Tag Archives: oep

#OERxDomains21: Just what does it means to be open?⤴

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NB – I have added links to the recorded sessions which might not be available until later this week.

In the final keynote of the #OERxDomains21 conference, Rajiv Jhangiani asked what does it mean to be open?  After 2 days of sharing, caring, questioning, laughing, at times crying, it was timely reminder that “open” is a multifaceted concept and the practice(s) of open education manifests itself in many ways, and is deeply contextual.  Open educational practice, is as Catherine Cronin so beautifully put it back in 2017a constantly negotiated process.”

As with all conferences (and all other delegates) I had to negotiate and navigate my way through the conference programme and online spaces over the 2 days. I have to confess that at the conference committee meetings when Jim Groom was explaining the broadcast concept of the conference, I didn’t quite get it. But I had faith that it would all be OK.  I just didn’t realise how OK it would actually turn out to be. 

Online conferences are different from face to face, it is harder to connect, to get that “conference buzz”.  I thought ALT did an amazing job last year in extremely rapidly pulling  together the online version of OER20. However this year, the conference platforms were at another level. The combination of Streamyard, Youtube, and Dischord worked  really well. I’m sure I missed a lot of the functionality of Dischord, but I managed! And I did get a real sense of live, hallway chats.

So congratulations to the Reclaim team and ALT for realising an almost seemless online  experience.  I have never chaired a session with an online “producer” before. Having someone dealing with countdowns, pulling in questions from the youtube chat was amazing. I have to say I kind of never want to not have one again!  The way that the “backstage” area for all presentations worked was amazing, and I’m sure some will be share in more detail elsewhere.

Of course any conference is not just about the location. What makes any conference work is its community. It’s what we,  the people,  do in the spaces (online or physical) that makes the difference. People not technology make conferences work. I think it’s fair to say that there is quite a core OER community and quite a bit of crossover between it and the Domains community.  The community aspect of the conference is one of the reasons I keep paying to go to OER conferences. It’s a vital part of my CPD – I don’t have any office buddies to talk to everyday. As we all know, open isn’t free and this is one dose of openness I am more than willing to pay to support. It’s a bit like an extended family reunion.  But we can’t let ourselves become a complacent, clique. We always need to ensure we are welcoming new people to the fold.

This year, there was a very necessary and needed focus on care. It’s been quite a year. People are tired, and need the support that a conference can provide such as sharing different approaches to open pedagogies of care, of social justice.  Brenna Clarke Gray talked about the “tricky truth about care” and the way (institutional) structures are actually indifferent. Where are the structural changes to institutional systems that are truly based on care?  Weekly wellness emails don’t really cut it and don’t deal with the moral stress that so many staff are dealing with.  Developing resilience is a sign of institutional, structural failure not personal failure. I really can’t recommend watching the recording of Brenna’s session enough.

Of course structural change is hard,  but if we can’t take the time to change things now after a global pandemic then when can we? I do have a sense that in HE  we are moving into a future that is being driven by narratives that aren’t based on the contextual realities of learning and teaching right now but more on neoliberal views ofwhat education should be and rosy tinted views of “getting back normal.”

I’ve always been a bit skeptical of phrases like Education 4.0 but I was intrigued by a session called University V is alive! Now open to the cruel and the dead, from Eamon Costello and Prajakta Girme. After finishing day 1 with the marvelous remixed and bingo infused keynote from Laura Gibbs, this was a stark contrast.  Whilst Laura shared a wonderful set of student created stories, Eamon and Prajakta  used a speculative fiction approach to present an unsettling, dystopian view of the open day for  University V,  34 years from now. Kudos to Eammon for his delivery, use of music and mix of visual artefacts and effects to create an unsettling start to day 2. We began to understand how every entrant to University V was indeed a number related to all family numbers and their behaviours that related to points, and value. There were intriguing clues as to who Professor A might be, how she(?) had changed her name to get “to the top”. As Eammon pointed out in the the Q&A the truth is really stranger than fiction, and we don’t have to go to far to discover what others might think only happens in fiction is actually happening in real life.

This came starkly to mind during Jasmine Robert’s powerful keynote. Jasmine’s honesty about her own trauma in the context of the reality of the the Derek Chauvin murder trial was a stark reminder of structures of oppression and who still controls the dominant media narratives. It’s not a huge jump at all to see Professor A as a person from a black, ethnic minority background who has manage to game and play the system to get to the top and protect her/him/they? (because we don’t really know Prof A’s gender) anonymity. The narrative of University V might be very different if it were written using non global north images and based on an alternative historical perspective.

Social justice was a critical theme across the conference, and both Jasmine and Rajiv highlighted it in their keynotes. Both stressed the need for us to let the under-represented voices be included, to support open pedagogies rooted in care and love. Part of that care is to recognise that not everything can or should be open. We need to create safe spaces for our students to have critical conversations, to help them develop their own voices, introduce them to a range of sources – not just “the white men”, and then give them the choice of where, how and when they want to put themselves in the open (as Laura’s keynote illustrated).

As ever it’s so hard to condense a conference experience into a blog post. From the opening plenary discussion keynote, where all the speakers rooted the conference in our current reality, OER x Domains 21 was, for me a very timely and necessary experience. Timely as it’s a year into the pandemic and teaching remotely, necessary as we all need to have space to get together, to share our stories, to learn from each other, to show our support and care for each other in a different space.

For me the overriding sense was of community, of care, of open humaneness (thank you Tutaleni Asino) of focusing on what really matters “we are teaching students not content” as Jasmine Roberts reminded us ; we are not humans “doing”, we are humans “being” said Glasgow College Student President Nicolas Garcia, in the opening plenary keynote . We might still be figuring out just how we can “be” in these still unsettling times, but open education, social justice and care are all great navigation points for this journey.

