BCcampus/WikiEducator Ambassadors/Invitation Letter August 2009

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Invitation Letter

Hi ,

It was great to meet you at Open Ed -- great conference and opportunity to learn and connect with the OER family!

I've attached some background about WikiEducator to share with you, and get your thoughts and feedback. There are many opportunities for collaboration.

While at the conference, a number of opportunities emerged - one of them being the following: I've been having conversations with Paul Stacey, Director of Development & Professional Services, BCcampus, regarding supporting BC's teachers to (collaboratively) develop open educational content via wiki. The timing for this, appears to be late fall - regarding a "go" or "no-go" decision.

WikiEducator considers this to be an important opportunity for open education, capacity-building and educational collaboration. We believe that WikiEducator's values and commitment to open education and learning; successful communities and networks around the world; and ability to support educational quality, innovation and stakeholder/learner engagement could easily enable this project to be successful.

This being said, we would like to identify a group of educators among the BC educational institutions who would be the innovators / early adopters, who would 'ask' for such an initiative to occur. BCcampus likes that :-).

WikiEducator could provide the necessary support and community-building to develop an initial cluster of peers --- as a a prelude to wider adoption within your (and other) educational institutions in BC. (We could build a made-in-BC model, adapted from the national OER collaboration taking place in New Zealand -- Heywire 8 is a national conversation about sharing, remixing and reusing Open Education Resources. I'd like to speak with you about this, and gauge your interest <smile>

I've begun to assemble a list of WikiEducator Ambassadors for this project - http://www.wikieducator.org/BCcampus/WikiEducator_Ambassadors

It would be very helpful if you were to identify which project you would like to develop and/or collaborate on. Feel free to share this note with anyone whom you think might be interested, as well.

Please let me know your thoughts, feedback and any concerns.

Best regards,

- Randy

WikiEducator Background

Here's a link to WikiEducator - http://www.wikieducator.org, and our discussion group: http://groups.google.com/group/wikieducator

Our vision is to create a free and open version of the world's education curriculum by 2015. I'm on the governing council. http://www.wikieducator.org/WikiEducator:Community_Council/Members

We have succeeded in building an active community of educators collaboration on the development of free content. In terms of content production -- we are more productive than many of the large public wikis.

  • Inception date: Feb 2006
  • Registered users: 10,400 (August 16, 2009)
  • Alexa traffic rankings (3 month average Aug 09): 85,282 compared with 192,166 (Aug 08) -- we recently spiked at 23,403!
  • Returning visitors: Currently 18% of our global traffic. We have approximately 20,000 returning visits per month. Returning visitors spend 10.26 minutes/visit on the site and visit approximately 10 pages per visit.

Unlike the open public wikis -- we have a very focused educational audience. 73% of our registered users are lecturers, teachers or trainers working in the formal education sector. 50% are from tertiary and about 25% from K12.

WikiEducator is the fastest growing educational wiki in the formal education sector. We lead the world's largest wiki training project called Learning4Content (see: http://www.wikieducator.org/Learning4Content ). We will provide free training to any educator who wants to learn how to use wiki technology for the development of free education materials. Since January 2008 we have trained over 3,000 educators. In the near future, we'll be implementing rich text editing which will help us scale growth by an order of magnitude.

WikiEducator is co-located with Otago Polytechnic in NZ, and the flagship profit of an independent nonprofit entity called the OER Foundation - http://www.wikieducator.org/WikiEducator:OER_Foundation. Athabasca University (Canada) hosts our servers; we receive infrastructure funding support from the Commonwealth of Learning; and we have relationships with tertiary and secondary institutions from around the world.

We also offer free wiki skills training throughout the Learning4Content project, supported by a generous grant from the Hewlett Foundation - http://www.wikieducator.org/Learning4Content

We have a very active network / community of practice for Community Media / Community Radio practitioners in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean - where they develop, share, remix and re-use content, and strengthen community. http://www.wikieducator.org/Community_Media

We are always interested in pilot projects - http://www.wikieducator.org/Pilot_Projects - to strengthen relationships and see how we can work together and develop internal use cases.

Please do take a look at these links, and let me know your thoughts.

Best regards,

- Randy