We’re hoping for a good amount of Latin American participation at OCWC Global, and we will be running Spanish tracks. With help from our friends in Monterrey we’ve posted a Spanish translation of the Call for Papers. If you know someone who would like to present in Spanish, please forward them there!
From the Call:
La creatividad es generalmente percibida como la imaginación libera de las limitaciones de la necesidad económica, los convencionalismos, factores legales y otros. Sin embargo la creatividad también requiere ser provista de materia prima y medios de producción. Establecer un fundamento sólido de creatividad informada es uno de los objetivos principales del movimiento de educación abierta.
¿De qué manera los educadores, diseñadores y desarrolladores presentamos contenidos que generen, inspiren y habiliten la creatividad en diferentes niveles? ¿De qué manera medimos y capitalizamos nuestros éxitos?
Por otro lado, la infraestructura ha sido tradicionalmente vista como la arquitectura física básica que permite la entrega de servicios de alto nivel. Ha sido sugerido que los contenidos abiertos en sí y no sólo los sistemas que hacen posible su entrega, sean considerados como infraestructura. Igualmente, se ha sugerido que el rol del OCWC es el de proveer a sus miembros con esta infraestructura.
¿Cuáles son las consecuencias de catalogar los recursos abiertos como infraestructura? ¿Existen precedentes históricos al respecto? ¿De qué manera podemos comunicar un concepto de ‘Contenido Abierto como Infraestructura’?
We are working on adding a Spanish translation to the submission form as well, but we wanted to get this out to the community as soon as possible — please, pass it on!
We would like to extend an invitation to all to submit paper and presentation proposals for the OCWC Global 2009 Conference. OCWC Global is one of the OCWC’s premier events, and draws participants from around the globe. It will be held in Monterrey, Mexico from April 21 to April 24, on the Campus Monterrey of the Tecnológico Monterrey, Mexico.
This year the theme of the conference is “Content, Infrastructure, and Creativity”.
From the Call for Papers:
Creativity is often viewed as freedom of the imagination from the restraints imposed by economic necessity, convention, law or any number of other factors. Yet creativity also requires provision for the material and means of production. Establishing a solid foundation for informed creativity is one of the primary goals of the open education movement.
How do we, as educators, designers and developers, present content so as to unleash, inspire and enable creativity on a variety of levels? How do we measure and build upon our successes, the most satisfying of which may be a long time coming to fruition?
Meanwhile, infrastructure has traditionally been seen as the set of lower-level services and physical architectures which make the delivery of higher level services possible — pipes, roads, power grids, and server farms. It’s been suggested that open content itself, and not just its attendant delivery systems, can be seen as infrastructure. It has also been suggested that the role of the OCWC is to provide infrastructure for its members.
What are the consequences of seeing open content as infrastructure? Are there historical precedents are there? How could a concept of “content as infrastructure” inform what we do — or, for that matter, lead us astray? How does this view affect our attitudes toward what flows through the pipe, over the wire, or on the road?
These are the issues we will address together as we gather for the April 2009 meeting of the OpenCourseWare Consortium. We invite you to consider the ways in which these issues inform the way you participate in OpenCourseWare and the larger Open Access Movement.
You can view the full Call for Papers, along with information on tracks and a link to the submission form here.
[This version of the newsletter is provided for those who may have difficulty with the email version. It may contain material already covered in the blog. You can sign up for the newsletter from the front page of our main site.]
1. Welcome to New Members
2. Join Us in Houston, February 5-6
3. Toolkit Goes Public, Case Studies Needed
4. New (and Old) Ways to Get OCW Info
5. Send Us Your News!
Welcome to New Members
We’d like to welcome the following institutional members, whose applications were approved in November and December:
The Open University of Israel (Israel)
Open Institute of Law (Russia)
Fundação Getulio Vargas / FGV Online (Brazil)
Universidade de Santiago de Compostela
Universidad Internacional de Andalucía
Universidad de Chile
Universidad de Granada
Universidad Nacional Experimental del Táchira
Universidad Fermín Toro
Links to the websites of these institutions can be found on our blog entry on new members (http://bit.ly/zuYL), or if you want to see the full list of members, you can view our member list on the site (http://www.ocwconsortium.org/members/consortium-members.html).
Join Us in Houston, February 5-6
We’re taking registrations for the Connexions Conference / OCWC Regional Meeting in Houston this February. The OCWC portion is focused on collaboration, particularly in the Americas. You can learn more at http://cnxconference.rice.edu/.
Toolkit Goes Public, Case Studies Needed
We took a major step forward last month by making the Toolkit public. Thanks to all the hard work all of our Toolkit Group members put into constructing this helpful guide.
Much work remains, however. Over the next six months we will be drafting some of the less developed portions of the toolkit, and in particular we hope to supplement much of the text with small case studies provided by our members.
