lørdag den 30. marts 2013

Activity 9. Choose a Creative Commons licence.

For your blog content and other material you produce, consider which of the Creative Commons licences you would use, and justify your choice. 


All this CC is new to me. First time I heard of it, was during the EDC-mooc. For years I've collected a lot of ressources from the internet and posted them on my own website. The website, that I use to facilitate my students learning. 
I must admit, I have absolutely NO idea of which CC licences the collected materials have. So I don't feel I have any right to put a CC licence on my site, until I have sorted out any licences on the collected materials. But I will certainly be aware of this in the future.

For my blogs it's easier. All my blogs are quite new, and I've only shared my own or open content. Here I've chosen the CC - BY - SA. I like and benefit a lot from the culture of sharing, so it would be wrong to deny other people to share my stuff. And if somebody wants to  re-use or re-shape it, and showed me the result, I think I would feel proud. Or at least think it was fun. 

So, deciding a licence was easy. To put it on Blogger was more difficult. I tried to add it as a gadget, but couldn't make it work. Then as a last desperate try I wanted to add it as a gadget in the bottom of the screen and VOILA it worked. The gadget "Configure HTML / JavaScript" did the trick :)

Activity 7. Three key issues in OER

  • Read three articles of your choice from a suggested OER reading list on Cloudworks.
  • Based on your reading, write a blog post of around 500 words, setting out what you perceive as the three key issues in OER, and how these are being addressed.

In this blog post I use following abbreviations:

ECTS     European Credit Transfer System
FFR        Final Forum Report
HEI         Higher education institution
OCW      Open Course Ware
OER       Open Education Ressources
OERT     Open Education Ressources test

Detailed list of used ressources is in the end of the post.


My son and my mother in the airport Friday morning

Just picked up my son in Bruxelles Airport yesterday morning. He returned after a 15 days school trip to Zambia. We have snow in Bruxelles but he arrived dressed as when he entered the plane in Johannesburg. Typically  (long shuddering, motherly sigh).

He and 21 other students from our school spent ten days teaching students in Sankandi Basic School in the Zambian bush.

Our school, Ecole Européenne de Bruxelles 1 (EEB1) participates in a project that aims to help schools in the western province of Zambia. Every year we send 22 of our 6th year secondary students to teach in the school and to witness how the collected money and materials are used. They visit other schools in the area incl Sioma High School.

Pupils in Sankandi Basic School (foto by Sebastian Bailey Hass)

Watching my sons photos and listening to his experiences I can't help to connect it to the Open Education course and how the need for OER suddenly seems extra ....uh, could I say more real ? 

Many of the kids have to walk more than an hour by foot every morning to get to the school. My son tells how some of the kids didn't have clean paper to write on. Instead they used old newspapers. I asked him about access to computers. The High school students, not the basic school,  had some very old computers, but nevertheless internet. 
They have to pay a fee to attend high school, so a lot of the children only have the chance if they get a scolarship due to very good grades. If they make it through the high school, Wikipedia says about the universities in Zambia:
Normally they all select students on the basis of ability; competition for places is intense. The introduction of fees in the late 1990s has made university level education inaccessible for some, although the government does provide state bursaries.

This brings me back to the h817open assingment and pointing at three key issues of OER. I've chosen these three key features:
  1. Barriers to uptake
  2. Learning support
  3. Quality

To get deeper into the three issues I used 3 medias. An article from the OER reading list on Cloudworks, a report from the h817open Diigo group and a TEDtalk
  • Paul Albrights Final Forum Report (as I refer to as FFR in following text).
  • OERtest by Anthony F. Camilleri and others (OERT in the following text)
  • TEDtalk by Daphne Koller 

