I am going along to TeachMeet Glasgowthis evening. I’ll be giving a two minute nano presentation. Not because I know a lot about the topic but because I think it is one that we should be thinking more about.

Given two minutes I’ll not be doing more than saying I think this is important and pointing to some resources.

Open education resources and practises are becoming increasingly discussed in tertiary education. Many of the same concers apply to primary and secondary education too.

Open education can expand access to education, widen participation, create new opportunities for the next generation of teachers and learners and prepare them to become fully engaged digital citizens. In addition, open education can promote knowledge transfer while at the same time enhancing quality and sustainability, supporting social inclusion, and creating a culture of inter-institutional collaboration and sharing.

Scottish Open Education Declaration

OEPScotland | Opening Educational Practices in Scotland
Creative Commons

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.

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

Some recent links from my Pinboard. Mostly related to open resources.

Monsters

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.

As part of the week 1 of P2PU Why Open? course participants were invited to join David Wiley on a google hangout (Why Open session with David Wiley). I could not make the live stream so have just finished watching the archive.

I’ve also posted the audio ripped from the session, with permission, over at EDUtalk.cc (As usual I find audio easier to access than video).

These are a few of the things that I found interesting in the hangout, not in any order and very much my own interpretation.

David is the founder of OpenContent.org, among many other things and a expert on open content and open educational resources.

Throughout the talk David focused on the pragmatic rather than the idealistic, on what would make an impact over what was right or righteous.

He started talking about the difference between the Free Software movement and the Open source movement, and how Richard Stallmam’s Four Freedoms inspired all the openness that followed. David’s view is that Open is less do do with correctness & morality and more practical.

David say Free involves a bit of moral grandstanding, giving no place for proprietary software. Open says open is practical and we can choose not to be open which is not morally bad.

The other side of the argument is laid out here: Why Open Source Misses the Point of Free Software – GNU Project – Free Software Foundation and The Four Freedoms from Matt Mullenweg are worth considering from the pov of the practicality of Free Software.

David talked of the Berne Convention that in 1886 changed the face of copyright:

Under the Convention, copyrights for are automatically in force upon their creation without being asserted or declared. An author need not “register” or “apply for” a copyright in countries adhering to the Convention. As soon as a work is “fixed”, that is, written or recorded on some physical medium, its author is automatically entitled to all copyrights in the work and to any derivative works, unless and until the author explicitly disclaims them or until the copyright expires.

from: Berne Convention – Wikipedia.

This switch the default from you are ok to copy to you are not. If you publish something you need to legally state wish to share. This leads to existing material with unknown copyright is not being published.

David works with the Open Content Definition which uses the 5 Rs the rights to Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix and Redistribute. The Retain right has been added to address, and highlight, the problem of business models that control access, eg, stream media.

David gave a few examples of the practicality of open, obviously OERs are cheaper than textbooks, but a major gain in moving towards open might be in higher where the movement to competency based course is slowly gaining ground. The argument is that these competencies are slow to develop and the process could be speeded up by opening the competencies. Open assessments would be another area to explore.

Someone in the hangout expressed the worry that publishing in the open would be less useful from an employability angle than publishing to well established (and paywalled) publication. David discussed the idea of the impact of publishing on the open demonstrating with Google Scholar the number of times open publications are cited as compared to paywalled ones. Publishing in open will maximise the number of people reading so giving a better chance of making an impact. Again the outcome was more important than the philosophy.

Exploring another tension, that of Open vs Connected, David proposed that connected is a vice when taken to extremes. For example there are now so many resources in google it is hard to identify the best resources. More nodes and connections becomes noise at some point. Curation and structure needed on top of connected. Curation is biggest value that faculty brings to learning. Neither open or connected should not be their own end.

My own practise of working/blogging/learning in the open is based on a fairly fluffy feel good factor. I’ve found over the years that this has had a positive effect on myself and learners I work with. I covered this in a previous post. I now feel that it will be important to start to try and bring openness more formally into my day to day work and made small steps in that direction today. Instead of looking for good vibes I’ll be trying to introduce open where it can make an impact.