We’re not looking for ten page papers here – just a one page history of your OCW project, for example, or a couple paragraphs on how you went about setting up your technical infrastructure, or and explanation of how you deal with IP issues at your institutions. It can be a rough draft; we’ll edit for sense and grammar. The benefit for your institution will be prominent placement in the Toolkit – you can see what these “sidebar” case studies look like here: http://bit.ly/s4IJ.
New (and Old) Ways to Get OCW Info
As you can see, we’re re-launching the OCWC newsletter, which we aim to put out once a month from this point forward. But we’re also communicating in a couple other ways of which you might not be aware — so here’s a brief tour of our media empire:
The Front Page: The front page of the ocwconsortium.org site contains a list of recent stories in the mainstream media and higher education press pertaining to Open Education, OCW, and OCWC members. We would particularly like to feature coverage of our OCWC members in the press, so if your OCW project recieves some coverage in the press, even if it’s local, please send us a link and we’ll see if we can feature it. Non-English coverage is welcome (in fact, it’s very much desired).
The OCW News Feed: This is a list of recent stories or blog postings that might be of interest to our members. Note that we are not necessarily endorsing the stories linked here, just bringing them to your attention. The links include press coverage of OCW, funding announcements, blog postings about OCW issues, and related topics of interest to the OCW community. You can read it at twitter.com/ocwnews, or ‘follow ocwnews’ on twitter, or add it to your newsreader from the twitter page.
The Blog: The OCWBlog (http://ocwblog.org/) posts a couple times a week, usually extending commentary on stories you might have seen in the other channels. We’d like to make it a place where the community can come to comment on issues relevant to us all. So please, stop by, and if you have something you’d like to write up for the blog, let us know.
The Facebook Group: Join the group on Facebook for purely utilitarian communication — new conferences, initiatives, requests for papers. We promise we’ll keep it sparse!
One final note — forums and social media are something we are still hashing out how to do best. Our feeling is that most strong communities are built on strong communication and shared purpose, so it’s our hope that in getting regular communication out to you we may be helping to start building that community even if we’re not hosting it. Right now, you should feel free to connect with people in the Facebook group and to follow the discussions posted on OER Blogs.
Front page: http://ocwconsortium.org/
Send Us Your News!
Ideally, we’d like much more of this newsletter to be about the accomplishments of our member institutions. If you have any news to share, however small, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Milestones, the number of courses published this semester, local coverage of your project – anything is welcome. You send it – we’ll figure out if it might be interesting to our newsletter audience.
We look forward to your contributions, and hope to report on them in next month’s newsletter!
Update (12/08/2008): The survey deadline has been extended to December 14th.
Just noticed this from Creative Commons — due to a recent high profile use of the CC-BY license Creative Commons is looking to better understand how people define noncommercial use.Â They’ve put up a lengthy survey, the first part of which defines the type of sharing you engage in, and the second part of which asks you a series of questions about what you think is commercial vs. non-commercial.
The idea here is to see what misconceptions exist, and among which populations.
The survey takes about 15 minutes. It’s is a bit of a chore to fill out, but the flip side of that it makes input into it much more important.
I know a lot of us are well-versed in this stuff, but if you can fill it out, and particularly if you can convince your less IP-aware freinds to fill it out, it should really help CC.
As Joi Ito explains:
“The study has direct relevance to Creative Commonsâ mission of providing free, flexible copyright licenses that are easy to understand and simple to use,â said Creative Commons CEO Joi Ito. âThe NC term is a popular option for creators choosing a Creative Commons license, and that tells us the term meets a need. However, as exponentially increasing numbers of works are made available under CC licenses, we want to provide additional information for creators about the contexts in which the NC term may further or impede their intentions with respect to the works they choose to share, and we want to make sure that users clearly understand those intentions. We expect the study findings will help us do a better job of explaining the licenses and to improve them, where possible. We also hope the findings, which will be made publicly available, will contribute to better understanding of some of the complexities of digital distribution of content.”
The survey is here: http://ur1.ca/y41
At the end of the survey you are given a chance to say what changes you think might improve NC, so keep going through it — it is a long survey…
We’d like to welcome the following institutional members, whose applications were officially approved in the last month, to the Consortium:
FundaÃ§Ã£o Getulio Vargas / FGV Online (Brazil)
Universidad de Chile (Chile)
The Open University of Israel (Israel)
Open Institute of Law (Russia)
Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (Spain)
Universidad Internacional de AndalucÃa (Spain)
Universidad de Granada (Spain)
Universidad Metropolitana (Venezuela)
Universidad MonteÃ¡vila (Venezuela)
Universidad Nacional Experimental del TÃ¡chira (Venezuela)
Universidad FermÃn Toro (Venezuela)
All of the above institutions have pledged to put 10 open courses up within the next two years, as a minimum condition of membership.Â As we get more information about the plans of these institutions, we’ll post it here.
