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Teaching from home and homeschooling
School closures are very challenging for all of you. In addition to the about 4,000 OER for STEM lessons, the Media Portal offers useful functions that can support you in networked teaching and learning with your students and their parents. Have a look to the most important ones here.
Digital materials under open license (OER) help a lot to support each other and to encourage the exchange between us: they may be modified, augmented with your own content, and shared. It’s legal, worry-free, and easy. Our quality-checked OER for STEM lessons are interdisciplinary, for all types of schools and grade levels, ranging from detailed texts and short videos, to experiments and interactive formats, to complete packages on various topics. They’re available for teaching and self-learning.
But the Media Portal can do even more to support you now:
Communicate easily with your class and their parents
Create personal bookmark lists where you collect the individual media files of your choice. You can share them with other teachers, students, or parents easily and conveniently at the click of a button. You can add and remove individual media files, add a descriptive text, and also limit the availability to any time period you select. Go to the instructions
Look for the blotch: Self-learning media for your class
The self-learning offering follows a multimedia, diverse approach. Within the media and topic packages for teachers, appropriate materials are identified with the “student’s blotch” and can be forwarded directly to your students.
Experiments, puzzles, tests, educational games, and explanatory videos are found in a separate student's area – let the pupils explore this area independently or conduct experiments with their parents.
Find suitable content quickly and easily
Which media lend themselves to your work with your class at this special situation? Teacher instructions and detailed guidelines provide an overview of the individual media and possible usage scenarios. This enables you to quickly decide which worksheet is currently particularly suitable.
Also take a look at our media selection for teaching from home:
In the next few weeks you will regularly find here new tips on how to use our media.
© Siemens Stiftung
Podcast for children and young people
The podcast Coronavirus For Kids, And The Science Of Soap answers questions about COVID-19 in a manner appropriate for children. Infectious disease doctor Krutika Kuppalli, who studies global pandemics, is one of the guests, and chemistry professor Palli Thordarson talks about the science behind why washing your hands with plain old soap and water is so effective against germs.
Media tip for teaching from home: Energy sources
The information sheet An overview of energy sources shows all the different energy sources and what possibilities they offer. In the interactive exercise Advantages and disadvantages of energy sources, the students can apply what they have learned.
Media tip for teaching from home: Bending water
A stream of water is "bent" from the vertical towards an electrically charged object. Why does this happen? The video Bending water demonstrates this phenomenon with an experiment. Students can then complete the worksheet Bending water based on their learnings. The interactive hints for the worksheet help students using QR codes.
Media tip for teaching from home: The Stirling engine
How a Stirling engine and the Carnot cycle work are explored through the experimentation instructions, which includes questions for students to answer. The Video (no audio)shows a Stirling engine in operation and helps students visualize the process.
© Smithsonian Science Education Center
COVID-19! How can I protect myself and others?
The Smithsonian Science Education Center has developed a new rapid-response guide for youth ages 8–17. The guide, which is based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, aims to help young people understand the science and social science of COVID-19 as well as help them take actions to keep themselves, their families and communities safe.
The guide “COVID-19! How can I protect myself and others?” was developed in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), and is part of the Smithsonian Science for Global Goals project. The guide is free and available to youth in more than 20 languages.
Through a set of seven cohesive student-led tasks, participants engage in the activities to answer questions previously defined by their peers. The questions explore the impact of COVID-19 on the world, how to practice hand and respiratory hygiene and physical distancing, and how to research more information about COVID-19. The final task teaches youth how they can take action on the new scientific knowledge they learn to improve their health and the health of others. Each task is designed to be completed at home, but could be completed in school with a teacher’s guidance.
The guide includes updated research, activities, quotes from scientists and frontline public health officials, and physical and emotional safety tips on COVID-19. It also integrates inquiry-based science education with social and emotional learning and civic engagement.
Download the guide on the website of the Smithsonian Science Education Center
Media tip for teaching from home: The human ear
The Structure and function of the ear information sheet shows how this sense organ is structured, how it functions, and how the sense of hearing and the sense of balance differ. In the Structure of the ear interactive exercise, the students label the parts of the ear by dragging and dropping.
Media tip for teaching from home: Water shortages
The interactive information module Overcoming water shortages presents various solutions to this problem, from local water production to global prevention measures. In addition, the link list Water shortage and drinking water is suitable for own research.
Media tip for teaching from home: Energy converters
From sunbathing to nuclear fusion: The examples in the Energy conversion processes in everyday life information sheet illustrate the variety of conversion processes. The students can apply their knowledge in the Energy converter interactive matching exercise.
