A few thoughts about OPEN and the empowerment of OPEN

30 08 2011

If in Inner cities, suburban land or metropolitan areas around the world, I had the opportunity to see many different academic environments and have also learned over the years that not everything what has to do with education necessarily does happen in a classroom or the auditorium of a University or College.

I have gained many perspectives and expertise based on many interactions and years of assimilation of interactions and implementations to enable educators at many levels to foster learning, teaching and innovation in teaching and facilitation around the globe.

I have had the opportunity to be able to observe, study and understand the challenging and opportune times that lay ahead in the knowledge economy.   We have realized that in the new knowledge economy we have many stake holders such as Governments, foundations, individuals and academic institutions.

As we all attempt to maneuver thru the forest of new media and new stimuli, which technology and connectivity provide today, it more than ever before demands us to focus onto the present and envision and design the  future in an even more so responsible and socio economic manageable manner.   Suddenly we are faced with the requests, the demand to engage and participate in College and University 3.0, while our mindset is stuck in Education 1.0.

There is no question in anyone’s mind that we are facing a breakpoint opportunity within the Global OER community and many who are historical champions in the OER space have recognized that as well.

The outlook into the future requires us to carefully look at the Power of “3”.  Content,(1) Courseware(2) andTools(3).

No light burden and easy responsibility we are given – but what a thrilling opportunity to be the stewards of undoubtedly some of the most brilliant minds in the world!  And this is where we truly have the highest impact – People, Human Beings!

When we define words such as “Open Education”, “Open Service”, Open Access and Open Content what we really mean and hope to be able to define are access, resources and consistency and if we think on a global scale “human and social interoperability” – playing nice with each other, while observing the rules!! When we switch on the light as we enter a room no questions are asked why one of the greatest innovations of its time simply works and allows us to enjoy the luxury of electricity.

A carefully thought out approach in support of the academic core can create a similar impact we are all looking for:

  1. I.                Technological change
  2. II.               The facilitation of a reliable  flow of information
  3. III.              The simple increase of opportunities
  4. IV.              Better use of existing resources
  5. V.               The Discovery of new resources
  6. VI.              The Creation of knowledge

And exactly here is where we all seem to differ a bit in terms of what that stewardship today may mean and individual’s philosophies may oppose each other.

To some of you it may simply mean original authorship and copyright. To others is may define Faculty members concerns of access to their curriculum – The fear of losing control of the brand is another aspect we discuss often.  And herein also lays the opportunity for each and every institution to adopt and share not only its resources but also its best practice approach as a Center of Excellence in forming the leadership to move education forward.  And it provides opportunity for organization around the world to become brokers of relationships between Governments and employ forms of PPP models.

Words as “creation of knowledge”, “discovery”, and “resources” all are full of meaning.  Many different meanings today and possibly brand new meanings tomorrow.

How do we best leverage existing resources?
More importantly, do we really all understand the resources?
What is the effect of new technologies and methodologies onto the existing infrastructure and global education dynamics for that matter?

If you follow the global press and the progress being made in nations which are considered developing and emerging nations, education seems to be most contradictive to the private system and it is by many perceived as left behind. Licensing battles and permitting issues seem to hold education as of today as least, behind.

As the “older” generation we all know and realize daily that Learning and Teaching is shifting to facilitation and becomes an offering of the resources we create and make to each other available!!  We need to ask ourselves what is the role of the future school and university.   And we need to consider such novel idea such as the internet in context of allowing access to an infrastructure which can provide a share platform and distribution of resources and access to skill, knowledge and expertise.

When we talk about “e” learning we mean nothing else as the dynamic Thomas Friedman described as the “world is flat”.  E is no longer electronic alone, it defines remote, distance and ubiquitous.  Remote access to people and knowledge we had to go to the library for and source and look at it in hard copy. The same does apply when we talk about mobile learning.    When we talk mobile let’s talk about the cloud and its implications to the mobile world which then means nothing else but a “client” which accesses remotely placed resources, remotely existing and geographically distributed networks.  Or access to the crowd, cloud intelligence.  The communal power of a group.  Facilitation is at the core of a current and highly dynamic shift of the old paradigm of education.

