Last week I took the edutalk mic to #OER16: Open Culture The 7th Open Educational Resources Conference.

The idea was to broadcast & podcast the keynote and also get some conversations between various participants.

Broadcasting the keynotes worked well. Getting folk lined up for a chat proved more of a challenge. It seems that most of the attendees wanted to be in sessions! I think this was the most engaged conference I’ve ever been at.

Lucky for me folk were happier to give up their lunch than skip a workshop and I managed to record some fascinating conversations.

I’ve cleaned up some of the recordings and posting them to oer16 | EDUtalk.

It is amazing the privilege that having a microphone gives you. You get to listen to a lot of clever stuff.

In higher education the idea of open education is now well enough established that the discussions have become quite nuanced. There are a wide range of definitions and directions on the open road. Some look at practical issues around, licensing and searching of resources others social or technical ideas.

I’ve not seen much evidence that these ideas are penetrating primary or secondary education in Scotland. I do think that open ideas are equally valid here. A good place for school based colleagues to start might be the Scottish Open Education Declaration.

 

IMG_0049
Me in the Booth, photo Martin Hawksey, lifted from twitter.

Meetings and greetings

It was a privilege to met and chat to folk who I had met before and those I knew only online. Even though I spent a fair bit of time in the booth I managed to catch up with far to many folk to mention.

OER Messages

I’ve not got a wide ranging knowledge of the OER world, but it was pretty obvious there are different interpretations of open, many speakers alluded to that. The First Keynote Catherine Cronin spoke about the social justice aspects.

Melissa Highton @honeybhighton talked about these different kinds of open, saying it doesn’t matter which one you choose as much as that you know the affordances and limitations of each (my interpretation).

There was a general feeling that the more open a resource the more sustainable it is. The more clauses in a license the more likely it is that it could be unusable if the owner could not be connected.

 

Personal learning

For the keynotes I had a very good feed from the microphones in the room. There was a little hiss from the rack. Recoding conversations in the booth was a bit more problematic as the rack were giving off a fair rumble. Usually with hiss I’d move out of audacity and go to GarageBand, this time I stayed in Audacity and used the equaliser. For the rumble I did manage to improve the audio a little with a combination of the equaliser and noise reduction effects.

The audio is not great but I’ve been happily listening to the results while commuting. It is surprising what you miss when you are broadcasting a second listen has been valuable to me. I do hope that the content of the presentations and conversations are widely listened to they messages are worth thinking about..  You can find the audio at  #OER16 AUDIO

 

It was delightful to spend time with people who are gathered, not because they want to sell something, but with a shared idea that is aimed at doing good in the world. It was a privilege to do so, I owe  thanks to the conference for giving me the opportunity. I am particularly aware that my position over the last few years has allowed me to take holidays to be able to attend events like this during term time, an opportunity not many class teachers have and one I’ll miss next session.

Image credits: Featured image, Jim Groom Keynote where he mentioned Edutalk, my own from the booth at the back.. Me with folk, lifted from twitter.

Radio Edutalk 09-03-2016 #OEPSforum4

I was along at the OEPScotland, Opening Educational Practices in Scotland Forum 4 this week representing Radio #EDUtalk. Not to broadcast or record but to show our poster 1

It was a great meeting, I did broadcast and posted some comments on EDUtalk along with some links after the event..

The keynote by Josie Fraser was filmed and I hope that it will be put up somewhere as it was great.

The attendees were mostly from Higher Education, but I think the ideas behind openness are more than relevant to schools and other learning spaces. Josie’s work is in the school sector and would be a great model to follow: Open Education for Schools – Policy & Practice.

I’ve put some good links on the Radio Edutalk 09-03-2016 #OEPSforum4 post.

  1. Unfortunatly there is a wee typo on my email address.

I went along to TeachMeetGLA on Tuesday evening a couple of weeks ago.

Arriving before the crowd I noticed the very pleasant surroundings in CitizenM and very fast WiFi. Folk and the pizza started arriving around 5 before the 5:30 kick off. It was a great TM harking back to the early days. Ian kept the event moving smoothly along. I enjoyed all the presentations and broadcast them on Radio Edutalk. Hopefully I’ll get the archive up there shortly (I went on holiday I still hope).

