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Monday 18th March, 2013 Many Open Education Resources (OER) have been introduced by governments, universities, and individuals within the past few years. OERs provide teaching and learning materials that are freely available and offered online for anyone to use. Whether you're an instructor, student, or self-learner, you have access to full courses, modules, syllabi, lectures, assignments, quizzes, activities, games, simulations, and tools to create these components. While some OERs include OpenCourseWare (OCW) or other educational materials, they may also offer the means to alter those courses through editing, adding to those courses through publication, and the ability to shape the tools that share those resources.
Today the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO) published the UNESCO 2012 Paris OER Declaration . Here are the recommendations, but be sure to read the full document for all the context: The World OER Congress held at UNESCO, Paris on 20-22 June 2012… Recommends that States, within their capacities and authority: a. Foster awareness and use of OER.
Horla Varlan This week, the OCW Consortium is holding its annual meeting, celebrating 10 years of OpenCourseWare . The movement to make university-level content freely and openly available online began a decade ago, when the faculty at MIT agreed to put the materials from all 2,000 of the university’s courses on the Web. With that gesture, MIT OpenCourseWare helped launch an important educational movement, one that MIT President Susan Hockfield described in her opening remarks at yesterday’s meeting as both the child of technology and of a far more ancient academic tradition: “the tradition of the global intellectual commons.” We have looked here before at how OCW has shaped education in the last ten years, but in many ways much of the content that has been posted online remains very much “Web 1.0.”
The Commons Deed is not a license. It is simply a handy reference for understanding the Legal Code (the full license) — it is a human-readable expression of some of its key terms. Think of it as the user-friendly interface to the Legal Code beneath. This Deed itself has no legal value, and its contents do not appear in the actual license.
I see a lot of emails, Tweets, and blog postings that include free materials from both corporations and individuals included in lists of "open education resources" or OERs. I always have to let people know that I am not anti-corporate: I am using a corporately produced computer and posting to a corporate blog. So why so picky about licensing? Because open licenses mean sustainability . We have a good basic definition of OERs from Stephen Downes : "Open educational resources are materials used to support education that may be freely accessed, reused, modified and shared by anyone."
At the CAL 2009 conference in Brighton last week, I gave a presentation entitled “ Developing a Framework for Understanding and Evaluating the Impact of Open Educational Resources ”. This presentation was partly based on Adam’s blog about Open Educational Resources and the Zachman Framework as well as some of the latest thinking and discussions on the rapid development of intuitional OER initiatives internationally as well as JISC/HEA pilot OER funding programme with colleagues at CETIS. Given the complexity of the OER initiative itself and the nature of the transformation process of the OERs, we need a more structured way to capture different views and expectations from various players involved in the OER development process and a useful tool to examine institutional strategies in relation to OER approach and their impact on current and future practice in HE.
The big buzz at EDUCAUSE last week was around OpenClass, Pearson’s new LMS entrant. Much hyped but only rarely glimpsed, speculation has been rampant about whether it is a big deal or just a gimmick. Because most people (including me) don’t have access to the product yet, the best source of information on it at the moment is Adrian Sannier, eCollege’s VP of Product. I had the good fortune to both listen to him give a presentation on OpenClass and chat with him about it one-on-one.
By MICHAEL NIELSEN In January 2009, a mathematician at Cambridge University named Tim Gowers decided to use his blog to run an unusual social experiment. He picked out a difficult mathematical problem and tried to solve it completely in the open, using his blog to post ideas and partial progress. He issued an open invitation for others to contribute their own ideas, hoping that many minds would be more powerful than one. He dubbed the experiment the Polymath Project.
OK, so here’s the deal – if learning is work and work is learning, why is organizational learning controlled by a learning management systems (LMS) that isn’t connected to the work being done in the enterprise? Learning is no longer what you do before you go to work, never having to learn anything else in order to do your job. In the 21st century networked economy, learning and working are becoming one. As Robert Kelley showed over a 20 year study of knowledge workers, we need to keep learning in order to get our jobs done – “What percentage of the knowledge you need to do your job is stored in your own mind?”
There has been a lot of buzz about the free and open Connectivism and Connective Knowledge course to be facilitated by George Siemens and Stephen Downes in September. To date, over 1,200 people have signed up for the course prompting a new label, Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), to describe this super-sized open education course. Over the weekend, George and Stephen joined the folks at EdTechTalk.com to discuss the design and facilitation of such a mega-course. Linked here is the recording of George and Stephen on EdTechTalk.com #81. George summarizes some of his thoughts following the EdTechTalk.com conversation within a new blog documenting the development and delivery of this unique open education course. He reflects,