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Expert in the spotlight in March 2014: Katerina Zourou

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Featured Expert / Area of focus

Katerina Zourou does research on ICT-based education, with the emphasis on social network based language learning and teaching. She advocates a sociocultural view of learning, so ICT enhanced peer learning, collaboration and interaction are some of her favourite research topics. Recently she has been exploring these topics from the point of view of Open Education and Open Educational Resources (OER) She is senior researcher at Sør-Trøndelag University College; Developing Excellence in Education and Learning (DEEL) Research Unit.
Katerina also is the projectmanager of the LangOER project, 3-year network (January 2014-december 2016) supported by action KA2 Languages of the Lifelong Learning Programme, European Commission. She is senior researcher at Sør-Trøndelag University College; Developing Excellence in Education and Learning (DEEL) Research Unit.

Face to face with Katerina Zourou

What is your background in the field of regional and minority languages/education/multilingualism?

Regarding regional and minority languages, a major challenge is to make these languages heard in the debate on educational trends such as OER. Stakeholders of regional and minority languages have a lot to gain (in terms of visibility, community building and knowledge sharing, reaching remote learners of these languages) by embracing the OER trend. The risk that we face is a European OER landscape with a few strong players-suppliers of OER, and a high number of OER consumers, which is counter to the multilingual and multicultural values of Europe.

What do you think is the major challenge in your field of work?

Regarding teacher education there is a gap in terms of teachers’ skills in European countries and it is a challenge to provide training to as many educators as possible, while at the same time ensuring that the training provided leaves the necessary space for teachers to be creative, to inspire and be inspired. This also implies that the necessary time is allocated to teacher training and that it is not a very short and top-down delivery of content to “ignorants”. Teachers can see the value of new concepts when they are given the appropriate timeframe, support and tools to deploy their understanding of the potential of something new in their teaching context

What is one of the hottest new projects / items you are working on?

Definitely the LangOER network (Enhance teaching and learning of less used languages through OER). The topic this network addresses is “hot”: harness the potential of OER for regional, minority and less used languages and foster linguistic and cultural diversity in Europe. I am very glad to be the project manager.

Are there any important references such as articles, links, etc. you would like to mention?

All the collective efforts we put together as a team:

Do you have any questions on these topics?

Ask Katerina