Supporting WikiEducators in walking the talk :-)

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Wayne Mackintosh

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Mar 19, 2010, 1:44:59 AM3/19/10
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Hi Everyone

As you know copyright can be a challenge for educators, particularly with regards to proper attribution of images uploaded to WikiEducator.

In the past users where expected to attribute images in WikiEducator using the metadata template. Unfortunately this was not a user-friendly interface for newbies.

As a result many images have been uploaded to WikiEducator without proper attribution and in some cases unintentionally uploaded to the site in breach of the original copyright of the images. (Open access, i.e. finding an image on the web using a google image search does NOT mean that the images is licensed for free reuse :-(.)

Users uploading these images would be responsible for the breach in copyright. Our WE motto requires us to support the community, so we have made it easier to comply with proper attribution etc.  With the help of open source software code and the wizardry of our Lead Software Engineer, Jim has installed a form based solution with pull down menu option for populating the templates required for recording metadata of the file uploads. BIG thanks Jim :-).

If you attempted to upload an image or file these past few days -- you will have discovered a more user-friendly interface for recording the required metadata.

We don't want our WE users to be exposed to unauthorised use of "all-rights reserved" images. So we have implemented  "required" fields for completion before accepting file uploads on  WikiEducator.  In this way we can help and prevent WikiEducators from breaching copyright on images -- which in the majority of cases has been unintentional.

Many educators may not have the time to fill out the proper metadata, so the free software community have a solution that will save you time :-). You can use images from the Wikimedia Commons directly in WikiEducator and this will ensure that the proper attributions are recorded. WE have a few guidelines and tips here:

http://wikieducator.org/Wikieducator_rich_text_editor_tutorials/Images/Use

Members of our lists may be aware that I also serve on the International Advisory Board of the WikiMedia Foundation who oversee many of the large public wiki projects like WIkipedia. The OER Foundation and WE subscribe to promoting "collabOERation" among the free culture projects. I hope and encourage our users to consider widening the inventory of free content media files that are available in the Mediawiki commons by uploading images on the Commons which can easily be referenced in WIkiEdcuator. In this way WE can contribute back to the global free culture movement.

Together we can achieve far more than working alone.

Cheers
Wayne












--
Wayne Mackintosh, Ph.D.
Director,
International Centre for Open Education,
Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand.
Board of Directors, OER Foundation.
Founder and Community Council Member, Wikieducator, www.wikieducator.org
Mobile +64 21 2436 380
User Page: http://wikieducator.org/User:Mackiwg
Skype: WGMNZ1
Twitter: OERFoundation, Mackiwg

Erik Moeller

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Mar 19, 2010, 2:28:05 AM3/19/10
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2010/3/18 Wayne Mackintosh <mackinto...@gmail.com>:

> The OER Foundation and WE subscribe to
> promoting "collabOERation" among the free culture projects.

CollabOERation? Wayne, I think you've now exceeded your pun quota for
the month. ;-)

Erik

Wayne Mackintosh

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Mar 19, 2010, 3:49:09 AM3/19/10
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HI Erik,

LOL :-)

We're getting serious about promoting collabOERation --- among OER initiatives.  The differentiating feature of the free culture is the freedom to collaborate.  IMHO -- It shouldn't matter where the content resides, free cultural works licensing is the enabler for collaboration.

In the formal education sector I see too many OER silos :-(.  I want to see us move to the next level. So we'll be launching CollabOERate as an open concept for exploration -- see: http://wikieducator.org/OERF/CollabOERate

Hopefully, I'll get a little time over the weekend to jot down a few ideas. We already have sibling project for CollabOERate -- i.e the OER Course Collaborator (http://wikieducator.org/OCC).

Hey we're going to have a little fun over the next couple of months in open education :-)

Cheers
Wayne




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Valerie Taylor

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Mar 19, 2010, 1:04:37 PM3/19/10
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Are these projects concerned with building OERs collaboratively,
sharing OERs or collaborating on how to use them?

Stephen Downes regularly writes about OER RSS feed mechanisms and the
like as a means to get around the problem of OER silos. Is that an
activity that would be within scope?

..Valerie

Wayne Mackintosh

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Mar 19, 2010, 6:09:45 PM3/19/10
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HI Valerie,

Great insights and questions.  "Technical" interoperability is an important dimension and I think Stephen is right to suggest using RSS feed mechanisms to help widen access and break down OER silos. This will certainly help. I also think that its important to build OERs collaboratively, to share OERs and to collaborate on how to use them. We should be doing all this stuff.

My concern with the OER silos is not related to OER interoperability per se but rather the lack of collaboration in the international OER landscape that seeks to build on the strengths and core competencies of individual projects, eliminating unnecessary duplication in the co-opetion sense of the word  -- i.e. where we agree to work together so that all our projects get better at what they do.

