open education community

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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Back to School: Open Courseware as a transition to college

Jane Park, September 2nd, 2009

As students around the world return to school, ccLearn blogs about the evolving education landscape, ongoing projects to improve educational resources, education technology, and the future of education. Browse the “Back to School” tag for more posts in this series.

One aspect of open courseware* is its draw for potential students who are deciding where to spend their parents’ or their own hard-earned dollars in obtaining a higher education. The fact is unsurprising, as we saw in 2007, with MIT OCW reporting that “One in four current MIT students who knew of OCW prior to choosing MIT [indicated] the site was a significant influence on their school choice.”

However, beyond free advertising for its school, certain open courseware programs have begun to evolve past the open licensing status of their courses. As the global learning commons of OCW is growing, so are the local learning contexts of open courseware, as more colleges realize the benefit of working with high schools in their areas to prepare, and perhaps to propel, their youth into higher education.

Last month, the University of Massachusetts Boston was awarded a $60,000 grant by the Boston Foundation, with the specific aim of better preparing Boston public high school students for college level courses. The grant will fund workshops for teachers, training them on how to use open courseware to educate their students at gradually accelerated levels. Similar to MIT OCW’s Highlights for High School initiative, these workshops promote high school teacher and student use of open educational resources.

However, I imagine it also going one step further. In providing training for teachers on the use of open educational resources (OER), teachers will not be simply accessing OCW resources on the web. They will learn how to use OER according to its license status, and realize that the commons of open educational resources is vast and global, open to be adapted, derived, and remixed with other OER on the Internet. The Boston grant would enable teachers to see open courseware as part of a larger world of open materials and communities, rather than as simply an institution.

We hope that many other universities and colleges offering OCW will follow this same trend, localizing their university’s offerings at the same time that they are globalizing them via CC licenses. Especially, initiatives like Academic Earth, a site that pools a number of OCW in high definition video, could really run with this idea of contextualization for teachers and students, educating them on the new communities that are opened to them via something as simple as the licensing status of a resource.

*Traditionally, open courseware are university or college courses that are freely accessible online, usually via an open license (the most commonly used license for OCW is CC BY-NC-SA), consisting of lectures and other multimedia, core content, supplemental materials, or tools to aid learning. Nowadays, open courseware sans an open license that allows derivatives, though free, are not considered open, as the ability to adapt the work to global and local contexts via translations and cultural references has become integral to the spirit of OCW.


A summary in Spanish:

De regreso al colegio: Open Courseware como una transición a la educación superior. http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/17411

En esta entrada Park indica como en este momento los Open Courseware (repositorios de cursos virtuales que se publican para acceso abierto en Internet, como el famoso MIT OCW http://ocw.mit.edu/) han provocado un interesante efecto de publicidad para las universidades americanas que hoy reconocen como cada vez más de los nuevos estudiantes consideran que conocer el material docente de la universidad en la que esperan estudiar ha influido en su toma de decisión y cómo este efecto ha hecho que las universidades americanas estén creando un puente entre la educación superior y media a través de los cursos en estos repositorios abiertos.

Park señala que los cursos se han convertido en material para los docentes de educación media que les permiten más y mejores recursos para preparar los estudiantes para su experiencia universitaria. Sin embargo, Park hace un llamado a la necesidad de llamar la atención y preparar a los docentes para ir más allá de la simple reutilización pasiva de materiales de los cursos y pasen a ser actores de la recreación de estos materiales localizándolos y ajustándolos a sus circunstancias particulares.

Park espera que donaciones como la de la Fundación Boston a la Universidad de Massachussets, que tiene como finalidad preparar a los graduados de la escuela para enfrentar los cursos de educación superior, sirvan de promotor para contextualizar a los docentes y estudiantes en las nuevas comunidades abiertas a ellos a través de herramientas tan sencillas como la licencia que se asocia con un recurso, de modo que puedan ver estos cursos como iniciativas de comunidades abiertas globales más allá de la institución que los hospeda.

La ruta que presenta Park puede servir de inspiración para nuestros países y sus iniciativas nacionales como inspiración para los actores del sector.

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OpenEd—the new Open Education Community site

Jane Park, July 28th, 2009

Some of you may already be familiar with the term open ed, short for open education—which represents the fantastic movement around opening up educational resources so that anyone, anywhere, can access, use, and derive existing educational materials in new, creative ways or to simply adapt them to their unique individual needs and local contexts. There are so many great educational materials out there—some already openly licensed and a great deal more in the public domain—and the problem is that a lot of people still don’t know about them or how to use them. Similarly, the open education movement has produced some really exciting projects and programs in recent years, but there is no global landing space for these inspiring movers and shakers to really connect as a coherent community.

