måndag 24 mars 2008

Week 3: Philosophical Background

about Enlightenment

Thinking about the enlightenment one cannot forbear that talking about the internets impact on subject like democracy and liberty really are quite similar with the development of the human situation in the time of the enlightenment. One talks about the posibility of the free man and the democracy aspects. Nowadays when talking about digital open resources the same discussion is present again. One talks about every mans posibility and ability as a thinking person and today we´ve got the same situation when talking about Web 2.0 and that everybody can make a change and also improve new thoughts and solutions. We´re nowadyas in a global situation and we´re not any longer bound to our nations thoughts or idologies, that means also that we have the oportunity to try new thesis and to reevaluate old ones.

By letting other see lectures and other learning materials we´ve also exposed our thoughts and ideas so that other may test them as well use them. It´ll take quite a time before everybody accepts them (it took the Catholic church quite some time to accept that the earth was circuling around the sun) but in our time it will go much faster for the new ideas to meet acceptance...but we´re really in the age of the digital enlightment for the moment.

Standing on the shoulders of giants

I didn´t expect readingsuch an interesting article in this course. A article that´s so filled with thoughts and where the main issue deals with the fact that even though we´ve got a long and important history, like the ancient greeks and the philosophical and religious work in understanding what life and science is about, we need to understand what the history tells us and find a way to deal with this knowledge history provides us.

In terms of OER I see at my University that our culture and also practise is much based on a long lasting tradition in over 500 of years. Our ways in teaching and using the posibility in the term:
Standing on the shoulders of giants when they use new technologies succesfully when usign the knowledge of academic tradition but using it in different ways. We´ve got at lot of teacherrs that really uses media in all kind of forms in widing the students perspectives and also letting them use the information in various ways. Like using Wikis and blogs in education. Thats is practising Standing on the shoulders of giants.

Origins of the public library as a social institution

There is a race nowadays to become the first university with new and exciting ideas. MIT may be considered the first university that embraced the venture of letting everyone see and use the material from that university. But what does that mean in practise? Is this the start of the library of the digital age or is it something else? Could a digital library be something more and is this the origin? I don´t think that. Using open software and other digital material is just the beginning of something much bigger. Therefore i think we´ve need to define what is what. We did that in the first part in this course but as I see it everything is so new and we´re just in the beginning in a new era of digital development. So when talking about the origin We need to wait a couple of years before we can define what we´re talking about.

Popular education and Folk High School

If we combine Folk High School and Popular education we´ve got a interesting combination where the Folk High School works as a alternative way of getting higher education, but still not in the university kind of way. My experince of Folk High School in Sweden is positive where I can see that there is a lot of students in these schools that really study there subjects in a Popular Education way. A lot of the Swedish Folk High Schools are connected to a special church denomination or a political ideology. The students that attends on these courses are getting quite sceptical to the society that they are placed in, they try there ideas on eachother and are often commited to enviromental, ideological, religious or cultural issues.

When thinking about this and trying to understand where this philosophical background and Popular Education and Folk High School connects to creating OER one understand that this is all about making a change. Making an educational change in using open software and educational resources in a quite positivistic kind of way. By studying and embracing ones differences and rethinking our knowledge there´s possible to make improvements and make the educational resources even better. One uses the digital techniches not only to improve the material but also to enchance the pedagogy in a collective kind of way.

This is so interesting...what also interesting is it doesn´t matter wheter you are a university professor or just an undegraduated scholar as long you make a differance. It´s not your title that is important but what you are doing with the material.

Free Software Movement

The idéa with the free software movement is: "to give freedom to computer users by replacing proprietary software under restrictive licensing terms with free software,[2] with the ultimate goal of liberating everyone in cyberspace.[3]"

Thinking about the previous discussions (see above) our history is filled with ideas of sharing and creating materials in purpose of spreading great ideás over the world, or at least the neighborhood or local community When the Internet become real this mission could be a global mission. We see it for example in the Microsoft Office alternative Open Office or in Linus Torvalds Linux system. Maybe the shareware and absolutely the Freeware tendency was the first step in thinking much bigger and more open. I know that the open software debate started earlier but i also belive that Freeware was a important step in this direction.