Informative COVID-19 song from Tanzania
In his song Corona Tanzanian musician Timamu highlights how everyone can help fight the spread of Corona. Creatively he emphasizes the importance of personal hygiene and seeking medical help when experiencing any symptoms.
Media tip for teaching from home: Customs
The Festivals in different countries information sheet can perhaps provide excellent information, especially in these times, about the value that traditional large festivals have for many people. In the interactive exercise of the same name, students match the festivals to the countries.
Media tip for teaching from home: pH value
The pH value in the human body information sheet together with the pH values in the body and in everyday products interactive graphic provide the theoretical principles for acids, bases, and pH value. The students can apply the learned material using an interactive exercise.
Media tip for teaching from home: Electrochemical voltage
The Electrochemical voltage series information sheet introduces the topic, and the students can test their knowledge using the Designing an electrochemical voltage series matching exercise. The voltage series is illustrated in the Daniell cell simulation, which shows the discharge process of a galvanic cell.
© Welthungerhilfe / WASH United
Comic strip from Welthungerhilfe: No chance for corona
Amina and her friends are stuck at home. Instead of playing together outside or going to school, they are trapped with their parents all day long, often in confined spaces. A comic strip and a video from Welthungerhilfe for children and young people age 10 and older explain the coronavirus and the associated restrictions and preventive measures.
Although children and adolescents are not likely to become seriously ill with COVID-19, they are massively affected by the corona pandemic. Why is it so important to stay at home, maintain proper distance, and wash their hands regularly? What is corona and how is the virus transmitted? Understanding this and knowing how to protect themselves and others helps the young readers deal with the difficult situation. The clearly designed comic strip sensitively addresses the young people’s questions and concerns, explains why normal life is so drastically restricted at this time, and provides tips for preventing the spread of the virus.
The comic was developed by the German aid organization Welthungerhilfe and WASH United in conjunction with the Institute for Hygiene and Environmental Medicine in Berlin, and it can be downloaded free of charge. It may be used, reproduced, and disseminated for non-commercial purposes without limitation. Translation into various African languages such as Arabic, Kiswahili, and Somali is planned. The story of the four friends is also available as a YouTube video.
To the materials on the Welthungerhilfe website.
Media tip for teaching from home: Symmetry
The Symmetry – what is that? information sheet uses simple words and examples from everyday life to explain the basics of the subject matter. The learned material can be applied using these two interactive exercises: Which of the objects does not have reflection symmetry? multiple-choice test and Arithmetic with a mirror calculation task.
Media tip for teaching from home: Water cycle
The Earth’s water cycle (student instructions) experiment can be carried out as a weekly task. The required materials are usually available at home. The Experiment on the water cycle interactive multiple-choice test checks the students’ understanding.
Media tip for teaching from home: Renewable energies/Electricity at home
The students can become acquainted with the topic on their own using the Overview of energy sources information sheet and the Advantages and disadvantages of energy sources interactive graphic. A possible task using the Comparison of electricity production costs information sheet is for the students to work together with their parents to calculate the costs in their own home.
Tip: Why do we wash our hands?
Regular, thorough hand hygiene is an effective protection against pathogens such as the coronavirus. How come? Our media package "Skin and hygiene" provides concrete, varied experiments and information materials to explain correlations and raise awareness to the topic: How does soap work? How can diseases be spread via our hands? Why does washing our hands protect?
atingi in Africa
The new digital learning platform atingi aims to reach young people in Africa with e-learning offerings. By providing need-based, free teaching units, the platform hopes to increase vocational training opportunities and thus improve the potential for income.
atingi was initiated by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH GIZ (German Society for International Cooperation). Siemens Stiftung contributes content on vocational orientation in the STEM fields.
CC BY 4.0 Open Education Week
Participate in the Open Education Week
From 2 to 6 March, with around 220 submissions, the spectrum of the international open education movement will once again be on show: The week-long OE Week spotlights amazing work from over a dozen categories including live, face-to-face events, webinars, projects, and resources. Of course, the Media Portal will be part of it.
Founded in 2013 by the Open Education Global (previously Open Education Consortium), the goal of Open Education Week is to raise awareness and showcase impact of open education on teaching and learning worldwide.
All submissions and information on how to participate can be found on the Open Education Week project page.
Comenius EduMedia Seal for the Media Portal
Great joy for our education team: The Gesellschaft für Pädagogik, Information und Medien e. V. was very impressed with the quality of our media and our commitment to high-quality STEM lessons, and has honored the Media Portal with the prestigious Comenius EduMedia Seal.
