Welcome and Introductions

Welcome and Introductions

by Scott Leslie -
Number of replies: 36
Hi everyone, and welcome to the start of this three week seminar on Open Educational Resources (OER). If you missed the opening kick-off session, I'm hoping we can organize the next three weeks' explorations over three broad areas:

  1. Finding & Using OER
  2. Creating OER
  3. Ways of Sharing and Other Issues
But really, that's just a proposal, and what I'm really interested to learn is what you are wanting to discuss. What are the questions you have around open education? What issues are you butting up against, or solutions you want to share.

Before we get into the nitty gritty, though, let's all take a chance to introduce ourselves. I'll do that in a separate post, so as not to make this too long.

But just to make in interesting, in addition to letting the rest of us know who you are and where you work, and maybe a key point of interest in OER, I would love to hear people's stories about a specific example of Open Educational Resource. Maybe tell us about your favourite one. One you've created and shared yourself. One you reused. An example that struck you fancy because it challenged conventional notions of what open educational resources are. Or even just the challenge you had finding or reusing one, but something to tell us all a little more about your interest.

So without further ado, off we go!
In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Sylvia Currie -
Welcome to our first seminar of 2009!

Open Educational Resources is facilitated by Scott Leslie, manager of BCcampus Shareable Online Learning Resources. As Scott has already indicated he will say a few words of introduction. Meanwhile I'll point you to the the tag cloud on his blog, Edtechpost, where you can see that his primary interests are related to open sharing and reuse of learning materials. This is a topic we're all anxious to learn more about!

Please join us tomorrow (January 19) at 19:00 GMT, 11:00 a.m. PST for the OER kick off session via Elluminate.

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We look forward to hearing about your experiences and ideas. Thank you for joining us!

This seminar is organized in collaboration with the British Columbia Educational Technology Users Group.

Sylvia Currie
SCoPE Coordinator
In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Scott Leslie -
...and I'll start with my own introduction and my favourite OER story. My name is Scott Leslie. I guess my small claim to fame regarding OER is that I manage a project in British Colombia, Canada for BCcampus called Shareable Online Learning Resources (or SOL*R for short) that shares both lessons and full course content both around BC and with the wider world. I also blog at http://www.edtechpost.ca/wordpress/ and have worked for years with WCET on the edutools project (http://www.edutools.info/) where, amongst other things, we examined both learning content management systems and learning object repositories.

As to a story about my 'favourite OER,' I'm actually slightly reluctant to tell this one lest it be seen as 'tooting my own horn' but hopefully you'll see by the end that the real star of the story is openness and the serendipity it enables.

Probably by far the most popular item I ever posted to my blog was a 'Matrix of Blog Uses in Higher Education' that I developed while facilitating a session quite like this one in 2003. Over the last 6 years it consistently has generated a lot of traffic and citations, and like everything else I publish on my blog was created and shared under a Creative Commons license. But the amount of use and attention it's received is not the reason it's one of my favourite OER stories.

The first remix of the matrix diagram I found was actually the second remix (the first being one by a Dutch blogger that has since vanished). Someone in the UK liked the graphic overhaul that the Dutch blogger had given it (my original was not very eye-catching, to say the least) but needed it in English, so translated that derivation back into English. When I first found this I was overjoyed, as it seemed a clear improvement to me, one I could myself use. Similarly, I was well chuffed to see other translations, first in Italian (I think?) and then Spanish. In all of these cases, no one contacted me first - they didn't need to because of the Creative Commons license I had chosen. In none of the cases was my own use of the resource impinged, and indeed in my eyes the remixes were often improvements.

But the biggest pleasure I took was when someone (who did contact me, after the fact) with skills much greater than my own took the matrix and totally transformed it. Tony Lowe, from a UK-based Academic spin-off called Webducate, wrote me to tell me he had created a Flash-based version of the matrix. You can see by my write up that I was over the moon, that I now had a visually appealing and dynamic version of this static diagram I had originally sketched up in a Word document! For free!

