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Open Education in Spain

- June 5, 2018 in Featured, guestpost, oer, open-education, Repositories, spain, world

Guest post by Gema Santos – Hermosa 
In this post, we’ll review the state of open education within the European context – and, more particularly, in Spain – with a special focus on higher education institutions (HEIs). There is often …

Open Education in Spain

- June 5, 2018 in Featured, guestpost, oer, open-education, Repositories, spain, world

Guest post by Gema Santos – Hermosa 
In this post, we’ll review the state of open education within the European context – and, more particularly, in Spain – with a special focus on higher education institutions (HEIs). There is often no common understanding regarding contemporary open education (OE), and it is usually confused with open educational resources (OER). Nevertheless, OE goes beyond, proposing a mental shift towards allowing the implementation of a number of practices focused on openness (Going Open Report, JCR, 2017). In this sense, the perspective is extended to enable a comprehensive view, thus encompassing practices such as the use of ICT in education, innovation in pedagogy and staff training, the use and development of OER, the massive open online courses (MOOCs), and the engagement in open science activities.

Open education is “in vogue” in Europe

Ever since OE was identified as a potential solution to some of the challenges detected in the EU educational systems, there has been a growing interest in establishing an OpenEdu framework (European Commission’s Communication of Opening up Education, 2013). The core dimensions of OE for HEIs have now been identified as well as several policies and recommendations (Opening Education’s Support Framework, 2016; OpenEdu Policies, 2017 & 2018). Recently, the relevance of OE has been reinforced by the consideration of “open and innovative education and training” as part of the strategic framework for European cooperation in Education & Training (ET2020). Meanwhile, OE is not just a bureaucratic issue, but a topic of discussion among researchers, practitioners, policy makers, educators, librarians and students from all over the world, as demonstrated the OE Global Conference 2018. OE in Europe has improved, but there is still a way to go. This is particularly the case for certain countries, since the initiatives are advancing at different speeds in each of the 28 EU member states.

An overview of open education in Spain

OE is also on the agenda of educational institutions across Spain, which is significant as a starting point. According to an Open Survey report in 2017, there are some general trends that demonstrate how diverse OE policies can be: legally-binding regulations – such as the National Centre for Curriculum Development in Non-Proprietary Systems (CEDEC) – and non-legally-binding initiatives, such as the mobile app Edupills and EDUCALAB-INTEF MOOCs. In fact, Spain has many interconnected policies and initiatives that support OE which are mainly addressed to the primary and secondary education levels. According to the four types of policies identified for European countries, Spain falls into the second category (together with Portugal, Lithuania, Italy and Cyprus) characterised by a national policy for ICT in education (OpenEdu Policies Report, 2017). The main stakeholder is the Spanish Ministry of Education, in collaboration with Spanish autonomous communities´ regional governments. The most prominent national policy was the Plan de Cultura Digital en la Escuela, including the OER repository PROCOMUN and the open source tool EXELEARNING. This video presentation at the Second World OER Congress better explains these initiatives. In higher education, the most common OE approach adopted by Spanish universities has been focused on MOOCs and OER. The relationship between these two practices within the open ecosystem is part of a common strategy, since HEIs that promote the use of OER are also very likely to offer MOOCs, and vice versa (Castaño et al, 2016) Some HEIs embraced the Open Courseware Consortium (OCWC) by providing specific platforms for open courses (around 30, according to a Report on Spanish OCW). There is also a large participation in the Universia network, which offers OCW projects in Spanish and Portuguese. In parallel, over the last few years there has been a considerable increase in institutional repositories with OER collections (Santos-Hermosa et al, 2017). While less than half of Spanish universities deposited OER in their repositories five years ago (Fernández-Pampillón et al, 2013), this number has risen to 77.4% nowadays, according to the preliminary results of a recent survey launched by the OER action group which I coordinate at REBIUN (a national network of Spanish university libraries). Regarding the emergence of MOOCs in Europe, and its different approach with respect to the US model (Jansen & Konings, 2017), Spanish universities’ global supply is remarkable: 35% of Spanish universities have at least one MOOC and they are situated among the top five countries, as for the volume of students (Oliver et al, 2014). During the boom of the MOOC movement, Spanish HEIs participated in two of the main MOOC platforms (Udacity and Coursera), but the most commonly used was Miríadax, which just offers courses from Spanish and South American universities (Sangrà et al., 2015).

