Tag Archives: Creative Commons

Live Blogging – David Wiley’s #OCL2 keynote

In medieval days – university classes consisted of students handwriting out the copies of the text from slowly lectured texts.

The printing press was a huge disruptive technology. University educators with “lecture books” where students still had to copy the same lecture-notes .  Not much has changed since then in teaching.  The disruptive technology of books didn’t change school.  Why do we think computers will?

Why Be Open?

The technical argument:

Education is sharing.  Students share with teachers (projects and homework) and teachers share with students (content and ideas).  When there is no sharing, there is no education.

Knowledge is magical:

You give knowledge without giving anything away.  When items are put in a tangible form, I know longer have it in my possession and have to compete for access…the exception is when ideas are stored digitally. Example: paper newspaper vs – users don’t have to compete for the resource when it is digital. We have an unprecendented capacity to share digitally. The cost of sharing one $250 page book from $1000 copied by hand to $.000084 for a digital share.  Distribution of digital sharing follows the same pattern.

Sense-making, Meaning-making:

Educationally sharing digital content is about helping users connect with prior knowledge and is “local”. Having the ability to edit or adapt material to help with the sense-making is vital and necessary.  Copyright prohibits this despite the Internet’s ability to help it.  Creative Commons, on the other hand, enforces sharing. What the Internet enables – OER allows.

Buy One, Get One:

You don’t always get one when you buy one – for instance, the public investment in research at universities. $2750 per article with all costs included – yet the public doesn’t have free access to these peer-reviewed articles. All taxpayer-funded educational resources SHOULD be OER.

Financial Argument:

Wiley debunks the theory that if you give it away for free, people stop buying.  Shows examples of students registering for courses after using OER, correlations between free online book sales with strong print sales, and for-profit business being successful using CC licensed textbooks (Flat World Knowledge).

Flat World Knowledge model – use online for free or pay approximately $35 for a print-on-demand text.  Students have saved approximately $39 million.

Project Kaleidoscope – 10 high enrolled courses on 8 campuses – sharing adopted OER texts targeted at specific courses.  97% students rate the text about the same or better.%83 like the format as well or better than traditional texts. 87% would choose or have no preference on their next courses based on the availability of these types of texts.

CK12 – teachers adapt CK12 materials for K-12 in a printed version. The model shows how high schools can pay $5 instead of $80 for textbooks. Expensive books are slow to turn over – content becomes dated over the 7 year adoption cycle.  The $5 model allows students to consume the text, and interact with it, because the schools will revise and reprint the next year. There has been no significant difference using these texts without providing professional development in using this technology – (the cost reduction is significant though!).

Utah takes the lead – Statewide secondary schools will be using open texts starting in 2012.

Openness facilitates the Unexpected


Syllabi in a wiki.  Students can change it if they want.  No one touched the wiki (even with permission) at first.  Later, they added assignments – things they wanted to see.

Student work archived on blogs (making optional avoids FERPA). This work becomes searchable artifacts for others outside the course. These pieces get connected to the greater web for comment, sharing, and motivate students to up their game. The work becomes part of the student’s online identity and so they take the time for more quality work.

Open the course online for non-registered students to participate. 75 people participated with 7 graduate students.  The global audience made it richer.  The partipants got a certificate from David with a “good job” on it. See Chronicle article.

Use of badges for grades on courses created using a MORP type format.


Easier to use data to fix courses.  There is a relationship between openness and analytics.  Requires permissions to be able to make those fixes.

Speed of Innovation:

Content IS the infrastructure. ‘The physical components of interrelated systems…essential to enable, sustain, or enhance’ societies and enterprises. – wikipedia.  To speed up innovation, increase quality and decrease the cost of the infrastructure. Lower cost and higher quality decreases the risk of innovation.

Do the Right Thing – the moral argument:

If we can push a button that betters the world, wouldn’t you? Shouldn’t you?  Putting materials online with open license is “pusing the easy button” for educational sharing. What is the responsibilities inherent with that. What kind of obligation do we have to push that button since we have the ability to do it?

“The good we can do is constrained only our creativity and commitment.”