But it didn't stop there; I speculated out loud that a version that allowed new uses to be created on the fly and added to the matrix would be ideal, and almost no sooner had I written those words than Tony delivered another version, this one doing exactly that! While I think the idea of the matrix must have resonated with Tony, he was also developing this to help show off his authoring product, something I was extremely please to help him with. And I got an amazing dynamic version that I could NEVER have created myself. And the rest of the world now got a teaching tool so that if the idea of the matrix resonated, but the specific cases did not, they could easily add their own.

I apologize for the long story, but it feels important to tell it in detail, because people often find it hard to understand the value in giving their stuff away, for free. From my perspective, having published anything I was ever able to give away under an open license (or with an invitation to reuse it) it's the opposite - I have a hard time understanding why you wouldn't want to share! So now maybe you have a little idea of where I come to this issue from, but how about you? Have you ever shared a learning resource you created to see it multiply in ways you could never have anticipated?
In reply to Scott Leslie

Introduction - Chris Horgan

by Christine Horgan -

Hello Scott

Chris Horgan (SAIT Polytechnic, Calgary, Alberta).

Just dipping a toe in the waters of open educational resources so I'm expecting to be an active lurker vs. a participant. Looking forward to the wisdom of those further along on their journey.

My role at SAIT is as Curriculum Co-ordinator for a large service department.

Cheers, Chris

In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Colby Stuart -
Hello, there, Sylvia, Scott and Chris...

Colby Stuart, here in Amsterdam. I've been integrating social media into learning tools since they first came on the scene. We use blogs for posting ideas and building on them, archiving and as a window to forums and wikis where we actually discuss and build on the documentation of topics.

I teach people how to build concepts - Applied Connective Dynamics - at the post-grad level in different places around the world. So, the communicative, creative and cultural aspects of social media in Open Learning Environments or Virtual Learning Environments VLE's have truly enhanced learning and sharing.

You can see some of the other examples here:

I love learning from others. No matter whether it's through applications or ideas or even questions posed.

For the Kids 2020 Foundation's Learning Programme, I am trying to pay attention to how others are applying and experiencing social media tools in their learning environments.

Also, we believe in Open Source. Scott's example here was perfect result of that kind of collaborative effort.

Looking forward to what shows up in here, Scott!
Thanks for invite, Sylvia!
In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Gina Bennett -
Hi Scott, hi everybody

My name is Gina Bennett & I work at College of the Rockies in Cranbrook BC, where my job title is 'eLearning Specialist' . I think it's kind of a cool job title but it is somewhat misleading: College of the Rockies is a very small institution & so like everybody else, I wear many hats & have diverse responsibilities. I blog occasionally at http://sansfrontierisme.blogspot.com/

Like most faculty people I have been a proponent of open educational resources long before they were called that. Years ago, we just called it 'sharing' or 'swapping handouts' & the conditions of openness were informal. Of course the internet has enabled us to share far more widely & the development of sharing licences (like Creative Commons) have helped us to set sharing conditions we can be comfortable with. I guess I've grown along with the movement & shared lots of things, both formally & informally.

I can't really think of a favourite OER so early on a Monday morning but I can think of an observation... In the course of my job I've been able to travel & work in a couple of developing nations. The concept of sharing seems to be better understood there. The "problem" of protecting our resources, including educational resources, seems to be far more acute in wealthier nations. It seems to be taking us a bit longer to learn that (as Scott's story illustrates!) the more you share, the greater your potential to benefit. It's sort of a new twist on the 'Matthew principle' wink

In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers -
Hi Scott and all,
My name is Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers. This site looks like a very interesting e-conference on this OER topic. Hi am in clinical practice as a psychologist in Edmonton, Alberta. I teach online and some traditional too. I have just been getting into more blogging and often blogging on the Athabasca Me2U and this is about my 7th Scope participation. I will learn from all of you and contribute when I can add something (hopefully). I'm a recent grad of the AU GDDET program (pending). Thanks for doing this everyone. I enjoyed you Matrix Scott. Jo Ann
In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Prince Obiri-Mainoo -

Hello Everyone,

My name is Prince Obiri-Mainoo, and I'm the executive director of National Africa Foundation with offices in the US and in Ghana.