Two outstanding Spanish higher education institutes: UNIR and UOC

The Universidad Internacional de la Rioja (UNIR) and the Open University of Catalonia (UOC) are both online universities, their open strategies are focused on digital contexts and in the use of ICT. However, this is not performed in a “classic” way, as in some other blended learning institutions, but involving the use of online simulations and laboratories, mobile learning and further innovative methods. In addition, both universities have had a historic involvement in OE initiatives over the years in scenarios such as: In short, both universities have a strategy or policy statement that supports OE. UNIR has recently announced an open education policy which aims to encourage its adoption in teaching and learning practices, and it is the first Spanish university with a policy of this type (UNIR Research, 2018). Also, the UOC is currently working on the definition of an open plan based on its strategic goal of “0303: Open knowledge to everyone and for everyone” and characterised by the correlation of open education and open science (Strategic Plan 2014-2020). In this sense, openness is a multidimensional concept in these two HEIs, since a correlation is being sought between the OE offer, OER and publication in open access routes, as well as the support of open data in research, and open licensing in technology and content authoring. Thus, we’re heading in the right direction … let’s keep it up! — About the author Gema Santos-Hermosa hold a Ph.D in Information Science and Communication. She works as an associate lecturer at the University of Barcelona (UB) and a research support librarian at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC). She also chairs the EMPOWER Knowledge Resources expert group within the EADTU university network and coordinates the open learning resource activities organised by the Repositories Working Group within the REBIUN university network. Her doctoral thesis  discusses the development and reuse of open educational resources  in higher education. Her research interests are OER, open education, open access, repositories, information retrieval and digital libraries.      

Open Data Day: From entrepreneurship to open science

- April 26, 2018 in mexico, Open Data Day, open data day 2018, open research data, Open Science, spain

Authors: Virginia De Pablo (ODI Madrid) and Karla Ramos (Epicentro Inefable A.C.) This blog is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2018. On Saturday 3 March, groups from around the world organised over 400 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. 45 events received additional support through the Open Knowledge International mini-grants scheme, funded by Hivos, SPARC, Mapbox, the Hewlett Foundation and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The events in this blog were supported through the mini-grants scheme under the Open Research Data theme. For the last edition of Open Data Day, two very different cities Madrid (Spain) and Puebla (México) have joined efforts to demonstrate that open data is an essential tool for social development. We could see this in the sessions that took place that day, where students, journalists, political scientists, technologists and public servants gathered to prove that open data is useful to center the future of research and science, as well as building bridges between citizens and decision makers.

Puebla

During Open Data Day in Puebla, Epicentro Inefable AC and the State Coordinator for Transparency and Open Government (CETGA for its Spanish initials), along with the Engineering faculty of the  Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla organized the Open Data Day Puebla Bootcamp, with the goal of disseminating the benefits of data in open formats. During the welcome, we called teachers, students and people in general, to use the data that the government of Puebla publishes openly. We also mentioned that open data can be a bridge between government and people, and it works to generate better public policies and strengthen civic participation for decision making for social good. We had presentations for students of different public universities in Puebla by Karla Ramos, the director of Epicentro Inefable A.C.; Boris Cuapio and Hugo Osorio, founders and partners of Gobierno Fácil; Tony Rojas, director of Open Government of the CETGA; Juan Carlos Espinosa, youth ambassador of My World Mexico, and Luis Oidor, chief of the Open Government department in the CETGA.   In the panel “Morning Data, what is open data and what do they work for?”, the presenters highlighted the qualities that open data should have, like being free and of easy access. They also emphasized their usefulness as a digital tool that every person can use as a source of information, to improve the quality of life in their community. During his participation, Hugo Osorio highlighted that open data can be used as a tool for entrepreneurship. For example, he mentioned that apps like Waze and Uber use open data y for 2013 the generated more than 920 million USD in the US. To close the session, Luis oidor presented the actions that the government of Puebla is implementing to train, train public officers for publication of new data sets. He mentioned that up to now, 91% of the agencies and 81% of the municipalities have received training in this subject. As a result, they have published 416 data sets in topics like health, education, transportation, finance, employment, business, security and service delivery, which can be accessed through http://www.datos.puebla.gob.mx./. As a final activity, we navigated through the datasets available in the government portal, where 100 students and teachers participated in 20 different teams. Hugo, Boris and Karla were in charge of grading the results of the 12 questions we asked during the event and named the winners. The BootCamp took place in the University’s auditorium, we gathered 271 students and teachers from the BUAP, the Instituto Tecnológico Superior de San Martín, el Instituto de Estudios Superiores A.C., el Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Atlixco, el Instituto de Capacitación para el Trabajo del Estado de Puebla y el Colegio de Estudios Científicos y Tecnológicos del Estado de Puebla, as well as participants from civil society organizations.

