The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) is the world’s largest open access digital library for biodiversity literature and archives. BHL is revolutionizing global research by providing free, worldwide access to knowledge about life on Earth.
There seems to be a vast collection of biological books that are free to read and download. There is also a twitter account, @BioDivLibrar and an amazing Flickr account: Biodiversity Heritage Library where there are over a quarter of a million images, many public domain. They have also contributed
over 2 million BHL images have been uploaded to the IA Book Images Flickr stream as part of the Art of Life project. These images are identified and uploaded in bulk using an algorithm. They offer a great opportunity for serendipitous discovery via browsing.
We’re almost forgotten that links are powerful, and that restraining links through artificial scarcity is an absurdly coercive behavior.
I’ve seen this linked (ironically) all over the place. Great metaphor and explanation. Pretty much all quotable.
killing off links is a strategy.
it is a strategy, designed to keep people from the open web, the place where they can control how, and whether, someone makes money off of an audience. The web is where we can make sites that don’t abuse data in the ways that Facebook properties do.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
GIF IT UP was an open competition to find the most excellent GIFs reusing openly licensed images and video from the collections searchable on the sites of the two digital libraries.
I think there is real potential for teaching about open licensing, copyright while having some fun and learning a bit about image editing through the creative use of openly licensed media.
Monsters Are Real – Biodiversity Heritage Library a nice collection of open licence images. The Biodiversity Heritage Library works collaboratively to make biodiversity literature openly available to the world as part of a global biodiversity community.
Lots more of this sort of thing at the OpenContentToolkitprovide 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.
Not a open resource but Lego Friends made me laugh and makes a point.