Last year, I spent six months in Ghana exploring possibilities for more access to universities online. My findings, astounding as they were, have led to the conclusion that a virtual university with access to OER and links to other open universities is what is needed in Ghana and several other Africa countries. I started working towards this end at the latter part of 2008.

I do not have much to share in the form of accomplishment in the world of OER, except to say that I am excited about the possibilities to learn more about OER on this forum.

I also want to hear from others and to invite individuals, instituitions and organizations interested in collaborating and helping to make the establishment of a virtual/open university in Ghana and the sub-Sahara sub-region of Africa a reality in the course of the year to join with me. Thanks!


In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Jennifer Jones -
Greetings! I'm Jennifer Jones and I'm currently a stay at home mom. I have a lot of questions about OER, and I know Scott is a great person to guide us in the right direction. I've been publishing my work in the open as long as I can remember, but I know that doesn't mean it's educational, or a resource. I would like to know the distinction. I'm currently running a series in on my blog to help introduce educators to social media. It's open and CC licensed, but that doesn't mean it's an OER. My favorite OER was started by an instructor I used to work with at BTC, Tony Kuphaldt. It's an Electricity text book that has been remixed numerous times. He's currently completing another one and will have more licensing options this time.
Looking forward to learning with you!
In reply to Jennifer Jones

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Scott Leslie -
Hey Jen, both you and Gina point to something I actually think is pretty important, that 'OERs' existed long before any sort of formal movement existed, and what exactly is an 'OER' anyways? (Is it sort of like a 'learning object'? Yes! In that defining it can consume the first half of any meeting, doesn't really do anybody any good, and is better understood by the uses people put it to, not just the intentions of its designer.)

As much as discussion like that can really go off the rails (again, witness 'learning objects') I do hope we'll get into it a bit, because I think sometimes this language can put people off and make them think it's something far more complicated than it needs to be. Anyways, more later, but I do appreciate these comments and think it's important to find a balance between recognizing the new energy and contributions that have happened through the official 'OER movement' versus the acts of sharing and openness that in many ways have always defined the Internet (and long before that too).
In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Jennifer Jones -
Do you think it might be easier just to define what it isn't?
In reply to Jennifer Jones

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Scott Leslie -
Yeah, in many ways, it may be. More important I think is to understand the choices one makes and the implications they have on both one's own freedom and the freedoms of others. That way it ties it back to what people are trying to do, their goals and values, rather than some abstract exercise. But let's take that up in another thread, as I think there's lots to unpack.
In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Asako Yoshida -
Hi Scott & everyone,

I'm Asako Yoshida, a librarian at the University of Manitoba. Well, librarians so far are very much tied to print/text artifacts and if they are online, generally to proprietary materials. Archivists are now involved in converting their local special collections into digital format and making them available online. As a reference librarian, my interest is, broadly speaking, in research process and learning and their social aspects. So I'm interested in how open educational resources are coming into the mainstream and how we interact with them in the effort to facilitate learning.

I'm looking forward to the future discussion.


In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Cynthia Alvarado -
Hello, I'm Cynthia Alvarado, a sometimes adjunct professor of education and a full-time teacher librarian. I have long been a consumer and participant in various OER, but would like to be more effective. I was thrilled to see that Scott's diagram had been translated into Spanish, as I sometimes help my husband develop training materials in that language and it will be a great asset. My blog, such as it is, is found at http://blog.dearbornschools.org/alvarac/.
In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by rachel sale -

Hello!  I am an instructional designer for online education at a small university in the midwest USA: Lincoln University in Jefferson City, MO. My position exists because a core element that includes the president and provost made a decision to change many offerings to online--an effort to stop the loss of students to other universities due to a lack on online offerings. However, many staff members are reluctant in the change process, so every little change is a victory in the overall process.  Just this week, I introduced blogging to the Spanish instructor; she was so excited that she could hardly contain her enthusiasm...now I am looking for someone teaching English-as-a second-language with native Spanish speaking students to enchange blog comments.

