Sunday, October 22, 2017

The 5R's, CC, and Open Licensing

Another challenging week of reading and video consumption. I had not realised how complicated issues of copyright and licenses with varying amounts of permissions could be. It is important information to be able to learn, remember, and use.

David Wiley’s presentation at LCCOER Defining OER was most illuminating. David used a lot of metaphor and examples and made the content so clear and entertaining. He spoke about education as sharing. In fact, he went as far as to say that “all the things that are actually truly educative about our work are all acts of sharing, full stop.” Yes, I agree 100%. That is what drew me to Open Education. Sharing is the key.

When competing my OER Evangelism video, I was impressed by Alby Fitisemanu also saying that education is not selfish… that education is sharing. It is so true. I have always loved teaching and I have always been a teacher surrounded by love. I truly have always loved my students. I have shared myself, shared my ideas, shared my insights, and been the recipient of so much knowledge that my students have shared with me. I have so many wonderful tributes from students. I will share two briefly. Selena mentioned I had, “unwavering support, passion and commitment to education, and to the students of South Auckland.” And Rebecca stated, “She has shown me how to be gentle towards others and myself and when I'm down, to brush myself off and get back on the horse and start again.”
Where's Wally? Or, should I say Where's Merle?

In New Zealand the Māori and Pasifika peoples have cultures of sharing, and, thankfully, this has had an impact on the beliefs and practices of educators. The most collaborative and sharing group of educators I have ever met, are those I have had the pleasure of working with in virtual worlds since 2008. My first presentation at my first conference was about the collaborative nature of virtual world education (eFest, 2009).
Meeting of the Virtual Worlds Working Group

David went on to tell the story of a beautiful land with meadows, flowers and bees that didn’t sting. Travel across this beautiful land was made possible by the invention on the automobile and roads. A law was passed that whatever “whiz-bang” gadget was used, it had to stay on the roads. With the exciting development of the airplane, the law to stay on the roads became stifling and unproductive. In this little analogy, copyright is the airplane of education. David highlighted the fact that all the powerful things the Internet makes possible are harnessed and even prohibited by copyright. David’s solution: “So the answer to how do we get this plane in the air is open educational resources.” It certainly makes sense.
Get this plane in the air with OER

The 5 R’s: retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute (the permissions described by the Creative Commons license system – for more explanation see the previous post, dated 14th October, Understanding the Commons or check out the delightful little video from Creative Commons called Wanna Work Together). Retain is the most basic permission because if you do not have the resource in hand, you cannot reuse, revise, remix, or redistribute it!

The idea of faux-pen (fake open) was mentioned in David’s presentation. I love this term!!!!! It immediately brought to mind my first experiences using Canvas, at the start of this year. I had been a power user in BlackBoard for 16 years. At the end of 2016, with only a couple of month’s warning, the institution switched from BlackBoard to Canvas. In my first Canvas training session, I was elated seeing the long, long list of Apps that could be used in Canvas. I was going to have fun!!!

As the months went on, I discovered how few apps were really available! I even asked for a list of freely accessible apps, and after receiving a list of over a hundred, narrowed it down to 24 I wanted to investigate for the purposes of preparing my new course, Appreciation of eLearning Tools. After hours of disappointments, I found four that I could use. I had an equally frustrating time hunting down free online apps. They were free for a time and then required payment.

Stephen Downes mentioned another related problem with the CC Licensing system. The dichotomy of whether open can be commercial or whether it should be non-commercial. Could legal, commercial use of a CC Licensed product cause it to be labelled as faux-pen?

One of the most inspirational parts of David’s presentation was in his description of the 3 R’s relating to the adoption of an OE resource: replace, realign, and rethink. David used a delightful analogy of going to a buffet. A wide array of dishes is available. You know you like beef and broccoli, so you only eat the beef and broccoli. What a shame to not try the other available delicacies. To replace or substitute is fine, but there is more to a buffet than beef and broccoli.
Whi limit yourself to beef and broccoli?

Realign refers to making sure that whatever replacement you choose, satisfies the Learning Objectives of the course you are delivering. David suggests using the Learning Objectives or Learning Outcomes as the Table of Contents for an OE replacement text. David uses another analogy of selecting the furnishings in a living room. The objectives or outcomes are the items in the living room. As an educator, you can use the range of OERs available as a catalogue of possible furnishings. And then Rethink takes the OER adoption further into decisions based on Open Learning Pedagogies.
OERs online - your catalogue of furnishings

I was very motivated and excited to read about renewable assignments. I am busy preparing course material for a Certificate in Tertiary Teaching course in Creative Delivery. David’s ideas for the Kung Fu assignment, the student adapted and edited book on Project Management, and the idea of the project management certified professional certificate, to motivate students to collect their own exam preparation content in an OER, are all brilliant! Great ideas from a great mind!

Norman Bier, from Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative, spoke (very quickly) about One Superpower of OER. This superpower refers to the ability of OER to tackle the Gordian Knot, the seemingly intractable and complicated issue of institutional creation, use, and ownership. OER can provide a solution that addresses the needs of the educators, their institutions, and their legal departments and associated organisations.
Representing the Tertiary Teaching Unit

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