Madrid

Open Data Day in Madrid was focused on Open Science. For two days -March 2 and 3- we gathered a distinguished group of professionals and students of many disciplines in Medialab Prado. The participants participated in the sessions organized by the Ontology Engineering Group (OEG), ODI Madrid and Datalab. Among the speakers we had David Abián, from Wikimedia Spain, María Poveda, from the Ontology Engineering Group (OEG) and ODI Madrid; Mariano Rico, a member of the OEG, responsible of explaining the use and utility of the DBPedia; Olga Giraldo, who presente “SMART protocols for Open Science”, and Fernando Blat, from Populate. Bastien Guerry, from the Office of the Prime Minister of France, in charge of maintaining the org-mode software org-mode closed the day. During the morning, David Abián taught us how to extract data from Wikimedia in order to do any research that might interest us. He explained the formats in which we can obtain and generate information in this wiki and taught us through a simple practical exercise: extract data about a specific topic: nuclear plants. As we went through, he explained what this information could be useful for. He made clear how open data can be used from scientific research, open science to writing journalistic papers or information for policy decisions. Maria Poveda explained what ontologies are for. She did this through a light chat that allowed us to understand how to develop them and how we can use them in the open data context. After the lunch break, Olga Giraldo presented the keynote, a chat about open science entitled “SMART protocols for Open Science”. She allowed us to know how, since when and why we gather and publish scientific data. “Data by itself doesn’t explain its use” Giraldo said. The researcher insisted that data should go “along with a document -lab protocol- where we can explain how we get to the data and how we can use them”. The importance of protocols and their content lies in its design and accessibility, two keys to find scientific data and the information you might need. Her work on the SMART protocols platform, where researchers can publish their protocols, besides gathering other information is a sample of this. Afterwards, Mariano Rico told us about the DBpedia del español: how they got their data, how it’s edited, how they’re downloaded, how many datasets it has, when it started to function, etc. DBpedia contains an immense information repository, a full set of structured data that makes it the center of a world of data that has been edited with controlled vocabularies. This is, without question, a link between many vocabularies and a useful tool for all kinds of solutions, from visualizations to apps, whether for scientific ends, industrial ends or any type of business. Finally, Bastien Guerry outlined the work he does leading org-mode and his work as editor and responsible person of it working for the French government.        

The Whims (1799) and The Follies (1815–23) of Francisco Goya

- November 28, 2017 in dreams, Francisco Goya, proverbs, satire, Society, spain

Prints from Goya's Los caprichos (The Whims) and Los disparates (The Follies), two series which see him condemning the follies and foibles of civilized society.

The Whims (1799) and The Follies (1815–23) of Francisco Goya

- November 28, 2017 in dreams, Francisco Goya, proverbs, satire, Society, spain

Prints from Goya's Los caprichos (The Whims) and Los disparates (The Follies), two series which see him condemning the follies and foibles of civilized society.

Open Data Day Spain – A joyous celebration

- April 8, 2016 in Open Data Day, spain

This post was written by Adolfo Anton Bravo from OK Spain. Open Data Day in Spain is not something exceptional anymore. Five years after the first Open Data Day was born in Canada, nine Spanish cities have adopted in 2016 this celebration by organizing various local events It is not a coincidence that Spain will host the next International Open Data Conference 2016 in october, given the good health of its data communities, in spite of the fact of its poor results shown in the Open Data Index. Open Data in Spain is definitely a growing seed. Alicante, Barcelona –with two events–, Bilbao, Girona, Granada, Madrid, Pamplona, Valencia, and Zaragoza were the cities that held activities to celebrate Open Data Day. Open Knowledge Spain took part in the organization of the event in Madrid, and created a website to announce all of the activities that were going to be held in Spain, including the International Open Data  Conference, that its Call for Proposals had just been opened for applications.   spain ODD

