Toolboxes – an overview of overviews

There are now so many digital tools, apps, programs and platforms for digital teaching and learning that it can be difficult to choose. Annotated overviews, websites and toolboxes are intended to make this selection easier and to make applications easier to find. We have tried out and compared some of them.


1. Find my Tool

FindMyTool originated as a collaborative tool on Github and includes over 800 tools as of today. The filterable collection in the form of tiles is available in German, is constantly being expanded and updated, and allows suggestions. The use is free and possible without registration.

  1. Digitale Tools – eine √úbersicht

The bildung.digital list is aimed specifically at schools and teachers and is organized by application area. Only tools recommended by the editorial team are presented. The list is free of charge and available in German without registration.

3. Portal:Tools

Portal:Tools is designed by Martin Luther University Halle for university teaching as a filterable table and presents a large selection of corresponding tools in German. There is the possibility to suggest tools and the use is free of charge without registration.

4. Tool-Sammlung

The digital tool collection from Hochschulforum Digitalisierung is the result of a community survey. The list includes a selection of tools for online events and is organized by application area. The list is free and available in German without registration.

  1. alternativeTo.net

On the crowd-sourced website AlternativeTo.net, users can search specifically for alternatives to a particular tool. The website displays descriptions and user comments about each tool and lets you filter the provided overview of alternatives by platform, features and license. It is available free of charge and without registration in English.

These examples differ, among other things, in their structure and focus such as specific topics or teaching/learning contexts. We are happy about all solutions that help to make tools findable and to decide consciously and criterion-guided for or against certain tools.

Like quite a few other OER projects, some overviews are funded by third party funding or limited by a funding line, so hosting may not be taken over in the long term (think of the wonderful OER Worldmap, which is unfortunately no longer available). With the idea of being able to optimize and administer an overview in the long term, the OESA Toolbox was created in May 2020 during the hackathon “Wir hacken das digitale Sommersemester” (We hack the digital summer semester) by the Hochschulforum Digitalisierung (Higher Education Forum Digitization) as a volunteer-organized and independent project. It is intended as a filterable overview that can be used to search specifically for tools, categories, settings and functions. If a tool is missing from the overview, a new line can be added without registration and tracking, and we add any fields that may have been left empty. We host the toolbox in Germany and have provided a manual with ideas for didactic use under an open license (CC-BY-SA).

Looking to the future, we want to help optimize existing offerings and make interfaces available. For example, we are curious to see how the national education platform can advise teachers and learners in the search for and selection of suitable applications.

Event: University:Future Festival – Open for discussion

Where is higher education headed in these times? Where are futures emerging that are already groundbreaking for us today? How is higher education re-imagining itself on the path to the “blended university”? These and other questions will be addressed by the University:Future Festival 2021 from November 2 – 4, 2021 under the motto “Open for Discussion”, the largest event of its kind in the German-speaking world. Over three days, impulses will be given and future topics such as hybrid learning, diversity, artificial intelligence and future skills will be discussed. Of course, OESA will also be there!

The Festival

The University:Future Festival is organized by the Hochschulforum Digitalisierung (HFD) in partnership with the Stiftung Innovation in der Hochschullehre (StIL). It is aimed at everyone who is engaged with the present and future of academic education: Teachers, students, university management and staff; activists and representatives from civil society, politics and administration; artists and scientists; EdTech founders and journalists. The festival with over 350 speakers and hundreds of program points will take place online in English and German; participation is free of charge.

Our program: OPEN as a standard

On November 02, we’ll talk about openness as an overall concept, openness as the fundamental driver of all social practices, and open source software as a global movement that spans from knowledge and education to urban gardening.

Learn more about the importance of Open Data, Open Knowledge, Open Education, Open Access and Co. for society, education and our future:

02.11.2021 17:30 Lightning Talk: the future is OPEN!

Program, tickets and more information: https://festival.hfd.digital/en/

Access

On the event platform of the festival, the Lightning Talk can still be viewed free of charge for a while afterwards.

We have also provided the most important content and findings of our talk on the future-proof concept “OPEN” for you to read in the next article.

Online Hackathon “We Hack the Summer Semester 2020!”

On May 6 and 7, 2020, more than 900 participants pooled their energy, ideas and skills and developed digital solutions for university teaching in Germany in working groups. The free format was organized by the Hochschulforum Digitalisierung, the KI-Campus and the DAAD and acts as a pilot for the DigiEduHack in November. In the roles of hacker and mentor, groups found themselves assigned to challenges that were assigned to one of the 15 topic clusters:

  1. Qualification & support of teachers
  2. Digital teaching in implementation
  3. Collaborative work and interaction (synchronous and asynchronous)
  4. Digital tools and data protection
  5. Digital Exams
  6. Digital student advising
  7. Digital campus life
  8. Peer support/help-seeking among students
  9. Internationalization & Virtual Mobility
  10. Practical study components & practical projects
  11. Research
  12. University management (e.g. change process & third mission)
  13. Digital student participation
  14. Educational equity & accessibility
  15. AI in digital higher education

A total of 76 projects came about, which can now be viewed publicly on incom. Communication took place via the mattermost platform, and there was a joint introduction and conclusion via Youtube livestream. OESA e.V. has developed the Toolbox, an independent and collaborative overview.

Shaping open education at universities

Flipped Classroom. What can you imagine by it?

Up to now, knowledge has been imparted during university face-to-face events and the application of the knowledge has been tested individually and outside the university. At the weekly input lunch in April 2020, the change in learning caused by digitization was examined in more detail, which is also becoming noticeable in the university context. For example, the learning locations of theory and application are swapped (‘flipped’): Students acquire the theoretical knowledge on their own before the course in order to then work together in a solution-oriented and case-based manner. In this way, the knowledge transfer is ideally designed, because the interactive work during the attendance time can increase the learning effect.

In this context, social scientist Katharina Mosene presented a number of possibilities for designing innovative university teaching, from live surveys to interactive presentation formats and collaborative tools. She drew on her wide-ranging experience and used teaching/learning concepts that had actually been implemented to illustrate the effectiveness and meaningfulness of open higher education.

In the discussion that followed, specific questions arose about individual tools. The consensus was that there are already a large number of extraordinary tools, but that most lack the knowledge of how to use them effectively or at least the time to deal with them in depth. This is less the case at universities with e-learning offices, eScouts or digital officers – an appeal to the universities!

The presentation on the input can be found here. We thank Katharina Mosene for her encouraging input.