Monday, December 01, 2008

Tagging for Bowen Island e-Government

So my friend John and I have been discussing the idea of using the social media to engage our community about local government issues or even being subversive and getting community projects done without engaging the local government (now that would be progress, grassroots community building, hands on, fully accountable, by the community, oops I'm digressing). So we talked about platform, what platform should we use to facilitate e-Government? Should we use a wiki? some blogs? set up a space using ning or something? None, of these seemed appealing to me cause they are all a barrier to entry. How do we get people to engage in e-Government and leave them alone to use whatever tool(s) they wanted... If we did this how would we bring the community together... Ahhh, then it struck me lets get started with simple tagging. And not prescribe a platform, or in other words the internet is the platform.

So to get started I'm going to propose two tags and use them as you will, the two tags are; BOWEGOV and #BOWEGOV. So how do you use these tags?
  1. When ever you write something in a wiki, blog, social space like flickr, facebook, etc. embed the BOWEGOV tag into the text, at the bottom of the content or in the associated tagging field.
  2. Whenever you find something on the web related, or of interest, to Bowen Island Community Government use delicious to tag it. remember to use the BOWEGOV tag.
  3. And if you use twitter whenever you tweet something about Bowen Island Community Government use the #BOWEGOV hashtag.
This is all you need to remember for now. I will be created some learning resources (OER) for how all this fits together and how it is ONE of our first steps toward our online Bowen Island Community Government

Saturday, November 22, 2008

if you're not leading - it's free

A friend of mine suggested I use the tag line "if you're not leading - it's free". Now many aspects of this actually make sense for what I am wanting to do, but I don't believe the tag line is quite there. The ideas that I resonate with and should contribute to my tag line include;
  • If you're not leading - it's free
  • Web 2.0 is the gaming console for business
  • Doing more with less
  • Capture of tacit knowledge is business intelligence
  • The reduction of rituals creates a better solution
  • Nimble approaches flatten the organization
  • The technology is easy, it's the process that's hard
So off I go on my next branding exercise, What is my tag line? I will think of this for a while, maybe add a few ideas, and see what comes from it all...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Why does it matter?

With the current global economic restructuring it becomes very important to do more with less. It is becoming increasingly important to be organizationally nimble while increasingly deliver quality and effectiveness. These organizational attributes will be the way forward. The ability to communicate internally, locally, regionally and internationally with inexpensive and detail rich methods are available within social media and web 2.0 technologies. What I do helps organizations develop the skills and approaches to capture and communicate knowledge using these technologies. What I do helps organizations be more information effective, move quickly into utilizing these knowledge rich tools and, therefore, be better prepared for the coming competitiveness, creativity and flatness of global economics.

* This question is being posed as an exercise created from a previous post on this blog.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

This is what pushed me over the edge.

So I have worked as an architect in computer systems for over 10 years. I have held many titles in this role; technical architect, systems architect, end-to-end architect and enterprise architect. The technical or business focus of the role is what changes from title to title. Over the last five years I have used agile approaches within architecture and as Web 2.0 technologies mature and become increasingly accessible, a less ritualistic and agile approach to architecture makes increasing sense. I also believe architecture should be an involved part of the development culture and should be more pragmatic and aligned with agile methods. This approach creates an order of magnitute increase in communication from within the development team and with all the external stakeholders. The Web 2.0 toolset provides this increase in communication with the added advantage of providing a searchable repository for the communication. Essentially these tools replace the overly ritualized document creation that takes place in traditional architectural approaches and also creates a searchable repository that contains both the explicit and tacit knowledge in and surrounding the architecture. All good.

