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Re: [learningfromeachother] Andrius and Paolo chat about Learning From Each Other

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  • Pamela McLean
    Hello Paulo - and thanks also to Andrius and Benoit for recent related posts. Thank you Paulo for your email introducing yourself. I do share your interest in
    Message 1 of 5 , Aug 25, 2006
      Hello Paulo - and thanks also to Andrius and Benoit for recent related
      posts.

      Thank you Paulo for your email introducing yourself. I do share your
      interest in Open Content. In this post I will describe some of my
      interests in the hope it will help you to recognise how our interests
      overlap and how we can take our discussions forward in a fruitful way.
      I hope it will serve as a kind of personal introduction too. I confess
      it is a long email because I feel your post has acted as a catalyst and
      focus for laying out my ideas and hopes for this group. After we take a
      wide view can see more easily where to focus.

      I am interested in Open Content because it is an important aspect of how
      new educational systems are developing now that we have the Internet.
      My interest in the development of such systems is the reason why Andrius
      set up this group. I have been interested in the relationship between
      ICTs and the development of educational systems since I studied with the
      Open University in the 1970s/80s.

      Currently I am linked with various community development projects in
      rural Nigeria, an area which - surprisingly perhaps - provides rich
      opportunities for exploring the development of ICT enabled education.
      Perhaps you have heard the story of the two shoe salesmen who went to
      Africa - one came back saying there was no market because people went
      barefoot, while the other came back greatly excited at the potential.
      That is how I see the situation regarding ICT enabled education in rural
      Nigeria. It is new ground.

      There are benefits in working in new ground. It seems to me that in any
      area where there is already a well established educational system, there
      will inevitably be structures and systems designed for the industrial
      society - not for the information society of the 21st century. If the
      structures and systems - the buildings, the roles, the thinking, and the
      individual and group ways of behaving, have all taken their shape from
      19th and 20th century norms, then the potential of ICT will probably be
      something of an "add on" - rather than being the catalyst - the main
      force driving developments and structures. By contrast in areas where
      19th and 20th century educational systems are less well established (as
      in rural Nigeria) new approaches to education, enabled through ICT,
      could develop with greater freedom, in a more organic way (once the ICT
      infrastructure breaks through.)

      There are various elements needed for ICT enabled learning. It can be
      helpful to consider the elements under two headings - delivery systems
      and content.

      The delivery systems consist of :
      - Infrastructure to deliver information (Internet connectivity and
      electrical power).
      - Hardware and software to accept and process and deliver information.
      - Buildings in which to place the hardware and software.
      - People to install and maintain the equipment.
      - People to operate the equipment.
      - Independent learners to benefit from the educational potential of the
      ICT system.
      - E-learning champions to share what they know about the educational
      potential of ICTs with others.
      - Social networks to enable the e-learning champions to link up with
      potential learners and other beneficiaries.
      - Funding mechanisms to pay for this kind of educational system in a
      sustainable way.

      Content :
      Some people think of content for e-learning only in connection with
      formal course delivery - but here at Learning From Each Other I want us
      to think about informal e-learning as well.

      I hope that the discussions we will have here will be seen as part of
      our learning, as individuals and as a group. I hope we will be
      developing our group knowledge of ICT applied to learning - both in
      practice and in theory.

      Discussion of the development of our group knowledge brings us back once
      again to Open Content. I think of Open Content as a continuum. At one
      extreme is the kind of Open Content made available by MIT, which means
      all of us are all free to read course materials that previously were
      only available to registered MIT students. At the other extreme we have
      free flowing discussions such as the ones that Andrius is enabling
      through his groups. He has brought us, and others, into groups on the
      Internet to share ideas in an Open Content way.

      As I understand it, Andrius is using our discussions to generate "Open
      Content", and then using his own interventions, plus tagging, wiki
      pages, and RSS feeds to structure the information in ways that are more
      easily searchable. This organic-growth approach to Open Content is one
      that I find very appealing. I am very interested and want to learn more
      about Andrius' strategies so that I can apply them to other groups I
      work in - especially Cawdnet groups where we are involved in informal
      learning of one kind and another, and where we include information
      exchanges and collaborative work through the Internet. (Cawdnet is a
      network concerned with ICT4D - especially, but not exclusively, in rural
      Nigeria)

      I am also interested in the practicalities using an Open Content
      approach to share resources that have originally been developed to
      support traditional face to face teaching. This is both a general
      interest and also a specific one, regarding a course I am developing
      with Fantsuam Foundation (FF) called the "No Computer Computer Course"
      (NC3). (FF is part of Cawdnet.)

      I wonder, Paulo, how far your interest in Open Content springs from
      experience with the development and/or use of Free and Open Source
      Software (FOSS) - something that is very relevant regarding ICT use in
      rural Nigeria.

