5. Warrington 1st Perambulating Library 1859 UKThe LEALA online learning environment has been built and trialled among our resource persons, but not yet used by course participants because of the limited time and resources for planning and development aggravated by unforeseen delays in the build process. As a result we were constrained to focus the Online Component of the project on migrating, growing, and consolidating our Database of pedagogical resources within the new upgraded WFSF website.

LEALA Communication "channels" include:

1/ A pedagogic resources channel (JOOMLA CMS-based repository);
2/ A video-channel (Vimeo);
3/ A bibliographic channel (static list of books at this stage);
4/ A discussion and exchange platform (UN Teamworks)
5/ A live meeting, webinar and streaming tool (Adobe Connect)

Other components (Twitter, Wiki, Blog) are now proposed for LEALA Stage 3.

A pedagogic resources channel (JOOMLA CMS-based repository)

The LEALA Database of Pedagogical Resources in Futures Studies provides access to resources that support futures studies education and futures literacy globally. Twelve types of resources in four meta-category headings comprise over 120 items, with double that number expected by the end of 2014.

The idea is that this database will act as a hub to gather, store and interlink the diversity of futures pedagogical resources being created globally (including school, undergraduate, graduate, professional and lifelong learning) and that it will be used beyond the WFSF membership, including by UNESCO officers and partners. The project encourages participation and collaboration from all players in the ongoing establishment and development of the futures studies and foresight field, through furthering open access to leading-edge pedagogical research and practice.
The LEALA team has gathered the initial resources from individual WFSF members, including the pilot coordinators in Egypt, Malaysia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, from universities that provide futures education and from Stage One of the project. All these resources can be accessed freely, even though not all are strictly Open Educational Resources (OER). Even so, all these futures education materials can be made available electronically to students, workshop participants and project members.

As this blended learning project continues into later phases, materials from other glocal courses will be included. The long-term aim of LEALA is that WFSF members and LEALA participants and facilitators will upload additional materials to enrich the Database. This will continue to increase the capacity of WFSF members to set up live and online teaching occasions globally. Initially this updation will be undertaken by members sending the material to our Webmaster to upload. In the longer term we envisage having a team of LEALA editors responsible for coordinating and editing the LEALA Repository.

A video-channel (Vimeo)

Cross-referencing to the listing of Videos above, WFSF has set up its own VIMEO channel where we are in the process of uploading videos of our members and other futurists presenting material on futures studies and foresight that would be of interest and value to members and others seeking to know more about futures studies. This is an open channel, which will be accessible from anywhere in the world. It can serve as a resource to our course participants in Africa, other least developed countries, and elsewhere, where we operate.
Within the WFSF VIMEO channel is a separate LEALA channel that will particularly focus on pedagogical videos and products from our LEALA pilot programs. It will be updated continuously with new materials as we develop them.

Please go to the link to our VIMEO Channel to see what is there already.

A bibliographic channel (static list of books at this stage)

It was our intention to use an Open Source Bibliographic Software Platform to create an interactive channel for books and journals articles. However there are many copyright issues related to such a project that lies within the scope but not the scale and timing of the current project. To fulfil at least part of our intention to provide a bibliographic resource within LEALA, we have simply migrated our static lists of futures studies books from our old website to the online LEALA environment within the new website. This is still an excellent resource, however, and one that no other futures organisation to our knowledge includes. There are dozens of books in English from pre-1950s to the current decade, as well as lists of books in Spanish and Portuguese, Hebrew, Hungarian, Swedish and Farsi. Many more will be added.

Visit our Futures Book Shelf here.

As part of our bibliographic resources we also have an extensive linkable list of futures studies and foresight journals—both academic and popular magazines.

Visit our Futures Journal page here.

A discussion and exchange platform (UN Teamworks)

There were many options considered for creating a live-meeting platform. After discovering that the UNDP had undertaken extensive research and utilised extensive human and monetary resources to set up a very comprehensive online meeting platform, we decided to approach them. It was explained on their website that "UN Teamworks brings together not only UNDP core and project staff—but also staff from participating UN entities and, by invitation, trusted partners worldwide..."

Once we explained that WFSF has been a Special Consultative Partner with UN ECOSOC since 1987, they agreed that we could be considered a "trusted partner" and therefore be invited to use their Teamworks platform as our LEALA meeting-place.

Find out more about our collaboration with UN Teamworks here.