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Friday, November 4 • 1:15pm - 1:40pm
Local OER: developing collections for developing nations

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This session discusses the development of the Darakht-e Danesh Library for Educators in Afghanistan, a repository of open educational resources in Dari, Pashto, and English - the three languages taught in Afghan public schools. We are creating a multilingual collection of teaching and learning materials for teachers, education organizations, and others with an interest in education in Afghanistan, a region in which teachers have limited access to learning resources. We describe the process of seeking permissions not only to include content in our collection but also to translate it from English (by far the most common language for OERs) into Dari and Pashto, as well as the work done with volunteer translators to produce said translations. We believe that OER collections in the local language, which can be developed and adapted to fit the local context, present untapped potential for supporting teachers in developing countries and promoting literacy in the mother tongue(s) of students in these countries. We pursued partnerships with local organizations such as the Afghan Women's Writing Project to facilitate the development of locally contextualized educational materials. The incorporation of crowdsourcing principles allows for the creation and sharing of local learning materials by educators for each other, although education of contributors around issues such as licensing is required for such a system to work effectively. The systems and processes the Darakht-e Danesh Library has developed through the trial-and-error of applied practice may serve others interested in exploring this model as one strategy to generate a pool of relevant local language content that helps to vitalize the teaching and learning of mother tongue languages in developing nations.


Nicole Askin

Darakht-e Danesh Library

Friday November 4, 2016 1:15pm - 1:40pm EDT