Needless to say, in a position where funding is always an issue, OER  creation and sharing is of great interest to me.

In reply to rachel sale

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by ABC Given -

Greetings: I am working with the Center of Instructional Technology at SAIT Polytechnic. Calgary -- Canada. I cover copyright & new technologies issues and training, copyright clearances and support for instructors/curriculum developers/staff. I am interested in initiatives such as: Creative Commons, government resources for online learning, public domain, as well as creativity and communities of practice in the "information age".

Looking forward to the Forum.

In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Barbara Dieu -
I'm Barbara (Bee) Dieu, an EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teacher in a bilingual (French and Brazilian) secondary school in São Paulo, Brazil. I have always shared all the resources I found useful or produced since I went online in 1997 and then built my site (1.0) in 1999 on my own, at my expense and time . (it has not been updated now for some time)

The schooI I work for never wanted to publish anything and only recently had its institutional page up online.

At the beginning, I ran it without any license but then got mad when I discovered some pages of the site, like for instance
were being framed inside a commercial portal that you needed to pay to log in and access (my own!) resources so put a very proprietary notice on the sides :-)

This site belongs to
Barbara Dieu
EFL teacher
and coordinator of the
Foreign Language Department
Lycée Pasteur,
Curso Experimental Bilingue
São Paulo, Brazil

and the bottom of the front page

Copyright © 1999-2005 Barbara Dieu.
All Rights Reserved.
No material appearing on any of these pages may be reproduced without prior written permission.

Not that I wanted to restrict teachers or students from using the material but because I thought it was not fair for an educational commercial portal to steal my work = close it in, make money on it without attribution. The explanation given when I complained was that they were charging for filtering information for their clients and other services (but the frame inside which my pages were trapped sported their logo).

This page for instance was made together with the students and some teachers (who sent me the complementary links at the bottom of the page), the students were interviewed on their impressions and then made a research in groups on the different continents/countries where English is spoken and found the corresponding flags. (scroll over the map to get the different continents)
As wikis did not exist at the time (if they were I was not yet aware of them), the kids did it as homework on their own computers (the school was not yet connected) and sent me the info by mail or floppies, which I corrected, copied, pasted into my Dreamweaver and published online.

While some resources were easy to get - like Naomi Klein's movie "The Meaning Behind the Logo (see explanation given on page)
articles from mainstream newspapers/media proved to be a bureaucratic nightmare (a number of email exchanges, sometimes without answer, to various departments)

I had to beg for a special permission to use The Times article as basis for an exercise
and I have already breached the initial contract which said the exercise should have been left on that particular page. As I stopped paying for an adless site, the hotpotato pages were all scrambled, which made me move them elsewhere (and lost the pics)

I could not wait until the permission arrived for The Economist article (which complements Naomi's film and is closed behind a paid login), so I shamelessly and painstakinglyy typed it on an html page copying it from my parent's print edition http://members.tripod.com/the_english_dept/logo/prologo.html
not only for my students to be able to read it and be prepared for the debate that year (I could have photocopied it) but also to re-use it in the future for some other activity.

Nowadays I am contributing a little bit to wikieducator with a unit on visual /critical literacy for ESL/EFL teachers (collaboration welcome)
but am having trouble in finding images that I would like to use to illustrate certain concepts

So voilà, a little bit of my grassroots experience with resources online - open and not.

In reply to Barbara Dieu

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Scott Leslie -
Bee, thanks SO much for this introduction! It is exactly the kind of anecdotes that I think help people understand real specific issues with teaching online and openness.

