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Barcelona – Open Content Rules

October 26th, 2006 by Graham Attwell

Great Bazaar seminar – ‘Hey Dude, Where’s my Data’ in Barcelona yesterday. No time now to write a longer piece as I am at an OECD ‘expert meeting’ on Open Educational Resources (ironically invite only). I will try to write up my first thoughts at the weekend and of course will write a fuller account on the Bazaar project wiki. In the meantime you can read blog posts from the meeting by Ismael Pena Lopez on his ICTlogy blog.

Now live from the OECD meeting. Shigagawa Miyagawa from MIT talked about the MIT Open Courseware initiative as a social initiative to counter the “huge social cost if we let the dot coms take over’. He acknowledged the need to develop sustainability models. He talked about access and that in many African Universities despite poor internet access, there were excellent Local Area Networks. Therefore the is copying open courseware onto external hard drives for physical installation of university LANs.

Patrick McAndrew from the UK Open University presented the OpenLearn initiative, launched by the University yesterday. Looks extremely interesting, especially as through their OpenLab they are trying to make it easy for users to remix materials. We are going to hear a lot more about this in the future. Patrick presented OpenLearn as an experiment, saying the OU is not as brave as MIT. However he feels it impossible for the OU to reverse the direction they have taken, although he is still concerned at the costs of development.

The materials are available in XML and he feels the experience of this is of value to the university as a whole.

There is a continuing debate (which also came up at the Bazaar meeting) running over quality and whether universities should have a role in accrediting materials.

Patrick feels we are looking at futures – University 2.0 – and said there are many unknowns. We do even know if people learn using open content.

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