Connecting dots of digital learning

A Review of Open Education in 2011

According to Reuven Carlyle, State Representative from Washington, the apple to apple comparison of cost, per textbook, will be about $6 for Open Education Resources instead of $120-plus for proprietary, commercial textbooks. (read  $64 million for out-of-date and educationally generic textbooks? Here’s a new approach) Hopefully, 2011 is a remarkable year for open educational resources(OERopen textbook). Here are great reviews given recently.

Open Educational Resources, OERTop Ed-Tech Trends of 2011: “Open” by Audrey Watter (under Creative Commons CC-BY-SA)

JANUARY:

  • The Departments of Labor and Education announced a $2 billion program to help build educational and career-training materials. The stipulation: the materials have to be licensed Creative Commons CC BY, making them available to be openly shared and remixed.

FEBRUARY:

MARCH:

  • Federal Judge Denny Chin threw out the Google Books settlement, rejecting the deal that Google had made with the authors and publishers over its digitization efforts. (Not a ruling about openness per se, but definitely a ruling about ownership.)

APRIL:

JUNE:

  • Federal legislation was introduced in Brazil that would require that government funded educational projects be openly licensed. And the Sao Paolo Department of Education also mandated that all its educational content be released under the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial Share-Alike license.

JULY:

  • Activist and early Reddit-er Aaron Swartz was indicted for downloading some 4 millionJSTOR articles from the MIT library.

SEPTEMBER:

  • JSTOR announced that it making all its early journal content freely available — because, ya know, it’s not copyrighted — including all JSTOR articles published prior to 1923 in the U.S. and prior to 1870 elsewhere in the world. (Thanks Aaron Swartz!)

OCTOBER:

  • Washington launched the Open Course Library which makes openly-licensed content available as a (potential) textbook replacement for 81 of the state’s most popular college classes. (also read : Beginning of the end for $100 college textbooks: Legislature, colleges, Gates Foundation partner)
  • Pearson announced OpenClass, prompting me to use an Admiral Ackbar image in my story about the education company’s “free and open” LMS.
  • Language in a House Appropriations Bill appeared to strip federal funding for OER in any Department of Labor materials. (See January. Marvel at lobbying efforts.)
  • LMS giant Blackboard announced its support for OER, making it possible for faculty to share their course materials. The company also said it was revising its policies so that institutions that do open up their course materials this way don’t incur any additional licensing costs when people access the materials, even via webinars and the like.

NOVEMBER:

DECEMBER:

  • Prooposed legislation in California will allocate $25 million to create the California Digital Open Source Library, a library of 50 free and openly-licensed college textbooks.
  • MIT announced MITx which aims to let thousands of online learners take laboratory-intensive courses, while assessing their ability to work through complex problems, complete projects, and write assignments (see FAQ).

Open movements in summary is from 2011 The Year of Open by Paul Stacey :

  • Governments in Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the US have all adopted Creative Commons licenses to communicate broad reuse rights to the content, data, and educational materials they create.
  • British Columbia the provincial government has established a Ministry of Labour, Citizen’s Services and Open Government and became the first provincial government in Canada to launch an open data portal.
  • The city of Sao Paulo in Brazil has decreed that all educational resources paid for by the city need to be Open Educational Resources (OER) licensed using Creative Commons license.
  • The National Autonomous University of Mexico, better known as UNAM, has said it will make virtually all of its publications, databases, and course materials freely available on the Internet over the next few years. This is to include all magazines and periodicals published by UNAM, research published by UNAM employees, and online access to theses, dissertations and its approximately 300 undergraduate and graduate courses.
  • Museums and libraries are going open. Check out the Commons on Flickr to see how libraries and museums are openly sharing what have been hidden treasures in the world’s public photography archives, and how they are openly sourcing public input and knowledge into making these collections even richer.
  • UNESCO and the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) published the UNESCO-COL Guidelines for Open Educational Resources (OER) in Higher Education this year providing a set of guidelines to support governments, teaching staff, higher education institutions/providers, and quality assurance/accreditation and recognition bodies adopt and support OER.
  • US government launched an initiative Digital Promise using Idea Scale (solution for idea management and suggestion box software) to generate and tackle “grand challenges” to spur breakthrough technologies that can help transform the way teachers teach and students learn. You can see grand challenge ideas submitted so far in Idea Scale here.
  • There is Saylor’s Open Textbook Challenge which is offering $20,000 if you submit your textbook to them and it is accepted for use in their course materials.
  • Wayne Mackintosh and the Open Educational Resource Foundation (OERF) in New Zealand have been doing just an amazing job of bringing to life the OER university (OERu). The founding partners represent Canada, USA, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, and India. For OERu to have attracted the interest and involvement of this many partners in a one year period is impressive. All have been planned and published openly on Wikieducator with invited and included participation from people all over the world.
  • Award of grants for the 2010 BCcampus Online Program Development Fund which supports partnerships of BC public post secondary institutions in their development of online learning curricula as OER.(eighth consecutive round,  cumulative investment to $9 million)
  • Next Generation Learning Challenges Wave I $750K grant for the North American Network of Science Labs Online
  • Open4Learning Educational Technology Users Group Workshop in Nelson BC. An awesome program exploring the diverse aspects of open in education from a BC perspective.
  • BC’s Electronic Library Network at their December meeting began planning initiatives around OER, open textbooks and a copyright course for faculty and students in 2012.

Open resources in summary is from 2011 The Year of Open by Paul Stacey :

More reading :

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