Open Ed, the new Open Education Community site, is the result of brainstorming with other initiatives in the movement on how to provide such a space. We designed the site for open education community members, but also for teachers, learners, and those who just want to get involved. We were able to build it thanks to the strong support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Open Ed is hosted by ccLearn, but we are merely providing the web space. We’ve done some initial work on it, but the site is yours—be you an OER advocate, a teacher wanting to connect with other teachers, or a learner who would love to do the same. And you can contribute in any way you like, because Open Ed runs on MediaWiki, the same software that powers Wikipedia. Additionally, Open Ed utilizes the Semantic MediaWiki extension to enable data querying and analysis. For added functionality, we have installed various other useful extensions.

Wait… hasn’t this site been up for a while?

You’re right; it’s been public on the web for a couple of months now. Some of you may already have accounts. Others have even blogged about it previously. But we haven’t made the official announcement launch until now because we wanted to get some initial feedback from existing community members. So we need your help! Please spread the word, via your personal and professional channels—and most of all, use the space for what you need to do! It’s a wiki. That means you can create a page for your own project, add your project to ODEPO (the Open Database of Educational Projects and Organizations) for others to find, run your own data query for research purposes, or do virtually anything else you deem necessary to strengthen and promote open education, including translating the entire site into other languages. Not to mention that content is a little lacking right now, and it’s up to us to make it a great landing place for newbies to open education.

Give us feedback!

Please let us know what you think. Anyone can add to or improve the space by simply clicking “edit”, but as the hosts of this space, we would love to help with the process. You can also share your thoughts on Twitter with an #opened hashtag.

Lastly, thanks to White Whale, an Oakland-based consulting, design, and development company, who designed Open Ed and helped us with some of our messaging points.

Happy exploring!

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International OER Community Update

Jane Park, October 1st, 2008

The Open Educational Resources (OER) movement is a global movement. Education is an issue that crosses borders and spans continents; open education—the creation and distribution of OER—empowers people in a global dialogue. However, the mere promotion of OER is not sufficient for the success of this international effort, as many issues and barriers to open education are country- and culture-specific. In this sense, the international OER community has some significant differences to bridge, and we must somehow synthesize the diverse range of projects and perspectives into clear and tangible objectives.

The UNESCO OER Community exemplifies progress made on this front, with currently 700+ members from 105 countries. Although North America and Western Europe account for about half of the participants, the community is still represented by 72 developing countries. One of the most compelling components of the community is its case studies project, “stories – of how institutions and individuals have developed or used OER,” based in various countries. These case studies—including those from Canada, Rwanda, Italy, South Africa, New Zealand, the Netherlands and more—explore OER against the background of their heterogeneous contexts. What works? What doesn’t work? What did the organization or persons involved do or must they now do in order to overcome obstacles—either due to institutional bureaucracy, lack of resources, or otherwise? These stories are windows of insight into different ways of progressing globally.

In addition to case studies, the international community is developing an OER toolkit, templates for ease of sharing more stories (from community members, academics creating and using OER, and learners using OER), and discussion surrounding such issues as access to technology, copyright, best practices, learning psychology of OER, and more. The OER toolkit will prove especially useful in addressing the issues raised by case studies, as it targets any persons interested in becoming involved with OER, either as creators or users, and those wishing to integrate OER into their institutions or organizations.

eLearning Papers, a journal that “promotes the use of ICT for lifelong learning in Europe,” recently examined similar issues surrounding OER and the international community in its September installment, “Open Educational Resources.” From the editorial,

This issue of eLearning Papers is dedicated to the thriving work around Open Educational Resources (OER) by committed individuals, institutions and user communities. Five selected papers by the guest editors investigate the organisational, social, cultural, pedagogical and technical aspects of implementing OER…

We have two papers that investigate how higher education institutions work OER into their policies and practices. “Open Educational Resources for Management Education: Lessons from experience” elaborates on a French faculty which created a digital distribution place to share and disseminate university courses. The initial resistance of the faculty members evaporated as they started receiving positive feedback on their courses, as well as international interest in their French content. On the other hand, “Reflections on sustaining Open Educational Resources: an institutional case study” shows how first gaining high level policy support within the institution for the initiative of OER was turned into a sustainable institutional practice.

The journal is licensed CC BY-NC-ND, while the UNESCO OER Community site is open for re-use and adaptation under CC BY-SA. It is also hosted on a wiki which means anyone is free to contribute to the OER case studies and OER toolkit. The UNESCO OER Community has been funded by one of our avid supporters, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, since its inception in 2005.

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