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
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. In GMU's Department of Modern and Classical Languages Spanish Program, the gateway courses to the major and minor for non-heritage Spanish students 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 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. The modules we've created have been field-tested 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.