Open Ed Week webinar: Going open in the language classroom

OE week
When: 
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 - 15:00 CDT
Location: 
Online
Presenter(s): 
Megan Schacht, Parkway School District
Sonia Balasch, George Mason University
Alexia Vikis, George Mason University
Lisa Rabin, George Mason University
Colleen Sweet, George Mason University
Carl Blyth, Center for Open Educational Resources and Language Learning

March 27-31st is Open Education Week. To celebrate, we'll be talking to some K-12 and higher ed language instructors who are getting rid of their textbooks and developing original, openly licensed materials for their classes.  They will discuss the challenges and benefits of working together to create something completely new for their students

CPE credits available - please register at the link below. 

Megan Schacht (Parkway School District)
The Parkway School District is a large district in the suburbs of St. Louis, MO.  This year, the district's Modern and Classical Language Department has taken on rewriting the curriculum thematically to incorporate the 3 modes of communication and strive for linguistic proficiency for their students.  In doing so, they've faced many growing pains in their search for incorporating best practices, authentic materials, and collaboration amongst faculty and outside of the district.  

Alexia Vikis, Sonia Balasch, Lisa Rabin, Colleen Sweet (George Mason University)
George Mason University (GMU) is Virginia’s largest public research university. The Department of Modern and Classical Languages at GMU offers degrees in several languages.  In our Spanish Program the gateway to the major and minor for non-heritage Spanish students are: two 3-credit courses (SPAN 305 Spanish in Context I and SPAN 306 Spanish in Context II) or one 6-credit course (SPAN 309 Intensive Spanish in Context).  These courses take a content-based approach to language teaching, promoting students' oral and written proficiency as well as their critical understanding of Latin American, Latin@, and/or Peninsular Spanish history and cultures. For more than seven years, two textbooks have served as the primary source of the content-instruction of these courses. We obtained a Mason 4-VA OER grant through GMU to develop an open digital library of content-rich teaching resources to replace the textbooks with up-to-date linguistic and cultural knowledge on the globalized Spanish-speaking world, which we felt would create a stronger baseline for students’ progress in the Spanish major and minor. So far we have created nine modules of thematically-based materials that pair disciplinary content in sociolinguistics and Latin@ and Latin American cultural studies with grammar lessons and vocabulary exercises. The modules have been field-tested in the three above courses during this academic year. In the webinar we will relate our collaborative experience in creating this digital library, the challenges we have encountered and how they were addressed, and the lessons we have learned during this highly creative and collaborative process.