16 octobre 2019

New Open-Access Medical Journal, Offshoot of CMAJ Firing Fight, Is Launched

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. New Open-Access Medical Journal, Offshoot of CMAJ Firing Fight, Is Launched
This is a long and bitter story regarding the ruin of a prestigious Canadian medical journal because of editorial interference. The result, though, is the launch of a new, open, Canadian journal in medicine, Open Medicine, officially launched Wednesday. "It will be available online only, will have no subscription fees, and no corporate or medical association ownership. It won't accept advertisements for medical devices and drugs - the major advertisers in traditional journals." That's one of the major aspects of open publishing - independence. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:32 - - Permalien [#]

Open Access Learning Environments

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Open Access Learning Environments
According to the author, "Although there are logical reasons for moving toward closed environments, we may be erring too far on the side of caution. Educators and administrators are encouraged to consider the advantages of alternative models that respect the need for privacy while opening learning opportunities to a wider population." Reasonable. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:27 - - Permalien [#]

An MIT OpenCourseWare Course Via an OPML Feed

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. An MIT OpenCourseWare Course Via an OPML Feed
Tony Hirst pulls a Peter Shanks and shows MIT how it should be done. I love this commentary: "The download bundle is - I guess(?!) - a standard (?) IMS - err - package? (can you tell I'm not up on educational material interoperability standards?!;-) That is to say, the zip archive file opens into a set of nested directories with an imsmanifest.xml document. The archive file also contained copies of the HTML pages used on the course website as well as the PDF versions of the course lecture notes. What I had been hoping for was a 'clean' XML version of the course webpages (i.e. a single source document from which they had been generated)". More...

Posté par pcassuto à 08:27 - - Permalien [#]

10 octobre 2019

OER Discussion Update...

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. OER Discussion Update...
Brian Lamb offers his own answerrs to recent questions on the nature of learning and open educational resources (OERs) and links in passing to the new OERderves blog. Cute name. "Even with the dramatic changes in the broader techno-cultural landscape in the past ten years," he asks, "how much has essentially changed with universities in the western world? Isn't it all too easy to imagine universities remaining essentially unchanged - or at least clinging to business as usual - ten, even twenty years from now?". More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:00 - - Permalien [#]

A Review of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement: Achievements, Challenges, and New Opportunities

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. A Review of the Open Educational Resources (OER) Movement: Achievements, Challenges, and New Opportunities
Only a small percentage of Hewlett money is invested outside the U.S. ($12 million out of $68 million, mostly to Europe, Africa and China) and most of it is given to large institutions (who, IMHO, don't need the money) so I haven't paid strict attention to the foundation's activities supporting open educational resources (OERs) - though, to be sure, the agencies funded, such as MIT's OpenCourseWare and Rice's Connexions, have had a far-reaching impact.
Anyhow, about half this report is devoted to summarizing the Foundation's activities. Where it gets interesting is with this: "We are advocating investments to achieve more pervasive access to OER and are advocating an initiative aimed at deeper impact on learning. We advocate an initiative, building on OER, to create a global culture of learning. A culture of learning, or what some might call a learning ecosystem, is targeted at preparing people for thriving in a rapidly evolving, knowledge-based world... We now propose that OER be leveraged within a broader initiative-an international Open Participatory Learning Infrastructure (OPLI) initiative..."
The Foundation, in other words, should embrace Web 2.0. Sort of - the authors pile everything but the kitchen sink into the concept, including rich media, Second Life, virtual organizations, mobile computing and gaming. The report also suggests creating linkages with e-science and cyberinfrastructure (a 'grassroots movement', according to the authors, though "catalyzed by a landmark 2003 report from an NSF-appointed Blue-Ribbon Advisory Panel, 'Revolutionizing Science and Engineering through Cyberinfrastructure.'" - uh huh).
There is no doubt some merit in the concept of the OPLI - it is, after all, very similar to what I recommended in 2005 ("the functions of production and consumption need to be collapsed, that the distinction between producers and consumers need to be collapsed") but in the details (p. 66 ff) there needs to be some hard (and critical) thinking. Why is Globus a model but Google not? Is repurposing the good idea it is made out to be (why not a new resource for each context)? When they say 'service-oriented', do they mean SOA, REST, or JSON? Is automated interchange a good idea? And why oh why would you allow resources that are manifestly not open to be called "open" on the dubious basis that there is "a continuum of openness." And is "smartly instrumented" just a way for the evidence-based people to sneak into the mix?
Hewlett, like I say, goes for the institution-based solution, and this report plays right into that (and the authors even offer to recommend funding candidates). OERs don't yet exist, and this report recommends a move away from them. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 13:52 - - Permalien [#]