This post will just cover what I tried to talk about in my 7 minute slot in a more coherent manner. Hopefully it also fits in with the #TeachWP course I am taking part in.

Given the event was sponsored by Microsoft (good sponsor, no advertising bar a wee window badge on the TeachMeet GLA logo) and featured a few talks by Microsoft educators I though I might talk about openness.

Unfortunately for the audience I had about half an hour of content to get through, fortunately for them I stopped shortly after the 7 minute mark. Here is a remix of my slides with some of what I would have like to say in note format:

Sharing is Confusing

Hopefully an amusing picture of the confusion around sharing.

I remember starting teaching, finding in schools shared topic boxes, filled with resources, banda worksheets and the like. What strikes me about these is 1. they point to the willingness of teachers to share and 2. Compared to digital sharing these resources were finite, bandas only printed a certain number of times, other resources (maps, pages out of magazines ect) wore out and were not duplicatable (no photo copier).

A photocopier and a computer freed me from the banda’s smell and freed pupils from my handwriting and spelling. It suddenly became a lot easier to create resources.

I had a short period of time where I made and sold educational shareware and learned a bit about forbidding license agreements.
It also pointed out the difficulty of making money from resources I created. Before the Internet had reached classrooms, mailing every school in Scotland a folded A4 and delivering software on floppy disk, made me 100s of pounds but took 1000s of hours.

During that time I was learning about online sharing through the AOL HyperCard forums and HyperCard mailing list. I’ve still not seen more generous place, a mix of professionals, amateurs and newcomers.

I then got more interested in my pupils sharing their learning via blogs and podcasts, seeing the wonderfilled results. This lead me to sharing on my own blog and living, to some extent, on the Internet.

We share all of the time online, status, photos, ideas, documents ect.
The cost is low, no stamps, paper, printing costs.

I am just rambling around sharing sharing, some ideas and reading I’ve been doing around sharing. I don’t have any conclusion other than there are a lot of things to think about to share as well as we can.

We are at a TeachMeet

Rules for breaking

  • No powerpoint (allowed… unless… you’re doing 20 slides for 20 seconds each)
  • actually been done in your classroom, I’ve not got a classroom…
  • If you’re using the web, make sure you save a copy of your tabs in Firefox!
  • No selling (I am selling sharing)

My presentation was not a powerpoint, but looked pretty much like one. I have no idea why the firefox tip is added as a rule, I can only thing it was due to TM starting in 2006 and FF was then the thinking teachers browser of choice.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons helps you share your knowledge and creativity with the world.

Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation

As a beginning blogger I soon became aware of creative commons in relation to my blogs content, flickr photos ect. At that time I choose a Attribution CC BY NC License. I don’t think there are any rules about sharing, but a TeachMeet audience is predisposed to share, thinking around the licensing can help.

Why Creative Commons

The idea of universal access to research, education, and culture is made possible by the Internet, but our legal and social systems don’t always allow that idea to be realized. Copyright was created long before the emergence of the Internet, and can make it hard to legally perform actions we take for granted on the network: copy, paste, edit source, and post to the Web. The default setting of copyright law requires all of these actions to have explicit permission, granted in advance, whether you’re an artist, teacher, scientist, librarian, policymaker, or just a regular user. To achieve the vision of universal access, someone needed to provide a free, public, and standardized infrastructure that creates a balance between the reality of the Internet and the reality of copyright laws. That someone is Creative Commons.

from About – Creative Commons

  • Like a good little blogger I’ve been trying to apply these licenses to my blog, flickr photos etc and respect them.
  • Like lots of teachers I have sometimes, just googled an image and copy-pasted text with abandon.
  • Like lots of Internet citizens I sometime choose to ignore copyright of large companies to make an amusing gif.

For Example

Free Cultural Works

Lord there is more!

Free cultural works are the ones that can be most readily used, shared, and remixed by others, and go furthest toward creating a commons of freely reusable materials.

Free Culture Works

Are free to use (for any purpose), remix & share. I am very attracted to the idea of building a culture like this in education. Free Culture Works seems to be where the CC movement is trying to get to, but the creative commons licenses allow you to move towards this in your own time and comfort zone.

For example a Non commercial, CC license is not a Free Cultural Works one. Free Cultural Work can be used for any purpose. I’d argue that it is quite unlikely that many teachers will gain much from trying to make money from resources, but will get a nice warm glow from sharing freely.