Your page is exactly the kind of site I was thinking about when I first asked people to point to their earliest 'OER' memory - an 'OER' long before the name even existed. I wish I could say your experience with people enclosing your free content in a subscription frameset was unique, but my experience is that it is not. Part of me usually reacts, "so what, it is not infringing my own use of the materials" but then I realize that's to trivialize it, as the idea of people paying for something (especially something that really had not been improved upon in any way) that I was giving away for free is infuriating. In theory, this is one of the things that a NonCommercial clause is there to prevent, but I say in theory - the practice is of course another story.

And your story about wanting to use copyrighted materials also touches on another point that came out in today's session online, exerting our rights to use copyrighted materials in educational contexts. I hope we can dig into that issue, as it's an important one too.

Look forward to more discussion in the next few weeks, cheers, Scott
In reply to Barbara Dieu

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Christine Horgan -


Like Barbara, I work in an institution where sharing paper resources is the done thing. Instructors willingly share materails and create materails in a co-operative environment. When we first moved to blended/facilitated distance courses, thee was (I think) a big leap from creating one's own materials to developing common, default materials that all instructors had access to.

As I work in a service area, our materials are avaialble to anyone and we regularly cannibalize course materials for other courses we offer in our school.

SAIT is also part of the eCampusAlberta consortium where sharing resources is now a given for on-line courses offered through eCA and/or taking eCA funds for development.

The next big leap for us is (a) sharing our on-line materials with the world (or at least outside of Alberta but within Canada), and (b) sharing other people's resources.

(b) is where we've run into some intersting situations. We've discovered some very useful materials on line but we can't use them in a course becasue it's considered a commercial product. Even Learning Commons materails have proved to be problematic.

As my colleague (Anca Medesan) is also participating in this seminar, she may have some further comments.

My interest (perhaps because I'm at the start of my journey) is around how we can use already developed materials in our courses without running afoul of copyright issues.

Thanks, Chris

In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Therese Weel -

Having the opportunity to step away from the structure of job and school this past year has allowed me to delve deeper into what I'm about and what is important to me.

As always, it was a huge learning experience. I learned that in our medical system - You are on your own. The web was an invaluable tool. Even for me it - geek girl - was difficult to find good information. Always keep your critical thinking hat on and mind the alligators.

The most exiting things Ive learned this year are in the areas of science and mathematics. It is wonderful that the latest mind changing information can be delivered to the masses directly through something as simple as a youtube video. And people love it. Hooray!

My experiences with open learning sofar.
  • I prefer asking my own questions and going where my inquiry leads me.
  • I enjoy being in community with others and seek out gathering places.
  • Accurate, relevant, referenced information impresses me.
  • Credentials do not matter - reputation does.
  • An ipod keeps me productive I can listen as I do my daily work.
  • I love it!

I appreciate academia, had a taste of it and I understand it's value.
As a mid-lifer, I find the process slow and cumbersome and life too short.
I'm happy to forgo the credentials and dive in.

One thing I would love to have from this session is.

A concise set of tools and methodologies for people like myself who are
curious, independent, lifelong learners so I can continue on my merry
way and share that information down the road.


My ONE favorite link on this subject.


In reply to Therese Weel

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Scott Leslie -
Therese, it's awesome to have someone chime in here and take the perspective of a learner! Indeed, I think many of us who are passionate about trying to provide free and open educational resources are so in part because we often have benefitted so much ourselves from what others have shared openly. But it's easy, especially for those of us 'inside' educational institutions or structures, to come at the problem solely from that angle, knowing all of the reasons why it will never work, instead of remembering who it can benefit and why its important, so thanks!

If you are interested in science videos, in addition to all the great stuff you can find in Youtube itself you may be interested in other sites like http://sciencetube.magnify.net/, http://www.science-tube.com/, http://www.teachers.tv/series/20792, and http://sciencehack.com/ that aggregate a lot of the good science content or provide an even better way to search for it.

(Edited by Sylvia Currie - original submission Monday, 19 January 2009, 02:28 PM Created hyperlinks for the URLs Scott provided)

In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Jeffrey Keefer -
Hey Scott and colleagues, this is Jeffrey Keefer from New York. I am really looking forward to this topic, as I have never actively thought about it in this space before.