09 octobre 2019

Impact of ICTs On Open and Distance Learning in a Developing Country Setting: The Philippine Experience

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Impact of ICTs On Open and Distance Learning in a Developing Country Setting: The Philippine Experience
According to this article describing the use of ICTs to support e-learning in the Philippines, "it is not wise to use technology simply for technology sake, it must be 'relevant.' 'Relevance' in this case has two dimensions: the first is process and the second is substance." Cost (ie., access) and culture: it's the same thing in pretty much every article in the current IRRODL, in articles describing e-learning in Nepal and Bhutan, China, Cambodia, even Korea. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 11:50 - - Permalien [#]

08 octobre 2019

Open Training Platform

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Open Training Platform
Just launched by UNESCO, the Open Training Platform is intended "to empower trainers or/and trainees with free resources, offer them a structured collaborative space to share their training but also to promote and value the 'open' training materials, which are freely and openly accessible for trainers and self-learners to use and re-use for non commercial purposes such as teaching, learning and research." It is worth noting, as Armelle Arrou does in an email, that "although at the moment much of the content is copyright protected, we are aiming to sensitize UN staff and other training producers to the importance of open content licensing. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:41 - - Permalien [#]

Open Canadian Geodata

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Open Canadian Geodata
Back when I was designing a website for the municipal sector in Alberta I had a number of meetings with people who were developing GIS applications. At the time, their competitive advantage was that they had privileged access to government data (it certainly wasn't their technology, which never did make any real impact). I tried to free up that data so we could use it in MuniMall. I begged. I cajoled. I whined. I complained. I went to conferences and harangued them at their booth. Nothing worked, and we never did get any decent GIS applications. Now, finally, "In response to demands from users for no fee access to framework geographic data and the increasing technological shift in the marketplace, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), is pleased to announce that starting April 1st 2007, the Earth Sciences Sector (ESS) ... will initiate a change from a cost recovery environment to an environment providing no fee access to its current DTD products." Finally. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:38 - - Permalien [#]

Land Grabs, Business Models and Open Standards

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. Land Grabs, Business Models and Open Standards
I know, it's a busy day today, with a lot of links, but I do want to pass along this diagram of the 'ID stack layers' from Marc Canter. He writes, "OpenID is a way to authenticate users, and microformats is one form of a data format - but it's not enough. FOAF should probably also be included in the mix - but the technical facts are that this problem gets solved by an entire stack of solutions - all leading to the idealistic world we all want." Quite right. Because right now we're still in the 'land baron' era, where developers corral a bunch of users, lock them into place, and monetize them. We need to be able to allow people to move their attributes from site to site. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 14:37 - - Permalien [#]

2005 - 2010: The OpenCourseWars

By Stephen Downes - Stephen's Web. 2005 - 2010: The OpenCourseWars
You will enjoy David Wiley's future history of open source even if it is ultimately a sustained argument for the abolition of the non-commercial clause in Creative Commons licensing (drawing on the previously noted conflict between what Creative Commons says the clause means and what MIT says it means). I stand by my defense of the clause and by my non-technical interpretation (specifically - if you're making money off it, it's commercial, and if you have to ask whether or not a use is commercial, it's commercial). Wiley also felt compelled to write a subsequent defense of MIT OCW. Not that I would ever doubt his support either for open courseware or MIT's version of it. And while Wiley's own passion for a future of open courseware may never merit 15 minutes on CNN, it should be known that there are other criteria more meaningful, and that his own work, as much as anything done over at MIT, is significant. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 12:41 - - Permalien [#]