LeMill Web community has become one of the largest libraries of open educational resources
The LeMill Web community, which was developed in the Media Lab of the Aalto University School of Art and Design, has reached the milestone of 10,000 members and become one of the largest libraries of open educational resources.
A majority of the community members are elementary school and high school teachers. On LeMill, teachers can build different types of educational materials together; websites, exercises, lesson plans and descriptions of teaching tools and methods etc.
LeMill was launched in May, 2006. During these four years, teachers have created approximately 7,800 learning content resources, nearly 4,000 descriptions of teaching methods and approximately 900 descriptions of teaching tools. All content produced for LeMill is published under the Creative Commons license. This allows information to be freely shared and edited. LeMill is one of the largest libraries of open educational resources online in the world.
– All material is freely available for use on LeMill. Contacting other teachers and creating groups is easy. Materials can be worked on together and they can be translated into one's own language. Students can, for example, complete their exercises in an online-community, says Teemu Leinonen, Professor of the Media Lab at the Department of Media.
The LeMill community has members from 61 countries. The most active members are from Georgia and Estonia. Approximately 70 % of all traffic for the service is received from Georgia and 15 % from Estonia. The ministries of education of these countries have communicated about LeMill extensively and have trained teachers on its use. There are smaller LeMill communities in Hungary, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Finland.
– Educational material markets in Georgia are not very highly developed, which may contribute to the eagerness to join the community. LeMill is an easy tool for obtaining educational material in your own language, Leinonen describes.
LeMill has been designed and developed as a part of the CALBIRATE project, which is funded by the sixth EU framework programme. The research and development effort tied in with LeMill has also been supported by the Estonian Tiger Leap foundation. The results of the project have also been further developed in the AVO project of the European Social Fund.
The LeMill research project is headed by the Media Lab of the Aalto University School of Art and Design together with the Educational Technology Centre of Tallinn University. Research areas include design methods of educational technologies, user needs, and building and maintaining Web communities.
LeMill is located at: http://lemill.net
Prof. Teemu Leinonen, Media Lab
teemu.leinonen [at] taik [dot] fi +358 50 3516796