My title at my full-time position is Project Manager, Instructional Design, which means I manage educational projects and integrate my skills as a long-time instructional designer to help meet the adult learning needs for whichever population we are preparing instruction. Working full-time in a large homecare (nursing) organization, there is a constant need for (evidence-based) education. When I am not working there, I am an adjunct instructor at New York University in Management Communication and Leadership and Human Capital Management.

With all this said and done, I am learning that the people who freely share their materials are often the ones who are the most passionate educators, as those of us who are teachers at heart often want to educate anybody who is open to learning something we already know.

I am really interested in more formally discussing this process and related issues here with all of you, especially in Scott's most capable hands.
In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Nalin Abeysekera -

Hello Scott and All,

I am Nalin Abeysekera,Sri Lankan,Lecturer for marketing and online learning.Here in Sri lanka the key stake holders who are involving in teaching and learning not aware on OER.Sometimes because of that we are wasting our time(efficiency and effectiveness).So low awarness level is one of the key issue which we have to identify in this context.But i know from this discussion i can share my knowledge.Thanks....  

In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Hello from the rapidly warming North

by Sylvia Riessner -
Well, we're not really all that North...Whitehorse has the same kind of weather as Terrace, BC (our winters are just a little longer and a little darker).

My name is Sylvia Riessner and I'm an instructor for instructors at Yukon College. I have the challenging and enjoyable task of helping teachers integrate technology to improve their teaching. We have amazing connectivity and full videoconferencing between communities that are no larger than 150 people in some cases.

Although I can't think of a good example of OER in my past, I was introduced to FLOSSE and open content during my studies at UBC's MET program (Brian Lamb I think). I got excited about the idea of all that potential learning cuz I'm a lifelong learner and an information junkie.

I started blogging about open learning and OERs (Open = Free?) after I took David Wiley's online course a couple of years ago (Intro to Open Education). I've been fascinated as I've watched the rapid evolution in the concept of "open" and the struggles that individuals and institutions are going through to determine how to fund the continued existence of OER distribution and collaborative development sites.

I would love to hear anyone's stories about collaborative development of learning content through Wikiversity or the UK's Open University's Learning Space site. These are great examples of how far we've come from MIT's OpenCourseware model. I did start an online course with Wikieducator (Composing free and open online resources) that involved the joint development of learning resources but had to drop out because I got too busy at work. I'm extremely curious whether these online development environments will ever work. The tools are there...not sure if the teachers can stay connected long enough to make it work.

So, thanks for coordinating this session Scott. I've been enjoying your new Free site and I'm looking forward to learning lots in this discussion.


In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Dr. Nellie Deutsch -
HI Scott and Sylvia,
Thank you for starting a Moodle workshop on OER. I have been reading the posts but never considered joining the discussions because I am up to my ears in promoting free OER on ning, WiZiQ, and Wikieducator. However, Jefferey got to me when he said: I am learning that the people who freely share their materials are often the ones who are the most passionate educators, as those of us who are teachers at heart often want to educate anybody who is open to learning something we already know.

I have been passionate about quality learning for myself and others since grade one. I never left the public school system because I learn the most as a teacher. I have been giving away "stuff" and educational services for free for a number of years. I used to sign my emails with caring is sharing but left that for the current warm wishes because I finally realize that not everyone wants to or knows how to share and collaborate. At the beginning, many people were rather suspicious and thought I was selling things. It seemed that many felt that free education meant poor quality. It took a while, but right now people are finally contacting me for free mentoring and other services.

I am looking forward to participating in the discussions and learning with and from everyone.