The use of community principles and qualified cloud intelligence are also at the core of global possibilities of collaboration. Applying principles of open source in terms of sourcing and validation of content will and already is starting to be a game changer also in education.  AcrossWorld has done just that: Applying principles of cloud, crowd, existing resources and an underlying Amazon model in terms of access.  No longer one expert, rather a marketplace for skill, competency, and knowledge where the best pieces of it survive and become emergent knowledge.  A global access point to resources and experts.

Again I cannot emphasize enough the need for an open source approach in education rather than the continued convolution of the space with licensing dynamics and DRM which precludes people from access to knowledge and essentially the right to education.

In the developed world we have a steward ship responsibility to expose the contextual pieces to parts of the world which on the basis of socio economic motivation understands the impact of education on one child and one tribe and one nation’s people.  If you have ever seen the curiosity of people about you as a visitor and guest to their country in India, Africa, Vietnam or Cambodia you understand the willingness and eagerness to engage with you and what you may offer in terms of resources in the context of education in particular.  That spark we need to build on with education and realize once we give they consume.  Emerging Nations understand the impact of better education and the day to day impact on their lives such resources and education can have.    Examples like Mitra’s “hole in the wall” and other similar studies and pilots from institutions like “Stanford’s learning tree” show that people do not need to be taught how to learn and acquire knowledge necessarily, but that it is about resources and access to those resources.

We need Involvement of people and the provisioning of larger communities!! We need demographic and academically appropriate engagement!! That means location, skill, competency and relevance based models.

For Administrators, Scientists, Teachers and Students – we need to introduce a model that engages communities further and continue to drive the open education movement!

People crave to belong and they crave for social recognition.   If we consider applications such as foursquare and others …we need to give them something they are proud of belonging to.  Brand equity – my brand, your brand, our brand, the institutions brand…all our brand.

We need to access the global resources thru “brokers” and collaborate on new “knowledge and learning superhighways”.

When we talk about access we miss to define access not only in terms of connectivity, we need to define access in the contextual relevance of an individual.  That may mean research and the publication of those results that will mean search and discovery of the results in a contextual manner for the work I may be engaged in today or may need quick access in terms of information.  We need to talk about engagement models, business models and define what the implications of that are to the various stakeholders within the local and certainly the global community.    The model of communal mentorship amongst faculty, students and institutions applied properly, will penetrate into much further areas than we may even think about today. Remember Education is Power and Knowledge is its currency! That is the opportunity and the resolve we need to bring to the table.  And we need to remember a famous quote of Ralph Ellison:  “Education is all a matter of building bridges!”


20 07 2011

How inspiring….. 😉 http://amplify.com/u/a18mjs

How inspiring….. ;)

20 07 2011

Is “Open” Becoming The New Secret Society?

14 03 2011

More so over the past few years the talks about open and the use of open content in schools and institutions is continuing to move steadily. There is so much talk about making “Open” – Open, and sharing.  Some institutions are coming off the 10 year high of swimming in resources  and some are just starting new efforts based on new technology and tools to finally help realize the impact Open can have.  Together with teachers, institutions have been creating wonderful resources and are actually starting to change their practice.  Some are struggling to get teachers to change and adopt to new classroom and school culture on the basis of Open. The most interesting piece to me though is regardless of school, college or university, there seems to be reluctance to sharing!  Don’t ask me why… reluctance to be “Open with Open”??  Where did that all come from?  Is it that the purpose of “being open” was a global branding strategy for some, or is it that in the competitive field of where we can no longer protect IP under the content license anymore, we refuse to share the method on how we get it done and if asked for share of mind, we will let you access our content but we will not help and engage in seeing best practice in motion so there can be benefit for others too.

With new and many old faces attempting new ventures in education, nationally and internationally, isn’t it time we stop finally creating another effort and another rework of something we all know about and have, and we start uniting people together in a united effort to create Open?  Again, I still don’t get the protectionism of some high ranking institutions and the unwillingness of their faculty to share what other may benefit from in a highly critical and essential needed manner.  Isnt education a RIGHT?

