Wikimedia+Education Conference 2019/Submissions/Changing Educational Policies with a Collective Impact

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Submission no.
Title of the submission

Changing Educational Policies with a Collective Impact

Author(s) of the submission

Dominik Theis, Coordinator of the Free Education Alliance

E-mail address

Country/place of origin


Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

Wikimedia Deutschland: Free Education Alliance

Main theme

How do we make it happen

Type of session



teachers, educators, students, learners, advocates and activists

Length of session

30 min (incl. Q&A)

Do you want to submit a paper for peer-reviewing?


Alliance Co-ordination Meeting

Wikimedia Deutschland is part and backbone of the Free Education Alliance that unites different organizations, institutions and individuals that promote Open Education as a whole. 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 ideas and methods can improve education, are being heard by political decision makers. Also, I want to elaborate the advantages and challenges of the collaborative process within a divers alliance.

Although Germany’s national government agreed upon a comprehensive strategy for Open Educational Resources (OER), its actions testify to a clear reversal of that commitment. Even though the words 'open' and 'digital' are increasingly used in the political scene, digitization is widely reduced to a matter of technical infrastructures in the field of education. Furthermore, 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 several platforms, closed ecosystems and marketplaces. The means contradict the goal of teaching young 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.

How does your proposal add knowledge to the international community in Wikimedia and education?
  1. Learning about a way to coordinate different organisations and individuals in order to strengthen the Collective Impact
  2. Getting an idea of strategizing cooperative political actions, campaigns and events with lasting political impact
  3. Getting a critical overview of the German educational landscape and strategy
Who is the intended ideal audience for the topic?

Everyone who wants to make a change within the field of education towards a more open environment and society where knowledge is accessible for everybody.

Slides or further information
Changing Educational Policies with a Collective Impact
  • Slides
  • See also our documentation of the last Forum Open:Education (in German, but with English subtitles), were Members of Parliament and the Open Community debated about the future of the German Education Landscape.
  • See our Positions concerning Open Educational Resources from 2015
  • See our Positions concerning Open Education from 2018 (only in German, will be translated soon!)
Special requests


Interested attendees[edit]

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  1. Tiputini (talk) 10:41, 3 April 2019 (UTC)[reply]