So what happened the other day that sent me over the edge... I was spinning around in the traditional document creation process and I was reviewing some changes and I came across this gem (see image). Somebody took the effort to make the comment that there was a typo. Now I can see the positive side of this in that the document quality was increasing but I couldn't believe the non-collaborative approach. My perspective was if this was in a wiki the typo would have been corrected by the first person to find it and the built-in wiki versioning would have captured the change event. The amount of cognitive cycles saved by only the finder making the change would have held big benefits. For I wouldn't be looking at it and thinking about it, the change would have been made at source of discovery. In my mind this is a micro example of the positive and cascading effects that using Agile and Web 2.0 approaches within architecture could have. Massively collaborate on developing the architecture as needed, let the technology and social media record the history and the tacit knowledge found in the related discussion.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Enterprise Architecture and Web 2.0

I'm going to be spending a fair bit of my time over the next while developing curriculum around how Web 2.0 technologies have become a required tool for enterprise architecture (EA). There are a number of influences to this newly formed realization;
  1. Agile (and nimble) approaches are becoming a must have for enterprise architecture.
  2. Documentation heavy approaches overly ritualize a process that can be duplicated and greatly improved by using wikis.
  3. The deep dive technical discussions that influence and describe architecture are better captured on video and with photos of the whiteboard.
  4. The best place for architecture should be embedded in the development culture. It cannot be mandated.
  5. Good enterprise architects are really hard to find. And most are attracted to emerging approaches and technologies. (there architects for god's sake)
  6. With all the belt tightening going on, architects need to be able to do more with less. [so get rid of the costly (and useless) rituals]
My first steps are to start gathering reference material toward this work. You can see some of that here already... One item that has come to mind is to define what is the enterprise and what is enterprise architecture.
  • a company, business, organization, or other purposeful endeavor; an undertaking or project, especially a daring and courageous one; a willingness to undertake new or risky projects; energy and initiative; an active participation in projects
    en.wiktionary.org/wiki/enterprise
  • A system of business endeavor within a particular business environment. An enterprise architecture (EA) is a design for the arrangement and interoperation of business components (eg, policies, operations, infrastructure, information) that together make up the enterprise's means of operation. [ICH].
    www.balancedscorecard.org

What do I do?

I utilize Web 2.0 technologies to facilitate corporate learning, professional development and to support K12 students in developing connectivist learning skills. I encourage people to use the tools of social media and the resources from the internet cloud to capture knowledge both explicit and tacit. I believe these approaches to knowledge capture are beginning to extend the tools for Business Intelligence and Knowledge Management. I agree with Brown and Adler that understanding is socially constructed and that the Web 2.0 provides the participatory media to facilitate this social construction of understanding.

* This question is being posed as an exercise created from a previous post on this blog.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Learning Environments (DIY)

I believe the concepts within these two images need to be thought about as anyone explores the use of Web 2.0 technologies for learning;

Progressive Inquiry


Personal Learning Environments

CMS Toolbox or Trap?

I like this article... It is part of the growing dialogue about using CMS for learning. And how they actually limit learning and course creation. Here are a couple of good quotes from the article;

the standardized nature of integrated commercial systems is limiting pedagogy.

Web 2.0 applications that encourage social construction of knowledge (Wikispaces, BubbleShare, Ning) are freely available and may provide more creative instructors with better options than any LMS currently available.

Who am I?

I'm a person who is enamored by Open Educational Resources (OERs) and free cultural works. I believe that utilizing web 2.0 and collaborative technologies is emerging to be the most effective approach to learning, life-long learning and professional development.

* This question is being posed as an exercise created from a previous post on this blog.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Brand Gap

I came across this slideshare stack and felt it would be a good thing to look it through.


The Brand Gap
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: design brand)


I came across three important questions;
  1. Who are you?
  2. What do you do?
  3. Why does it matter?
I will be answering these three from a personal perspective in compelling ways over the next few days... But what does this have to do with technology and education? Well... reframe it in the development of OERs and it becomes;
  1. What are you?
  2. What lessons do you provide?
  3. Why do they matter?
From an OER perspective I believe these questions should be answered concisely while also being compelling to attract the learners attention.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Commoncraft does a great job of explaining Web 2.0

Commoncraft really has created a good set of videos to understand the web 2.0 and all the related technologies. They also do a good job of keeping up with the new technologies as they mature and gain popularity.