“It makes us proud to receive this award for the Media Portal, which we care about very deeply,” said Corinna Hartung, project manager of the Portal. “It confirms our commitment to support teachers in designing innovative, digitally enhanced lessons with quality-tested media. This award will certainly help the Media Portal become even better known, and the educational media, the teacher handouts, and the method pages will be used even more frequently.”
The number of users of the free Media Portal already nearly doubled last year. One reason is certainly the fact that all materials are offered as Open Educational Resources (OER). This is an advantage especially in diverse classrooms, because it allows teachers to adapt, individualize, and jointly enhance the OER to meet their teaching and support needs without violating the law.
About the Comenius EduMedia Awards The Gesellschaft für Pädagogik, Information und Medien e. V. is presenting the Comenius EduMedia Awards for the 24th time this year. Its goal is to promote outstanding digital educational media as well as teaching and learning management systems. To ensure independent evaluation, a jury of European educational experts from the Institut für Bildung und Medien assesses the multimedia products.
Comenius-EduMedia-Award 2019 (German)
© Science on Stage
Coding in STEM education – Basic programming skills
Can you program a watering can? Or measure the temperature with a glove? The Coding in STEM education brochure published by Science on Stage e.V. shows how tasks like these can be implemented using microcontrollers. It provides practical advice for elementary schools and especially for secondary schools.
An international team of teachers presents concrete hands-on examples and practical advice in 11 teaching units. These units show how programming can be learned in biology, chemistry, technology, mathematics, and physics lessons using microcontrollers such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi, even if you aren’t an IT expert.
The brochure is suitable as an introduction to coding for both teachers and students. Quick success is fun, provides motivation for the topic, and creates an interest to learn more. The material is available free of charge as a print version or PDF file.
Materials for "Coding in STEM education"
CC BY-SA 4.0 Dm mami - Own work
The Media Portal celebrates its birthday
It was exactly ten years ago, in May 2009, that we launched the Media Portal. Our goal: to provide teachers with free, high-quality digital teaching materials for the STEM subjects. A lot has happened since then. Curious? Click through our photo gallery, where we’ve chronicled the developments of the past ten years for you.
It was 10 years ago, in May 2009, that we launched the first online platform with free media downloads for science and technology education. What have we achieved since then?
We started out at the time with 600 media. Today, we offer more than 4,000 open educational resources (OER) in English, German, and Spanish.
More than 50,000 users from 120 countries now rely on our media library, which has won multiple awards.
The individual media and media packages are indexed according to educational-didactic criteria and feature standardized metadata and media descriptions. This makes it possible to find them easily and use them right away.
In addition to information sheets, worksheets, videos, and images, the Media Portal also offers numerous interactive media especially suited to use with a whiteboard.
We make every effort to align our English, German, and Spanish media to school curricula, and we use educational experts working in their native language to check the quality.
In 2018, the Media Portal completed its transition to a platform consisting entirely of open educational resources (OER): All our media have been checked for licensing rights, and the user rights are clearly defined. This give teachers and students peace of mind when using them in the classroom.
The open educational resources (OER) may be modified, customized, and shared – a key prerequisite to using them in diverse classes, adapting them to regional variances, and applying them to co-creative learning.
The Media Portal also presents modern teaching methods using real-world examples and offers teacher handouts and guidelines for teaching values through science and technology.
The Media Portal is integrated with media servers in several German states and with international media libraries as well. This enables easy access to our media and promotes the global dissemination of OER.
Ten years of high-quality education for everyone: quality-controlled, real-world-oriented, and free.
Happy Birthday, Media Portal!
© Deutsche Welle
Environmental protection in the classroom: Three diverse learning packs
Would you like to teach the topic of environmental protection to your class in a diverse, easy-to-understand way? With the free Global Ideas learning packs, the environmental series from Deutsche Welle, you can use an effective, exciting multimedia approach to cover topics such as plastic waste or the forest. The target group is students between the ages of 12 and 16.
The materials illustrate worldwide correlations and offer a compelling global approach. The videos, articles, and interactive Web documentation consist largely of journalistic content by Deutsche Welle prepared for use in teaching. Specially developed games, posters, experimentation instructions, and worksheets round out the offering. Handouts for educators help you prepare and teach the units. You can use the contents online, download them, or request to have a printed version sent to you with a DVD. The materials are available in German, English, and Spanish and may be used by educational institutions for non-commercial purposes.
Global Ideas learning packs
"Teilchenmodell Rauch" from B.Lachner under a CC0 license.
