New country report on Open Educational Resources in Poland has been published by the 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. The report is written by Karolina Grodecka ( e -Learning Center of AGH University of Science and Technology) and Kamil Śliwowski (Digital Center).
The study covers public (top-down) ICT and OER initiatives in public education as well as non-governmental (bottom-up) OER projects and initiatives like open education evangelism and lobbing actions. Publication focuses a lot on the story of the Polish Coalition of Open Education, a unique coalition of NGOs and public institution that has been a significant force supporting open education in Poland.
Just as important is the Digital School program, the first nationwide program that will provide, among other elements, a complete set of open school textbooks for all school levels and subjects. Both projects are characteristic of the Polish OER field and have drawn international interest over last years. Especially the Digital School program, which among its three components includes open textbook production – the smallest, but also most challenging and ontroversial component. Two years of consultations did not end the critique from commercial educational publishers, who mostly boycotted the program.
The report furthermore demonstrates another significant challenge faced by both public and non-governmental projects (besides the biggest, like the Polish Wikipedia or the very popular public domain digital library wolnelektury.pl) – they struggle to draw the interest of teachers. Lack of public, systematic support for teachers and NGO projects that would help implement and sustain the creation and dissemination of resources is one of most important barriers for wide OER implementation.Despite the language barrier, Poland in last years became very active in the OER area, both „importing” projects and resources from English-speaking countries (there is Polish foundation running Khan Academy translations and making their own videos) and exporting some ideas. Coalition for Open Education and Creative Commons Poland are trying to show best practices form Poland and some projects like edukacjamedialna.edu.pl are starting to create second language versions of their resources.
The report (PDF), has been published as part of a series on OER that previously included overviews of the state of OER in Brazil, China, Lithuania and Russia. The report was prepare in co-operation with authors’ affiliate institutions (AGH University of Science and Technology and Centrum Cyfrowe Projekt: Polska), and the Polish Coalition for Open Education.