      In Cawdnet we are currently exploring the use of Moodle (which is Open
      Source) for our virtual meetings. It provides a meeting place for us on
      the Internet where we can work collaboratively. Moodle's course based
      structures mean that separate groups can "meet" in separate "locations"
      (as if they are on separate "courses") without unnecessary overlap and
      information overload. Within Moodle it is possible for groups members to
      exchange emails - so that part is similar to the way we are working here
      in Learning From Each Other. The course structure also means that groups
      can easily flip from a "very open" to a "very closed" approach to
      information exchanges - depending on the purpose. There are various
      other features that are interesting to us. Discovering the ways is which
      Moodle can (and can't) serve our needs is another part of the ICT4Ed
      learning experience.

      Benoit - regarding Moodle - I was very interested in the posting you
      sent a while back regarding Blackboard and Moodle and intellectual
      property etc - thank you.

      Paulo - I hope within this posting you have found areas of interest to
      you - Please share your thoughts again soon.

      Lurkers and others - I extend to you that hope and invitation as well -
      whether you have previously contributed here or if you are lurking -
      please introduce yourselves in this context and add your thoughts and
      perspectives to these discussions.

      Andrius - Thank you for bringing us together to explore these ideas and
      learn from each other.

      Pam
    • samuel kongere
      Dear Pamela and ALL, Good to hear of the open content management. I am saying that open content and educational procedures with Internet are going together
      Message 2 of 5 , Aug 28, 2006
        Dear Pamela and ALL,
         
        Good to hear of the open content management. I am saying that open content and educational procedures with Internet are going together with this time of Internet. I am also very happy to learn how Open content works and How I can find anyone or organization to make me learn or to be trained on open content management.
         
        Me, together with Maria Agnese Giraudo are very hopeful to get a distance learning chance to enable us have this experience about ICTS open content management. It is something which will make our understanding of Open Content management elaborate and understandable to both of us. Somebody with such an Idea should let us know on how to acquire such skills.
         
        From,
        Samwel


        Talk is cheap. Use Yahoo! Messenger to make PC-to-Phone calls. Great rates starting at 1ยข/min.
      • Paolo Pumilia
        ... Dear Pamela, i agree with you that the rise of a new educational system needs new structures and that surely building on new ground offers certain
        Message 3 of 5 , Aug 29, 2006
          On Saturday 26 August 2006 01:54, Pamela McLean wrote:
          > (...)
          > There are benefits in working in new ground. It seems to me that in any
          > area where there is already a well established educational system, there
          > will inevitably be structures and systems designed for the industrial
          > society - not for the information society of the 21st century. If the
          > structures and systems - the buildings, the roles, the thinking, and the
          > individual and group ways of behaving, have all taken their shape from
          > 19th and 20th century norms, then the potential of ICT will probably be
          > something of an "add on" - rather than being the catalyst - the main
          > force driving developments and structures. By contrast in areas where
          > 19th and 20th century educational systems are less well established (as
          > in rural Nigeria) new approaches to education, enabled through ICT,
          > could develop with greater freedom, in a more organic way (once the ICT
          > infrastructure breaks through.)

          Dear Pamela, i agree with you that the rise of a new educational system needs
          new structures and that surely building on new ground offers certain
          advantages over striving to trasform a well established system. Probably
          peculiar suggestions towards a new educational system will come from both
          contexts.

          Although 'open content' has no broadly accepted definition and being not so
          deeply studied yet, as the open source counterpart, in my opinion, some
          important organizational traits leading to successful open source projects
          could be transferred to the educational context. Open content projects, as
          thereafter outlined, could strongly support the innovation of the educational
          system.

          Paralleling the open source phenomenon, here is my view:
          Key concepts of open content successful project are
          - re-usability of 'objects', both on the technical and the law sides
          (the 'commons')
          - the peculiar community that forms and thrives in the commons, aimed at
          delivering and using a well defined 'product'.

          In such kind of communities solid and trusted connections are maintained
          between the 'project leaders' and the end-users through a consistent
          population of effective contributors, thus enpowering end-users to drive the
          project development ('shifting the locus of innovation towards users', after
          Von Hippel)
          However, project leaders are those in charge for success of the project
          (effectivess, long term planning, 'quality', etc).
          Out of project leader role features is the ability to understand, to feel,
          what is a real need in a professional sector, and to see how to provide an
          effective answer. That is the first step to start a successful project.

          Coming to the educational environment, my opinion is that open content project
          proposers should, at first stage, spend time to clear up which teachers' and
          students' real needs they intend to meet, before taking to forge manuals,
          lectures, 'knowledge objects', etc.
          In that process, directions for the rearrangement of the school/univ
          organization will be envisaged, together with the elaboration and the
          manifacturing of 'products'.
          As the project succeeds, an 'open community' will form, providing their
          incentive for the change of structures.



