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WikiEducator: Empowering Teachers with eLearning

Ian Thomson

One of the problems with education in the developing world is that many teachers get very poor resources to work with. If they are lucky enough to get text books, they are usually second hand and from a developed country whose education system is quite different from their own.

The high costs of producing appropriate teaching resources means that teachers often have to do without. Now the WikiEducator project is working on this. You all know about Wikipedia. Well, this is the education version with attitude.

Wikieducator is free and open teaching resources such as lesson plans and digital content to support them, initially created by committed teachers. Everything is freely available for any teacher to download and use. But it doesn’t stop there. Teachers can modify, adapt and re-purpose this material for their own use, on the understanding that they store the modified work back at WikiEducator.


So a teacher in Tuvalu can take material developed by the best teachers around the world, adapt it for their curriculum and language and then make it available for other teachers in Tuvalu, or Tokelau, or Timbuktu to use.

Or better still, a teacher in Tuvalu can make a lesson plan about climate change and how it will affect their lives and teachers in Copenhagen can use that lesson with their own students. All they need is a browser and a connection to the Internet. And, if they have OLPC, the lesson plans can be stored locally on the School Server, minimizing the cost of the Internet.

Countries can start their own project; so for example, there is a WikiEducator project in New Zealand. Their goal is to foster the collaborative development of a sustainable Open Education Resource (OER) ecosystem for New Zealand teachers to create, share, repurpose and reuse digital content in support of the national curriculum. This is a project developed by teachers for teachers.

All this is supported by the global WikiEducator project, which has the goal of creating a free version of the education curriculum by 2015.

They will do that by:

  • building capacity in the use of Mediawiki and related free software technologies for mass-collaboration in the authoring of free content;
  • developing free content for use in schools, polytechnics, universities, vocational education institutions and informal education settings;
  • facilitating the establishment of community networks and collaboration with existing free content initiatives in education;
  • fostering new technologies that will widen access, improve quality and reduce the cost associated with providing education, primarily through the use of free content

They also offer free 10-day workshops, Learning4Content Online workshop which teaches the new Rich Text Editing feature on WikiEducator.

3 Responses to “WikiEducator: Empowering Teachers with eLearning”

  1. As the education system is very from country to country, relevance of preparing common e-learning free content may have limited application. Instead train the local teacher will surely increase the relevance and reachability.

  2. eLearning that is only based on openly available content, learning resources, video lectures falls short of providing the required impact as the requirements vary from country to country. The capacities of trainee teachers to absorb the learning material at their own pace also varies considerably. It is therefore important to augment the learning material with live interaction with trainers.

    The technological advancements provide these interactions to be conducted online.. connecting learners and teachers to quality learning sources, unrestricted by institutional, geographical and social boundaries. TeleTaleem (www.teletaleem.com) is leveraging the power of ICT to deliver interactive learning content to teachers and learners in Pakistan with amazing results. Practical experience has shown that using the already available content (local sources, wikieducator, etc) interactively with availability of a trainer for live questions and answers enhances the learning experience significantly, ultimately impacting the learning outcomes of the students.

  3. Do we cover these roles today for our Teacher Training?
    EducationFinder and MKFC are using these roles to cover the professional teacher training in Somalia, Rwanda, Pakistan, Kenya och Ghana online with OPIT Learning management plattform extended with WikiSpaces.
    Teacher as Instructor: The teacher as instructor leads a group of learners, teaches those learners the subject on their level and activates their learning,
    Teacher as Coach: The teacher as coach organizes and facilitates a safe and motivating learning environment and promotes learning taking account of personal and cultural differences of learners based on psychological insights, Teacher as Developer: The teacher as developer develops and evaluates learning environments in the broadest sense with regard to personal and cultural differences between learners,
    Teacher as Researcher: The teacher is the bridge between the scientific field of his subject and the learner and is able to introduce learners into research approaches. He identifies critical situation in his class or school, analyzes the core of this situation, with reference to research literature, and presents the results and evidence based recommendations to colleagues and other stakeholders. He is a critical consumer of relevant research literature.


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