OER according to Stephen Downes

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Leigh Blackall

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Jul 29, 2007, 5:56:48 AM7/29/07
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http://www.downes.ca/
To see the Slideshare and Googlevideo and what I think is quite a different take on OER that is being developed here at Wikied

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Leigh Blackall
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Peter

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Jul 30, 2007, 10:53:22 PM7/30/07
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Hmmmm...

I actually don't see what Downes is speaking of is all that different
to what WikiEd aspires to be... Or maybe it is just my perception /
vision of WikiEd... I see his paper about sustaining OER is aligned
with WikiEd, particularly in the funding models and his references to
UNESCO...
http://www.ijklo.org/Volume3/IJKLOv3p029-044Downes.pdf

Cheers...

Peter

Leigh Blackall

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Jul 30, 2007, 11:41:06 PM7/30/07
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I think it differs in as much as Stephen is refering to and modelling "mashup" techniques (while not using the word mashup).
Without enabling many forms of embedded 3rd party media (rss - not just text, video, audio, pictures) then Wikied is tending towards a centralised content system where people have to load media content to Wikied rather than just feeding it or hyperlinking it in. Centralisation is exactly the opposite to what Downes is talking about here and historically... but I may be guilty of only hearing what I wanted to hear :)

Peter

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Jul 31, 2007, 12:01:16 AM7/31/07
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Leigh,

Remove the guilt, you heard right... I believe Downes wants a P2P
based environment where we all host our own PLE's from our own
environments (computers??). NO CENTRALIZATION!!!! This is why I think
that Wikia acquiring Grub is a really big deal;
http://developers.slashdot.org/developers/07/07/30/1632251.shtml I
believe what wikia is doing with purchasing Grub is what Downes is
advocating...

I believe WikiEducator aspires to this. I don't see them 'forcing' us
to localize (centrally store) our content. As long as we use a CC-BY
or CC-BY-SA the content can come from anywhere and we can store it
anywhere. Now they may not support Web 2.0 approaches (early RSS
features, tagging, pocasting, AJAX, etc...), but these technologies
are MediaWiki issues not a WikiEducator issues... And I think the TTST
provided a forum for this...

Or maybe I just read what I wanted to see... How constructivist of
me ;)

Cheers...

Leigh Blackall

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Jul 31, 2007, 7:09:08 AM7/31/07
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:) Hey Peter,

From my understanding, MediaWiki does support many "web2" feature sets. It is able to embed Youtube movies, I suspect it is possible to embed Slideshare, Googlevids, and Googlemaps and I reckon it can take and dish up better RSS... Brent passed me a page of MediaWiki extensions that lists them all. I expect some of them have bugs and stuff, but Brent also suggested a development space for trialling such stuff.

So, technically a lot of this stuff is possible - and as long as we are sampling CC BY/SA in the doing, we should be good hey? But those who can install this capability are very busy and no doubt have reservations on the mash and managing extensions as well...



On 7/31/07, Peter <praws...@gmail.com> wrote:

Peter

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Jul 31, 2007, 11:38:33 PM7/31/07
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Leigh (and Brent),

So the point of this message exchange is a resourcing issue at the
WIkiEducator end? And that those who may be available to install and
maintain these extensions have reservations about the pedagogical
value of the mashup? ;)

Peter

Leigh Blackall

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Aug 1, 2007, 12:57:05 AM8/1/07
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Yes, I think so.
I'm not pushing all this (wider range of licenses, mashups, feeds) because they are the features we need... they are the features we need but they are already available to us in other Wikis. I'm pushing this because I think it is a sustainability concern for Wikied and the over all mission.

Brent

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Aug 1, 2007, 7:30:34 PM8/1/07
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I don't think there are 'pedagogical issues' but I may be wrong. The primary concern and debate is the licensing around the embedding of third party media inside a WikiEd page. I get the impression that also it's also partly a "mission" thing ... the "mission" doesn't seem to be all that collaboratively agreed upon and for the most part is the perogative of COL that has an agenda based loosely around the UNESCO Education For All (EFA) agenda... but perhaps overarching "missions" are not suitable for fluid multi-purposed, multi-community platforms like this and may do more to exlude or alienate certain communities for the sake of others. Technically it's not that hard to install the extension to get video playing in WikiEducator. I've done it already on another wiki that I'm maintaining; i am not though maintaining or administering WikiEducator. Leigh is right that 'sustainability' should be part of this discussion. In this environment I see sustainability being, amongst other things, the ability to be relevant to users as well as existing with decreasing support by external investments. The abiilty to embed media (mash-up, etc) goes some way towards this on both counts.