Barriers to uptake

About the barriers I found some considerations I didn't already mention in activity 4. To benefit from the online OER you need to have access to the internet. And especially the developing countries have an inadequate ICT infrastructure. In the Final Forum Report one of the OER providers is qouted:
“There is a trade-off between using the latest technologies that provide rich virtual environments, simulations, and robust feedback that will deliver a more effective learning environment but that require high bandwidth and limiting the environment to low bandwidth forms of delivery (text).” (FFR)
 Besides the lack of internet access, also lack of familiarity or confidence with technology kept the OERs inaccessible for new users. 
"As a consequence, the development of support structures for potential users (and providers) is a central feature of the AVU’s OER strategy" (FFR)
The African Virtuel University (AVU) tries to adress some of these issues. They established "mirror sites" in Kenya and Ethiopia to widen the access in areas with bandwidth so low, that it gave problems to use the OER on the original website from MIT. In other parts of the world the focus is changed to manage the arrays of OER so they are of maximum benefit to the users.

 The report further points out barriers with the language. About 10 per cent of the global population, 6.3 billion people, speaks english. But the vast majority of OERs are in english. And developed in the Western culture and on Western learning theories. 
"The conditions under which OER are created, the languages used, and the teaching methodologies employed result in products that are grounded in and specific to the culture and educational norms of their developers. This may be remote from the understandings of other cultures and lead to (1)dysfunctional education, and (2)a reduced potential for developing countries to contribute research, training, experiences and understanding that invigorates the value and scope of OER." (FFR)
As said here, the problem has to sides: language and culture. You can only solve this partly by translation. There is more a need for adaption of the OERs to the needs and modes of the local contexts. This is a very important part of making the OERs global. Some organisations e.g. Universia have chosen to change their aim from translating OERs to help universities develop their own. 

And finally the FFR mentions another problem: An increasing amount of OER is being available. If it should have any value, it has to be identified, tagged and organized in order to be easy retrieved and re-used. MERLOT is one of the initiatives to work on this. They have 13,000 free online teaching and learning materials. 

Learning support

For me as a teacher the learning support and the assessment is tightly connected. I haven't read so much international literature about the subject yet, but in Denmark we work with different sorts of loops in the didactic designs. These loops include formative and summative evaluation, and they ensure that both the learner and the teacher know where the student is and how to move on from here towards the goals. In this way assessing is a process that active affects the learning process and vice versa. 

Besides the formative assessment there is other ways to support the learners. 
The OERT describes the learning part of the students learning pathway as
"Guiding - this involves the forms of learning support a student will receive - whether through materials, from community support, or from other sources" 
"Document - this is the student‘s creation of a learning portfolio, documenting their acquisition of learning outcomes throughout the process" 
OER can be used in classes and then the situation can look a lot  like my daily teaching life. If the OER is to be used in more distant learning or even in a mooc, the teacher and the students don't have the same possibilities for collaboration. Instead the loops can be driven in other ways. Here Daphne Koller (co-founder of Coursera) explains how they use technology and peer assessment in their courses.  

Besides the quiz in the OER material, the blog posts comments by the students / tutor, the networking in foras like Google+ and peer- and self assessment, there as been developed certification. One example is Mozilla Open Badges, which Open University chose to use here in their mooc Open Education. This blog post is my first object for assessment, that involves a staff member and not only include self- or peer assessment. 

OERT mentioned the need for students "documenting their acquisition of learning outcomes throughout the process". The online courses I've participated in have all used students' blogs in the learning process. And I've learned what a powerful tool it can be. Now I base a part of my own classroom teaching on students blogs, where the students have to comment on each others posts. And we can use these blogs for evaluation and discussion in class. 


If we want the OER movement to succeed in giving a real alternative to the traditional higher education, we have to ensure the quality in two ways:
  • recognition of the quality in achieved learning
  • ensuring quality of content and media in the OER 
When a student compose her education by modules from different providers, it can be difficult to achieve the recognition of the quality in the learning, because nobody, except from the student her self, can have an overview over the combined training compared to traditional HEI training. OERT mentions learning passports as a solution:
"The learning passport combines information which the different actors in an unbundled learning system are requested to provide inorder to put open learning recognition into practice"

They imagine the passport system as a formal collection of information from the OER provider, the learner and the assessing/ certifying institution as shown on the picture below:

Source: OERT page 42

In this way it would be possible for the student to obtain ETCS recognition even though the modules are from different HEI.

