Photo by John Britton CC BY-SA
The pilot phase of P2PU (Peer 2 Peer University) ended in October, after having run for six weeks with seven courses and approximately 90 participants. Last month, the pilot phase volunteers, including the course organizers, met in person for the first time at the first ever P2PU Workshop in Berlin. The goal of the workshop was to integrate pilot phase experiences into a working plan for the future of P2PU. Judging from the outcomes, the workshop achieved its goal. Check out CC Learn’s video download of the workshop at Blip.tv, Vimeo, or YouTube. (It’s CC BY, so feel free to share and remix!)
“The mission of P2PU is to leverage the power of the Internet and social software to enable communities of people to support learning for each other. P2PU combines open educational resources, structured courses, and recognition of knowledge/learning in order to offer high-quality low-cost education opportunities. It is run and governed by volunteers.”
Why is CC Learn interested in P2PU?
“P2PU is the social wrapper around open educational resources.”
The open education movement started by focusing on the legal and technical aspects of educational resources, and how they could be opened up for use by anyone, anywhere. Creative Commons licenses provide the legal, technical, and social infrastructure for OER, enabling the easy use and reuse of OER while improving discoverability and adaptability around the world. This movement towards opening education has resulted in an abundant and still growing commons of open educational resources (OER).
However, P2PU recognizes that content isn’t enough. Accessing OER does not automatically result in learning. There are reasons why traditional education institutions exist, one of these being the social interaction between peers that enables, facilitates, and motivates learning. But what about those that want to learn outside of brick and ivy walls? P2PU is an initiative outside of the traditional institution that aims to provide the social learning structures, the “social wrapper”, around existing open educational resources.
Because P2PU is a true OER project, testing the bounds of what can work when you empower a community of volunteers and peers to learn for free from each other, CC Learn is interested in where it’s going.
Where is P2PU going?
In the short term, P2PU is aiming to double its courses for its second pilot, which launches towards the end of January next year. P2PU has also established a strong community of core volunteers in tech, outreach, sustainability, research, and course organizing. These volunteers run P2PU, and they are all very busy getting P2PU ready for its next phase which will feature, among other things:
- a new website and social platform
- an orientation process for new course organizers
- a CC BY-SA licensing policy (and a compendium on how to choose a license for your open education project)
- a set of core values that the community subscribes to
P2PU is also preparing a research workshop on alternative accreditations in early 2010, and building relationships with other organizations (such as CC Learn) to explore avenues in research, assessment, and sustainability.
What is the role of P2PU in education?
Good question, and good answers—here. Like the education landscape, P2PU is still evolving. For more reflections on the workshop, check out the video, Nadeem Shabir’s post on Talis Education, and my post on OnOpen.net.3 Comments »
I’ve spent the last few months of Summer volunteering for Creative Commons, and in that time I’ve had a great opportunity to do a few little things that should make CC outreach and communication a little bit more effective.
First, I’ve been working a lot on the Videos section of the site, dealing specifically with promotional and informational CC videos. I’ve reorganized the Videos page on the Creative Commons wiki, finally putting together all the source assets and translation information in one place. That page may change a bit more in the coming weeks, but already it’s a lot clearer and easier for people who want to engage with the videos.
In addition to the wiki page, I’ve added a few links and a bit more information to the individual video pages on the main site. We hope that now the translation materials and source assets are displayed more prominently, people who are inspired will be enabled to jump in and translate or remix or mash up the videos.
The other major project I’ve been tackling this summer is adding “tags” to the CC weblog posts. As you’ll notice on the right of the main Commons News page, our most popular tags are visible are now visible, and each individual post has tags at the bottom of it, which you can click on for more posts tagged in the same way. For example, check out the Free Music Archive tag which displays all the posts related to WFMU’s Free Music Archive project. I’ve tagged a full year of CC posts and we will continue this habit going forward. This should make it easier to find things that we’ve blogged about that are especially relevant to your interests, as well as track related stories more efficiently.
These are just a few little projects I’ve had the pleasure of tackling as a CC volunteer. I hope it makes it easier for everybody to find their way around the site!
