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Appears in:
Pages: 4917-4926
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.1303

Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain

OPENSWAD: A FREE SOCIAL LEARNING PLATFORM TO SUPPORT FACE-TO-FACE AND BLENDED LEARNING AROUND THE WORLD

A. Cañas Vargas1, E.M. Ortigosa1, J.M. Boyero2, F.J. Fernández1, M. Anguita1

1University of Granada (SPAIN)
2OpenSWAD Association (SPAIN)
This work reports on the process of launching and disseminating the educational portal OpenSWAD.org, an installation of the SWAD (Social Workspace At a Distance) educational platform in the cloud, available for any country in the world, offered free of charge, and with the possibility of hosting open educational contents.

The opening of SWAD to the world began in 2010 with the release of SWAD source code under free-software licenses. At the same time, the platform was internationalized, which included tasks such as decoupling the code from a specific institution, translating it into 9 languages, customizing the format for dates and calendars according to user preferences, and a very important issue: making dates and calendars independent of the location of the web server so they appear in the user's time zone.

Following the liberation and internationalization of the code, in 2012 the OpenSWAD.org portal was launched. OpenSWAD is structured in a tree hierarchy with the platform or system as the root of the tree. All countries in the world hang from this root. In each country there is an unlimited number of educational institutions (universities, colleges, academies, organizations, companies). Each institution is composed of centers (faculties, schools, divisions, buildings), each center of degrees (careers, postgraduates, masters, cycles, levels), each degree of courses (subjects, disciplines), each course can be constituted of one or several types of groups (lectures, seminars, practice labs) and in each type of group there can be one or several groups. To allow an easy, decentralized administration of the platform by the users we added to the database more than 22000 educational institutions, and allow any user to add new elements to the hierarchy.

In 2016 the OpenSWAD Association was created, a non-profit organization whose main mission is to improve education worldwide through OpenSWAD.org portal and to support the development of the free software SWAD and the ecosystem of applications around it, including apps for mobile devices. The goals of the association include providing a free service to support teaching, maintaining proper function of the SWAD platform and other services in the website, promoting the use and publication of Open Educational Resources so that knowledge reaches more people, ensuring protection of personal data and intellectual property rights in the website, ensuring economic sustainability of the project, conducting advertising and marketing activities to promote the platform worldwide, coordinating the community and supporting the development and improvement of the software.

Around the same time we created the non-profit association, we started a new phase in which we have advertised the platform in several languages through Facebook, Twitter and Google AdWords ads. Thanks to this publicity, in July 2017 the OpenSWAD.org portal has 18514 users from 105 countries, and 1731 courses belonging to educational institutions from 35 countries, having a great reception in Spanish speaking countries, especially Venezuela. In this paper we will present figures of use and access statistics, concluding with the possible growth lines and future improvement ideas.
@InProceedings{CANASVARGAS2017OPE,
author = {Ca{\~n}as Vargas, A. and Ortigosa, E.M. and Boyero, J.M. and Fern{\'{a}}ndez, F.J. and Anguita, M.},
title = {OPENSWAD: A FREE SOCIAL LEARNING PLATFORM TO SUPPORT FACE-TO-FACE AND BLENDED LEARNING AROUND THE WORLD},
series = {10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2017 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-697-6957-7},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2017.1303},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2017.1303},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2017},
year = {2017},
pages = {4917-4926}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Cañas Vargas AU - E.M. Ortigosa AU - J.M. Boyero AU - F.J. Fernández AU - M. Anguita
TI - OPENSWAD: A FREE SOCIAL LEARNING PLATFORM TO SUPPORT FACE-TO-FACE AND BLENDED LEARNING AROUND THE WORLD
SN - 978-84-697-6957-7/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2017.1303
PY - 2017
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2017
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2017 Proceedings
SP - 4917
EP - 4926
ER -
A. Cañas Vargas, E.M. Ortigosa, J.M. Boyero, F.J. Fernández, M. Anguita (2017) OPENSWAD: A FREE SOCIAL LEARNING PLATFORM TO SUPPORT FACE-TO-FACE AND BLENDED LEARNING AROUND THE WORLD, ICERI2017 Proceedings, pp. 4917-4926.
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