And how to ensure the quality in the OERs? As I already mentioned in the part about barriers, the HEI networks have begun the important and heavy process to ensure their OER can be adapted or rewritten to the different contexts around the globe. And the Learning passport could also be a way to ensure the quality, because the HEI have to assess each others OERs in the certification process.

Based on the studies in the OERT, Anne-Christin Tannhäuser and Anthony F. Camilleri gives seven projections, which makes predictions of likely future scenarios in a specific area of OER Module-development, on the assumption that current trends in the field will continue. The prediction about the quality in the OER is:
 "The overall number of OCW offerings has been growing steadily for the past 10 years. However, many of these have been unsuitable for high quality self-learning, since they were only samples of existing courses, lecture dumps, or materials from retired courses for use as marketing. Currently, we observe a ‘second generation’ of OCW being produced: custom-designed, high-quality Open Courses designed specifically for self-study. These are being driven by:
  • the current boom of non-formal providers boosting open learning
  • at no cost for learners, many supported by philanthropic funding;
  • more public investment being dedicated to OCW in some countries;
  • the steadily increasing membership OpenCourseWare consortium in some European countries and beyond;
  • the high level policy recommendations by the OECD and the UNESCO on OERs
  • the investigation by major universities of models for mainstream provision of OCW as part of the functions of a university, rather than use merely as a marketing tool"            (OERT)

OER and the pupils in the Western province of Zambia

Students from secondary in Sankandi Basic School.
Foto: Sebastian Bailey Hass

Regarding the language barriers and the OER movement it can turn out to be luck for the children in Zambia, that they live in a former british colony (a very narrow view, I know). Because it means, they speak english. It could pretty easy be OER that provides these young people with knowledge after they leave the secondary school. 

And I can´t help thinking of the cheap smart phones I wrote about in activity 3 (under N in the Prezi). Maybe in a few years these kids' easiest way to internet and OER will be via smart phones. If the telecompanies and the HEI continue their current efforts, the future seems brigther for the students in Sankandi Basic School.  

Camp Zeec where our students lived during their Zambia stay.
Foto source: zeeczambia.tumblr.com/

  1. Final Forum Report International Institute for Educational Planning
    Internet Discussion Forum
    Author: Paul Albright

  2. OERtest
    Editors: Anthony F. Camilleri, Anne-Christin Tannhäuser
    Publisher: EFQUEL – European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning (BE)
    Standard Number: ISBN / EAN : 9789082020502

  3. Daphne Koller about What we're learning from online education
    TED talk

Added 2.4.2013: Awarded with the badge today :)

tirsdag den 26. marts 2013

Short comment on Downes

I spent most effort in the 5 first pages, which I found very interesting. The new part for me was to read about it in the big scale. In a way I already pick up learning objects and collect them on my web site and mash them up to new contexts. In a microscopic scale compared to Downes vision.

But I do already meet the problems with the different file formats, that can make it challenging to make the different parts work together. So I have already earned a lot of benefits from the coding courses in code.org. Still have to learn to master the XML, I see now.

All in all I agree with Downes. If we really want the global benefit from openness in education it will be an advantage to obtain some sort of consensus in the use of code language, the meta data etc.

mandag den 25. marts 2013

Introduction to the MadMooc

Hi everybody

I'm Gitte (teacher, Dane, live in Bruxelles)  and I found Dan's intro videos quite fun and interesting, so here I am.

Currently I work on two other moocs (open education and games based learning), so this one will be the one, where I might not post a lot, but I will follow your posts and discussions.

Right now I really enjoy the easter holiday and the possibility to spend entire days moocing.