Parker Higgins, CC VolunteerNo Comments »
Thanks to everyone who came out last week for the ccSalon in San Francisco (check out the photos), and a special thanks, as always, to our generous venue host, PariSoMa. We had a great turnout, and amidst the friendly mingling and tasty refreshments, we got to hear from three stellar presenters discussing CC, culture, history, and digital storytelling – and now you can hear them too!* Check out the presentations (via Blip.tv) from:
* A big thanks to summer intern Lee-Sean Huang for his time and video editing skills!No Comments »
A couple years ago, the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT Media Lab developed a Web 2.0 programming platform for kids called Scratch. Scratch allows kids, and virtually anyone else, to create and remix rich media of all kinds—video, video games, even simple photo animations. The programming behind Scratch focuses on building blocks, like Legos, to get kids not only friendly, but adept at the technology that dominates our world. Each user can create a project, whether it be a video or a video game, and upload it to share on the Scratch website. Scratch currently exceeds more than 400,000 projects, all licensed CC BY-SA, allowing any youth to flex her creative muscles and enhance a peer’s project by remixing it with her own.
The School Library Journal wrote up an excellent article about them last week, emphasizing that “Literacy in the 21st century encompasses the full range of skills needed to engage in our global society—computer, information technology, media, and information literacy skills.” The SLJ reports that Scratch is now being tested in libraries in the Minneapolis area, “to determine if the workshops and classes for young people are replicable and sustainable for a range of libraries.” Unsurprisingly, library staff are finding that kids quickly learn the program on their own, and are guided more by their own intuitions than an “expert’s” instruction.
I decided to try out Scratch myself, and found some cool projects along the way. One project by “cougars” is a photo animation of a human skateboard. Another is a video game simulation of the Buggers war from Ender’s Game by PetertheGeek. (How cool is that?)
What’s more, the Scratch program is global, available in more than 40 languages, and the code itself is free for anyone to copy, publish, or distribute.1 Comment »
The winners of last year’s Sparky Awards are now officially up online (see today’s press release). The Sparky Awards is “a contest organized by SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and adopted by campuses nationwide that calls on entrants to creatively illustrate in a short video the value of sharing ideas.” The student winners were announced on January 24th in a public screening in Denver. The theme for 2008 was “MindMashup: The Value of Information Sharing”, and all four winning teams’ videos do a great job of expressing this value in the internet age via online videos, all CC licensed.
My personal favorite, and the grand prize winner, is:
“To Infinity and Beyond”
by Danaya Panya, Sebastian Rivera, Hemanth Sirandas, Uriel Rotstein, and Jaymeni Patel, University of Illinois at Chicago Honors College
Coincidentally, or fittingly, the winning video was the only video licensed under the attribution-only license (CC BY), the most open license encouraged for open educational resources (since you can remix it with most anything as long as you credit the original creators—what the Sparky Awards are all about!). “To Infinity and Beyond” also had the most student collaborators, demonstrating the value of teamwork and collaboration—an integral component of effective information sharing.
The first and second runners up are also very compelling (and dare I say funny). Licensed CC BY-NC-SA, they are available for you to remix with similarly licensed works:
How to Make Things Easier by Taejin Kim, Savannah College of Art and Design (CC BY-NC-SA)
Brighter by Christopher Wetzel, Ohio Northern University (CC BY NC-SA)
The fourth video, GrowUp, received the Special Merit Award and is licensed CC BY-NC-ND (ironically, you can’t mash this one up!) by Cécile Iran, Laurie Glassmann, Christophe Zidler, and Aldric de Villartay (University of Versailles-Saint Quentin, France)
Do check them all out on your lunch breaks; they are only two minutes or less! Perfect for internet age attention spans.No Comments »
Some of you might remember Cameron’s post back in June regarding the United Nations University (UNU) Media Studio‘s decision to license their Media Studio and Online Learning sites under CC BY-NC-SA. Well one month later they launched “Our World 2.0“, the English version, also licensed under the same (with the Japanese version taking off just this past month), which is a webzine dedicated to exploring environmental issues and what can be done about them, specifically dealing with the “complex, inter-connected and pressing problems like climate change, oil depletion and food security.” Taking its name from Web 2.0, a sweeping trend in the use of the Internet for “community and social network based approaches to content development that take advantage of new technologies,” Our World 2.0′s central tenet is “that we can use our collective knowledge, technology and design to facilitate creativity, innovation, and, most notably, collaboration amongst people.”