Warm wishes,
Nellie Deutsch
In reply to Dr. Nellie Deutsch

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers -
Hi Nellie and Jefferey,
I agree -- people who are passionate about sharing what they know -- are teachers by nature and then they become excellent teachers by nurture when connected to OER and exposure to heart-felt learning. Glad to see such a great group forming. I think identifying one's self with the willingness to share online may catch on as people have good experiences. Jo Ann
In reply to Jo Ann Hammond-Meiers

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Dr. Nellie Deutsch -
Hi Jo Ann,
It's always a pleasure to connect, share ideas, and heart-felt learning with passionate instructor-learners like you. I agree with you on the value of having good experiences. I believe that positive online learning experiences can "create resonance" in others (Boyatzis & McKee, 2005, p. 3).

Boyatzis, R., & McKee, A. (2005). Resonant leadership. Boston: Harvard Business School
In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Scott Leslie -
Apologies for not responding to each and every introduction, but please don't feel any less welcomed! It's fantastic to see so many people here, from such diverse backgrounds. I am especially gratified to see many people from outside North America. Personally my own understanding of OER has been greatly assisted by meeting with people from, and traveling to, other places in the world, and I hope you will share some perspectives on the needs you are seeing in your own communities, and ways for OER to better respect local knowledge and local needs. This for me is a huge and ongoing challenge that I think will not only have a positive effect on open education, but on education in general! So welcome all.
In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Clint Lalonde -
Hi all,

My name is Clint Lalonde and I am with Camosun College in Victoria, British Columbia. My title is Distributed Education Web Specialist. The vast majority of work I do with faculty revolves around course creation within an LMS (Desire2Learn), which often means creating open content (and, in some cases even using open content) can be a challenge when the default starting point is a closed system.

Being more tech than ed, I tend to look at open resources through a technicians lens; how can a resource published over here be modified/reused/republished over there in the easiest way possible? Embed is my friend :)

I look forward to the discussions here over the next few weeks.
In reply to Clint Lalonde

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Scott Leslie -
hey Clint, thanks for joining in. You're gonna love next week's topics on creating OER, as part of what I'm getting to is exactly this issue of ways of creating content that are *easy* to reuse.
In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by j. Tim Denny -

All these self introductions, you have embarrassed me into something I often do not do... yet on the other hand I have thoroughly enjoyed reading through the intros... so here you go... the story of Tim in no clear organizational style.

I bill myself as a consultant in education, ICT and international development... education as I hold a masters in educational administration and PhD in international development education - having spent some 15 years as a facilitator of formally organized university classes; first at the front scared as can be then later floating around the room in some sort of act of defiance to established ways. With a deep interest in what makes formal education work and why it far too often fails I spent considerable time development methods that worked and also taught others. A big part of that was technology integration.

ICT - as I come from a science background - not a tech background per se (geology) but an inquisitive background and an early adopter of what was then accessible higher level technologies in while doing my undergrad work in the mid 80's. Since then tech- and more recently ICT (the communication side of it) has been a big part of my life.

International development as I hold a PhD in international development and am intrigued with all that may happened to direct, redirect or sidetrack nations on a track to make life better for all. I am passionate about skill sets that are appropriate for the average person; agriculture, indigenous construction, mechanics, technology, sanitation; you name it... I am constantly reading and thinking of ways in which we can help others to be informed so that their lives may become a bit better.

Yet it all ties into freedom, human dignity and caring about others. I am from an underprivileged upbringing, yet find myself having spent half my life out of my native culture and primarily interested in so-called developing nations. At present I live in Thailand, yet am a fairly virtual person able to relocate anywhere as long as I have a decent net connection and a mobile phone... then again I can even live without those, yet my addiction to information is a hard one to break.

OK time to answer Scott's questions and move on...

  • who you are - always changing, yet focused on helping others develop
  • and where you work - mostly virtual, currently a consultant for the Asian Development Bank as a regional Capacity Development Specialist on a community e-center project
  • and maybe a key point of interest in OER - as a strong believer in "standing on other's shoulders" I feel we should not reinvent materials each time we need to address an issue, instead OER "open" allows us to use what others have done to get where we want to be faster and more efficiently, thus freeing up time for other work. Yet most importantly from a developing nation perspective OER brings hope of decency to those who are shut away from information due to national circumstances that place purchasing power in the way of information access.

