Monday, February 11, 2008

Open Source Resources for WA CTCs

I was in a meeting today with Cable Green on open source. Here are the opening notes that were posted on Injenuity's blog before the meeting:

Cable Green will lead a discussion on how the Washington Community and
Technical Colleges can actively participate in and contribute to the
Open Educational Resources (OER) movement.

He doesn’t have the answers but brings a host of questions that higher
education needs to wrestle with to increase learning opportunities,
lower costs, and form a more perfect global learning space.

* How do we educate all stakeholders about open educational resources
(software, content, standards, publishing) and why they are an important
part of our system’s future?
* How do we make it easy to share learning materials, courses and
* What are the policy implications of sharing content? Are we all so
unique that we can’t use one another’s courses? How many different
Algebra 101 courses do we need?
* Under what circumstances will faculty “receive” what has been built by
others? How do we collectively get past the issue of “I need to build it
* Is content is a strategic advantage? Or do walled gardens wither and
die without the winds of collective input and continuous iteration?
* How much longer can our students afford traditional textbooks? Why
can’t we develop open textbooks?
* How much longer can our libraries afford buying access to articles our
faculty published? What is stopping us from an open publishing movement
for academic journal articles?


I have been interested in open source teaching materials since I have been involved in teaching or education support. We have really lost something in this age of "intellectual property" and copyright. I don't think I would be the teacher I am today if it wasn't for the other teachers who were gracious enough to share ideas, curricula and syllabi.

I am creating an open source developmental English textbook. I am going to offer it on LuLu.Com but the whole book will be in a Creative Commons rather than a restrictive copyright.

All of the teaching tools that we create in Second Life should be available to all teachers.

Faculty claim to be interested in the students welfare when they say that they do not want to have "their" students learn online because of the cost. Yet, they will assign textbooks that cost over a hundred dollars.

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