  • How many OER projects who are supposedly committed to the idea of sharing, develop their funding proposals as open content?
  • How many OER projects who are supposedly committed to the idea of sharing, license their administrative and legal documents under open licenses (eg membership agreements, policies etc) We could reduce wastage and unnecessary duplication by an order of magniture by sharing these resources.
  • Do those of us working in OER really get and understand the meaning of open?
The emergent thinking about "collabOERate" for me, is more about fostering the growth of the OER ecosystem. I think this is a behavioural change for educators and organisations (as opposed to a technical interoperability).

I think the notion of a network (recognising that this is a very restricted metaphor to represent an ecosystem) can help to illustrate the opportunities for change and future success of OER.

Eben Mogline uses the analogy of pipes and switches to explain the "network".  Pipes carry the digital data between A and B.  Pipes don't make value judgements -- they just move the knowledge around.  The switches (or nodes in the network) make value judgements. They determine who gets access to what, the price etc. The nodes regulate the stream and the flow of the data and where the money gets invested to support projects.

Think of OER as the pipes. Ideas, knowledge and educational materials that want to be free :-). It shouldn't matter where the OER artefacts reside. Think of the OER projects (silos) and their respective institutions as switches in the network. These are the individuals and organisations that control and regulate access to the OER.

While I'm not a great fan of learning management systems, why does content imported from an external source using the technical interoperability specifications always look less elegant than the original content generated within the respective system itself? W3C and TCP/IP are de-facto interoperability standards of the network. So who is sitting round the table determining the specifications like IMS? What are the interests and motivations of the traditional  distributors of knowledge in development of these specifications?  Ebin Moglins thoughts on the system of ownership of ideas is well worth a look to help is think about what this means for OER. Check out these three short videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tN00_v7gpbo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDFVAA_Mb5c

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlf_3JD3l8I

CollabOERate is still a fledgling concept -- but I think its important for us to ask ourselves about the behavioural change that is required to take OER to new levels.

  • What are the the non-zero sum solutions to take OER to the next level for all projects to become more efficient, successful and sustainable?
Great conversation.

Wayne
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Peter

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Mar 26, 2010, 1:42:44 PM3/26/10
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CollabOERators,

The energy behind this idea is fantastic. Though I think it is going
in the wrong direction. I see the coordination of OER goes against
what OER is all about.
1) OER is about localized resources, so alignment goes against
localization
2) I see any consolidation / collaboration tied to WikiMedia
foundation (or any other institution) in any way as falling into the
"evil" Ebin Moglins speaks of... (see videos referenced in above)
3) aligning to some standard or coordination will reduce contribution,
for it is a barrier
4) learning from OER is more about creation than reuse, though
referencing is good (ask yourself, who learns more, the creator or the
reuser)

for OER to be successful it needs to be localized, distributed, not
standards constrained and encourages personal freedom in its
development.

I believe focus upon an OER search engine where there is no
coordinated / collaborative initiative would serve the OER movement
better...

Looking forward to others perspectives on this important issue.

Be Well...

Sincerely, Peter

On Mar 19, 3:09 pm, Wayne Mackintosh <mackintosh.wa...@gmail.com>
wrote:


> HI Valerie,
>
> Great insights and questions.  "Technical" interoperability is an important
> dimension and I think Stephen is right to suggest using RSS feed mechanisms
> to help widen access and break down OER silos. This will certainly help. I
> also think that its important to build OERs collaboratively, to share OERs
> and to collaborate on how to use them. We should be doing all this stuff.
>
> My concern with the OER silos is not related to OER interoperability per se
> but rather the lack of collaboration in the international OER landscape that
> seeks to build on the strengths and core competencies of individual
> projects, eliminating unnecessary duplication in the co-opetion sense of the
> word  -- i.e. where we agree to work together so that all our projects get
> better at what they do.
>

>    - How many OER projects who are supposedly committed to the idea of


>    sharing, develop their funding proposals as open content?

>    - How many OER projects who are supposedly committed to the idea of


>    sharing, license their administrative and legal documents under open
>    licenses (eg membership agreements, policies etc) We could reduce wastage
>    and unnecessary duplication by an order of magniture by sharing these
>    resources.

