OER

Preparing Your Educational Resources for DiscoverEd

Jane Park, November 5th, 2009

ded-sbsIn July, CC Learn officially launched DiscoverEd, a search prototype that provides scalable search and discovery for educational resources on the web. We blogged about it again during Back to School week, emphasizing the future of search and discovery of educational resources and how we hoped DiscoverEd would catalyze efforts in that direction. Since then, we have been working with various organizations and projects who want to include their resources into DiscoverEd, and through all the back and forth about feeds and mark-up–essentially what’s required to get your stuff included for greater discovery–we realized we could streamline the process by putting some necessary information into a brief document.

Preparing Your Educational Resources for DiscoverEd is second in the CC Learn Step by Step Guides series, which is part of our larger Productions schema. It is a basic guide for those interested in preparing their resources for inclusion into search engines like DiscoverEd that utilize structured data. It is targeted at people or institutions interested in making their digitally published educational resources more discoverable. Though the document contains technical language and sample XHTML and RDFa, it’s really not all too complicated. Basically, you just need one of the right feeds to start, which you can then copy and paste the link of into ODEPO (the Open Database of Educational Projects and Organizations). ODEPO is hosted on OpenED, the community site for open education. It’s a wiki, so anyone can create an account and add their project or organization to the database.

But the guide explains all that, (as does the DiscoverEd FAQ) and the alternatives–which include contacting us directly. DiscoverEd already pulls from a number of institutions and repositories, and as it expands we hope to improve its search capabilities. Any feedback is welcome.

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The OpenEd ES Community: Educación y Comunidad—un nuevo portal internacional para la educación abierta, ¡en español!

Jane Park, October 26th, 2009

Having just blogged about the UNESCO OER Community, I also want to emphasize that international communities like UNESCO are themselves made up of communities around the world, some as broad as OER for all Spanish speakers and some as specific as Food Safety in OER.

This week, we would like to highlight OpenEd in Spanish, aka the OpenEd ES Community. I’ve mentioned before that OpenEd is a community site for anyone interested in open education or OER, especially for those who want to develop their own mini-communities on the site. CC Latam and ccLearn have collaborated to localize OpenED for the ES Community, including translating and adapting the events, resources, and ODEPO pages. Our hope is that the Spanish speaking community around OER, including Latam, will grow and thrive within its native language. OpenEd ES is part of a greater effort to make visible all of the interesting work that is being done in various languages around the world. We hope other linguistic communities will see fit to build a home on OpenEd as well.

So I urge you to check it out and contribute. If you speak another language, consider localizing OpenEd for your own community or project. OpenEd is a wiki and anyone can create an account. Also, feel free to give us feedback.

Thanks to Carolina Botero for the Spanish announcement:


Educación y Comunidad: un nuevo portal internacional para la educación abierta, ¡en español!

Para impulsar el movimiento en nuestra región hace falta generar puentes que  sirvan para conectar los fabulosos proyectos que están teniendo lugar en la comunidad de habla hispana en América Latina y en la península Ibérica. Tenemos la obligación y a la vez la oportunidad de hacer visible y promover lo que sucede en nuestro propio entorno y además podemos apoyarnos unos a otros para generar una cultura  participativa y activa en pro de la educación abierta. Este es el espacio  que la Comunidad OpenEd Hispanoparlante –OpenEd en Español http://opened.creativecommons.org/Es, busca ocupar, desarrollar e impactar con la ayuda de todos.

¿Qué es OpenEd?

OpenEd http://opened.creativecommons.org/ es la comunidad de educación abierta en Internet. OpenEd es el nuevo portal desarrollado y sostenido por el Proyecto ccLearn http://learn.creativecommons.org/ de Creative Commons http://creativecommons.org/ los invitamos a conocerlo y a ¡participar del sitio para hispanoparlantes: OpenEd-ES!

OpenEd es un wiki y por tanto, es una invitación para que colabores y aportes tu propia visión de la comunidad, para que ¡crezcamos juntos!

¿Cómo participar?

Para  dar un primer paso hemos creado unos espacios que buscan dar inicio y bases a esta comunidad. Te invitamos a conocer el sitio y a colaborar, hay muchas formas de hacerlo escoge la tuya y encontrémonos en OpenEd

¿Tienes un proyecto de educación abierta o de recursos educativos abiertos?

Revisa si los datos están acá http://opened.creativecommons.org/Es/Proyectos o ajusta e ingresa los datos correspondientes

¿Vas a hospedar o conoces un evento en el que el tema de educación abierta sea eje central?