Good introduction to Web 2.0

Even though this video was created a couple of years ago it still covers the subject very well. It goes through all the main concepts within the read write web.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

6:48.68 vs 0:32.36

It was just getting way to frustrating. Wanting to just quickly check my email between tasks, somewhere between putting some finish to the new windows and picking up the boy from pre-school. Booting the computer, then loading Outlook and hitting send/receive, was no longer something I could do between tasks. So I got into the habit of doing the quick check on the cell phone. Then I started to wonder what is the difference in time? So here are the timings, and the cell phone could have lapped the PC 12 times;

Laptop (6:48.68 minutes)
  1. press the ON button
  2. load XP
  3. login
  4. load Outlook
  5. press Send/Recieve
Nokia (0:32.36 minutes)
  1. press the ON button
  2. load Symbian
  3. load mobile gmail app
  4. accept network login
Another communication task moved from the computer to the cell phone. How long will it be before I no longer need the computer at all?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

WIkiEducator Quality Assurance

I formally announced the first draft of the WikiEducator (WE) featured works in the google group. After a considerable amount of discussion in May 2008 WE decided upon a number of aspects for the Quality within WE. The three main themes are;
  1. Featured Works
  2. Contribution Levels
  3. Maturity Models
Items 1 & 2 have progressed the most with some conceptual work being done by reviewing eMM from a WE perspective. I intend on reviewing the eMM again to add criteria to the featured projects and featured institution. You can see how this will fit when you review the respective featured works. I plan on providing further depth to how the eMM fits with all this in the near future.

I'd really like if people could review and provide discussion around these five featured works;
  1. Featured Learning Resource
  2. Featured Collaboration
  3. Featured Reuse
  4. Featured Project
  5. Featured Institution
I also created a portal called the Quality Assurance Framework. The purpose of the portal is to provide the foundation (or framework) for all the QA initiatives within WE.

Please take the time to review and provide feedback. Please participate and participate often!!!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Should twitter based spammers be called spitters

Today I become fed up with someone I was following on twitter. I started following them and the tweets I got were great and full of nuggets every now and again. Then all of a sudden they started tweeting at an increasing amount. And they weren't the personal musings you'd expect but links to here, re-tweets to this... It was obviously no longer a single person. They became spam in my tweet stream, they filled up my tweets page, how annoying. So I no longer follow them... This did prompt the question in my mind, what is a twitter based spammer called? I figure it should be spitter!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Most EduPunks are paid by the establishment

I have been taken by this EduPunk term. I grew up in the 70's and associated with the music scene of that time. I listened to the Sex Pistols, I still look back at the depth of rebellion Sid Vicious incarnated. I have mind blowing memories of Joey Shithead and the Skulls [before they became DOA (our most famous Vancouver punk bank)] playing during my high school graduation year. No true Punk would consciously take money from the establishment they rebelled against. Yet, this current set of EduPunks mostly work for traditional established education institutions. I strongly suggest you trace most people writing about and considering themselves EduPunks back to where they derive there livelihood. They are not EduPunks! They are masquerading as Punks, and as long as people clutter up the blogosphere claiming to be EduPunks while also being paid by the establishment can only perpetuate these flawed traditional education structures. If they were true Punks they would leave their day jobs and use their mindshare to disrupt the structures they claim to be rebelling against. Hypocrites the lot of them!!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Do bounties work?

The "work" I am doing with WikiEducator is in trying to fill out the the multimedia resources available for OpenOffice / Ubuntu learning. We had offered a $1500 CDN bounty for each 3 -5 minute multimedia component developed. This seems like a good offer, but I wonder if the idea of OER and wiki collaboration includes the concept of money. I always believed that OER and wiki authorship was a volunteer activity. And when you throw $$$ into the mix everything becomes skewd...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nature is a CC-BY-SA