>    - Do those of us working in OER really get and understand the meaning of

>    - What are the the non-zero sum solutions to take OER to the next level


>    for all projects to become more efficient, successful and sustainable?
>
> Great conversation.
>
> Wayne
>

> 20 March 2010 06:04, Valerie Taylor <vtay...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > Are these projects concerned with building OERs collaboratively,
> > sharing OERs or collaborating on how to use them?
>
> > Stephen Downes regularly writes about OER RSS feed mechanisms and the
> > like as a means to get around the problem of OER silos. Is that an
> > activity that would be within scope?
>
> > ..Valerie
>
> > On Thu, Mar 18, 2010 at 11:49 PM, Wayne Mackintosh
> > <mackintosh.wa...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > > HI Erik,
>
> > > LOL :-)
>
> > > We're getting serious about promoting collabOERation --- among OER
> > > initiatives.
>
> > --
> > You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
> > "WikiEducator Community Council" group.
> > To post to this group, send email to
> > wikieducator-co...@googlegroups.com.
> > To unsubscribe from this group, send email to

> > wikieducator-communit...@googlegroups.com<wikieducator-community-council%2Bunsu...@googlegroups.com>

Steve Foerster

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Mar 26, 2010, 4:12:56 PM3/26/10
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Peter wrote:

> CollabOERators,

Actually, since we are all Free/Open Educational Resource Specialists
Transforming Education Radically, I believe you should all refer to
yourselves as "FOERSTERs".


> for OER to be successful it needs to be localized, distributed,
> not standards constrained and encourages personal freedom in its
> development.

Someone please correct me if I've missed anything, but I'm not aware of
any incidents when it comes to conflicts specifically over content that
has been added to or developed in WikiEducator, like those internecine
conflicts that plague discussions of content Wikimedia projects.

In other words, our problems have really only been disagreements over
project governance, so much as I've seen.

So it seems that those who are really excited about standards could
adhere to them, while those interested in more innovative approaches
could simply still do them.


> I believe focus upon an OER search engine where there is no
> coordinated / collaborative initiative would serve the OER
> movement better...

Isn't that what OER Commons is supposed to be?

http://www.oercommons.org/

What need is there for WE or OERF to do that if someone else has already
staked it out?

-=Steve=-


--
Stephen H. Foerster
http://hiresteve.com
http://hiresteve.com/blog
http://wikieducator.org/steve

Wayne Mackintosh

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Mar 26, 2010, 4:24:14 PM3/26/10
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Steve,

LOL -- best post of the year!  ... and that's why we have the FOERsters on the team :-)

Cheers
Wayne

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Peter

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Mar 26, 2010, 5:52:08 PM3/26/10
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Great response Steve...

Don't see it adding the the discussion though. Kind of supports the
group think perspective I've been talking about, did you feel the love
from Wayne in his support instead of maybe using open questioning
techniques to get better understanding of another perspective. (sorry
if I am sounding trollish) so it goes...
If you were to think deeper about it you may consider what I was
writing. I would hedge the reason there isn't a lot of conflicts is
because most OER is created by a single individual and is not a
collaborative effort. Going back to depth of learning and how with OER
is in its creation, and possibly reuse is a myth. Yes, you are correct
their hasn't been a lot of constraint to localized, distributed, not
standards constrained and personalized OER freedom. I'm just trying to
be a voice suggesting that by consolidating / coordinating it works
against this. just a thought...

On related note, I am a fan of William Easterly's work and thinking
that WE is moving toward big planning (and consolidation) rather than
supporting the searcher for solutions...
http://books.google.ca/books?id=5Iw5IZCTh-kC&lpg=PP1&ots=7mUTYR6Oug&dq=william%20easterly%20white%20man's%20burden&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Hoping you see the message I am carrying is more that just my being a
disruptive troll...

Be Well...

Peter

Steve Foerster

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Mar 26, 2010, 6:57:20 PM3/26/10
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Peter wrote:

> Great response Steve...
> Don't see it adding the the discussion though.

Well, I said I don't really see the same problem you do, which isn't the
same thing as "group think". It's just the way I see it. There have
been severe disagreements on governance of WE. But there haven't been
the same fights about content that WMF projects have had, and given the
nature of WE I don't foresee that we will have them here. We don't have
just one article called "Economics", for example. If a Keynesian
economist and an Austrian economist both want to add economics content,
they can both do so on their own terms, categorise their own materials,
and both be happy and productive.

So as far as standards go, particularly ones meant for the whole OER
movement, unless they're mandatory on WE (which I would oppose), they
seem harmless. People can adhere to them or not. If they make things
easier for me, I probably would. If not, I probably wouldn't.

Wayne Mackintosh

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Mar 26, 2010, 8:54:33 PM3/26/10
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Hi -- thought provoking discussion.

In my view the distinctive feature of OER (as opposed to closed content) is the remix potential and the freedom to collaborate.

The freedom to collaborate is in the DNA of open content projects. There are many nodes in the open content network and I believe that it is in the interests of free culture movement to remove barriers that may restrict the flow of OER through the "pipes" rather than the switches (eg individual OER projects) regulating.  This is not group think in my view -- folk have the freedom to fork projects and start their own nodes or switches in the network -- its the open source way.

The nodes in the OER networks are communities with their own history, characteristics, values, and cultures. This is clearly evident when you compare the demographics of the different projects. Compare, for example, the audience demographics of Wikiversity to WikiEducator on Alexa:

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/wikiversity.org#trafficstats and

http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/wikiversity.org#trafficstats

You will see that these projects serve distinctive audiences -- I think this is very healthy for the free culture movement. 