Revisa si los datos están acá http://opened.creativecommons.org/Es/eventos o ajusta e ingresa los datos correspondientes

¿Eres un novato en esto?, ¿ya sabes algo y quieres contribuir con recursos para informar y explicar a otros sobre educación abierta, recursos educativos abiertos, Creative Commons, etc.?, ¿quieres ayudarnos a traducir?

Puedes ayudarnos contribuyendo con material, podemos traducir lo que valga la pena y de esa forma comunicar a los demás de qué se trata. Si te interesa éste es el sitio que debes visitar http://opened.creativecommons.org/Es/SobreAbierto

¿Quieres participar activamente y formar parte del grupo que arranque y dinamice esta comunidad?

¡Inscríbete en la lista de discusión!

http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/OpenEd-es

Estamos presenciando el nacimiento de una comunidad que necesita nuestra región, ¡gracias por participar, divulgar y apoyar esta iniciativa!

Importancia de OpenEd en Español para la Educación:

Pensar en educación abierta es hablar del creciente y fantástico movimiento que ha surgido en torno a la apertura de los recursos educativos que pretende que cualquiera, en cualquier lugar, pueda acceder, usar y reutilizar materiales educativos ya existentes en formas nuevas y creativas o simplemente permitir que los adapten para satisfacer sus necesidades propias y sus contextos locales o culturales. Internet ha servido de plataforma tecnológica para potenciar y favorecer este tipo de proyectos sin embargo, reconocemos que el material y los recursos más visibles son aquellos del mundo angloparlante, ayudemos a dar visibilidad y fuerza al mundo hispanoparlante.

¡Repite este mensaje a quienes creas que pueda interesar!

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Global Access to OER – A report by UNESCO

Jane Park, October 26th, 2009

The UNESCO OER Community attempts to put OER in light of not one, but many cultural contexts around the world. Connecting 900 individuals in 109 countries, the community runs on a wiki platform and communicates centrally via its listserv. Earlier this year in February and March, they held a discussion on the various barriers to accessing OER in different jurisdictions, with one of its ultimate aims to develop concrete proposals in this area. The outcomes of the discussion are now compiled into a report in both PDF and wiki versions.

From the announcement by Bjoern Hassler,

“The first proposal is about “Introducing digital Open Educational
Resources into Zambian primary schools through school-based
professional development”. Through this project we seek to overcome
access barriers, and engage with OER for Zambian primary/secondary
school mathematics teaching. The barriers are manifold, including
infrastructural, awareness, appropriateness of materials, etc, but we
hope that we’ll be able to draw on the various experiences and
solutions to make this successful… Further information is available here

http://www.educ.cam.ac.uk/centres/cce/projects/ictzambia/index.html

The second outcome is continued engagement through the UK National
Commission for UNESCO. Within the Information Society Working Group,
OER has been a long-standing theme. However, based on the experience
of the discussion, we are now focussing on issues around OER access
and collaboration. The aims for this are concrete: We are running a
series of meetings to further focus on feasible projects in this area.
The first meeting will take place on 25th/26th in conjunction with the
Nottingham Open Learning Conference (
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/olc/ ) and in conjunction with OER Africa
( http://www.oerafrica.org ).”

The report, as all content on the UNESCO OER wiki, is available via CC BY-SA.

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IssueLab Launches Research Remix Video Contest

Jane Park, October 19th, 2009

IssueLab, “an open source archive of research produced by nonprofit organizations, university-based research centers, and foundations,” launches their Research Remix Video Contest this week. The contest “aims to engage working artists and digital media students with social issues while encouraging nonprofits to make their research more broadly available and usable through open licensing.” If you recall my interview with co-founder Lisa Brooks earlier this year, a good chunk of IssueLab’s research is licensed under one of the Creative Commons licenses. From the press release,

“Contestants will be asked to remix facts or data from one of over 300 openly licensed research
reports on IssueLab into a video or animation under three minutes in length. Winners will be selected
after the December 31, 2009 deadline, and nonprofits will be able to use all submitted videos freely to
support their causes.

The launch of “Research Remix” coincides with Open Access Week, an international movement that
pushes for broad and free access to research findings and publicly funded studies. IssueLab’s official
participation is marked by its continued commitment to bringing open access and licensing to the
social and policy research fields. “It is especially important that nonprofits consider openly licensing
their research and resources. By giving people the ability to re-use, remix, and share research on
social issues we can much better inform and engage public debate and public policy.”

We encourage you to remix and submit your videos by the year’s end, especially because all finalists receive a free CC t-shirt and buttons (not to mention first prize is a netbook). I’m also one of the judges, so I look forward to your submissions!

