The Polish open e-textbooks pilot program has been running now for over a year. In September, the beta version of the textbook portal, epodreczniki.pl has been launched, with a small initial set of test content. At the same time, the launch of the European „Opening Up Education” initative raised the importance of open educational policies in Europe.
For this reason, we are updating our information page about the open e-textbook project that runs within the Polish „Digital School” Program. We’ve updated the original information to include an updated timeline, more detailed description of the policy debate, and a set of useful links. The updated version is available on the site of Centrum Cyfrowe, affiliate organization of Creative Commons Poland.
New country report on Open Educational Resources in Poland has been published by Institute of Information Technologies in Education UNESCO (IITE). Open Educational Resources in Poland: Challenges and Opportunities ( PDF) is a review of projects and policies of public institutions and non-governmental organisations. Report written by Karolina Grodecka ( e -Learning Center of AGH University of Science and Technology) and Kamil Śliwowski (Digital Center) covers public (top down) ICT and OER initiatives in public education and non-governmental (bottom-up) OER projects and initiatives like promotion and lobbing actions.
Publication focuses a lot on story of Polish Coalition of Open Education and Digital School, first nationwide and complete for all school levels and subjects program creating open school textbooks. Both projects are characteristic of the Polish OER field and aroused international interest over last years. Especially Digital School program which consists of three components and open textbooks was the smallest but the most controversial and difficult one. Two years long, both closed and public consultations did not close the critique from commercial publishers who mostly boycotted the program. But what this report also covers, even independent OER projects (besides the biggest like Polish Wikipedia or very popular public domain digital library wolnelektury.pl) struggle for outreach to teachers. Lack of public, systematic support for teachers and NGO projects on how to implement and sustain creation and dissemination of resources is one of most important barriers for wide OER implementation.
Report (PDF), published as part of series form Institute of Information Technologies in Education UNESCO about Brazil, China, Lithuania and Russia was created in co-operation with authors affiliate institutions (AGH University of Science and Technology and Digital Center) and Polish Coalition for Open Education.
„Digital School” ( read full description here) is the newest governmental program dealing with the use of ICT in Polish schools and raising ICT competences. The program is divided into four segments: e-school (infrastructure and equipment for schools), e-teacher (teacher trainings), e-student (ICT equipment for students) and e-resources (creating open textbooks, redesign of Scholaris, the national platform for educational resources, and production of ICT tools for school management). (…)
Cyfrowa szkoła” is also the first Polish program to fund open textbooks and the first major governmental OER program in Poland. In 2010, the Ministry of Education started the program „Polska szkoła” (Polish School), aimed for Polish teachers working with the Polish minorities abroad – and thus with a more limited scope. As part of the program, atomic textbook resources were licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution – Share Alike license. Among other initiatives, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs uses CC Attribution licenses for educational and training content created as part of its „Polska pomoc rozwojowa” developmental aid grant program. (…)
Read full description of the program and how Open Educational Resources will be implemented in it here.
Today Polish Council of Ministers adopted regulation concerning the implementation of „Digital School” program for computerization of Polish schools and raising ICT competences. Pilot of the project aimed for 380 schools in Poland will equip them with hardware (tablets, computers for students, additional equipment). Also digital and free (under Creative Commons Attribution or compatible) textbooks for grades 4-6 in primary schools (K4-K6) will be created (43 millions PLN is assigned for textbooks). This is the first major government project in Poland which creates Open Educational Resources especially textbooks. Creative Commons Poland lead and director of Centrum Cyfrowe Alek Tarkowski participated in Digital School project as advisor from it’s beginning.
Photo above: Cabel Green, Director of Global Learning of Creative Commons reaction for news about open textbooks in national program in Poland. (więcej…)