À plus tard

Activity 4

Activity 4: Identifying priorities for research

Timing: 3–4 hours

Imagine you are advising a funding organisation that wishes to promote activity and research in the area of open education.

Set out the three main priorities they should address, explaining each one and providing a justification for your list. 

I have been spending the last few days on surviving after a great, but physically hard, school trip to Sardegna. So I've been sleeping quite a lot. Now I better move on with the homework. Here it comes:

Having to choose three main priorities to promote activity and research in the area of open education, I will point at:
  1. Barriers to uptake. They are plenty. A lot of them are about fear to loose power. They range from some teachers, professors and/ or entire institutions who fear to loose their authority in the field.

    Or it can be cultures where the tradition dictates some parts of the population don't have acces to knowledge. E.g. the Masai women as in this TED:

  2. Other barriers could of course be the acces to the technology. Do you have the internet and do you have the devices to get acces to the material and the networks?
    This is one of the problems Stephen Downes has tried to overcome when he talks about the re.mooc in this presentation

    To get efficiency of the open education it is essentiel to identify these or other barriers, so you know how to get around them. 

  3. Learning support. When people have the access to the material, they need the right support to understand how to work with the open materials.

    This help need to be offered in different areas. 
    E.g help to understand the hardware, the different sort of software or the  course material itself. As Stephen Downes mentioned in the slides about re.mooc, there could be a local instructor.
    The pedagogy plays an important role as well. Daphne Koller
    talks about how the huge amount of students makes it easier to identify need for new pedagogical actions. It wouldn't surprise me, if course material meant for british university students had to be changed in some ways to work just as well for people from different social / culturel backgrounds.
  4. Quality. How to assure the quality of the open education and how to get it recognized from others than the providers, are big questions right now. I hope to get the badges from #h817open just to find out, if they will be noticed anywhere. And now when California started to pay credit for online courses I guess the snow ball is on its way 

fredag den 15. marts 2013

Activity 3: Representing open education

Activity 3:The two resources you’ve just read and viewed provide views on different aspects of what
openness means in higher education.
Create a visual representation that defines openness in education by drawing on some of the concepts listed in Weller and Anderson  

For my artefact this week I've used Prezi. 
And for the first time I tried to work with Powtoon. The Powtoon animation is a part of the Prezi presentation.

I've been inspired to the form of the artefact mainly by a game we used to play, when I was a young girl. We wrote our names, and then we let each letter represent a word. The words had to tell something about us. 
I've played the same game with the letters OPEN in openness. Instead of one single word, there is a video and/or some text connected to each letter.

A few more words about the background for some of my choices.

Apart from Martin Wellers article I was inspired to O by the TEDx talk by Jerry Michalski , where he mentions how the time and not the learners is in charge of the learning process.

I chose Nokia simply because it was a N and I had just watched a danish broadcast from the World Mobile Congress about their Lumia 520. 

tirsdag den 12. marts 2013

My thoughts about openness, creativity and networks #h817open

I our first #h817open article Martin Weller gives his view at openness and creativity cycle in education. He explains how the term openness in education has evolved since the Open University was founded in 1969. The change in the interpretation of the concept "open education" has changed a lot with the evolution of technologies, the internet, the following increase of possibilities to share and the change in  how people use these new medias and platforms. He shows how openness, networks and creativity are parts in the same cycle.

MW talks a lot about sharing. Sharing is the base of a network. I know MW says "the base of an online social  network", but I will claim it's the base for any network. If you don't share, you don't connect and you don't have a network. For me is the most important difference between online networks and AFK networks, that you have incredible amounts of peers to network with online. AFK= away from keyboard. An expression I adopted from the movie TBP AFK about the people behind Pirate Bay.

But then...it's not at all rare that 30.000 people signs up for a mooc. How do you start sharing with all these people? I guess it's human to feel the need of confidence before you share your thoughts and your work. How to find your PLN in this crowd?