In reply to j. Tim Denny

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Scott Leslie -
Thanks for sharing this Tim, good to meet you, and I look forward to the next three weeks' discussions.
In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Nicola Avery -

Hi Everyone, thanks for this opportunity to participate. I'm Nicola Avery, currently working as an eLearning Adviser at Surrey University just outside London in the UK. I'm also kind of informally wearing a hat looking at learning technologies for Surrey Lifelong Learning Partnership but that's outside the uni stuff (mostly). 

Its really interesting to hear about the idea of sharing resources - I remember when I used to be a primary teacher in South London - we had a great group in our education area who were all interested in sharing - although this was mostly offline at the time. I'm not doing any commercial activity at the moment, I have an attribution non-commercial share-alike CC licence for my website and blog, release code and experiments with code as and when. Personally interested in all kinds of mobile devices too and how/where openness can be achieved in terms of sharing resources - attempting to develop using open source programming languages but haven't achieved anything worthy of sharing yet :-)

Interest in open educational resources - have followed the development of this especially wiki based ones like curriki, wikiversity (we referred to the instructional design one on wikiversity quite a lot when we were designing a course on ID in a previous role), but kind of lost track over last two years due to the volume so difficult to pinpoint a specific one - but its a great question !

At Surrey - I run monthly f2f courses and part of one of those I generally use as an informal session to chat about concept of finding, sharing resources - usually when I mention open educational resources, staff have not been familiar with the term but always interested. As far as I am aware the majority of research published by Surrey is not in open access journals. The majority of their educational resources they use with students, are imprisoned within specific modules in a VLE or staff hold them locally so we are trying to look at ways and technologies which can help release them :-)

I am particularly interested at the moment because there is a current JISC call out for funding  for an open educational resources project, so have a great excuse now to go and start conversations with as many people as I can to try and understand different people's perspectives  (in / outside University - not currently linked in with any UK or regional networks regarding OER as such) and see if we can do anything

In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Uwe Spangler -

my name is Uwe Spangler, I am project manager for e-learning at IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. We are basically inhouse content developer for our MBA and Masters programmes and are working on online multimedia case studies and tutorials. Our institution opened up the documentation under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ CC license.

I am personally interested in the complex world of higher education and its future, regarding influences from open source business models and feasibility in an institutional context. (How informal learning will influence on this..)

My expectations about the course are getting to know more about the OER, real applications etc.
I am looking forward to it ;-)

In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Alice Macpherson -
Hello and greetings from a lurker coming out of hiding!
I am very interested in how we can share Educational Resources and use the internet to promote sharing.
I am Alice Macpherson, PD & PLA Coordinator for The Centre for Academic Growth at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in the lower mainland of BC, Canada. http://kwantlen.ca/academicgrowth
I am one of the editors, along with Dr. Balbir Gurm, of Transformative Dialogues: teaching and learning ejournal, which is an initiative developed by Kwantlen as part of our Carnegie Foundation Leadership Project on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning to Build Scholarly Communities. This is an open electronic journal and welcomes readers and writers. http://kwantlen.ca/TD
I believe that the Creative Commons concept was one of the best things to happen to promote open access to information and I think that much more can be done.
and I am curious!
Best to all in this endeavour.

In reply to Scott Leslie

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Patrick O'Brien -

I have just started in the newly minted position of Education Technologist at the University of the Fraser Valley

While the position is new, I am not, having kicked around in various aspects of teaching & learning & technology for some time.

That I am logging in on Friday when I had all intentions of showing up last Monday speaks to my current time constraints.

But I hope to be able to make a contribution at some points in the 3 weeks of this online symposium (Onlosium?)

Thank you for all the interesting postings so far. I promise, in the least, to be an avid lurker.

In reply to Patrick O'Brien

Re: Welcome and Introductions

by Gina Bennett -
It is GREAT to see you back, Patrick. As an educational technology "Member Emeritus", you are always a welcome addition to the discussion!