I don't see that collaboration among the free culture projects as problematic at all -- I think collaboration is core value of education, namely to share knowledge and experiences freely. 

A useful analogy, could be the notion of "co-opetition" -- a healthy and productive dynamic between collaboration and "competition". A world where the free culture projects choose to collaborate on some aspects of their business in order to maximise the attainment of their respective goals. For example, there are many distro's of Linux -- each with their own distinctive flavour and communities they support -- but they do collaborate in the sense of the GNU/Linux kernel. 

In this regard the core business of the OER Foundation is to nurture the development of sustainable OER ecosystems -- this has more to do with adding value to the free culture by helping individual projects achieve their open content objects by enhancing the flow of OER at both a technical and capacity development level. 

The collabOERate initiative is an initiative of the OER Foundation -- there will be WIkiEducators who like the idea and choose to join in, and there will be WIkiEducators who may not be interested or opposed to the idea.  That's fine -- we all have the freedom to choose which projects scratch our itch.

As an educator -- I vote for sharing knowledge in ways that help us to achieve our respective OER aims.

Cheers
Wayne
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Valerie Taylor

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Mar 26, 2010, 10:49:50 PM3/26/10
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Peter - you wrote

"the reason there isn't a lot of conflicts is
because most OER is created by a single individual and is not a
collaborative effort. Going back to depth of learning and how with OER
is in its creation, and possibly reuse is a myth."

WikiEducator is so different from Wikipedia - everyone doing their own
thing. Is this because they want to, or because there is no good
obvious way for "others" know if they invited to contribute. Part of
this is how an OER might be used.

In Wikipedia, it is pretty obvious - you enter a search term and up
comes a page. Take it as is or edit it if you have something to
contribute. "Everyone" knows that this is how Wikipedia works.

In WikiEducatior, even if I find a page that has interesting
information, there is no way to know if this is being used by someone
and they want/need it to say as is. I don't know if it is ok to add or
change what is there. Where is collaboration invited? How do I
indicate this is something that I consider to be my stuff, that I
don't want others to edit? If I created a page for a specific purpose
in my class and someone changed it, that could create all sorts of
unintended consequences. I might be pleased or really unhappy.

I would love to collaborate in WikiEducator on OER content but it is
not clear where or how that would work. As it stands it is no surprise
that there isn't collaborative creation becuase no one knows what the
rules or acceptable practices are. They do know that folks get upset
if pages are edited by "outsiders".

Even in small groups of 3-5 students in my classes, it is really
difficult to get collaborative writing. Wikipedia is remarkable in
that so much has been written by so many.

Wayne Mackintosh

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Mar 27, 2010, 5:41:09 PM3/27/10
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Hi Valerie,

I think there is still lots we need to learn about peer production approaches in OER. The dominant model in the formal education sector is the "filter then publish" model and I suspect this has influenced the approaches of many of the OER projects, eg the model we see used by the majority of OCWC projeccts.

In  WikiEducator, I observe a continuum between the single author (who does not necessarily want collaboration) through to open international collaboration. What I like about the wiki model is that it can simultaneously accommodate all the points along this continuum.

WE do need to get better at signalling the development approach intended by the primary author(s). I think we also need to support and help educators on the journey of discovery associated with collaborative work. This can be daunting for newbies.

What's interesting is that 67% of new users in WIkiEducator have never created an account in a wiki before -- and so I suspect that many newbies may not be aware or know how collaborative OER development works. So we have lots of work ahead of us in pioneering models and approaches which are going to work for OER.

Cheers
Wayne


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NELLIE DEUTSCH

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Mar 27, 2010, 5:49:44 PM3/27/10
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Great points, Wayne. Collaboration is very rewarding but needs to be learned and practiced one step at a time because learning to trust others may not be easy for some. I would also add that instructors need to learn how to develop lesson plans that would fit into the online environment.
Warm wishes,
Nellie Deutsch, ED/CI (c)
Sharing is Caring!
Educational Leadership
Curriculum and Instruction
Nellie's English Projects: http://www.nelliemuller.com
IT&HCS and IT4ALL
Integrating Technology for Active Life-long Learning (IT4ALL) http://www.integrating-technology.org

Valerie Taylor

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Mar 28, 2010, 5:41:39 AM3/28/10
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Can we add an L4C module on collaborative writing? I would be happy to help on something like that. 

Sent from my iPhone

Wayne Mackintosh

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Mar 28, 2010, 2:39:17 PM3/28/10
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Hi Valerie,

We certainly can -- will be in touch soon as we're thinking about developing a few intermediate-level tutorials for L4C.

Collaborative writing / authoring is a good candidate. Great suggestion!

Cheers
Wayne
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