          >(...)
          > Discussion of the development of our group knowledge brings us back once
          > again to Open Content. I think of Open Content as a continuum. At one
          > extreme is the kind of Open Content made available by MIT, which means
          > all of us are all free to read course materials that previously were
          > only available to registered MIT students. At the other extreme we have
          > free flowing discussions such as the ones that Andrius is enabling
          > through his groups. He has brought us, and others, into groups on the
          > Internet to share ideas in an Open Content way.
          >

          Yes, i agree with your view, by and large. I have to admit i do not know much
          of the Andrius' experimentation on free flowing discussion (although we have
          known each other over years).

          --
          Paolo
        • Ramunas Janavicius
          Dear Pamela and Paolo, i think that recently published book would be in content of new education structures in far more broader sense: THE ECOLOGY OF LEARNING:
          Message 4 of 5 , Aug 30, 2006
            Dear Pamela and Paolo,

            i think that recently published book would be in content of new education structures in far more broader sense: THE ECOLOGY OF LEARNING: SUSTAINABILITY, LIFELONG LEARNING AND EVERYDAY LIFE , by John Blewitt, 2006, Sept., Earthscan
            I strongly believe that new, "open source thinking" is emerging
            form environmentalist perspective, what was already highlighted by Manuel Castells (Information Age trilogy) and Fritjof Capra (Web of Life).

            Regards,

            Ramunas
            Vilnius, Lithuania



            2006/8/30, Paolo Pumilia <paolo.pumilia@...>:
            On Saturday 26 August 2006 01:54, Pamela McLean wrote:
            > (...)
            > There are benefits in working in new ground. It seems to me that in any
            > area where there is already a well established educational system, there
            > will inevitably be structures and systems designed for the industrial
            > society - not for the information society of the 21st century.  If the
            > structures and systems - the buildings, the roles, the thinking, and the
            > individual and group ways of behaving, have all taken their shape from
            > 19th and 20th century norms, then the potential of ICT will probably be
            > something of an "add on" - rather than being the catalyst - the main
            > force driving developments and structures. By contrast in areas where
            > 19th and 20th century educational systems are less well established (as
            > in rural Nigeria) new approaches to education, enabled through ICT,
            > could develop with greater freedom, in a more organic way (once the ICT
            > infrastructure breaks through.)

            Dear Pamela, i agree with you that  the rise of a new educational system needs
            new structures and that surely building on new ground offers  certain
            advantages over striving to  trasform a well established system.  Probably
            peculiar suggestions towards a new educational system will come from both
            contexts.

            Although  'open content' has no broadly accepted definition and  being not so
            deeply studied yet, as the open source counterpart,  in my opinion, some
            important organizational traits leading to successful open source projects
            could be transferred to the educational context. Open content projects, as
            thereafter outlined, could strongly support the innovation of the educational
            system.

            Paralleling the open source phenomenon, here is my view:
            Key concepts of open content successful project are
               - re-usability of 'objects', both on the technical and the law sides
            (the 'commons')
               - the peculiar community that forms and thrives in the commons, aimed at
            delivering and using a well defined 'product'.

            In such kind of communities  solid and trusted connections are maintained
            between the 'project leaders' and the end-users through a consistent
            population of effective contributors, thus enpowering end-users to drive the
            project development  ('shifting the locus of innovation towards users', after
            Von Hippel)
            However, project leaders are those in charge for success of the project
            (effectivess,   long term planning, 'quality', etc).
            Out of project leader role features is the ability to understand, to feel,
            what is a real need in a professional sector, and to see how to provide an
            effective answer. That is the first step to start a successful project.

            Coming to the educational environment, my opinion is that open content project
            proposers should, at first stage, spend time to clear up which teachers' and
            students' real needs they intend to meet, before taking to forge manuals,
            lectures,  'knowledge objects', etc.
            In that process, directions for the rearrangement of the school/univ
            organization will be envisaged, together with the elaboration and the
            manifacturing of 'products'.
            As the project succeeds, an 'open community' will form, providing their
            incentive for the change of structures.



            >(...)
            > Discussion of the development of our group knowledge brings us back once
            > again to  Open Content.  I think of Open Content as a continuum.  At one
            > extreme is the kind of Open Content made available by MIT, which means
            > all of us are all free to read course materials that previously were
            > only available to registered MIT students.  At the other extreme we have
            > free flowing discussions such as the ones that Andrius is enabling
            > through his groups.  He has brought us, and others, into groups on the
            > Internet to share ideas in an Open Content way.
            >

            Yes, i  agree with your view, by and large. I have to admit i do not know much
            of the Andrius' experimentation on free flowing discussion (although we have
            known each other over years).

            --
            Paolo


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