Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Open Content as Teacher Professional Development


Bill Fitzgerald at FunnyMonkey is a big advocator of open source software and open contents, he often provides insights about the practices in going open for education. His recent post about open content revisiting the definitions and considerations to move it forward meaningfully. Worth a read.

open education

In general terms, when we talk about open content, this is part of the foundation holding up the conversation.

Granularity

When creating open content, it needs to be easy to break a collection of resources up into its component parts.

Some formats (pdf, flash, SCORM, etc), regardless of how the content is licensed, require work to disassemble into their component parts and reuse the material.

Licensing

The Attribution part is easy, but things start to get dicey with the Share-Alike portion of the license. It’s very unclear what license the derivative work can or should be released under.

This post on data migration also demonstrates some of the issues at play here; while the focus of the writeup is data migration, the section on License Chaining is directly relevant to open content.

And, until this gray area gets cleaned up, we are advocating for use of the Attribution Share-Alike license.

Open Content as Teacher Professional Development

If a group of teachers are working together to develop resources to both use in their classes and get reused internationally, that sounds like a great use of professional development hours. One of the benefits of having content reused over time, across geographic areas, is that teachers working within the community will have the benefit of feedback on their work from a broader range of professionals than is possible within a single school, district, college, or university.

It’s recommended to read more about this from his previous article : Using Open Content To Drive Educational Change.

Teachers as makers is as important as learners as makers. Best teachers are best learners. And, open contents are the best medium for connections and constructions, which are crucial in transfer of knowledge. In short, sharing and reuse are keypoints for open contents. Follow the thread on the FunnyMonkey blog if you resonate with the true openness.

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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