Anyway...when "standing on a giants shoulder" one see much further and new possibilitys are getting more visible. We´re just in the beginning on this wonderful world on thinking wide and new. But wa also see that we´ve got a long history that has been important for this development.
So.I´ll stop here and will think about his quota from Wikipedia and Free software movement:

Some people only consider Public Domain as free, and thus do not consider the "Free Software Movement" as free.

Some people only consider Public Domain as free, and thus do not consider the "Free Software Movement" as free.




söndag 23 mars 2008

Philosophical Background: Popular education and Folk High School

If we combine Folk High School and Popular education we´ve got a interesting combination where the Folk High School works as a alternative way of getting higher education, but still not in the university kind of way. My experince of Folk High School in Sweden is positive where I can see that there is a lot of students in these schools that really study there subjects in a Popular Education way. A lot of the Swedish Folk High Schools are connected to a special church denomination or a political ideology. The students that attends on these courses are getting quite sceptical to the society that they are placed in, they try there ideas on eachother and are often commited to enviromental, ideological, religious or cultural issues.

When thinking about this and trying to understand where this philosophical background and Popular Education and Folk High School connects to creating OER one understand that this is all about making a change. Making an educational change in using open software and educational resources in a quite positivistic kind of way. By studying and embracing ones differences and rethinking our knowledge there´s possible to make improvements and make the educational resources even better. One uses the digital techniches not only to improve the material but also to enchance the pedagogy in a collective kind of way.

This is so interesting...what also interesting is it doesn´t matter wheter you are a university professor or just an undegraduated scholar as long you make a differance. It´s not your title that is important but what you are doing with the material.

lördag 22 mars 2008

Philosophical Background: Origins of the public library as a social institution

There is a race nowadays to become the first university with new and exciting ideas. MIT may be considered the first university that embraced the venture of letting everyone see and use the material from that university. But what does that mean in practise? Is this the start of the library of the digital age or is it something else? Could a digital library be something more and is this the origin? I don´t think that. Using open software and other digital material is just the beginning of something much bigger. Therefore i think we´ve need to define what is what. We did that in the first part in this course but as I see it everything is so new and we´re just in the beginning in a new era of digital development. So when talking about the origin We need to wait a couple of years before we can define what we´re talking about.

Philosophical Background: Standing on the shoulders of giants

I didn´t expect readingsuch an interesting article in this course. A article that´s so filled with thoughts and where the main issue deals with the fact that even though we´ve got a long and important history, like the ancient greeks and the philosophical and religious work in understanding what life and science is about, we need to understand what the history tells us and find a way to deal with this knowledge history provides us.

In terms of OER I see at my University that our culture and also practise is much based on a long lasting tradition in over 500 of years. Our ways in teaching and using the posibility in the term: Standing on the shoulders of giants when they use new technologies succesfully when usign the knowledge of academic tradition but using it in different ways. We´ve got at lot of teacherrs that really uses media in all kind of forms in widing the students perspectives and also letting them use the information in various ways. Like using Wikis and blogs in education. Thats is practising Standing on the shoulders of giants.

Philosophical Background-about Enlightenment

Thinking about the enlightenment one cannot forbear that talking about the internets impact on subject like democracy and liberty really are quite similar with the development of the human situation in the time of the enlightenment. One talks about the posibility of the free man and the democracy aspects. Nowadays when talking about digital open resources the same discussion is present again. One talks about every mans posibility and ability as a thinking person and today we´ve got the same situation when talking about Web 2.0 and that everybody can make a change and also improve new thoughts and solutions. We´re nowadyas in a global situation and we´re not any longer bound to our nations thoughts or idologies, that means also that we have the oportunity to try new thesis and to reevaluate old ones.