I just finished reading a classmates post which is titled "The truth according to wikipedia". Their post embeds a great video about wikipedia and the Web 2.0 and where all this free knowledge could be going. The post and the video had some very interesting points. What it really got me thinking was; I really don't believe any of the main points get to the nut of the issue, which is, the keepers (of the last 100 years or so) of the current truth got us into the current mess of consumerism, inequitable capitalism, non-sustainable consumption of the earths resources, etc... It's no wonder there is a movement in redefining the truth and taking truth away from the current ideology. IMHO the current truth is deeply flawed and needs to be rewritten. The new truth needs to build sustainability into its core, the new truth needs to build the natural environment into its core. This idea is well discussed in a podcast/video by Dr. David Orr titled "the end to education". The new truth needs to make the stand that the natural environment is a CC-BY-SA, and not to be exploited and "owned" by the few. The natural environment was created before human arrival and should not be consumed by a truth that if you innovate nature, you not only own your innovation you also have rights to the nature you based your innovation upon. Nature is a CC-BY-SA. We live in a truth that allows companies like Monsanto to "steal" nature and make it their own and then try to sue those who have treated nature as an open resource. It's time to rewrite the truth. Flatten it out, share it, have us all accountable (and attributable) to take care of it, its a matter of our survival. This is why truth needs a collaborative rewrite so it is no longer controlled by the few who want to perpetuate an ideology (or truth) that is deeply flawed. Everything that was on earth before human arrival should have a Share-Alike license.

Monday, April 21, 2008

WEEK 7: Bowen Island, BC, CANADA

For this weeks activity I took a photo from the window of my house, recorded a short description of the photo using audacity, save the audio file to an ogg format and uploaded both these digital objects to the wiki commons.
  1. The photo: TheLionsVancouver.jpg
  2. The audio: BowenIslandView.ogg
  3. The location: Longitude: -123.347626 latitude: 47.570178
What I found most interesting about this activity was how I could only upload ogg audio files to the wiki commons and how you were forced to choose a licensing model if you wanted your content not to be deleted from the wiki commons.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

WEEK 6: IMHO, Canada is beautiful!

It never stops to amaze me the number of top quality and creative photos that exist on flickr. All the licenses combined add up to over 65 million photos. WOW.

This weeks activity forced me to revisit GIMP and to take a deeper look at the features already available with flickr (in particular, picnik). I still believe that GIMP is the best photo editor available (open source or otherwise). And using it to alter and improve photos is free and easy. The number of GIMP tutorials available on YouTube is impressive.

I went for a walk with my son Lucas and took some photos of our beautiful island paradise. From the photos I chose the best ones and uploaded them to flickr than I edited (mostly cropped) them with picnik. I believe the results of our Bowen Island walk-about are pretty good.

I also managed to upload a file to MediaWiki Commons. The photo is of the Battery in winter from the families one year stay in St. John's Newfoundland.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

WEEK 5: An Adult Wikimedia?

The work of the wikimedia foundation is exemplary when it comes to free culture, openness and creating free content. And the relationship among the wikimedia projects, OER and education IMHO will be a growing and deepening endeavour. Much of what other course participants have said this week points out why the wikimedia foundation has had such success;

Where do I see the future of wikipedia, OER and education? That is a big question, that has many parts;
  • First, I see wikipedia as a struggling teenager right now. It is trying to find it's adult persona; financially, and ideologically. Where it ends up in the next few years will determine how it will align with the OER movement and with Education in general.
  • Second, I believe all the WikiMedia projects need to go mobile. IMHO it is the mobile user community that is the road ahead, particularly in regards to OER and Education. We have over 1.3 billion coming of age in the developing world, and easily accessed OER based education is the key.
  • Third, As some of you may have read I believe that for OER to become successful it needs to include assessment and accreditation. I believe WikiMedia needs to create WikiAssess (or something similar).

Friday, March 28, 2008

WEEK 4: Open Access Assessment and Accreditation

I found this week postings quite amazing. I found myself very aligned with all that Nichthus said and appreciated the perspective provided in the conclusion. In my mind a free culture is about honoring everyone and all positions and perspectives; this includes the closed and proprietary. I've been a follower / fan of Lessig’s work for some time now, and i think what he has done for copyright is a significant human contribution. And the reality / changes he is offering is well overdue in terms of copyright law...