Anne Marie McNally has a suggestion for how the mooc providers can learn from the online dating:
"I think there are some lessons we can learn from online dating – I fill in a profile and the system recommends to me people I may want to meet for a virtual coffee. If I can make stronger connections, I am more likely to stay with the course and the group. I expand a little on it here: http://myeducationmusings.blogspot.com.au/"
In a way I like her idea. However I do realize some problems. If a piece of software had had to group the participants from the EDC mooc I would probably never have met inspiring persons like @Amy Burval and @Céline Keller. My reason to mention exactly these two is, that they work a lot with music, which I almost never do, so I guess a "dating" software wouldn't suggest us to each other. Which for me would have made the community around the course less inspiring. Don't get me wrong here. There was A LOT of exiting people in the community. I just say, that they might not had been a part of my group, because I'm not as skilled in some fields as they are. It would clearly had been my loss.

What I try to say is, that a rich PLN for me is a network of sharing, caring, communicating and diverse individuals. Networks must contain a certain grade of plurality. That gives the possibility for the shared content to surprise, excite maybe even mindblow instead of just being supportive. My personal experience shows Google+ and Facebook are great places to bring different people together around a subject, thus create the room for discussions and evolution of PLNs.

A little more about the AFK networks. As I wrote in my introduction blogpost, it was the lack of sharing and inspiration between me and my colleagues, that drove me to the online networks in the first place. When I used to work in a very creative team-oriented school in Denmark, we shared a LOT of ideas and discussed how to do this and how to try that. It was very dynamic, and it made me the teacher I like to be.
I'm not the only one to have experienced how the lack of sharing networks influences your satisfaction with your efforts. Maureen Maher commented on the blogpost:
"Interesting how some schools are more teamwork oriented while others require you to work more alone.  Found it delightful to work as a team in Vienna, but finding teaching in California very isolating."
Another reason to enroll mooc's is to learn. And for me learning is a creative process. Creative of course in the way that I have to add something new to my inner impression of the world, but also as being real creative. I have to work and play with, not just read about, the new skill or content I learn. So I learn better, when I have places to be creative. And I get that in networks with other people playing around as well. When I am in that stage I love to share and discuss my thoughts, ideas and objections.

My awareness of the sharing, creative and networking part of the learning proces has increased much since I entered e-learning. You could say that my "digital me" has great influence on my "AFK me".  When I plan my classes now there's a lot more working with web 2.0, blogging, commenting on each other's work, expressing through both text and pictures or other medias. And sharing so they get the feeling of how they are a part of a greater whole and they can get inspired by their peers work. The students (age 11 - 14) like it a lot and they now often seek these methods even when I do not initiate it.

I'll end this post by reposting two videos. The first was posted by @Angela Towndrow during our edc mooc. I forgot who posted the second, but I think they both fit fine into openness, creativity, networks and learning.
And then I'll turn to the next project: figuring out how to make a digital artefact about openness in education, which is the third activity in week 1.

How to succes in a mooc

søndag den 10. marts 2013

New mooc. New experience #h817open

Here we go again. And I'm looking forward

I'm a teacher in the European school af Bruxelles 1
My subjects are integrated science (biology, physics and chemistry), human science (history and geography) and ICT. I've been here in Belgium for almost 7 years now. 

I used to teach in Denmark where I worked a lot outdoors. We moved the classes to areas in a forrest or a former gravel pit. I love to teach that way. When I came to Bruxelles I had to stay indoors in a class room all day, every day. It was simply too boring, so I started to include the computer a lot. 

As a teacher in Denmark I usually got a lot of new inspiration from team work, courses or network. Here in Bruxelles I was suddenly all alone. Even though I spent  some of my holidays with my old networks, my inspiration started to lack. Then about a year ago, February 2012, I enrolled for a module (games and didactic design) of the Master in ICT and Learning in the University of AAlborg, Denmark. It was a great succes, and I wanted more. In August I signed up for Web2beviset, which is an online course about web 2.0 tools and how to use them didactic.   