brent.
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Philip Serracino Inglott

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Aug 2, 2007, 2:39:55 AM8/2/07
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A BIG part of the 'mission' of WikiEd as I have always understood it, (if you have different interpretations correct me) is to create educational content that is re-usable in places where there is little to no connectivity, ideally content would be reusable also where there are no IT skills (i.e. in print form). There is no 'pedagogical issue' with mashups per se. The problem is that of prioritizing resources, and installing a plugin to allow slideshares is not, in my opinion, the best use of technical resources (which are very limited) towards the above mentioned mission. Sustainability also means that WikiEd would have to maintain those plugins and make sure they produce reasonable results (both technically and licence wise) when a 'course' from wikieducator is printed or put on CD.

I think that in the current state-of -the-art, the principal difference between mashups and good-old-links is in the presentation (or am I missing something?) AFAIK, currently WikiEd is more concerned with the content then its presentation. This is based on the premise that most of the content will need to be re-contextualised anyway, when used, so its 'visual layout' will need to be edited as well.

Philip

Leigh Blackall

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Aug 2, 2007, 3:50:41 AM8/2/07
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Hi Philip,

Your interpretation is consistant with mine, however I think I disagree with your reasoning as to why we should not enable embedding 3rd party.

I'm not so sure how long I can sustain interest in the use of Wikieducator at my institution when people start asking why is wikied text and image only.. it is already difficult to inspire using it when almost every page presents as text. The teachers I work with are "competing" with other teachers who are using blogs and wikispaces to full effect and they would like their resources to be as engaging for audiences that are growing to expect this type of thing... so there is an imediate sustainability issue for us who are helping to develop content... I'm not sure if you have looked at my example pages that attempt to illustrate how we can continue to meet the limitations of users with little or no connectivity (which exist in NZ too) while engaging "state of the art" techniques with resource development at the same time...?

Sandhya Gunness

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Aug 3, 2007, 9:35:20 AM8/3/07
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Hello all,
I'm actually in Seychelles conducting a workshop on Moodle..
and guess what..we can't even have a decent email check..
I've had to come to a cyber cafe to be able to view and reply to mail that was 5 days old!
The cyber cafe is OK though..even got a webcam service..
but I'm wondering about whether the people in Ministries and education providers who have to host platforms realise that before jumping the bandwagon..Connectivity and downloading heavy duty material and think that the contents should be determined by people who are going to be using Wikied.
And I'm backing up Philip cos he's been there and seen it. WIkieducator wants to give acces to education to people who can't afford high bandwidths cos they don't have the technology.
Ok the webcam just freezed too.
Talk to u more soon
Sandhya

Leigh Blackall

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Aug 4, 2007, 2:23:31 AM8/4/07
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Hello Sandhya, some time ago I posted suggestions on how to balance the bandwidth issues. I have not had any comment on those suggestions, and I wonder if anyone is looking at them? I'm don't know how long you have been following this forum, so I'll repeat the suggestion below.

Here in Southern New Zealand, which I'm sure the rest of the world might consider being part of a "developed" nation, we are still at something like 80% dialup, with a significant number of farmers in rural areas with no connectivity at all. Those who do have broadband have to pay a minimum of $40 per month (which on top of a $40 per month line rental and normal telephone charges is quite difficult for many average wage earners in NZ. That broadband is capped too! - so downloading videos and stuff will quickly use up their monthly data allowance. People in my community also expect the likes of Wikied to offer video conservatively and with alternative access options (see below).

So while I am pushing for multi media, I am well aware of the issues of bandwidth and connectivity and keep them foremost in my mind in terms of my own local community.

So to repeat my suggestion for treating this issue here are the steps in a process that I hope wikied will eventually enable:

1. Link to the video
2. Embed the video if it is CC and on a site that offers embed code
3. Embedded videos have their own page (like images do) - on that page is the time code of the video with an invitation to help transcribe the audio
4. When video is fully transcribed then the video is copied and loaded to the Wikieducator servers (license permitting) in an open format.
5. Other editors may take stills from the video helping to build a print based resource based on the video
6. In enabling and expecting this process, Wikieducator will have managed to help bridge the divide by making the video more accessible than it was in the first place.

