The University of Central Florida's (UCF) Center for Distributed Learning (CDL) offers the Teaching Online Pedagogical Repository (TOPR) as a public resource for faculty and instructional designers interested in online and blended teaching strategies. Each entry describes a strategy drawn from the pedagogical practice of online/blended teaching faculty, depicts this strategy with artifacts from actual courses, and is aligned with findings from research or professional practice literature.
Creative Commons licenses provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors, artists, and educators. Leicester City Council / CC BY 4.0
Leicester City Council is the first local government authority in the United Kingdom (UK) to provide 84 community schools with blanket permission to openly license their educational resources. The council is recommending that school staff use the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license to share materials created in the...
Last Friday, 20th September, saw a one-day conference on open educational resources in modern foreign languages, held at the University of Bristol. It was an enjoyable and interesting day, at which about 50 MFL colleagues from across the UK came together to share practice, to inspire others and be inspired in turn.
I was honoured to be invited to give the opening keynote address and I talked about my work at LLAS exploring various aspects of open educational practice with different groups of language teachers in the UK. The language educator community have embraced the notion of open working from an early point and have played an important role in exploring the nature and practice around OERs in the UK. I appealed to my language practitioner colleagues to continue this glorious tradition and emphasised the need for individual action to drive forward innovation, exploration and activity in open educational practice.
A diverse range of interesting and excellent work was presented during the day, including Cecilia Goria (Nottingham)’s findings from running small-scale MOOCs (“TinyOOC?”) for the learning of Italian; the OU’s wide range of open initiatives in languages from Anna Comas-Quinn and Maria Dolores Iglesias; and fascinating work on new open German grammar materials from John Partridge (Kent) and Susanne Krauβ (Philipps-Universität Marburg).
Christoph Zähner demonstrated the fantastic open courseware (http://www.langcen.cam.ac.uk/opencourseware/index.html) available through the Cambridge University Language Centre – look at the German Language resources, as an example – and Alessia Plutino (Southampton) showcased her online materials for Italian, a selection of which can be found on the LanguageBox (http://languagebox.ac.uk/2533/). Alessia talked about sharing her work with colleagues and her surprise at how they have used her OERs in quite different learning contexts. Enza Siciliano Verruccio (Reading) pointed to the future with news of an exciting project which will make generic, skills-focussed OERs for the learning of any language, available nationally through the Routes into Languages network (https://www.routesintolanguages.ac.uk/); and Héléne Pulker (OU) closed the day with some fledgling research into the re-use of language-related OERs reporting an important start in an area which needs further exploration.
The day was expertly organised by Gloria Visintini, Andrea Zhok and Jonas Langner, in the Department of Modern Languages at Bristol. Thanks go to them for organising a great day!
The movement toward open content reflects a change in the way educators and scholars are conceptualizing education. Information is everywhere now; the challenge is to make effective use of it. Often mistaken to simply mean “free of charge,” advocates of openness have worked toward defining “open” more broadly — not just free in economic terms, but also in terms of ownership and usage rights. Alternative licensing schemes such as Creative Commons have advanced this vision by providing a legal framework for people to share content freely. The goal of openness is to ensure the unimpeded distribution of valuable, scientific knowledge and to guarantee that educational materials are freely copiable, freely remixable, and free of barriers to access. Using open content also has pragmatic appeal; it offers solutions to the rising cost of education and addresses the scarcity of quality resources in remote or developing regions of the world. As more schools, universities, and other academic institutions integrate open content into curricula, there will be increased focus on processes to evaluate and validate these resources on a wide scale. Issues of intellectual property and digital citizenship are equally important to understanding the impact of this trend on teaching and learning.
Google is opening up its Google Maps Gallery service with an expanded array of historical and contemporary maps, as well as tools for students and educators that will allow them to create and edit their own maps.
Ms Kelleher, the school's principal, said that the focus "shouldn't be on the technology, it should always be on the learning".
But she said teachers can be "frustrated by the static nature of traditional textbooks. They are often expensive and out of date almost as soon as they are published."
Developing the digital course materials, which pupils can use at school or at home, has been "very positive" and rather than reducing the role of the teacher, she says that it makes the teacher "more important than ever".
The consortium's mission is to expand access to education by promoting awareness and adoption of Open Educational Resources. There are webinars, resources and information about how to promote and use OERs.
On 20 November, the medical charity, of Seattle, Washington, announced that from January 2015, researchers it funds must make open their resulting papers and underlying data-sets immediately upon publication — and must make that research available for commercial re-use. “We believe that published research resulting from our funding should be promptly and broadly disseminated,” the foundation states. It says it will pay the necessary publication fees (which often amount to thousands of dollars per article).
The Foundation is allowing two years’ grace: until 2017, researchers may apply a 12-month delay before their articles and data are made free. At first glance, this suggests that authors may still — for now — publish in journals that do not offer immediate open-access (OA) publishing, such as Science and Nature. These journals permit researchers to archive their peer-reviewed manuscripts elsewhere online, usually after a delay of 6-12 months following publication.
I predict we’re going to hear a lot more from landscape architects in the coming years. There has long been a misunderstanding about what they actually do – “something about gardens” being a common response.
But the diversity and scale of work in landscape architecture is huge, and the mix of skills and expertise required shows real promise for dealing with the pressing issues facing Australian cities. Whether climate change or urbanisation, population growth or densification, landscape architects have ideas for how to make our future cities liveable, workable and beautiful.
One school in Pennsylvania is using open-source tools wherever possible to keep students close to the code behind the machines they use. This stance is opposite to the very restrictive policies of many schools, but could allow students more freedom to explore what makes devices work.
Instructure has launched a limited pilot of Canvas Commons, a new learning object repository that integrates with the Canvas learning management system.
The system, designed for both K-12 and higher education, was developed with guidance from a consortium of universities under the Unizin umbrella, including Colorado State University, Indiana University, the University of Florida and the University of Michigan. Unizin itself will be the first organization to pilot Canvas Commons.
Features of Canvas Commons include:
The ability to build and share courses, course materials, assessments and other resources;The ability to maintain a private learning object repository;Integration with the Canvas learning management system, including the ability to share materials from Canvas Commons;Support for both public and selective sharing of specific resources; andSearch tools, including filters for topics, grade levels, type and institution.
As the open education resources (OER) movement continues to evolve — most recently through high-profile university MOOCs and distributed open collaborative courses (DOCCs), as well as in nontraditional online educational opportunities such as those at Khan Academy and General Assembly — an even greater urgency arises for an open, sustainable scholarly information ecosystem. How can OERs succeed if the research and scholarship that students and faculty need to learn and teach is inaccessible?