Open Education 2006 (IV): myOCW and Perpetual Education Fund

Here come my notes on the Open Education 2006: Community, Culture, and Content that we are attending:

Thursday, September 28, 2006
Keynote sessions

myOCW Preview
Steve Carson, OCW Consortium

To support OCW and OER users, the OCW Consortium is developing an educational networking site called myOCW. myOCW supports blogs, favorite links lists and file storage for both individuals and groups, and integrates information from other web tools via RSS feeds. myOCW will be publicly available in early 2007.

Some materials do not generate enough community so that the interaction is relevant.
Future: based on ELGG learning landscape. Connect people with similar interest, supporting integration of web 2.0 tools. Not envisioned as a primary authoring tool, though feedback/upload of derivatives should be possible.

Personal note: this tool in some sense reminds me of Scott Wilson‘s Personal Learning Environment. I wonder if myOCW will ever become, also, a PLE…

The Perpetual Education Fund
Rex Allen, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

I’ve never seen a learning object learn anything. “Who” must be on “first”.

When it comes to learning: people matter most; purposes, motivation; preparation matters; processes matter.

Preparation and sustainability of the project are crucial. People get loans to study, and when finished they payback them, having improved jobs, satisfaction and life quality.


Web 2.0 for Development related posts (2006)

Open Education 2006 (III): OER in Europe and Nepal

Here come my notes on the Open Education 2006: Community, Culture, and Content that we are attending:

Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Concurrent sessions

Open Educational Resources in Europe: A Triptych of Actions to Support Participation in Higher Education
Paul Kirschner, Keep Jan van Dorp, Andrew Lane, & Peter Varwijk, Open Universiteit Nederland

Open Educational Resources help the shift from teacher centered education to student centered education.

The European Association of Distance Teaching Universities is presented, specially their MORIL PDF file (401 Kb) project.

Then Open Learn project. Supported by Moodle as VLE, there are two complementary sites: the Learning Space and the Lab Space. These spaces should be fed with almos 15,000 hours of materials.

Last, Open Universiteit Nederland‘s OpenER project is explained. It uses eduCommons platform. 16 coursesw of 25 study hours each.

Enhancing Youth-Managed Resource Centers in Nepal
Tiffany Ivins & Jeffrey Lee, World Education

“A literate woman means a literate nation”.
“The fundamental question about education is, what is to know?” (Paulo Freire).

Literacy for Social change:

  • Fundamental skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Cultural expression
  • Action

Learning materials about health (AIDS, Malaria), gender issues (equality), etc. But, how to sustain literacy skills after funding fades? We have to create literate-rich environments. But how, when not even press exists? Provide access to books, media, literature (especially information for development) to foster functional literacy.


Web 2.0 for Development related posts (2006)

Open Education 2006 (II): eduCommons and MIT OpenCourseWare

Here come my notes on the Open Education 2006: Community, Culture, and Content that we are attending:

Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Concurrent sessions

eduCommons: Lessons from the Field
John Dehlin, COSL/Utah State University

John briefly explains the main features of eduCommons, firstly stating that it is open source: runs on Python/Zope/Plone. He shows import/export tools, licensing, the workflow of publishing, bookmarking/tagging, multiple languages viewing (through a Plone plugin), etc.

As per “strategic” purposes, on how to begin, where to head, some hints:

  • Starting from scratch to produce materials might cost more than reusing/sharing
  • It’s good marketing/branding for your university to show online who you are, what you do
  • OpenCourseWare enters directly the web 2.0 track, with RSS,, blogging, wikiing, etc.
  • You must sit with the Faculty, talk with them about pedagogical goals, what would be the benefits of opencoursewaring for the professor (“what’s in it for me”), how to do it, etc. Some supporting staff is actually required for the professor to go OCW. Depending on the complexity of the materials to be issued (html, presentations, video) more support is required.

After the first programming/launching stages, funded by “seed capital”, the eduCommons tool/project is expected to be supported by volunteers of the eduCommons community of users.

Main comments by the audience:

  • Are we undermining our business model? Will libraries be all we’ll need?
  • What’s the difference among OCW managing system and LMS? Are they mergin?

Intellectual Property in Open Educational Resources
Lindsey Weeramuni & Steve Carson, MIT OpenCourseWare

Intro to MIT OCW’s goal: publish all of MIT’s courses (so far, 1449 of 1800). But, what is course ware? And most important, what is not? No MIT education, no interactive classroom environment, no degree-granting. It’s “just” material publication under a CC NC-BY-SA license.

[legal] Requirements:

  • Ownership of primary content
  • Ownership of third party embedded content, toughest part, but becoming “routine”
  • Licensing both to end users

How to move from C to CC?