Free platform for clipart
Whether you’re looking for a schematic design for an experiment, a diagram, or an animated drawing: At openclipart.org you’ll find an extensive collection of illustrations to make your teaching materials come to life. All clipart is available with no registration required under a CC0 license. That means that it can be copied, modified, compiled, and shared without restriction.
The platform offers more than 150,000 pieces of clipart on various topics in the form of abstract representations, drawings, and illustrations. The search and download features are also simple and easy to use. Users can also upload their own clipart to the platform, make it available to the public, and discuss it with the community. Under the Creative Commons license CC0, the author waives all rights to the material. The clipart enters the public domain and may be used without restriction.
© Science on Stage Deutschland e.V.
Lilu’s House: Language Skills through Experiments
Why does the mirror fog up when I take a shower? Why do I see my reflection upside-down in a spoon? For children, everyday life is full of questions. The new brochure titled “Lilu’s House – Language Skills through Experiments” from the nonprofit educational initiative Science on Stage Deutschland e.V. provides ideas for science topics in personal, social, and health education (PSHE) in elementary school.
Lilu, a fantasy creature, explores a house together with Alina, a young girl. Wherever they go, whether to the living room, the kitchen, or the bathroom, there’s always something to discover! The brochure presents Lilu’s and Alina’s observations in fun and entertaining experiments, teaches basic scientific skills, and simultaneously fosters the children’s skills in reading, writing, and speaking. The experiment units are complemented by a methodology section plus texts and tasks at different difficulty levels.
The brochure and additional materials – developed by elementary school teachers from seven European countries – are available in English and German. You may download them free of charge from Science on Stage.
© International GeGebra Institute
GeoGebra – open software and materials for math and science
GeoGebra is free math software that gives you a simple, dynamic option for creating assignments, tables, and diagrams for algebra, geometry, analysis, or statistics. The platform now features over one million materials created by teachers and available under an open license for teaching math and science.
There’s something for every age group and class level, from basic arithmetic assignments, calculations of the volume of various bodies with customizable size parameters, calculations and presentations of derivative functions, and integrals of various function types. This allows students to explore and internalize interrelationships, prepare for exams, and increase their knowledge either on their own at home or with their classmates at school.
The software and app are free for anyone using them on a non-commercial basis. The app can be used either online through a browser or offline through the downloaded software. All the materials are available at no cost under Creative Commons licenses, typically CC-BY-SA. No registration is required to use GeoGebra.
© Science on Stage Deutschland e.V.
Football in science teaching with iStage 3
What is the perfect curve of a ball’s trajectory? What special attributes must football field turf have? What is the World Cup’s carbon footprint?
The greater subject of soccer, or association football, is also perfect for discussing STEM subjects: Twenty teachers from fifteen European countries have developed twelve teaching units that illustrate how the popular sport scores goals in biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, physics, and technology classes. The brochure offers secondary school teachers a broad interdisciplinary spectrum of experiments – from air density measurements in the ball to the impact of energy drinks on players’ physical performance to calculations of the likelihood that a penalty kick will succeed – giving students the opportunity to independently discover and research the scientific phenomena of football.
“iStage 3 – Football in STEM education” is available for free download in English, German, Spanish, Hungarian, French, Polish, Czech, and Swedish.
CC BY-3.0 Photographer: Roy Borghouts, Copyright owner: OEC/TUDelft
Record year for OE Global in 2018
With 386 participants from 45 countries, the OE Global Conference 2018 held in Delft, the Netherlands, attracted its highest number of attendees since the conference’s inception. The Open Education movement is growing throughout the world, as reflected in the wide variety of submissions from around the world for the announced awards.
The first day at the OE Global Conference: Opening address by conference chair Willem van Valkenburg.
Participants had the opportunity to learn about different projects related to open education at informational stands.
During various lectures at the OE Global on all aspects of open education, a number of teachers became students again themselves.
A somewhat different recap of the motto “Transforming Open Education through Open Approaches”: The discussions were documented in calligraphy.
Dr. Franziska Frost from the Siemens Stiftung at the awards ceremony during the OE Global Conference in Delft.
On behalf of the Siemens Stiftung, Dr. Franziska Frost gave the speech honoring the winner of the Educator Awards of Excellence.
One of the winners of the Educator Awards of Excellence: Felienne Hermans (left) from the Delft University of Technology was awarded the prize for her dedication and her open online programming courses.