I find this weeks exploration of copyright, licensing and OER happens at the right time in the progression of this course and all the readings got me thinking deeply about the similarities and differences of Open Content (Wikipedia), Open Source and OER. In particular, I spent considerable time thinking and discussing the Bissell / Boyle article. In their article they write about the success of Wikipedia and Open Source and the slower progress of OER. They offer three items to bring OER to a closer level of success that Wikipedia and Open Source have had. I believe they have missed a couple of aspects within the openness of OER, and it is missing these aspects they have missed identifying what is required to bring OER to the same level of success as these other two.

To explore this I believe we need to look at the permission required for accessing the domains of these three open initiatives. Neither Wikipedia nor Open Source has constraints to their domain. These two have complete openness from a technical, content, social, and bureaucratic (administrative) perspective. OER has openness to the technical, content and social, but is closed to the bureaucratic. What I mean by closed to the bureaucratic is that the assessment and accreditation is still closed. People can access all the open learning content that is available as OER but they still have to go through a bureaucracy to be assessed and accredited. I believe that until we have Open Access Assessment and Open Access Accreditation (OAA) OER will be severely restrained and should be renamed Open Learning Resources (OLR), because education includes assessment and accreditation. See an associated Google group discussion for further insight into my belief on the need for OAA.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Open Access Accreditation

I want to discuss if people think it is possible to create an international accredited institution that could give me a graduate level degree based on my completion / creation of OER (and related published research)? Maybe the international institution is a social network with a top quality reputation. i.e. if your level of scholarship is recognized by this “institution / social network” then it is considered the same as a PhD from Athabasca University… lets call it Open Access Accreditation… Isn’t this the natural progression from connectionist (see siemens) approaches?

It would seem that an institution like UNESCO or ICDE is where this could start and with the writing coming from these institutions regarding OER they (I believe) should be addressing the issue. I’ve been reading papers from these institutions for a while and everything still assumes the OER are utilized within existing institutions and existing courses and existing programs and in the end you still have to pay for assessment and the credential. In particular, the roadmap from the OLCOS http://www.olcos.org/cms/upload/docs/olcos_roadmap.pdf seems to be a deep dive into all this, yet they still assume loads of affiliations and partnerships with existing Universities. Essentially you still have to pay to get assessed and credentialed even though you are using OER created by someone only loosely affiliated with the university granting the credential. Why?

You could assume a PhD is the equivalent of 2-3 years of full-time work, for easy math lets 5000 hours. Let’s say I am prepared to work 16 hrs a week for 46 weeks a year for seven years (5152 hours total). And during this time I create a solid amount (potentially a complete Masters degree amount) of OER (with accompanying collaborative research papers) on WikiEducator and Wikiversity. Shouldn’t I be able to take all this work and be given a PhD? Universities provide honorary doctorates; why not use this same structure to offer a PhD to someone who completes what I previously suggested? Or would the reputation I created on WikiEducator and Wikiversity by collaboratively creating a PhD effort equivalent in OER be the same as having a PhD? In fact could this not be the new PhD? And in the end I would have saved myself the 40k - 100k $ that I paid to an institution for a credential (not including 5152 hrs of lost salary). And I could do all this in a truly self directed manner without having to be “supervised” by a tenured academic. When I know that most of my supervision is going to come from the social network anyway…

Or maybe what I am asking is; what role does the graduate level university play in a Connectivist world filled with quality OER, hard work and an active social network?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

WEEK 3: Shoulders of Giants

During this weeks task we had a look at a number of sites / references that set the philosophical foundation for OER. The sites we visited include;
From my readings of these sites the following things stood out for me most.

During the age of Enlightenment people began to recognize that they had the freedom to use one's own intelligence. This really sums up this time in history. It's hard to believe that at times in our history we didn't realize we had such power. The frightening part is that in some parts of the world there are people who still haven't caught on to this or are so oppressed that they don't have the freedom.

When it comes to the Shoulders of Giants I really like the quote
If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants
This ties so many things together, it is the acknowledgment that whatever we do, we draw on the past and by drawing on the past we can see further to the future.

The Library Movement is an essential part of having an educated and literate population. Having free access to books and the support in how to use the books raises us all up. And having ways to further the library movement will increase the global populations ability to enter into the dialog required to increase our shared abilities to be good stewards of the planet.

