Sunday, June 17, 2012

Closed Minds in an Open World

thanks to Gabriel Vivas for image under Creative Commons Licence 

I enjoyed chatting with members of the Association of Learning Technology at Glasgow Caledonian University on Thursday morning. It was great to speak to  lots of like minds. It is great that the Funding Council is committed to open  - but we need more folks to know this - it should be reflected in institutional policies . It should stretch into schools and FE and other government agencies, who should be leading by example.

A clear policy steer was made in 2004 . It is quite hard to find policy in action though !

 I included my own as an example of one that is trying to open up but could do with more of a  policy steer.

What would a more open world look like ...

1. To get institutions and teachers to throw off the shackles and get sharing - ideally using creative commons or other suitable open licences ( publishing only to an institutional VLE or even to the closed part of national intranet like GLOW is not open)

2. Non Departmental Public Bodies and other public agencies should understand open publishing too and be using the appropriate licensing. I'll stick here with learning content here but similar cases should be made for open data etc

3. In vocational space and probably school space too we should be doing much more reaching out to Commonwealth of Learning and initiatives like the American Community College Open Text Book initiatives. The Khan Academy and some other big charitable initiatives are really just the tip of much bigger iceberg of teachers and learners making and sharing content.

4. In UK we need to make more use of JISC and other institutional OER . There are real staff development needs in schools and FE for example in areas like computing and genetics to identify just two areas. But in lots of cases great teaching resources are open and available in the system but awareness is low . Education Scotland and others should be looking for evidence of a range of these materials being used across education.

5. In a UK context perhaps  Do you know about JORUM and better what is your publishing record to JORUM ? . Where is the Scottish or UK schools equivalent of JORUM ?

I am hoping that ALT can help all of us by pulling together a draft Scottish response to the next  UNESCO Declaration on OER which will appear after 20th of June 2012.

Open is part of the culture of Scottish Education but we need to get more folks to understand how to get there.

It is great too to have agencies like ALT who have been punching above their weight in this space for a long time. Great too that JISC have always committed themselves to the open space.

I suppose I better declare an interest  I've been on executive of ALT , I am currently on their publications committee and I still sit on advisory committee of JORUM - but I think that is just an indication that I am doing my bit .

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