For three days last week I participated in #altc (the Association for Learning Technology Conference) at the University of Warwick — attending in person for the first time after participating virtually for several years. It was a joy to meet so many online friends and colleagues for the first time and to take part in such an inspiring programme of events.
I was very grateful to be asked to give one of the keynotes at the conference. It was an honour to keynote along with Audrey Watters, an educator whose work, integrity, and friendship I value greatly. And a privilege also to speak along with Jeff Haywood. The innovative work being done at (and shared openly by) the University of Edinburgh in the area of online and open learning is important for all of us in higher education.
My keynote was titled Navigating the Marvellous: Openness in Education, drawing on a metaphor from Seamus Heaney. Links to the keynote and related items are included here.
Many thanks also to Bryan Mathers @bryanmmathers, Simon Thomson @digisim, and Sheila MacNeill @sheilmcn for creating several beautiful images during the keynote. These are included below, with links to Bryan’s, Simon’s, and Sheila’s sites. Please check out these sites for other wonderful work, both from #altc and other events.
Finally, thanks to all of the organisers, the co-chairs, the presenters and participants for such a warm welcome and for making ALTC 2014 such an enjoyable and stimulating learning experience. It will stay with me for a long time to come.
Open online education is changing rapidly. The first few weeks of 2012 has seen the launch of Udacity, Stanford’s Coursera and the first course offering by MIT’s MITx. In trying to put these developments into context, I’ve drafted a table illustrating key aspects of this evolution in online education, focusing particularly on open online courseware (as opposed to more discrete OERs). This is not meant as an exhaustive catalogue, but simply as a concise summary of recent developments, enabling comparisons. [Table updated 5th March 2012.]
I’ve noticed an increase lately in general awareness of copyright issues and correct use of Creative Commons licenses. It is a welcome development that producers of online content are asking questions, becoming more aware, and improving their practice (I include myself in this group!). This year, I included Copyright and Creative Commons in my 2nd year BScIT module in Professional Skills. Feedback from students — most of whom are actively blogging and sharing other forms of digital content online — was positive. It is important for all educators to model best practice in this area and to share information and resources which assist our students in using online content easily, ethically and legally.
Following are some useful copyright and Creative Commons resources which can be shared with students to help them to learn more about copyright and Creative Commons, find CC-licensed content, and extract CC license information:
OpenAttribute is a simple-to-use tool which detects Creative Commons license information and formats an attribution that conforms with the terms of the license. Open Attribute is currently available as an add-on for 3 browsers: Firefox, Chrome and Opera.
If you use Flickr to search for CC-licensed images, ImageCodr can be used to generate ready-to-use HTML code containing the CC license information (great when using images in your blog).