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UNESCO OER Toolkit

Jane Park, October 15th, 2009

Last October, I mentioned that the UNESCO OER Community was developing an OER Toolkit “aimed at individual academics and decision-makers in higher education institutions interested in becoming active participants in the OER world, as publishers and users of OER.” Today, the draft version (1.1) has been released with an announcement by Philipp Schmidt of the University of the Western Cape, South Africa:

“15 October 2009 — Today the UNESCO OER Toolkit (with support from the UNESCO Communications and Information Sector) was released as a resource for academics and institutions — with a special focus on developing countries — who are interested in participating in open education projects.

OVERVIEW — Most of the Toolkit is designed for academics who are interested in finding and using OER in the courses they teach, or who wish to publish OER that they have developed. Some sections are aimed at institutional decision-makers and academics that [are] interested in setting up a more formal OER project. These projects may start with just a few interested academics but, as they grow, institutional policies, funding and legal constraints become more relevant. Individuals who are not aiming to set up a institutional project may nonetheless be interested to read the whole document. Likewise, institutional planners, IT staff or librarians who are interested in setting up an OER project would benefit from understanding the academic’s perspective.”

The toolkit, like the all content on the UNESCO OER Community site, is available via CC BY-SA.

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CC Talks With: A chat with Stephen Downes on OER

Jane Park, October 12th, 2009

A prominent member of the open education community, Stephen Downes is a researcher, blogger, and big thinker in open education and access related issues. He frequently debates with other open education advocates via the medium of the Internet, once in a while meeting up in person at conferences to hash out more of the same. I thought I might capture his slice of insight into the future of open educational resources and how he views them evolving in an ideal world.

CC BY-NC by Stephen Downes

CC BY-NC by Stephen Downes

So I caught up with him via Skype; and though different operating systems and timezones may have jumbled some of our conversation, I was still able to catch most of his words, if not the heart of his views. Below is our chat transcribed, in more or less the same fashion as it progressed.

Read More…

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Dealing with Legally Incompatible Content in OER

Jane Park, October 12th, 2009

Last month, ccLearn published “Otherwise Open: Managing Incompatible Content in OER“. For those of you who never got around to reading the paper, it basically provides an overview of the problem posed by the incorporation of “all-rights-reserved” materials into otherwise open educational resources (OER). It also explores ways of dealing with this problem and the trade-offs involved in relying on jurisdictional copyright exceptions and limitations, such as fair use or fair dealing. As the paper is intended to spur further inquiry and research globally, “Otherwise Open” does not offer concrete solutions to the problem right now.

However, the average OER creator cannot afford to wait, especially if they value their work as part of a global learning commons. In order for OER to be global, the copyright of the OER must be viable across jurisdictions. OER that are available under a CC license are global, as CC licenses are effective worldwide. But the inclusion of third party content that is not under the same terms of the license changes the global nature of OER, potentially walling it off from use in other countries. Thus, ccLearn has developed some practical recommendations and alternatives for those OER creators who are concerned with the global reach and impact of their works.

ccLearn Recommendations – Dealing with Legally Incompatible Content in OER

“Open Educational Resources (OER) are defined by the use of a Creative Commons license and are generally created by those who would like to share their work globally. However, some creators find the need to consider the costs and benefits of incorporating third-party materials with incompatible licenses into their “otherwise open” OER. This document recommends ways of managing or avoiding the problems that will arise.”

This and all ccLearn Recommendations and productions are licensed CC BY.

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A Brief Overview of U.S. Public Policy on OER from California’s Community Colleges to the Obama Administration

Jane Park, October 2nd, 2009

The Publius Project at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society offers a new essay on OER and public policy in the United States: A Brief Overview of U.S. Public Policy on OER from California’s Community Colleges to the Obama Administration . Written by Carolina Rossini and Erhardt Graeff, it does a great job of pointing out the major recent movements toward OER in state and federal governments, and thoughtfully evaluates the issues that each initiative brings to the table.

“This post draws significantly from an interview on August 10, 2009 with Hal Plotkin, a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Dept. of Education, who has closely followed and been involved with OER policies in California. The interview was part of research on the educational materials sector being conducted under the Industrial Cooperation Project at the Berkman Center at Harvard University. The research is part of a broader project being led by Prof. Yochai Benkler and coordinated by Carolina Rossini. In the research, we are seeking to understand the approaches to innovation in some industrial sectors, such as alternative energy, educational materials, and biotechnology. The intention is to map the degree to which open and commons-based practices are being used compared to proprietary approaches and what forces drive the adoption and development of these models.”

Like all content on the Publius site, the essay is available via CC BY-SA.