As I read further I found this description in the Popular Education reading;
Popular Education may be defined as an educational technique designed to raise the consciousness of its participants and allow them to become more aware of how an individual's personal experiences are connected to larger societal problems. Participants are empowered to act to effect change on the problems that affect them.
I like this a lot for it really connects individuals to the larger and implies a responsibility to effect change. This is what I consider a theme behind OER and the larger open movement... Empowering people to act!

Gosh, with this definition of Folk High School I see it as the definition of a Personal Learning Environment;
The character of folk high schools differs from country to country, but usually such institutions have the following common features:
- A large variety of subjects
- No final exams
- Focus on self-development
- Pedagogical freedom
Last, and certainly not least, we had the reading of the Free Software Movement (FSM). This section can get into some heady thoughts and as I drilled down into some of the supporting links I got the feeling that this chapter is far from done. I mean when I read about the Library Movement and the Age of Enlightenment, I see these items as historically complete, they still influence our lives and the cities we live. But the Free Software Movement isn't done, it isn't historically complete, it still has some change and "maturing" to do. Nonetheless, this movement is having a big influence on much of what is going on... When I consider that Microsoft (IMHO, the farthest away from FSM) engaging a collaboration with eclipse then I realize that the FSM is having an influence and that fundamental changes to the FSM are still afoot.

Conclusion
When I consider all these writings, and I consider the trajectory they have created I really like the future that I see. It seems to me that we are heading toward a place where the world is flat and people are engaged in adding knowledge to the collective of people on the planet. And whether that addition is for self or other it doesn't matter cause the tools and approaches we use benefit us all...

Saturday, March 08, 2008

WEEK 2: Introduction to Wikiversity

This week we are exploring either LeMill or Wikiversity. We need to set ourselves up to be a contributor to one of these OER sites by creating a profile. We also need to contribute to an area of interest by contacting the editors, contributing to an existing resource and create a new resource.

My Profile
My Wikiversity profile is a work in progress as I have bigger plans for my work here (and will post this later). This wikiversity profile does link to my web portfolio site. To view my MediaWiki profile go to my profile on WikiEducator.

My Notification
I began by investigating materials for how to get started in programming with PhP. I found a number of introductory programming resources. Nothing that provided OER for how to set up the development environment. The lessons I found were lessons on beginner programming with different languages, nothing how to set up the software development environment to start the actual programming. So I posted a question on a couple of talk pages. The question was;

getting a development space
I'm wanting to get into programming PhP, there seems to be a number of good open access courses for intro to PhP and further. What I am looking for is a course on how to set up the development environment. Can anyone point me to such a course? -- Prawstho 17:19, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

I posted this question to the following two talk pages;

http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Topic_talk:Computer_programming
http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Talk:Web_design

My New Resource
As eluded to in my notification, there seems to be the requirement for a course on setting up a software development environment. Now this may be only my need, but I will assume that as I develope out the course it may attract some attention. We shall see... I created a new Wikiversity page within the Computer Programming topic called "Creating a Development Environment". Let's see what interest this draws...

Conclusions
It would seem success within Wikiversity comes from engagement. I couldn't find a place to sign-up for membership or contact this particular person to become an auther for a particular school. I guess the idea is to just jump right in, keep going and wait for feedback and the engagement from others.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

WEEK 2: Existing OER projects

I’ve been familiar with all these open education projects for a while;
The OpenCourseWare project at MIT has always amazed me the most. Cause to see all their curriculum online and available for download just seems to go against the American ideology of capitalism. I’ve always been surprised that they are putting it out there for free and under a CC-BY-NC-SA license. I remember reading a while back how they aligned what they were doing with opencourseware and the universities mission. As their mission states they want to "advance knowledge and educate students ... that will best serve ... the world", there doin' it!

When I was looking at all these open education projects I was asking myself, which one I would use if I was developing a new course or program. And what was important to me is that I am familiar with the technology (publishing and course development tools) and that the project embraces a licensing scheme that I am happy with. The licensing scheme is important as it encourages or restrains the reuse of my work. I was pleasantly surprised to see that all the projects have embraced a CC license of some sort. So I felt comfortable that I could work with all sites. Being familiar with the technology pushed me toward Wikiversity. I am already familiar with using MediaWiki to publish content and find it an effective tool for developing courses online.