Walking a Tightrope

Image from Tit-Bits – digitalvictorianist.com giffed by myself after finding the image via Creativity, serendipity and open content | Open World

How far do you go, a google search for license material for example, filtered by license, is this enough? You will not respect the Attribution part of the license unless you follow the search to the source. When do you choose to go against or not look too hard for a license? How do you justify that.

Everyone needs to find a comfort zone, for leading pupils by example we need to respect copyright.

OER OEP and other opennesses

Like anyone interested in education and reading a wee bit on the Internet I was aware of the OER movement, it often seemed a bit dry and technical, discussing repositories and metadata in a technical way.

Last year I (along with Ian) got an invite to an Open Scotland forum meeting. This proved enlightening, after the first few minutes I realised that I was an ‘open educator’ to some degree;-)

Although the OpenScotland and OEPScotland are mainly aimed at higher education they are both, IMO, relevant to us too.

The Lescester project is a wonderful example to Local Authorities . I didn’t get time to think or talk about this at all at teachmeetGLA but , if you’ve read this far, please check it out.

Why OER

  • Save Money (digital sharing is cheaper)
  • Be honest
  • Better resources continuously improved
  • Remix to suit local and particular
  • Sharing is fundamental to Education
  • Fun (it is good to share)

David Wiley 4Rs in 2007 added the 5th in 2014

David A. Wiley Blog iterating toward openness

  • Retain – the right to make, own, and control copies of the content
  • Reuse – the right to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
  • Revise – the right to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself (e.g., translate the content into another language)
  • Remix – the right to combine the original or revised content with other open content to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content into a mashup)
  • Redistribute – the right to share copies of the original content, your revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy of the content to a friend)

These are some of the important things that you need to think about when sharing and choosing a license.

the ALMS Framework

  • Access to Editing Tools
  • Level of Expertise Required
  • Meaningfully Editable
  • Self-Sourced

Using the ALMS Framework as a guide, open content publishers can make technical choices that enable the greatest number of people possible to engage in the 5R activities. This is not an argument for “dumbing down” all open content to plain text. Rather it is an invitation to open content publishers to be thoughtful in the technical choices they make – whether they are publishing text, images, audio, video, simulations, or other media.

The ALMS framework helps you think about what kind of files you are sharing. Are you sharing files that are editable? Are the tools to edit free? easy to use? It is well worth thinking hard about what you are sharing along with this framework.

Both the 5Rs and ALMS are really useful ways to see if your sharing is as effective as it can be.
I planned to finish with a few examples of less than good sharing.

Sharing is Messy (2006)

cables

Flickr: The Help Forum: BNET (a subdivision of CNET) stealing images

My first interesting experience with Creative Commons. CBS News used my image without attribution and possible in breach of my then NC license. I wrote a mail, and they attributed not sure if you can consider their use Non Commercial?

Later I’ve had more pleasant interactions, people asked if they could use images in websites & a book (I got a free copy!)

Finally I changed the license on my Flickr photos to the simpler CC BY-SA.

Sharing is Messy 2007: Meaningfully Editable?

Garageband Plans is a blog post where I share a worksheet for making music with GarageBand. A pdf, givne the number of changes in GarageBand over the next free years not a great example of sharing.

YouTube for Sharing

you agree not to access Content or any reason other than your personal, non-commercial use solely as intended through and permitted by the normal functionality of the Service, and solely for Streaming. “Streaming” means a contemporaneous digital transmission of the material by YouTube via the Internet to a user operated Internet enabled device in such a manner that the data is intended for real-time viewing and **not intended to be downloaded** (either permanently or temporarily), **copied, stored, or redistributed by the user**.

Self-Sourced

Another less than optimal piece of sharing, I made this flash game for our school website. rommy2.1. I didn’t offer the .fla source file…

Getting there

Recently I’ve been working on the Glow Blogs Help one of the more recent piece I’ve posted meets a lot of the ALMS framework: Menus | Glow Blog Help is available in several formats including OpenOffice, word, html & pdf. Given most schools in Scotland have access to word the OpenOffice file is just providing an opertunity for discussion and thought. I am ticking the following boxes:

  • Access to Editing Tools ✔
  • Level of Expertise Required ✔
  • Meaningfully Editable ✔
  • Self-Sourced ✔
  • Licence ❌

I’ve not added license on it yet. The default for the Government is the thinking about open government license, this is compatible with the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0. I worry a bit that the OGL is not as well understood as CC. I wonder if spelling this out would be a good way to spread the understanding of CC and sharing licenses.