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Opening Education–the little things you can do

Jane Park, September 25th, 2009

By now, you’ve heard and/or used the term OER (Open Educational Resources) a ton of times. Whether you’re an advocate for open education, promoting the use, reuse, and adaptation of openly licensed educational materials, or an everyday user of them because you find them convenient and effective for your teaching or learning needs, you have contributed in some way to improving the educational landscape for everyone, everywhere.

But there’s a lot of little things you can do to improve education and the educational process no matter who you are and where you’re located. These are things you do all the time as part of your professional or personal routines, such as filling out forms about your job or project, writing up summaries or abstracts on papers you’ve researched, or describing and tagging photos (aka adding metadata). These activities are also integral to the functioning of many open education projects, which depend on efforts from online communities consisting of persons like ourselves. A list of these projects are growing on OpenEd’s volunteer page, which currently points to projects like dScribe and AcaWiki. If your project could use help on a specific activity, please add it here! OpenEd is a wiki; anyone can edit.

dScribe needs descriptions for their medical images
dScribe has created over 200 images to aid instructors in their teaching, but they need to be made discoverable first! You can help by adding tags and short descriptions for one or two images. All images and their accompanying info will be licensed CC BY.

AcaWiki could use those summaries and abstracts you’ve written
AcaWiki makes summaries and literature reviews of peer-reviewed academic research available to the general public via CC BY, allowing people like us to easily find desired information. If you’ve written summaries and reviews for papers before, now’s the time to make them useful by uploading those files to AcaWiki. And if you regularly research and write up abstracts for class or for your own good, you can easily make uploading them a habitual part of the process. It only takes a couple of extra clicks.

We also encourage you to add your project or organization to ODEPO, ccLearn’s Open Database of Educational Projects and Organizations. Not only will this make your project more discoverable, it will enable better research across the landscape of open education related projects.

For other ways to get involved, see OpenEd’s Get Involved space.

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Invitation to an International Conference on OER

Jane Park, September 24th, 2009

Open Education and Open Educational Resources: Challenges and Perspectives,” an international conference on OER, is taking place in São Paulo, Brazil on Oct 29-30. Supported by the Open Society Institute and Direito GV, it will focus on “[bringing] together international and Brazilian OER projects and experiences [to set] the debate on policies to foster OER.” The conference is open and free to all, and simultaneous translations will be provided. From the invitation,

“As countries worldwide move to implement open education projects, and developing
nations in particular look to use the Internet to replace outdated and insufficient
educational systems, an examination of existing work is in order. It is important to provide
a map of lessons learned, and to understand how existing projects can be connected to
one another to create the largest possible impact for both educators and learners. Our goal
is to examine these broad issues within the lens of a detailed examination of the Brazilian
experience applying ICTs to education in policy, technology, pedagogy, and the impact of
the emerging concept of “open educational resources” in both theory and practice.

This conference will present results and discuss recommendations from the OER Brazil
Project, funded by the Open Society Institute. The conference aims to open the door for a
richer discussion focused on OER through sharing information on international and
national OER projects. The idea is to transform the conference into a working group and
draft recommendations for future public policy for OER in Brazil, in preparation for the 2010
National Conference on Education.”



En Brasil se hablará de apoyar Recursos Educativos Abierto (REA) en politicas públicas

Educación Abierta y Recursos Educativos Abiertos (REA): Metas y perspectivas, es un ciclo de conferencias que se llevará a cabo en Sao Paulo, Brasil el 29 y 30 de octubre financiado por Open Society Institute y apoyado por la facultad de Derecho de la Fundación Getulio Vargas.

Lo interesante de este evento es que presenta los resultados y pretende discutir las recomendaciones del proyecto OER Brasil financiado por Open Society Institute. Con ocasión de esta conferencia se reunirán proyectos brasileños e internacionales que tienen como foco de trabajo los Recursos Educativos Abiertos (REA, que son los OER por su sigla en inglés) y experiencias en este campo con el fin de poner sobre la mesa el debate en torno a las políticas públicas.

Con este fin se espera que los asistentes conviertan la conferencia en grupo de trabajo que proponga recomendaciones concretas de políticas públicas en la materia como preparación para la Conferencia Nacional de Educación que tendrá lugar en 2010.

El evento y sus resultados son importantes en la región pues de implementarse una decisión de este tipo en el sector público brasileño tendríamos un antecedente importante y relevante para apoyo de quienes creemos en los beneficios de una educación abierta y más accequible apoyada por las Tecnologías de la Información y las Comunicaciones (TIC).

Para quien interesen las conferencias y/o pueda asistir, el programa puede consultarse desde la página de la Fundación Getulio Vargas y la asistencia no tiene costo.

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