Why Open Matters

So it begins

This week wraps up the first week of the Introduction to Open Education MOOC offered through UT-Arlington’s LINK Lab.

One of the reasons why I am taking this course is to connect with others (already saw a fellow MN educator in the group), to compile additional resources for my lit review, and to find out about the fantastic open initiatives taking place all over the world. It will also be fun to blog again 🙂

The first week kicked off with overview videos from the course facilitators, George Siemens and David Wiley. As someone who finds the history of disciplines and academic fields endlessly fascinating, I enjoyed hearing about the genesis of the open movement, which as they note, is in its second decade. Both facilitators shared their stories about how they became interested in and got started with open education. I was familiar with Wiley’s history in terms of being inspired by the open source movement and his work with Lumen Learning. I was less familiar with Siemen’s background – he was part of the first 1:1 laptop programs in higher ed in Canada and views learning as open – as in transparent. When he talked about his current interests with learning analytics and data, this stood out to me:

How we make decisions with that data needs to be as transparent as the content

Additional names mentioned during their conversations include: Stephen Downes, Darcy Norman, Alan Levine, Bryan Alexander, and Dave Cormier. Supplemental resources mentioned include The cathedral and the bazaar and Open education: International perspectives in higher education…and many more in the ‘articles to read’ section.

From there we moved through a series of videos about why open matters: from the perspectives of librarians, students, Paul Bond, Bryan Mathers, and Stephen Downes! What I particularly appreciated about his video was his emphasis on people: “it’s not about what you do with stuff, it’s about what you did with each other.”

At this point, I am starting to wonder about other voices in this space….and then we came to the link to Jenny Mackness’ post. I echo her comments about this course, in that we collectively engage in “a critical approach, encourage diverse perspectives and be willing to surface and challenge assumptions.”

Active Citizen course: recap

Notes from the Active Citizen course

DEMOCRACY

Three spheres of democracy

Political sphere
  • encompasses government, elections, and participation in political life
  • political involvement is public information
  • political life is a combination of voluntary and required actions
Marketplace
  • buying things
  • investments
  • marketplace participation is unavoidable: marketplace activism (ie, boycotting companies) is voluntary and mostly private
Civil society
  • nonprofit organizations, sports clubs, neighborhood groups, protest organizations, & community, trade, or professional associations
  • civil society participation is private information

Why digital matters

  1. nature of digital data
    • two copies of it
    • non-rival and non-excludable good: many people can use an item at the same time AND it’s hard to restrict access to that item
  2. nature of the network
    • quantity of information that can be stored (infrastructure)
    • involvement of third parties
    • see digitalimpact.io for more info
    • civil society needs to function as an independent space, separate from markets and from government
    • where we are now: digital infrastructure built by private companies and controlled by government

Digital political engagement

  • TurboVote: online voter registration
  • MapLight: track donations to political campaigns
  • MoveOn.org: find like-minded folks to connect on various social issues
  • Public.Resource.org: publishes and shares materials in the public domain in the US and around the world
  • OSET Foundation: open source election technology
  • signing petitions
  • using hashtags
  • online tools used for offline organizing
  • positive: helps groups to grow in size and gain momentum faster than not using digital tools; negative: alerts adversaries to your actions

One of my favorite videos from the course:

 

OER Hub Researcher Pack: reading notes

 

 

 

I recently finished reading the OER Hub Researcher Pack, written by the @OER_Hub team, and wanted to capture some notes and citations for future work.

 

Introduction

  • focus on tools that researchers can use
  • adapt tools for our needs and share them back with the community
  • love that this book can be downloaded as a zip file!

Ethics

Data (quant)

  • conduct your analysis and publish your work prior to releasing data with CC license
  • data is a publication!
  • how do you plan to anonymize it? use metadata in such a way that data set is useful to others and can be built upon for additional research?

Survey questions

  • OER hub released a set of 54 core survey questions that align with 11 hypotheses of research project
  • question bank is reusable and remixable
  • follow good practices for survey and research design

Interview questions

Evaluation framework

  • serves as a means to check on project while it’s in progress and to see if it accomplished what researcher intended it to do
  • build evaluation in from the onset
  • see example from OER Hub

Infographics

Further reading

Digital scholar: Week 1 compliation

The Digital Scholar

I’m slowly working my way through the Digital Scholar course offered through the Open University.

One of the activities asked us to think about how digital, networked, and open technology has influenced one area of my practice, either in a small or large way.

On a micro level, watching and reading what others are doing has been my entry point into then taking the next step of reaching out to others, communicating, and interacting. I have met higher ed scholars and practitioners with similar interests online, and while I was not far enough along yet in my grad program to be able to have a solid research direction, at a minimum I now know how to connect with scholars who share my interests. From there, I can take the next step of building my networks and figuring out interesting ways to talk about my interests, research projects, etc.

Boyer’s (1990) Scholarship Reconsidered framework

Discovery

I envision that researchers, members of the community/public, students, and others who have a stake in what universities create, will all be a part of figuring out how to share new knowledge in a digital format. Maybe that means using visual or interpretive forms. A clinical trial reimagined as a novel, or a play, for example. And yes, the components that are essential to include for peer-reviewed journal articles such as methods, might fade away in light of the results section. Or perhaps the research process is part of the new story. I think what this will come down to is creative ways to share research outputs.