Overview of the events

In alphabetical order, Barcelona celebrated Open Data Day twice.  apps4citizen organized a gathering where people deliberated about the importance of personal data, transparency, the knowledge acquisition process, or the various results that may be reached from the interpretation of data. A week later, Procomuns.net organized a data visualization contest on Commons Collaborative Economies in the P2P value project. In Bilbao, the event run by  MoreLab DeustoTech-Internet, the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Deusto, and the Bilbao city council. The group focused on the scope of the movement in general, and in specific, linked open data.  The participants split into working groups with the objective to design and implement fast and easy applications that link and use open data. The Girona Municipal Archive and the Center for Research and Image Distribution organized the event in Girona; their theme revolved around the documentary heritage data that included 125 archives and collections, 31 inventories, and 75 catalogues. In Granada, the Free Software Office at the University of Granada organised a hackathon with eight candidate projects from March 4 to March 7. The projected looked at various topics, from traffic to gender bias. The Medialab-Prado data journalism group, Open Knowledge Spain, and Open Data Institute (ODI) Madrid, organised a hackathon where three teams from different background such as   developers, journalists, programmers, statisticians, and citizens worked to open data in different aspects of open data: city light pollution, asbestos, and glass parliaments. Pamplona took the opportunity to present the open technological platform FIWARE, an initiative for developers or entrepreneurs to use open data for innovative applications.FINODEX is the first European accelerator that is already funding projects that reuse open data with FIWARE technology. The first OpenDatathon ETSINF – UPV took place in Valencia and was organised by  It was organised by the Higher Technical School of Computer Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, MUGI, the Master’s degree in Information Management, and the DataUPV Group.   16 teams participated,, with the objective of supporting, promoting and disseminating the use of open data, especially among the members of the university. It was supported by the Department of Transparency, Social Responsibility, Participation and Cooperation at the Valencia Regional Government, Inndea Foundation, Cátedra Ciudad de Valencia at UPV, and the private companies BigML and Everis. The Zaragoza city council is well known  for  its support to open data. The city mission is to provide open, accessible and useful data to its citizens. For example, all the information about bills is open and can be found on the city website. In this regard, they are not only talking about open data but also transparency and municipal policies on open data. Finally, on March 17, the University of Alicante organized a meeting  with participants from the Department of Transparency at the Valencia Regional Government, the Open Data Institute Madrid (ODI), the data research data opening network Maredata, and an initiative that promotes the University of Alicante startup ecosystem, ua:emprende.  The Open Data Meeting 2016 consisted of a series of lectures about the current condition of open data in Spain,  and emphasized that public sector information (PSI) reuse means an opportunity for entrepreneurship and the impact it generates in the field of of transparency and accountability. and some of its participants are. The event concluded  with the #UAbierta for open data entrepreneurship award ceremony

Open Data Day Spain – Towards IODC 16

- April 8, 2016 in Open Data Day, spain

This post was written by Adolfo Anton Bravo from OK Spain. Open Data Day in Spain is not something exceptional anymore. Five years after the first Open Data Day was born in Canada, nine Spanish cities have adopted in 2016 this celebration by organizing various local events It is not a coincidence that Spain will host the next International Open Data Conference 2016 in october, given the good health of its data communities, in spite of the fact of its poor results shown in the Open Data Index. Open Data in Spain is definitely a growing seed. Alicante, Barcelona –with two events–, Bilbao, Girona, Granada, Madrid, Pamplona, Valencia, and Zaragoza were the cities that held activities to celebrate Open Data Day. Open Knowledge Spain took part in the organization of the event in Madrid, and created a website to announce all of the activities that were going to be held in Spain, including the International Open Data  Conference, that its Call for Proposals had just been opened for applications.   spain ODD