On the night I rather rushed though these last few slides. The main point was to try and share some information about licensing and sharing and show some of the options. I am certainly not an expert but at least the links shared here are a valuable source of information. Many teachers are constrained by their employers from sharing and I know it is not easy. I do believe that most colleagues see the value in sharing and that it is always worth thinking about.

One of the things I love about open education in general, and open educational resources in particular, is the creative potential they offer to find, use, reuse, create and recreate such a wealth of diverse content and resources.

Lorna Campbell: Creativity, serendipity and open content | Open World

The post has some lovely examples of sources of surprising  stuff, great rabbit hole links to dive into. Most of the sources could easily be used to inspire some digital creativity, storytelling or practise using media tools. Or just for a little silliness!


Tit-Bits – digitalvictorianist.com

Leicester City Council is the first local government authority in the United Kingdom (UK) to provide 84 community schools with blanket permission to openly license their educational resources. The council is recommending that school staff use the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license to share materials created in the course of their work. The Council has also released guidance and practical information for school staff on using and creating open educational resources (OER).

from: Leicester City Council gives permission to 84 schools to create and share OER – Creative Commons
Leicester’s material is available at Open Education for Schools – Guidance and Resources and is itself released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence (CC BY 4.0) so that they can be shared and adapted openly, as long as attribution is given.
What a wonderful example to others.

IMG_0462 by Communications Mann Attribution License

The purpose of this wiki is to provide a gateway to contemporary and historical open digital media content from media archives and collections around the world. It is a space to explore, discuss and share examples of the use of open media at all school stages and at all levels of education. It is intended to be a truly Cross Curricular resource. The toolkit is free and open to all with an interest in open resources, media archives, education and the digital humanities.

from: OpenContentToolkit – home

A great new resource from Theo Kuechel. There are already 100’s of pages full of information about where to get free to use media along with suggestions of how it can be used and ways to use it.

There is already a growing members list an the wiki is open to requests for members and edits from those members. I’ve joined and I hope lots of other teachers do to.

Like many education folk I follow Doug Belshaw for lots of good reasons. This week I bumped into Doug at Opening Educational Practices in Scotland Forum and launch (a lot to digest from that). Doug reminded attendees about the Survey: 5 proposals for Web Literacy Map 2.0 he is organising. After a quick review of the Web Literacy Map and other resources Doug listed I filled in the survey. This leads, backsides forward, to looking at the Map again. It is a great resource1 well organised and deep. It seems to add content every time I look at it. A couple of the questions were around the organisation and complexity of the map. I had a few thoughts. Given the complexity and depth of the resource I wonder if it would be interesting exposing it in different formats for folk to remix. Initially I though of JSON as I’ve made a couple of experiments with this in webmaker. I am now wondering if OPML might be an interesting approach too? This would export to most mind-mapping softwares. I’ve been playing with fargo occasionally and it might allow manipulation of the OPML too.

A Job for RSS

The other thing that I was reminded of was the series of chats Doug has been recording with interesting and interested parties. For the most part I’d seen these stream by on Tumblr and only listened to fragments. Doug has put the audio on the internet archive with a nice CC0 license, so I’ve done a little remixing of my own. I’ve uploaded an RSS feed to my google drive: http://tinyurl.com/dougweblit2chats so that I can pull the audio onto my phone. I can then subscribe to this feed in the podcast app on my phone and listen on the go. (I use overcast as my usually podcast app but thought it might be nice to have this as a temporary separate thing). doug-chats-podcast-app I’ve listened to the Stephen Downes episode on my commute this morning and if the rest are as interesting it will be a delight getting through them. Feel free to subscribe to the feed if you want to do the same thing, be aware I’ve made little effort to make the feed validate, the enclosures don’t have a length etc.


Footnotes:

1. Caveat, I am not working with learners and have never taught Web literacy in any depth. I did teach some of ‘this stuff’ as part of teaching ict, blogging, podcasting and the like.