Saturday, March 8, 2014

Copyright and Licensing in Education: A Must for All

...Its a big deal that we educate the children to use stuffs ethically and responsibly because if they don't do it when they are little, they ain't going to do it when they are big and certainly they ain't going to do it when they are adult #Chris_Betcher

I have had a heavy dose of knowledge and awareness with my attendance of this course. Needless to say, something compelled me to go through page by page, link by link and video by video, I need the certification. This is needed in order to pass the same knowledge authoritatively to most of my colleagues in Nigeria.
The above was a motivation, however going through, I have earned beyond a certification already and this has impacted my whole life as a digital age person.

What I have learned thus far.
So what have I learned in 4 weeks or thereabout:

  1. Understanding of the creative commons licenses I see every time at the bottom pages but neglect. From my perspective as a software and particularly open source advocate, I understand the GNU licenses to a certain degree but creative commons are just clear to me now.
  2. I now know several errors that I have committed in the past about other people's work. This is so much in the images area. I have decided to look more into licenses before using that next image
  3. #OER has a lot of provisions already that I can be part of and make direct use of and that is what I will look out for in the nearest future
  4. This #mOOC has made me to relate with other people's stories from other countries and we have shared respect knowledge on how things can move forward.
  5. I have added to my info list and I am glad I know about OER Commons now. It adds to MERLOT that I am already part of.

Using my latest equipping
Why I picked this sub-topic on equipping is simple, I realize that there is a lot of work to be done if so much ambiguity on educational resources especially digital resources will be used ethically and responsibly. The prelude at the top of this blog is from Chris Betcher and I'm really fascinated by the perspective and mindset.
It starts with making a compendium of all I have learned and discussing it with my unit members. I will start from my end to start to use the materials from the Internet appropriately. Then how can this be taught to just everyone in the educational sector - administrators, teachers and students in like fashion. This is an important assignment that needs to be carried out and I am offering to start here and now.

I will surely be coming back to this resource since it is what will organically be on for me personally, as an advocate and as a stakeholder in the education sector. Thanks @Wayne Mac and Randy Fisher for directing me to this resource in the first place. I appreciate everyone.

Friday, March 7, 2014

OER for Development (OER4D)

Yes, OER4D (Open Educational Resources for Development) is my title of this reflection and I have got the reasons this is essential.

What is OER?
Open Educational Resources are learning and teaching resources that are open and free to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute. More definition appears in this link. Thanks to #David_Wiley for working on this. However, I have used this summarized definition because it carries the essence of what OER is all about at least from a personal viewpoint. It’s interesting to note that education is not what know on your own but what has been recorded or decoded from several others.

I will present an outline of how I have used open educational resources since the days of MIT’s OpenCourseWare (OCW).

Case studies before OER?
Before I ever heard the term OER, I have been using the Internet as an opportunity to learn and access resources not available in my community and school library. I lived in a world that legislation on things like this are not rightly protected though they are codified in sections of the constitution and the copyrights are the initial parts of every book you had access to. Enforcement however, is another thing entirely. Howbeit, the Internet came with its disruption and since it was foreign at least most of the materials we had access to, there was little to bother about licensing and legalities. A lot of people just replicated things and some made it theirs.
The expansion of the Internet and empowerment to not just be a passive user but active and a contributor I believe is changing the disposition of that in the part of the world I live in. OER will surely change the disposition and perspective of the academic community in most emerging nations.

How is OER used?
We are in the Information Age and I believe no one is in doubt of that and content keeps flying around and at us. Attending a course like this which I will make available in my community is an avenue to properly learn the tenets of educational resources as it were in the 21st Century and key in responsibly. Briefly, we can keep the chain going for OER by:
-         Properly recognizing the efforts of others (references)
-         Making our own contributions no matter how little we think it is e.g. blogging, tweets
-         Joining OER websites. They are now more WikiEducator, MERLOT, Connexions, OCW etc
-         If you are an expert in your field, register to peer-review other people’s work through that you make it better.
-         I think this should be first, USE OERs and encourage your community to do same

The weights of legalities are somewhat off our necks in the edusphere when we embrace open educational resources.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Initial Reflections on Open Licensing

This is an interesting writing and course for me at this time. The timing of the course, coming some few months after the demise of Nelson Mandela and listening to Arch. Desmond Tutu is both memorable. These are the two heavyweights I revere most in South Africa.
Two things are striking about the two of them and the subject matter. Firstly, I have heard the word Ubuntu from Mandela before and it is actually the Operating System I am using on my Laptop. Ubuntu is a Linux distro and it is free and open source software, freely licensed. I knew the name Ubuntu means human kindness and that rings in my head but this is the first time I am merging the words with what creative commons or licensing as it were has offered.
Secondly, Arch. Desmond Tutu introducing creative commons in terms of software been produced really brought alive the subject matter to me.

Yes, Creative Commons has been well illustrated to me the more in the initial class and I have had a deeper look at the varieties of the licenses that are available. I can both use it properly and bring it to the notice of more academia around me that still move with the mentality of proprietary (hoarding and safeguarding information). How licensing made open education resources (OER) come alive is now very clear. Most people use resources on the Internet and never for once think of how it was made available for them to even copy, not to talk of using it valuably. It’s really interesting that there is no how you can be a 21st Century educator or researcher that you will not have made use of an OER. Open Licensing makes it available.
My College just adopted a research policy and this is an ample opportunity to introduce all these to them clearly: licensing, open education resources (OER), free and open software, creative commons and how they all help to foster the learning for tomorrow. They already shape today and the impact is set for tomorrow since knowledge is progressional.

Ubuntu (philosophy). (2014, February 4). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16:57, February 18, 2014, from

Monday, February 10, 2014

My MOOCs Journey!

I have had some bit of time with MOOCs in recent times. My first MOOC was actually the first started by Edx in March 2012 on “Circuits and Electronics” (6.002x). Thanks to this post for reminding me. Wow! I have come a long way with MOOCs already then and I can say one or two things confidently.

From then on I have tried to get the time to take on more MOOCs. The Computer Science class CS50x by David Malan was also my favourite.

Of all the MOOCs I participated in 2012, I was able to finish just the one by my friend Kelvin Thompson the Blendkit Course. It was fascinating for me and I had a one on one relationship with the coordinator. The interesting thing to me is that we have authored two presentation on the Sloan's Annual Educational Conferences based on our interactions on the Blendkit Course.

This is just a brief so I will close on this: MOOCs has transformed my educational and professional journey and I am seeking ways to make it possible for more people to get on the jolly train of MOOCs because it is fun.

Thanks #OCL4Ed for making me to write this.