Overview of the events

In alphabetical order, Barcelona celebrated Open Data Day twice.  apps4citizen organized a gathering where people deliberated about the importance of personal data, transparency, the knowledge acquisition process, or the various results that may be reached from the interpretation of data. A week later, Procomuns.net organized a data visualization contest on Commons Collaborative Economies in the P2P value project. In Bilbao, the event run by  MoreLab DeustoTech-Internet, the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Deusto, and the Bilbao city council. The group focused on the scope of the movement in general, and in specific, linked open data.  The participants split into working groups with the objective to design and implement fast and easy applications that link and use open data. The Girona Municipal Archive and the Center for Research and Image Distribution organized the event in Girona; their theme revolved around the documentary heritage data that included 125 archives and collections, 31 inventories, and 75 catalogues. In Granada, the Free Software Office at the University of Granada organised a hackathon with eight candidate projects from March 4 to March 7. The projected looked at various topics, from traffic to gender bias. The Medialab-Prado data journalism group, Open Knowledge Spain, and Open Data Institute (ODI) Madrid, organised a hackathon where three teams from different background such as   developers, journalists, programmers, statisticians, and citizens worked to open data in different aspects of open data: city light pollution, asbestos, and glass parliaments. Pamplona took the opportunity to present the open technological platform FIWARE, an initiative for developers or entrepreneurs to use open data for innovative applications.FINODEX is the first European accelerator that is already funding projects that reuse open data with FIWARE technology. The first OpenDatathon ETSINF – UPV took place in Valencia and was organised by  It was organised by the Higher Technical School of Computer Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, MUGI, the Master’s degree in Information Management, and the DataUPV Group.   16 teams participated,, with the objective of supporting, promoting and disseminating the use of open data, especially among the members of the university. It was supported by the Department of Transparency, Social Responsibility, Participation and Cooperation at the Valencia Regional Government, Inndea Foundation, Cátedra Ciudad de Valencia at UPV, and the private companies BigML and Everis. The Zaragoza city council is well known  for  its support to open data. The city mission is to provide open, accessible and useful data to its citizens. For example, all the information about bills is open and can be found on the city website. In this regard, they are not only talking about open data but also transparency and municipal policies on open data. Finally, on March 17, the University of Alicante organized a meeting  with participants from the Department of Transparency at the Valencia Regional Government, the Open Data Institute Madrid (ODI), the data research data opening network Maredata, and an initiative that promotes the University of Alicante startup ecosystem, ua:emprende.  The Open Data Meeting 2016 consisted of a series of lectures about the current condition of open data in Spain,  and emphasized that public sector information (PSI) reuse means an opportunity for entrepreneurship and the impact it generates in the field of of transparency and accountability. and some of its participants are. The event concluded  with the #UAbierta for open data entrepreneurship award ceremony

Scenes relating to the life of Charles IV, King of Spain (1788)

- January 15, 2014 in charles IV, collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, Images, Images-18th, Images-Engraving-Line, king of spain, Library of Congress, numbers, spain, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide, woodcut

Woodcut print showing forty-eight numbered scenes relating to the life of Charles IV, King of Spain.

Barcelona’s Free Culture Forum Builds Community the Spanish Way

- November 9, 2011 in 15m, catalan, creative commons, dimmons, Events, fcforum11, Free Culture, free culture forum, Open Data, Open Knowledge, spain, wikimedia

Last weekend I was lucky enough to attend the Free Culture Forum in Barcelona, Spain on behalf of the Open Knowledge Foundation with an invitation from some of the amazing folk at Wikimedia Catalan and Creative Commons Spain. While the format of Forum itself was inspiring, with free admission for all attendants and a diverse set of participation-heavy panels on free culture, open web and open data by organisations such as La Quadrature du Net and pioneers of Open Web and Free Software movements like John Perry Barlow and Richard Stallman, what I found most interesting was the collaborative branch of the Forum called Building Digital Commons (#dimmons on Twitter) and its lively discussions about how to best empower local communities in both virtual and physical spaces. The Building Digital Commons meetings were organised specifically to facilitate contact and discussion between community representatives working on building digital commons and advocating free culture and knowledge across Europe. This contingent of passionate folk, largely from Wikimedia, Creative Commons and open knowledge organisations like Platoniq, had all engaged quite deeply and personally with Spain’s 15M movements through their hackspaces, media labs, universities and other local collaborations – and the Commons meetings allowed us to learn from each other’s experiences both as individuals and members of collectives focused on similar methodologies of openness and transparency. It was also exciting to hear the other participants’ first-hand accounts of why Spain’s citizen movements are becoming so powerful, and as a group we often found ourselves staying up late at night together after Catalan feasts in candle-lit restaurants on Barcelona side streets, avidly exchanging notes on how to provoke social change and inclusivity in our work. Perhaps it is best to conclude this post with the words of the Forum’s organisers:
Learning from the lessons of #occupyeverywhere and Spain’s revolutionary 15M protests, “we can no longer put off re-thinking the economic structures that have been producing, financing and funding culture up until now. Many of the old models have become anachronistic and detrimental to civil society. [We need to] promote innovative strategies to defend and extend the sphere in which human creativity and knowledge can prosper freely and sustainably.”
After being a part of the Free Culture Forum, I can assert without hesitation that the Spanish and Catalan people are moving forward strongly to achieve these strategies of collaboration together using an approach to this task which is both inclusive and international. It was very inspiring for me to see as a community organiser for the OKF, and I thank each of the amazing Spanish and Catalan community-builders whom I met last week for allowing us to become a part of that process.