Now to copy someone else. This past weekend the first 42 Open Course Library courses made their way to Haiti on a DVD — a little over 1GB of course content. Here’s the presentation given by Brandon Muramatsu. It’s worth watching. So maybe you don’t get to travel as much as I want to these days, but at least your openly shared content can.
Today was a big day for open policy, with important hearings in the Washington State House and Senate on measures requiring open licensing of courseware developed with state funds. State Representative Reuven Carlyle sponsored the House bill (along with a number of other representatives), and testified at both hearings. The Senate companion bill was sponsored by Senators Tom, Hill, and Frockt.
It is notable that even though there was significant opposition to the bills from the universities, everyone supported using and sharing open resources. The concerns centered around *how* to go about implementing an open policy. Today’s conversations are well worth watching for anyone interested in these arguments or considering similar legislation. A quick summary:
Broad support for quality open textbooks in higher ed. (several universities said they are “all in” for open textbooks)
Everyone supports the spirit and intention of sharing open educational resources
Concerns raised at hearings:
Mandatory nature of policy (and how to track compliance)
Impact on faculty’s ability to publish in peer reviewed articles (and further impact on faculty P&T and retention)
Copyright vetting and copyright liability burdens on faculty
Tonight I’m thinking of the Ghandi quote David Wiley used almost a year ago: “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” I’ve been through the first three stages. The final stage we are in, the winning part requires a lot of listening, especially to faculty who are interested in OER but have different ideas about implementation.
Regardless of what happens to these two bills, one thing is clear: Open Educational Resources are moving into the mainstream. It’s time to expand educational opportunities for all. No more waiting. It’s time to share.
Scott Dennis and I presented at NorthWest eLearn in Vancouver, WA last Thursday and Friday. As usual, I threw my slides on SlideShare before the presentation. On Sunday I got an email telling me my prezi was “hot” on SlideShare. 5300 views later I am wishing I spent a little more time on those slides, but glad so many people have been exposed to the great work being done by the faculty of the Washington State colleges. The first 42 shareable courses of Open Course Library will be available on October 31, 2011. These course materials have already saved WA students hundreds of thousands of dollars. And we’re just getting started. Can’t wait to share it at the 2011 Open Education conference next week.
Ok, I know I’m 2 days late on blogging this announcement. The Learning Resources Metadata Initiative was announced Tuesday. I’m looking forward to reading through the metadata specs when they are done. (Metadata specs are a wonderful, natural sleep aid.)
Today Creative Commons and the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) announce the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative, a project aimed at improving education search and discovery via a common framework for tagging and organizing learning resources on the web. The learning resources framework will be designed to work with schema.org, the web metadata framework recently launched by Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, as well as to work with other metadata technologies and to enable other rich applications.
If you’ve already tried searching Google for recipes (try crepes), you know that along with the search results you get a nice list of ingredients with check boxes on the left of your search. That’s all due to a schema that allows for common criteria that Google or any other search engine can read. When web sites follow these standards for recipes, users can filter results in various ways. In my crepe recipe example below, I have the option of limiting search results to recipes under 100 calories (although you won’t find any crepe recipes with whip cream and nutella in that list.)
But schemas are good for more than finding specific recipes. It will change educational search, learning, and OERmagine you could do the same fine-grain sorting and filtering with educational resources. Check one box for pre-college and another box for open, modifiable resources only. This is why metadata (the tags and other hidden stuff that describes the content) is important in educational materials, especially OER. Those who use the proper metadata schemas will be included in the search results. Teachers and learners will be able to drill down and find *exactly* the materials they want at the proper grade level. This is a BIG deal for education and OER stands to gain a LOT more attention as a result. Keep your eyes on http://schema.org/.