance my knowledge in drama or physics or laws or medecine. My main interest here is to get the information I need, not to learn the language itself. It is not the moment for a listening exercise. I need subtitles (either in english or in my language) simply to go fast.

1.2 William Kamkwamba


William and others ...


Rural Malawi.


- gained access to knowledge on how to make windmills to generate electricity ....

Key Factors

Local innovation serving local needs using global knowledge.


  • What prior knowledge did William need to be able to do this?
    • Know of the existence of windmills
    • Know that energy may be converted into different forms
    • ...
  • What new knowledge did he need to turn it into a viable enterprise to scale the impact?


How can the OER community catalyse this kind of local innovation?

Perhaps by engaging communities, fostering social entrepreneurship, and packaging the types of resources needed from sites such as:

For proposals: develop a tool to help find and package custom collections of such resources (of local relevance) with/by communities.