Many thanks to all the co-chairs, the organising committee, ALT and Reclaim staff , keynotes, presenters and participants alike for creating another great conference. Yes, collectively we all indeed did “do it again”. And it’s not over yet! There are workshops next week so do check them out. I’m delighted to be part of one around the potential future for BYOD4L. Wendy Taleo and Sarah Honeychurch invited everyone to contribute to an open zine in their Collective Hope short recording session. So here’s a little montage of some of my visual highlights.

Open Education Policies: Guidelines for Co-Creation⤴

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Cover of Open Education Policies: Guidelines for Co-CreationToday saw the publication of an important and very timely resource for open educators and policy makers: Open Education Policies: Guidelines for Co-Creation by Javiera Atenas, Leo Havemann, Jan Neumann and Cristina Stefanelli.  The aim of the guidelines is to: 

“support institutions and governments in the development of open education policies promoting the adoption of open educational practices and resources, and the fostering of collaborations amongst social-educational actors which favour the democratisation of knowledge access and production.”

In order to ensure policies have public value, the authors call for a “transversal and democratic approach to policymaking” and identify co-creation as a critical factor in policy effectiveness, in that it helps to ensure that policy makers and communities develop a sense of shared ownership, responsibility and purpose. 

One of the things I particularly appreciate about this work is that the authors very much practiced what they preach as the guidelines were co created with input from a diverse group of policy experts.  My small contribution to these guidelines centred on the relationship between normative (mandatory) policy and informative (permissive) policies, both of which I believe are necessary: 

“Campbell (2020b) notes that while organisations in receipt of public funding to create resources should be mandated to make these freely and openly available to the public, institutional OE policies focusing on the educational practices of staff and students should be primarily permissive rather than mandatory, thereby empowering those engaged in learning and teaching to come to their own decisions about whether and how to engage with OEP.”

My thinking in this area is very much influenced by Catherine Cronin who also contributed to the guidelines.  One of the points that Catherine and I both fed in is that: 

“OE aims to increase educational access and effectiveness, as well as equity, through fostering participation and knowledge co-creation, including by marginalised and traditionally under-represented groups.”

Centering the experiences and requirements of marginalised and under represented groups is just one of the reasons why it’s so important that open education policies are founded on co-creation. and the guidelines clearly articulate a step by step cycle to enable this process; from agenda setting, through development, formulation, implementation, evaluation and revision. 

The authors conclude by stating that.

“Co-creation of policies to support and foster inclusive, democratic approaches in education must follow an inclusive and participatory process.

And by co-creating these guidelines, the authors have done exactly that. 

Open Education Policies: Guidelines for Co-Creation is published by the Open Education Policy Lab and the Open Education Policy Hub and can be downloaded under CC BY-NC-4.0 licence from Zenodo.

Beyond the text book, using learning resources for open educational practice workshop⤴

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Last Friday, 6th February, I had the pleasure of facilitating a workshop at DCU hosted by Dr Eamon Costello, Head of Open Education, NIDL, Dublin City University.

The webinar was one of a series of open workshop events funded by the National Forum taking place across Ireland. Around 25 delegates from a number of universities and colleges gathered at DCU for a morning of sharing the realities, challenges and opportunities of thinking not only open educational resources such as text books, but wider opportunities of developing open educational practice for staff and students.

Often when I am involved in events like this, or when I am just talking about openness in general, people are interested in finding very specific places to go to find “the good stuff” or the “best tools” or the “most inspirational example of openness”. Now, that is quite a challenge to answer as there is a lot of “good stuff” (and equally not so good stuff) out there. One thing that I have to come to realise is that the most inspirational part open educational practice is the generosity of people who share their practice openly. Maha Bali is a great example of this. Her blog is a constant source of ideas, inspiration and she always brings a constructive critique to everything she writes about. Just reading things from a different point of view has had quite a profound effect on my own thinking and practice. Similarly, being involved in running events such as BYOD4L (one day we should bring that back), and trying (I’m not as regular participant as I would like to be) to take part in tweet chats such as #LTHEchat are just some of the ways I try to be open.

The format of the workshop was quite simple, with 2 main objectives – 1) to get people talking and sharing, 2) to use a bit of technology for interaction and sharing. So this is what we did.

Introductions it’s always good to get a bit of an understanding of who people are and why they have come

Digital Pursuits : After discovering this board game developed by Shri Footing based on the original Trivial Pursuits but adapted to use the Jisc Digital Capabilities Framework, I have used it successfully at a number of workshops as an extended ice-breaker type activity. It really does get people talking, and thinking. There is also, for those that want it, an added competitive element. It’s also really interesting observing how different groups of people decide how to play the game.

Sharing realities, challenges, opportunities for OER/OEP: Using a padlet board delegates were asked to share one example of their open practice and one example of a current challenge. Storage, curation, maintenance of resources all still big challenges.

Developing open approaches to curriculum development: The final activity took a step back from resources to thinking more broadly about curriculum development. Using the digitally distributed curriculum model developed by Keith, Bill and myself – we discussed ways in which the values we propose in the diagram are/could be integrated into practice. Again we used padlet to share ideas.

Overall I felt that this worked well, allowing both a bit of focus and flexibility for delegates to talk and reflect on what their own context. It does seems to be harder and harder to find space and time to just think about what we do and how we do it. The funding model from the National Forum, where small pockets of money are given to institutions to run workshops like this, is I think, a really practical and effective way to make some space for thinking. I wish there was an equivalent here in the UK.

5Rs at #TeachMeetGLA⤴

from @ John's World Wide Wall Display

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

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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

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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.