This year, the Siemens Stiftung was on hand with a special task: During the official awards ceremony, Franziska Frost presented the Educator Awards of Excellence for innovative projects that promote the development or use of Open Educational Resources. One of the awards, for example, went to Lee-Ing Tong, a researcher from China. She has developed open statistics courses that support over 53,000 learners worldwide. Another award was given to Felienne Hermans from the Delft University of Technology. A supporter of open online education, she has founded several massive open online courses (MOOCs) to train children and teachers in programming.
The wide range of approaches to open education shows that open access can transform education in a number of different ways, from learning platforms for refugees to open research.
You can find information about the event and access presentations and videos from the keynote speakers and the OE Global webinar on the official website of the OE Global Conference.
© Siemens Stiftung
New look, new content, exclusively OER
The Media Portal relaunch is complete. What’s unchanged: more than 3,500 quality-controlled teaching materials for STEM education. What’s new: We now rely entirely on OER, have broadened our outreach beyond teachers to include students, offer tips for integrating the media into teaching methods … and much more.
Dear users of the Media Portal,
We have redesigned the Media Portal for STEM teaching - from today on it is purely an OER (open educational resource) portal. Our goal is to organize the Media Portal to be more attractive, more informative, and more useful for you. We’re sending you this letter to inform you about the changes to the Media Portal. Your opinion is important to us and we’re grateful for your feedback, which you can send to email@example.com.
How time flies! We went online with the portal for the first time in May 2009 with 600 media on the topics of energy, the environment, and health. Since then, our media offerings have continually expanded. In 2015, we officially joined the OER movement, meaning that all the materials we create can be downloaded, edited, and shared. The Media Portal currently offers over 3,500 OERs for use in science and technology subjects. The media are available in German, English, and Spanish.
Your use of the Media Portal encourages us in our work!
So far we have counted ...
- 1,949,713 downloads,
- 204,615 live views and
- 47,412 registered users from 120 countries
Here is a brief summary of the novelties to the Media Portal
- On the Media Portal, you will now find exclusively OERs, which means that you can download, edit, and share all media without registering. In the future, you will no longer be able to access older media on the Media Portal that were not available under a free license. However, we’re in the process of converting more and more media to OER.
- When you search for media in the future, you’ll be able to decide whether you want to search for media packages or individual media files. In addition, we have improved our filtering and sorting functions so that you can quickly find what you’re looking for.
- You’ll be able to store and manage media and media packages in personalized bookmark lists in the future. The bookmark list function allows you to view, download, and easily share grouped media with colleagues or students. You can maintain different bookmark lists for individual classes.
- In the “Methods” area, you will find information about selected teaching methods and forms of learning for science and technology education, such as web-based training on “Service learning in STEM subjects.” Sample materials are linked for implementation of the methods.
- There will be a separate student area with a selection of suitably prepared media on the topics of energy, the environment, and health for browsing, trying out, or experimenting.
In the “News” area and in our newsletters, we will continue to provide you with current information about OER, interesting events, and tips for other portals.
We hope you enjoy browsing and reading, and we look forward to receiving your feedback!
Your Media Portal Team
© Open Education Consortium
OE Global 2018 – How versatile is education?
The motto of this year’s OE Global Conference taking place in the university city of Delft, the Netherlands, is “Transforming Education through Open Approaches.” Key players and supporters of the OER movement will meet for the 11th time from April 24 to 26. You can look forward to lectures, discussion panels, and, of course, a lively exchange with the community.
The OE Global Conference is hosted by the University of Technology in Delft and the Open Education Consortium.
Siemens Stiftung will also be involved again: We are looking forward to giving the introductory speech for the Educator Award for Excellence as part of the many awards at the OE Global. This award honors educators who actively promote the development or use of open educational resources by creating innovative, effective solutions.
© Zentralstelle für Lehren und Lernen im 21. Jahrhundert
OERcamps to celebrate their 10th anniversary
The “Meetings on digital teaching and learning materials” in German-speaking countries will take place again starting in May. This year, in addition to attending discussions, the participants will also be celebrating – 2018 marks the tenth round for the OERcamps. Congratulations! Anyone who is interested in open educational resources may participate.
Registration is open until April 8. The camps for OER practitioners will take place at four different locations. The kickoff is in Bad Wildbad (Black Forest) on May 11, followed by the camps in Leipzig on May 25 and 26, in Hattingen (Ruhr district) on June 8 and 9, and in Hamburg on June 15 and 16, 2018.
The OERCamps consist of an official workshop program and contributions in the BarCamp format. This gives you the opportunity to spontaneously offer your own session at the venue. The event is organized by the ZLL 21 e.V. nonprofit association. Participation is free. You can also follow the hashtag #OERcamp18 on Twitter!