The Free Education Alliance unites organizations, institutions and individuals that promote Open Education. The alliance is both a forum and a driving force for political and social change in the diverse educational landscape of Germany.
During this session, I would like to talk about how the alliance of a variety of actors works together in order to set impulses in the German educational sector and how our suggestions on how Open Education can improve education, are being heard by decision makers. Also, I want to elaborate the advantages and challenges of the collaborative process within a diverse alliance.
Even though the words ‘open’ and ‘digital’ are increasingly used in the political scene in Germany, digitization is widely reduced to a matter of technical infrastructures. German politicians’ initiatives in this field are short-sighted, vary from one federal state to another, and ignore the necessary advancement of open infrastructure and cultural change that is required for a practice of sharing and participation. In order to “digitize education” governments and political decision-makers of the German federal states are focusing on the promotion and expansion of closed ecosystems and marketplaces.
The means contradict the goal of teaching people digital literacies and the critically reflected confrontation with the internet. This promotion, which is geared towards the preservation of traditional and rigid structures, shows an outdated understanding of education within and for a digital society. A sustainable transfer of competencies – that can be realized through open practices such as working with or producing open educational resources – is rarely considered as an objective.
The Free Education Alliance shows how holistic educational processes can be promoted through Open Education using a Collective Impact approach.
Cole, Arthur. (2020). What Is Collective Impact? Definition, Collective Impact Model. [online] Disk Drill Blog. Available at: https://www.cleverfiles.com/howto/collective-impact.html [Accessed 29. Nov. 2019].
Free Education Alliance. (2018). Positionspapier Bündnis Freie Bildung. [online] Bündnis Freie Bildung. Available at: https://buendnis-freie-bildung.de/positionspapier/ [Accessed 29. Nov. 2019].
Hille, Peter. (2019). Could Germany’s digital education initiative threaten states’ rights? [online] Deutsche Welle. Available at: https://www.dw.com/en/could-germanys-digital-education-initiative-threaten-states-rights/a-47923536 [Accessed 21. Jan. 2020].
Ministry of Education in Germany. (2019). Was ist der DigitalPakt Schule? [online] BMBF. Available at: https://www.digitalpaktschule.de/de/was-ist-der-digitalpakt-schule-1701.html [Accessed 21. Jan. 2020].
Theis, Dominik. (2019). Digitalpakt Schule: zu kurz gedacht! [online] Bündnis Freie Bildung. Available at: https://buendnis-freie-bildung.de/2019/02/26/digitalpakt-schule-zu-kurz-gedacht/ [Accessed 21. Jan. 2020].