During the autumn I heard about Coursera and signed up for a few courses. I didn't have the time it required, so I was just a sort of lurking around. 

But then I found the course E-learning and Digital Cultures. It seemed very interesting, and I decided I wanted to work properly with this. It became an amazing experience. I loved the course materials as well as the inspiring communities around it. When the course ended a few weeks ago, I was more than ready to start all over again. So when some of my edc peers wrote about #h817open, I signed up. 

So here I am :)

onsdag den 6. marts 2013

We are here. #edcmooc has approached the end

EDC mooc experience and me

So many wise words have already been written about the edc-mooc course. I have only a little extra to add. Here is a short resume about some of my thoughts:

Besides my curiosity for the course content,  my mental challenge by enrolling EDC-mooc was certainly the language. Would I be able to cope with the reading of the material as well as writing both blog posts and an assignment in english? Not to mention to take part in the social communities around the course. I mean,  I had to expect it to be more demanding than ordering beer with my fish 'n chips in a cheerful London weekend. And it was. Luckily it was.

Now when it's all succesfully completed, I almost burst of different feelings. Firstly I'm quite proud of how my english vocabulary has evolved during the course. And I write more fluent now. Which is SO satisfying. And it makes me consider to enroll a french mooc to increase my skills there as well.

As a teacher I can't help wonder why this course gave me such a kick in that direction. My conclusion is, that it's due to all the written work. I have had the time to choose what to write and how to do it. In a conversation you don't have the extra time to consider, so you just stick to the phrases and formulations you already master. I had never foreseen that would be of such an importance (I'm only a humble science teacher. Please bear with me).

But the most dominant of the impressions from the EDC are connected to the overwhelming experience of being part of the very active group around the course. To feel that we were in this together. I was not one of the most active when it comes to posting, but I read a lot of your posts and enjoyed your movies and pictures. I loved it all.
And then this empty feeling after giving in the final assignment:  "Now it's all over," and "Back to reality."

But again the community was there and a lot of people felt like me. You guys almost made me wheep when you came up with your creative "now-it's-over" artefacts and posts. Here is just two of them (from Angela and Andy):

When I wrote my final assignment, I found it quite difficult to cover even a few corners of the course in less than 800 words. And what to do when my video lasted 4 out of 5 minutes and the Edinburgh team had told us not to give our peer assessors too much work? I hoped no one would complain, as I really, really, really would like to pass this course. 

And then after reading a lot of other final assignments in the Google+ and Facebook groups I couldn't help smiling. Almost everybody had created very rich and very interesting posts and/ or videos and / or pictures with links to even more interesting text, pictures and videos. Looking at all this made it crystal clear, how people had enjoyed working and being creative with the content and they didn't care at all about details like "max 800 words" or "copyright". So secretly in my mind I had fun by naming the edc_mooc group "Mooc'y Riots".
Paul wrote it straight: 

"And I'll probably get disqualified for the third-party content (clip from the film Altered States, 1980). I had fun mashing up ideas from the course with Bjork, Ken Russell, WIlliam Blake and Alice in Wonderland so it was worth it anyway."

If you haven't seen it yet, you should have a look at his video Amaze Gamma

So what to do now. We can't stop here. We're just begun. It's such a pleasure to see how people still post in the groups and new groups form from the old ones. By participating in EDC_mooc I became a mooc-aholic, and I hope to stay in contact or meet you guys out there in the cloud now and then. You have showed me an utopian picture of a mooc.
Thanks a lot to all of you, the Edinburgh team as well as my fellow participants, for this wonderful ride.

And I'm so much ready to start again, this time in the #openedmooc. I have to go to Sardegna for a school trip in the first week of the course, but then I have two weeks holiday so I'll catch up during the weekend. 16 hours a week is close to nothing compared to the edc weeks :)