Integration

How do we work together across disciplines on problems? This seems to be the driving question behind this section. Seems that writing on the open web about your work, and hoping that someone comes across it is a first step. Then how to actually connect with others? Say for example, if I am interested in studying how gender impacts the edtech tools and programs currently in use, how would I go about connecting with programmers, usability folks, etc who would be interested in such a project? I will need to put more thought into this.

Application

Thinking about how this might look differently…and how faculty members – maybe grad students too? – might talk about this. It seems like there’s still a shroud of secrecy over what goes on in higher ed. Maybe faculty and grad students could find ways to talk about their service projects. is it enough to write about it on a blog? I have a feeling that a short post about spending 2 hours reviewing manuscripts may not be tremendously compelling reading, but maybe that’s part of the problem. Should we talk about it in ways that are accessible to our parents? Our siblings? Neighbors?

Teaching

Recognize the value and importance. I am not close enough to the teaching side to know how much, if any, the T&P process may be changing to value teaching at a higher priority. And in some cases, should it? Some schools have separate categories for teaching-focused positions and research-focused positions. This seems like it may be a way to recognize that not all faculty are equally interested in teaching and research, and place equal value on both areas.

Podcast resurgence?

Megaphone

As with many folks around the U.S. it seems, I have been slowly listening to podcasts with greater frequency. I was looking through some of the podcasters that I follow to share for Thing 14, and came across this wonky episode from Fresh Air: the mashup of Downton Abbey and Walking Dead initially drew me in as it seemed like such a random combination.

One of the things that I love about WordPress is how easy it is to insert images, videos, and audio clips from the web. No need to mess with the text editor to copy and paste the embed code from various sites. 🙂

Thing 13: web-based video platforms

... So Little Time (or) Radio video foto Janssen (Explored)

I’m exploring the accessibility, licensing, and features of the Vimeo platform. To do that, I looked through several of the videos in my liked and watch later categories. It was fun to re-watch these FemTechNet dialogue videos:

I am not sure what type of license this video holds. It doesn’t seem to explicitly state if this video can be reused. There is a clear link to a script, but that was included by those who uploaded the video. I also don’t see a closed caption button to toggle the captions on/off. This seems odd as captions are a basic accessibility requirement for video. When I went to Vimeo’s Help Center, it showed that captions could be uploaded. Only when they are uploaded with the cc button appear. I’m not sure if this is better or worse than YouTube’s auto-captions which are notorious for their inaccuracy.

Exploring OER with Thing 12

OEPS Advisory Forum and Project launch

For Thing 12, we are exploring Open Educational Resources. Great timing, as I’m writing this just prior to the 2016 OpenEd conference, which will kick off tomorrow in Richmond, VA. More specifically, we are looking at the amazing work that’s taking place at the University of Edinburgh in the areas of open educational resources and open educational practices. I am looking through their repository, which appears to be divided roughly by content area: arts & humanities, medicine & vet med, science & engineering, etc. This video about avoiding plagiarism pitfalls seems like it would be most applicable for students:

Remix this post: Thing 11

remix

Our topic for Thing 11 provided an overview of copyright in various countries and introduced us to Creative Commons. I have a baseline understanding of how copyright in the U.S. works, but less of an understanding once it moves past the country’s borders. It’s amazing how much it can differ between countries, particularly in the context of applying copyright and fair use to teaching and learning.

The two completion steps for Thing 11 called for us to first find two media files that carry a CC license for materials we might use in our work. I am working on a podcast for a class project right now, so it would be helpful to find some CC-licensed intro and outro music that I could use for it. Using the CC Search, I chose Jamendo as the search option and typed ‘instrumental music’ in the search box. There were about a half-dozen songs returned in the results. I chose one at random:

I am not able to tell what type of license this song has, nor if I am able to safely reuse/remix it for my podcast purposes.

I would also like to find an backdrop image for my SoundCloud podcast, so for the next search I chose Pixabay as the search option and typed ‘explore’ in the search box. I chose another one at random, mostly to see what type of license the image carried and to figure out what the download process would be if I were to use it. It has the best type of license, CC0, and an easy click-to-download button.

Creating knowledge with Thing 10: Wikipedia explorations

House of Knowledge Variation1 by Adrien Sifre CC-BY-NC-ND

House of Knowledge Variation1 by Adrien Sifre CC-BY-NC-ND

After a week-long break from the 23 Things course, I’m picking back up with Thing 10. Prior to heading to the AECT convention, I went through the Wikipedia Adventure and learned the basics of editing articles. It was quite fun to play and broke down the steps into smaller pieces. Participating in Wikipedia Edit-a-thons seems much more manageable now…

I’m listening to wikipedia while writing this post…it’s very calming. After Rainy Mood, could be my new favorite backdrop for work/study sessions.

Testing color and grayscale image hover options

bakelite switches by garycycles

bakelite switches by garycycles CC-BY

Testing out the image hover options with this post, and wondering if it works strictly with images via the media library, or embedded photos as well.

I was visiting a few sites recently (Michelle Pacansky-Brock‘s in particular) and noticed the neat image hover options. I’m fond of black and white photos, but also like to have some color interspersed throughout my site.

After some online searching, I came across this helpful article that talked about how to use CSS styling, and combined with some plugin advice, I am ready to test it out…

Update:

Take 2…downloaded image to media library instead. And success! Now to figure out about that gray rectangular box across the top of the post…