Groups like the OpenCourseware Consortium are seemingly more interested in feeding member institutions best practice exchanges and ideas of collaboration with each other, so for others to speak of building a walled garden even further,  is boggling and inactive.  As I have said many times, the U.S.’ greatest gift to the world is in sharing the tremendous package of higher ed resources.

With all the grant money being doled out and everyone competing with each other around that, we finally need to come to an understanding that private public partnership is a model we need to embrace, so much so in the K-12 space in the U.S.  For some reason there is still a reluctance. Looking at the economy of schools and districts, isn’t it time we start shifting senseless dollars spent on text books, which become irrelevant the moment they hit the desk of the school, into infrastructure development which sets our children up for learning dynamics compliant and appropriate to their contemporary learning style?  I keep wondering how long there will be spectators standing on the sidelines and who will jump in and drive the change.  Lots of talk still, little done… but for the life of it, if you as a school have the chance to make a change, the chance to contribute to help, if private or public, drive innovation in school, then stop asking for the benefit of your own credit in terms of impact as you have already created and share to contribute to OPEN.  Isn’t that also the principle of all the grants you all took in to create a scalable model which provides a “TQM model for repeat”?

weekend of April 14th -15-16-17 which is Baisakhi festival and Mahavir jayanti occuring together so that may mean a lot of people will take off a

IPad 2 – arrival anticipation

6 01 2011

Purported iPad 2 Case Shown Off at CES – iPod/iPhone – Macworld UK http://ping.fm/hk6qf

Is that the beginning or the end??

16 12 2010

Finally the walls seem to be falling….let students and teachers see the good this time!

Amplify’d from chronicle.com

Coalition Looks to Rally Student Support for Open-Access Publishing


December 15, 2010, 2:49 pm


By Travis Kaya


Improving access to scholarly journals is not a typical student rallying cry, but a growing organization thinks it should be.The Right to Research Coalition, which says it represents student groups comprising 5.5 million members in the United States and several other countries, unveiled a Web site and blog in October to educate and connect students about open-access publishing, and increase pressure on publishers and scholars to make their work freely available online.

Unlike rising textbook costs—a point of contention on college campuses—journal subscription costs often go unnoticed by students, say coalition leaders. They hope the Web site will show the impact that open-access publishing could have on students’ individual research and on scholarship around the globe, especially as cash-strapped academic libraries cut expensive journal subscriptions.

“The most important step is just to learn about these issues,” says Nick Shockey, the coalition’s director. “We really want to start reaching individual students.”

The Washington-based group—run via the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition—was founded in June 2009 after some student organizations drafted the Student Statement on the Right to Research. Though scholars and librarians have advocated for open-access publishing for a long time, Mr. Shockey says students have only recently added their voices to the discussion.

Support among student organizations has been growing. Since 2009, the coalition has attracted 28 member organizations, including the American Medical Student Association, the United States Student Association, and the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students. “We have a great opportunity to act on the national and state level,” Mr. Shockey says. “It’s really an area where students can have an impact.”

The coalition, which includes member groups from Canada, India, and Malta, is looking to expand its efforts overseas. Open-access publishing could be especially valuable to students in countries where subscription and shipment costs restrict access to new research. “With the Internet, the marginal cost to distribute this information is virtually zero now,” Mr. Shockey says. “Our goal is to disseminate this knowledge as widely as possible.”

Critics of open-access publishing argue that it eases the way for publishing—and giving credence to—lower-quality journals that do not meet traditional peer-review standards. .

On the other hand, Dan Cohen, director of the Center for History and New Media, at George Mason University, and a supporter of open-access publishing, says restricting online access to articles may limit scholarly engagement with published work. “The problem with gated access is that you can’t link to articles,” he says. “The Web rewards openness.”

Mr. Cohen, who delivered the closing speech at yesterday’s Coalition for Networked Information meeting in Arlington, Va., says that while the Web can be a useful distribution tool for electronic copies of print journals, he also sees it as a powerful platform for a new generation of scholarly collaboration: “Is it enough to throw the final product up there on the Web? What I’m interested in is the connective tissue. What I would like to see is something collaborative.”

Read more at chronicle.com

No Words…

8 12 2010

The cartoon above is from a Dublin Core Metadata Initiative tutorial by Professor Jane Greenberg (the first one under Basic tutorials on the linked page).