The deal: how to clear “IP objects”.
The clearing includes only embedded objects, not recommended readings or the like, that might be subject to IP rights (i.e. articles in not open-access journals, book chapters, etc.).
Publication managers and department liaisons identify sources fo all third party content. Then the IP team seeks permission for all objects assigned to this process. IP audits are also performed biannually.

What makes a project available?

  • Planning materials: syllabus and calendar
  • Subject matter: lecture notes, reading lists
  • Learning activities: homework, exams, labs

Stressing on relevant objects, negociated with the publications manager and the faculty. If it’s not relevant we can (a) look for it wherever else with IP rights already cleared (i.e. Flickr image) or (b) just skip it.

Three approaches to third party content:

  • Remove it and put a citation of or link to its original source in its place
  • Replace it with an original commissioned image
  • Request permission

What more?

  • Leveraging other OER: Open Access Journals, Open Object Repositories, Open Textbooks (Connexions)
  • Blanket Publisher/Industry Permissions
  • Sharing previously cleared content among OCWs


Web 2.0 for Development related posts (2006)

Open Education 2006 (I): eduCommons and Creative Commons

Here come my notes on the Open Education 2006: Community, Culture, and Content that we are attending:

Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Welcome and Keynote

Welcome and eduCommons 2.1.0 Launch
David Wiley, COSL/Utah State University

David presents the upcoming version of eduCommons, the OpenCourseWare management system designed specifically to support OpenCourseWare.

Some features:

  • IMS content importation
  • Choose license
  • Add metadata
  • Easy translation into other languages within the same material
  • RSS output
  • Post to

What is Commercial Use? The Line Between Commercial & Non Commercial
Mia Garlick, Creative Commons

Short intro abut Creative Commons

Rapid growth of adoption (linkback measuring) from 12/2005 on.
Trending to more flexible? decreasing noncommercial, decreasing no derivatives, decreasing share alike.
Successful court case decision in the Netherlands.
CC searchers: Yahoo, Google, Flickr,
MS Office CC add-in

Next step: let people be aware that CC is not only good per se but for reuse benefits: if you create content and make it available, some other people might find it useful and be using it.

NonCommercial use

Can I charge for educational content?
What’s my understanding of “open” or “free”?
What is, actually, commercial/noncommercial?

There is an ongoin dicussion in the Creative Commons Wiki on this issue: and a “NonCommercial USE: Creative Commons’ Survey”.

Main aspects to keep in mind or to track when to decide whether a commercial use is likely to happen:

  • Nature of the user
  • Nature of the use: advertising
  • Conditions on Use: For Services Providee
  • Conditions on Use: Original Work
  • Conditions on Use: Derivative Works

Is NonCommercial a suitable license choice in education?
Important in education to allow derivative works.
“many people can or will make the licensing choice only once. In a collavborative context, license changes can be difficult or even impossible” Erick Möller, The Casefor Free Use: Reasons Not to Use a Creative Commons NonCommercial License

Arguments against NonCommercial:

  • incompatibility with other “free” projects (i.e. Wikipedia): actually, the problem with Wikipedia is project splitting due to FDL vs. BY-SA licenses. NC is not the barrier to compatibility
  • prevents charging for course materials: just ask for permission
  • hurts innovative new business models: mainly add supported initiatives. NC prevents the incentive to add value to your work. If work is freely available, people will only be incentivised to make money by adding considerable value. Ain’t got solution?

Main comments by the audience:

  • “free” is not about money, but about creator and user freedoms [related to FLD vs. BY-SA incompatibilities
  • funding issues are… quite tough issues! Funding might require copyright… public funding might require open, so…?


Web 2.0 for Development related posts (2006)

Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (presentations)

The presentations of the Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium are already online here

[read at Peter’s Critical Technologist.]


Book: Human Rights in the Global Information Society

Human Rights in the Global Information Society
Human Rights in the
Global Information Society

The MIT Press has just published the book Human Rights in the Global Information Society, edited by Rikke Frank Jørgensen.

The table of contents really looks exciting, dividing the 12 articles or chapters in three parts: the first one related to freedom of expression, access to information and privacy protection, where so hot questions such as censorhip, data protection, the emerging media and others might be dealt with); second part about freedom of association and participation, where all the aspects of democracy and electronic democracy should be considered (the right to be informed, the right to deliberate, the right to make your own oppinions up); and a last part about equality and development, where one would expect to find e-inclusion, interculturalism and leapfrogging.

While I have not read the book yet — so I don’t know whether I’d found these words and/or the equivalent concepts — the feeling so far about the book is quite positive. And while it’s usual to read about ICTs in the field of development concerning economic issues, sometimes even social issues, but rarely strictly in the field of Human Rights, the subject is getting the more and more important as some works and some institutionshave already pointed.