Today, they announced the launch of their new video documentary series on the web, “short high-definition documentaries which examine key issues relating to climate change, energy, and food security, the subjects at the heart of [their] Our World 2.0 webmagazine.” The first video is titled “The Electric Sunflower” which focuses on electric vehicles—their current use and future. It’s pretty exciting stuff. The video, along with the rest of the content on their website, is open for use via CC BY-NC-SA.
The UNU Media Studio is dedicated to the sharing and creation of Open Educational Resources (OER), which they believe will ultimately improve education. They write that “[Their] main goal is to try to help academics in the developing world and [they] are fully engaged with a number of exciting innovative movements that could help better share knowledge and improve education. These include efforts to share content (opencourseware and open educational resources). This movement is supported by new approaches to copyright licensing and intellectual property rights that promote sharing and collaboration, specifically through Creative Commons.”1 Comment »
Michael Wesch, creator of the strikingly insightful videos “A Vision of Students Today” and “The Machine is Us/ing Us”, gave a presentation at the Library of Congress back in May on the anthropology of YouTube. The presentation was the third in a series called “Digital Natives,” natives being basically my and probably your generation if you’re reading this. It’s about the net and the people who grew up with a computer humming by their bed stands. Wesch delves into this phenomenon that is us—how we think and how we perceive and connect with the world differently due to the internet and new media like YouTube.
“An anthropological introduction to YouTube” is where “traditional” academic research and the new media landscape intersect. It is the anthropological perspective and study of our generation’s fascination with YouTube, and is itself viewable on Wesch’s YouTube page. Check it out; I started watching it and couldn’t stop. The fifty-five minutes flew by like a lunch break. The video itself is licensed CC BY-NC-SA.No Comments »
Today TED announced the 50 millionth view of a TED talk, marking its success since it first launched online two years ago in June of 2006. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design—and it features talks by various speakers from Bill Clinton to Bono. However, the most viewed talks are actually given by persons previously unknown. They are ideas “flying on [their] own merit[s]“, says the executive producer of TED media according to TEDBlog. Almost half of TED’s audience comes from outside the U.S., establishing TEDTalks as a global presence. TED Curator Chris Anderson says,
“TED’s mission is to spread ideas, and we’re now doing that on a scale that was unimaginable two years ago. It’s clear there’s an appetite out there for big ideas and meaningful stories.”
Check out the Top 10 TEDTalks of all time; you’ll be surprised by the speakers and their subjects, with number one titled, “My stroke of insight,” by neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor. And while you’re at it, check out Richard Baraniuk’s “Goodbye, textbooks; hello, open-source learning,” a talk by the founder of Connexions, a leading educational platform in the OER movement.
No Comments »
In April I blogged about Open Source Lab‘s fourth official workshop featuring ccLearn’s Executive Director, Ahrash Bissell. The Open Source Lab has now posted a video of the workshop at their blog. The workshop focuses on recent developments within open education, including but not limited to the impact of open licensing, as Ahrash emphasizes the grander scale of the movement.
The video, like all content on OSL’s blog, is licensed CC BY-NC-SA.No Comments »
In the winter of 2006, NOVA embarked on an “open production” experiment, asking viewers to contribute by reading and commenting on a preview of their show’s script—the (then) in-progress documentary, “Car of the Future.” The show’s producers liked the results, and according to the Wired Blog Network’s Underwire, NOVA decided to return the favor by “[giving] the material back.”
For the first time ever, PBS and NOVA have released 240 clips of raw footage from the making of the “Car of the Future” documentary online. The videos, which include full-length interviews with world-renowned scientists and engineers (in addition to various footage of the high-tech vehicles themselves), is free for viewing, sharing, and remixing under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License (CC BY-NC). NOVA encourages you to take this footage and “create your own video or multimedia project about tomorrow’s cars, environmental issues, or other related topics you care about.” They also ask you to send them back your finished product if you want, so that they can feature the best videos on their site.1 Comment »