Siyavula Open Ed 2009


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A presentation of South Africa’s Siyavula, which aims to support teachers’ curriculum needs through Open Educational Resources, professional development, and community building. The presentation was held at OpenEd Conference 2009, and addresses Siyavula's accomplishments to date and interventions going forward from a strategy, technology, and research perspective.

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Siyavula Open Ed 2009

  1. 1. Siyavula: Supporting Teacher Communities For Curriculum-Aligned OER in South Africa OpenEd Conference 2009 Mark Horner, Shuttleworth Foundation Joel Thierstein, Connexions Kathi Fletcher, Connexions Cynthia Jimes, Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education Siyavula:
  2. 2. The Importance of Community Community in education is highly valued:
  3. 3. Siyavula <ul><li>Online open learning materials </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum framework </li></ul>online repository accessible online tools curriculum framework experts Community development community tools support expanded sharing
  4. 4. Bringing Educators Together Siyavula will transform teaching...
  5. 5. Bootstrapping Development <ul><li>75% of grades covered </li></ul><ul><li>text-based material, ready for print </li></ul><ul><li>curriculum-aligned </li></ul><ul><li>community enabled </li></ul>Siyavula has critical mass on content ... ICS Material Leapfrog development 2 years!
  6. 6. Software Only the Connexions platform satisfies our primary needs: ICS Material
  7. 7. Software Only the Connexions platform satisfies our primary needs:
  8. 8. Software
  9. 9. Closed Loop Communities share, create, use and improve:
  10. 10. Development Partnership <ul><li>Features for communities of teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Ratings </li></ul><ul><li>Forums on lenses and workgroups </li></ul><ul><li>Curriculum alignment lenses </li></ul><ul><li>Open lenses </li></ul>
  11. 11. Ratings
  12. 12. Forums on Lenses      
  13. 13. Forums on Lenses      
  14. 14. Curriculum Alignment Lens
  15. 15. OpenEd Conference 2009 Cynthia Jimes, Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education ISKME: Research to Support Teacher Communities For Curriculum-Aligned OER in South Africa
  16. 16. <ul><li>What are teachers’ current curriculum and curriculum development needs? </li></ul><ul><li>What challenges and opportunities exist for implementing Siyalula in the South African classroom? </li></ul>Research Questions (First Phase)
  17. 17. Methodology <ul><li>School Site Visits </li></ul><ul><li>Teacher and Administrator Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Workshop Observations (those piloted at SciFest) </li></ul><ul><li>Baseline Teacher Survey </li></ul>
  18. 18. Key Findings <ul><li>Teachers face concrete challenges around curriculum, pointing to the need for OER and Siyavula </li></ul><ul><li>Cultural, technological and structural barriers exist to implementation; however, </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers currently practicing offline ‘OER behaviors’ (sharing, reusing, remixing, collaborating), that can be leveraged </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>42% - rural schools </li></ul><ul><li>38% - urban </li></ul><ul><li>20% - semi urban </li></ul>Classroom Context <ul><li>37% - computer lab at school </li></ul><ul><li>32% - Internet at school </li></ul><ul><li>80% - desks for all learners </li></ul><ul><li>57% - textbooks for all learners </li></ul>N=164
  20. 20. Evidence of Need for Siyavula Not having the curriculum materials needed Knowing if the materials are of high quality/good Knowing if the materials meet curriculum requirements Knowing which materials to choose Knowing how to use materials in the classroom We need easy to use materials that meet the standards of the district and that are easy to adapt. And having material that the learners understand easily. - Teacher Survey Participant “ ” N=192 Teachers reported the following curriculum challenges
  21. 21. N=198 I make use of a lot of 3-D apparatus, which I either bought or made myself to assist learners in mastering a concept (numeracy). - Teacher Survey Participant Evidence of ‘OER Behaviors’ in Place Teachers reported using the following types of materials in the classroom Newspapers, magazines or journals Materials created by other teachers Information/materials found on the Internet Textbooks recommended by the Dept. of Education “ ” Materials I created myself
  22. 22. N=190 The benefits [of working collaboratively with other teachers] are that one can see the strengths and weaknesses of ones own work and colleagues can give constructive suggestions. - Teacher Survey Participant Evidence of ‘OER Behaviors’ in Place Teachers reported the following curriculum development activities Shared materials I have with other teachers Created materials in collaboration with others Provided feedback to teachers on their materials Received feedback on materials I created Discussed materials informally with colleagues “ ”
  23. 23. Observations of a teacher “swap and share” group at one South African school revealed how teachers meet to share hard copies of science exams and exercises, and discuss ways to combine the new materials with their own Evidence of ‘OER Behaviors’ in Place Teachers reported the following use and reuse activities I combine materials with other types of materials I edit or modify materials to meet my needs I use materials ‘as is’ N=195
  24. 24. Potential Barriers <ul><li>Technology access - Only 32% have Internet at school (teacher survey) </li></ul><ul><li>Technology skills - 20% do not know what email is (teacher survey) </li></ul><ul><li>Culture - Teachers may face resistance to becoming authorities on content (interviews) </li></ul><ul><li>Culture - Some teachers may not see the value of technology (school site observations; interviews) </li></ul>
  25. 25. Implications for Siyavula <ul><li>Leverage already existing communities of teachers working collaboratively </li></ul><ul><li>Further support teachers’ existing use, reuse, remix and sharing behaviors </li></ul><ul><li>Support workarounds for teachers without access to computers and the internet </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate discussions of cultural barriers and basic technology skills training into teacher workshops </li></ul>
  26. 26. Cynthia Jimes [email_address] Mark Horner Joel Thierstein & Kathi Fletcher [email_address] [email_address]
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