We’ve decided to extend the deadline for our Call for Papers for the Houston OCWC/Connexions conference to Monday, November 24.
Paper proposals only need to be a paragraph or two, and should be on some aspect of OCW. The focus this year is on collaboration, but if you have an idea that is not strictly about collaboration, talk to us (you can email me at mike @ ocwconsortium dot org) and we will see if we can help you find a collaboration angle to your presentation.
This OCWC regional meeting will be part of the annual Connexions conference, and will be held in Houston February 5-6, with an optional Saturday event. The agenda for the regional meeting is here, we will link to the full conference agenda when available.
To submit, please read the Call for Papers, and consider using our online form to submit a proposal (linked from the submission instructions in the Call).
There’s been a bit of ennui about institutional approaches to open content in the blogosphere lately, so it was interesting to see this preliminary data regarding OCW production come in last Thursday. The data set generating this graph is not completely clean yet, but it’s pretty close. The graph represents the number of courses published by OCWC members, as a cumulative total, month by month. Some of the smoothing over the last twelve months is the result of not being able to place all releases of the individual courses in a particular month, in which case they were dispersed over the known release time frame — but, even given that, I think the trends are unmistakable:
The most striking thing to me about this is how quickly other members’ contributions are dwarfing MIT’s piece of this. People sometimes still refer to the OCWC mistakenly as an “extension of MIT’s OpenCourseWare project”. Organizationally, that became history when the Consortium was founded as a separate organization, operating under its own governance, in July of this year. But the data above shows that even before the organizational change was formalized our members’ efforts were the driving force behind the OCWC.
The second thing of interest is the larger significance. There’s a way in which this is graphing the height of an iceberg from sea level. That peak there represents nearly 8,000 courses — but associated with those courses are thousands of professors who have now participated in an open education project, ten of thousands of professors that have been exposed to the concept of sharing these materials, and hundreds of thousands of students in these classes who have learned through the example of their institution that knowledge is a thing to be shared, not hoarded. Add to that the millions of people outside these institutions who have hit these courses from all over the world, and who have even come to expect such materials will be available, and we are talking a massive tectonic-scale shift in the expectations we are creating about knowledge.
We’ve been pretty busy here recently — or rather, we’re always busy, but recently we’ve been so in a way that has got in the way of blog posting.
So it seems as good a time as any to remind everyone that even when this space is dead, the ocwnews twitter feed is hopping.
The ocwnews twitter feed contains all the significant things we run across that deal with OCW that are timely or new.
I can’t stress enough that it’s not merely news about the OCWC, and it’s not even a list of articles we’re somehow endorsing — it’s really just news that pertains to OCW efforts — court cases, recent whitepapers, announcements of new initiatives, success stories, critiques of the movement — or even press coverage that gets it all horrendously wrong, but that you should be aware of. So to the twitter army out there not yet following us — follow us!
And please, if you know of anything that should go on the feed, let me know via email: mike at ocwconsortium.org.
We are now taking registrations for the Connexions/OCWC Regional Meeting. Here’s what it is — a two day conference, the first day focusing on collaboration in the Connexions community and related initiatives such as OER Health, and the second day focusing on collaboration in the Americas in the OCW community. It’s an extraordinary opportunity to learn about evolving best practices in two very successful Open Education initiatives, and to network with a wide variety of people who may have a different perspective to offer.
The conference will be held in Houston, Texas on February 5-6, 2009. There is an optional dinner on Wednesday the 4th, and participants are invited to join a NASA tour with other conference attendees on Saturday the 7th. All participants will be charged a flat registration fee of of $495. This fee includes:
- attendance at all conference sessions, Thursday and Friday
- light Continental breakfast, Thursday and Friday
- lunch on Thursday and Friday
- dinner on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, at 6 p.m.
You can learn more about the conference and sign up here.
As you may be aware, the Consortium will be conducting a search in the next six to eight months for a new executive director. Â I am chairing the search committee and am pleased to be joined by two other membersÂ of our board of directors, Yoshimi Fukuhara of Keio University/JOCW and Anka Mulder of TU Delft.
We would also like to include three members of the community at large on the search committee, and are inviting employees of member organizations to submit their names for consideration. Â Final selection of the three at-large members of the committee will be made by recommendation of Anka, Yoshimi and myself to the board of directors, and selections will be made to ensure a balance of perspectives from across the membership.
We look forward to rounding out our search committee and beginning the process of identifying a new executive director to propel the Consortium forward in the coming years. Â If you are interested in serving on the search committee, please send me an email at email@example.com.