I don't think we are appreciating that when communities become highly connected, much of their knowledge and information will then be shared in multi media forms, its inevitable. I am already seeing many essays and thesis that exist solely as video. Vlogs and podcasts convey information almost entirely as video and audio with very little text to support them. Its unfortunate, but understandable. Wikied could be playing that vital role in bridging this widening information gap by means of the process I suggest above (not to mention partnering with analogue initiatives such as archive.org $1 books on demand). Ignoring the masses of information that is now available in multi media simply because of issues of connectivity is not helping to solve the problem, it is making it worse.

AND this process could be two way! Those without the bandwidth or resources to create and publish their own multi media could start using the platform to collaborate with those that do have the resources. Scripts, storyboards, multi lingual transcription...

Regards,
Leigh Blackall

Sandhya Gunness

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Aug 5, 2007, 11:15:56 AM8/5/07
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Hello Leigh..
Sorry Mea Culpa..I must have not read your previous posting..thanks for your patience and lighting my blown out candles!!
I'm agreeable to your suggestions and will take them as ordered by priority.. But there are some things I'm not familiar with:
 

1. Link to the video.. Most agreeable! Always give the option to the user to futher explore
2. Embed the video if it is CC and on a site that offers embed code
3. Embedded videos have their own page (like images do) - on that page is the time code of the video with an invitation to help transcribe the audio .. OK that I understood..clarifies number 2
4. When video is fully transcribed then the video is copied and loaded to the Wikieducator servers (license permitting) in an open format. (Whats transcribed?)
5. Other editors may take stills from the video helping to build a print based resource based on the video ..Like powerpoints? and Viewlets..
6. In enabling and expecting this process, Wikieducator will have managed to help bridge the divide by making the video more accessible than it was in the first place. Maybe DVD's could be better alternatives..ie for actually delivery and implementation of the courses and organised by institutions providing the courses from WikiEd..at least for the short term waiting for connectivity to get better. 
 
Thank you so much Leigh!
Sandhya
 
 


 
A BIG part of the 'mission' of WikiEd as I have always understood it, (if you have different interpretations correct me) is to create educational content that is re-usable in places where there is little to no connectivity, ideally content would be reusable also where there are no IT skills ( i.e. in print form). There is no 'pedagogical issue' with mashups per se. The problem is that of prioritizing resources, and installing a plugin to allow slideshares is not, in my opinion, the best use of technical resources (which are very limited) towards the above mentioned mission. Sustainability also means that WikiEd would have to maintain those plugins and make sure they produce reasonable results (both technically and licence wise) when a 'course' from wikieducator is printed or put on CD.

Leigh Blackall

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Aug 5, 2007, 5:54:17 PM8/5/07
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Hi Sandhya :)

Transcribe is - type the words said in the audio track - as well as any important sounds, along with the time code in the movie. Radio and TV programs do it for most of their important interviews etc, as to parliaments when representatives speak. Here is an example in Wikieducator. I think wikis are perfect for this work.

Important to understand that in step 2 and 3 video embedding is just a fancy way of linking. The video still comes from the external server, but it is displaying on the Wikieducator page. It is not possible to do this on Wikieducator yet, but here is an example of an embedded video on our MediaWiki here.

Regarding step 4, relating to transcription of video, but other users adding stills from the video. I think in many instances it is important to have a print version of the video for study use. Take a screen recorded video for example - a "screencast". Screencasts in themselves are useful to people who are already comfortable with computers and they just need a conceptual overview of something. Screencasts give that overview quite quickly. But others need to study the steps and go through it at their own pace. A print out version of the video that has significant steps described as text and images is more useful for this person - and for those who cannot access the online video. As with the transcription process, wikis would be perfect for this. If people such as yourself wanted to make a slide presentation out of this step - great!!

Regarding your suggestion to use DVDs - this could be useful in many situations, provided that we are able to produce DVDs that will read reliably on all the players. Of course, there are many people who would still prefer a print out version - no electricty, learning style prefers the pace of a print etc, so I think print options are needed. In saying that though, it seems that aiming for the print option produces media elements that could be reused in many ways. So it is kind of like open sourcing the video.

Thanks for the questions and ideas.
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