By letting other see lectures and other learning materials we´ve also exposed our thoughts and ideas so that other may test them as well use them. It´ll take quite a time before everybody accepts them (it took the Catholic church quite some time to accept that the earth was circuling around the sun) but in our time it will go much faster for the new ideas to meet acceptance...but we´re really in the age of the digital enlightment for the moment.

torsdag 13 mars 2008

Introduction to LeMill and Wikiversity

Well this was a new experience. I have never ever before created anything at Wikipedia but thanks to this course I finally did it. As my research field is cyberreligion it come clear to me that no one has written about this at Wikipedia. What was suprising is that even though I am one of those who knows most about cyberreligion (in the world maybe?) i was very carefull when defining this word. That was because I realized how important it is that I define it correctly and in a way it can´t be critized. This was as I said my first time doiong this and I did it in my native language Swedish but still...this was something different. Perhaps becuase it totally open and accessibly for everyone.

I also registered to LeMill but this project didn´t at all give that input and feeling that the Wiki-experience did. I also registered to Wikipedia and I´m sure that I will contribute more from now on at Wikipedia. Before Wikipedia-writing was for "others" but know I really understand that this isn´t just about sharing it is even more about experiencing.

Creating internal links i Wikipedia was easy but then I realized that many of my links not yet are created in Wikipedia som my next project is to write a couple of more pages så that my links will work...I understand that there is a lack of information in my research field that I will start to fill.

torsdag 6 mars 2008

Study the open education projects online and write a commentary about them in your blog.

I´ve studied these projects a number of times and I always get this little disappointment feeling. I often feel that there so much material that is missing. There´s always materials from enthusiasts but the real stuff is often missing. LeMill´s material are quite thin. MITs material though are quite big but often that specialized that it almost most are for students that already attends courses at MIT or want´s to become a student at MIT. That is on the other the economical aspect of MIT. They want everybody to see their material in purpose getting more students…or am I to radical in this point of wiev?

Commentary of the article by Ilkka Tuomi on OER.

Reading the article by Ilkka Tuomi was quite interesting. From my perspective we´re in a need of a broad discussion between universities in almost every country. At our university (www.du.se) we´re working a lot with netbased learning and I predict that our university in next year will become the biggest university in Sweden working with distance education and netbased learning. In my work as a ICT-strategist at the university I encounter a lot of questions about how to protect the teachers digital material. The way I see it we´re in a need to do the opposite, that means, offering others our digital material and not trying to hide what we´re are doing.

When reading Mr. Tuomis article I realize that openness are important, not just openness in the technical domain but also in our pedagogical and theoretical domain. As Mr. Tuomi writes at page 5 in the article we´re in a global change in our world. This article was written in 2006 and today this is even more true than just two years ago. Our education system is based on a 500-years tradition we´re the teacher in the lecture hall has control over what he or she are saying as well control of the students. This isn´t the situation any more in our university. We´re creating over 5000 streaming lectures every year and this growing rapidly year after year. That means also that our employees needs to work, lecture and have seminars sessions in a different way than before.

At page 26 and further Mr. Toumi writes about three different hierarchies levels of openess. This classification are compliant in the discussion of open software but not when talking about education material as lectures. Using this classification on learning materials I encountering problems according to the copyright laws. I mean…if I take a lecture from another teacher and modify the lecture in a different way many things can go wrong. The teacher that “owns” her material might feel uncomfortable that her material will be used in a another environment than intended (this is mentioned in other words at page 23) Anyhow…it might be a way to use the classification mentioned above even in this example but there are several things to sorting out first. For example is working with a Wikipedia solution something that with benefit could be a OER that not alter the teachers intends but improve it. Maybe it´s enough using the openness at level III with the restriction “can be rejected only by criteria that are compatible with the norms of academic science”?

Presentation of Jan Svärdhagen

video