OER - Two important and relevant views

This 2006 stream speaks to what MAY be coming with OER.



This more recent 2008 stream that looks at the reality of the sharing we need to enjoy what the previous stream spoke of...





Models for sustaining OER

Stephen Downes wrote a good article on approaches to sustaining OER. It's a good read if you have the time. http://ijklo.org/Volume3/IJKLOv3p029-044Downes.pdf

WEEK 1: Ilkka has created a valuable contribution

I found this paper by Ilkka filled with a very good description of OER and some very important statements about OER and it influence on education. I really appreciated the historical references and how OER is tied to the Open Source movement. Tuomi (2006, page 4) makes the important observation that “When educational processes and objectives qualitatively change, new systems are needed for measuring their performance and benefits.” This stands out for me because I am seeing change in much of education and I see OER as one of the influences. I also believe this is important for it recognizes that we need new approaches to measuring performance and benefits within the use of OER.
Pedagogical Benefits
Ilkka also does well in pointing out the pedagogical benefits of the Open Source movement where he speaks of how “The informal communities of practice that develop open source systems have produced some of the leading software engineers of today. In some cases, open source projects seem to clearly outperform traditional formal educational models in their capability to create expertise and skills.” I share the constructivist belief that one of the best ways to learn something is to have to teach it. So having people develop OER and be a contributor to a global OER repository may be the best way for them to learn the subject. Being involved in a community of practice focused upon the developing OER for a subject domain may well be the best way to learn the subject.
Context Area
As I got further into the paper my appreciation for its depth increased. The introduction of the three areas (page 25) really got me thinking and I began to wonder if there was a fourth area, the context of the resource. Or does context fall into the social? It doesn’t seem to in the paper. Either way the three areas are valuable, though I believe context needs to be considered an area itself.
Levels of Openness
The three levels of openness are also very thought provoking and Openness II makes me wonder if there is the need for a new type of global institution that grants formal degrees after working through (or creating) a number of OER courses.
The fountain
I really like the visual of the open fountain and when it comes to education where knowledge can be shared and created in large numbers of learners from a single source really is a fountain. How this will be recognized within the concept of the commons and the idea of academia and commercial endeavour will be interesting to be a part of.
More on Context
As the paper came to a close with the five points of view I again began to wonder where learning context fits within these views. I believe there is room for one more view that would sit between learner view and teacher view. It would be the contextual view – context of learning (the what/where/how/language/culture/localization of the OER being utilized). I believe this idea is reinforced at the top of page 33 where Ilkka speaks to how the resources are consumed in qualitatively different markets.
My Conclusion
I found this paper a great introduction to OER and all the issues which surround this amazing topic. I did find the paper did require a level of technical understanding with regard to the subjects of frameworks, SCORM, etc.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Lawrence Lessig Free Culture Video

In my opinion this video is an accumulation of Lawrence Lessig's work. It shows his historical depth regarding the issue of freedom and copyright, it shows his outstanding presentation approach, it provides a roadmap to those who want to engage and it tells of the importance of this issue to our future and our children's lives. For all those interested in the free culture and creative commons movements it is a must watch video.

Peter welcomes everyone to composing OER

Hello all participants, I am very excited about this wikiversity course. I have had an interest in OER and all things open and free for a while now and over the last 18 months have been focusing on OER within completing a Master of Education (IT). I live on the west coast of Canada on an Island that is one hour from Vancouver. I am interested in this course for I believe that if we are going to create all the OER to meet the global and developing worlds needs for curriculum it will have to be done by a large participatory and collaborative group. I believe this course will cover most, if not all, the topics important to understanding the development of OER. I also believe that after this course I will be able to further the message of OER and speak to most questions that could be asked regarding OER. If you want to get a greater idea of who i am please visit my web site at http://www.rawsthorne.org or view my wikieducator profile at http://wikieducator.org/User:Prawstho