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Open Course Library – Phase 2 – It begins

Today was both a celebration and a starting point for the project.  We celebrated the folks who developed courses in OCL – Phase1 and kicked off Phase 2 with a mostly new group of faculty course developers.

OCL celebration

Cable Green (Project Director for Phase1 and now at Director of Global Learning at Creative Commons) started Round 2 off right with his lunch keynote. Current director, Tom Caswell, then took the reigns to connect experienced developers with the newbies in an overview and Q&A session. The real work begins tomorrow.

One of the unexpected takeaways from this project, is our progress in learning how to share large-scale development as it is happening. With that in mind, this phase of OCL will move course development out of proprietary LMS software and into the open using Google Sites and Docs as both our development platform and hosting site for the finished courses. As one of the instructional designers for the project, I am really interested to see how this changes the process for us this year.

Check back to follow our progress through this phase.  I look forward to your comments and questions.

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Posted by on January 24, 2012 in Open Course Library


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Open Textbooks – A la Carte or Seven Course Meal?

I posted the paragraphs below on my blog page on the Community College Open Textbook Project Ning. Until then, I didn’t think my understanding of how to use Open Textbooks (depending on their licensing) was outside the norm.  To explain,  I look at the Open Textbook like an a la carte menu, where I can just order what I want and leave the rest for some other patron.  In my mind, closed (and print) textbooks are more like seven course meals with a menu decided for you.  Take the whole meal or none of it.

Since OERs generally come in bite-size modules, I assumed Open Textbooks came with the same kinds of options of utilizing  a single chapter here or module there.  But Judy Baker‘s reply (listed in blue following my post below) got me thinking maybe my vision of Open Textbooks is way off base from the intent of the Open Textbook movement.

My Ning post: I teach pre-college English composition online. My students are not English majors and it is doubtful that they will ever be interested in becoming the next Hemingway or even the next Stephen King. They just want to pass the minimum English requirements necessary for their particular certificate or degree program. In their eyes, everything else is busy work.

When I think about Open Textbooks and the ability to remix, reuse, and repurpose – this is where I get a little excited. Creative Commons licensing means I can pull a chapter here and a section there – cobbling together just what my students need. Instead of a tome meant to create future Nobel Laureates in literature, I can build an online composition guide meant to help future auto mechanics, nurses, turf managers, and cosmetologists be able to communicate in writing in a clear and concise way in eleven weeks.

Once I create it, others can use it, too. Or improve upon it. Or remix it.

Toni Morrison once wrote, “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Open textbooks are kind of like that. If there’s a book you really need for a class, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must create it. (And, of course, put a Creative Commons license on it so others can use it, too).

Judy Baker’s response: Well put! You put a whole other spin on this that I haven’t considered. Thank you!

Help me out readers – do I have a good grasp of the Open Textbook concept – or have I missed the forest for all the trees we’ll be saving by going digital?


Posted by on November 4, 2009 in The Plan


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My First “Official” Open Ed Resource

I am in the middle of teaching three online courses, taking George Siemen’s Introduction:Emerging Technologies -Africa open course for my Open PhD studies, making tons of Twitter connections with fellow like-mined educators, and staying in a 5th wheel trailer for two weeks on my sister’s property in Eastern Washington state while I visit my relatives on this side of the country.  What’s a girl to do in her spare time?

Write up a post about a teaching resource for using digital media and social networking to promote critical thinking in the on or off line classroom, of course.

I’ve had the article rolling around in my head for a while now.  I posted it to my other blog site that I use for sharing resources and reflections with other online educators.  You can find that post here.  Nothing really new in my doing that.

The “aha!” moment came when I realized what was significant about this practice.  I’ve been  intentionally creating and posting educational resources to be shared…openly…freely…use them at your own discretion.


I’ve been a part of this movement for sometime now, and I didn’t even know it?


With this particular post, however, I officially slapped a Creative Commons attribution, non-commercial, share alike license on the post just to make sure my readers knew they could play with my toys in their own sandbox.

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Posted by on October 17, 2009 in The Plan


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