Example Projects and Activities

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The descriptions below are taken directly from the project web sites. We have to make them "fit for propose" and identify how they relate to our project. If you have additional project in mind, please include them, a description, their role in the OER community, and how they might be important to the African Agricultural Education project. If you know somebody who is directly involved in the project, please invited them to improve the section illustrating their project/activity directly on the wiki. In addition, everybody is invited to use the Discussion page [1] and provide comment and input.

Format for Project Illustrations

  • Description of Project/Activity
  • Role in OER Community
  • Potential Importance to the African Agricultural Education Project

Open CourseWare Consortium:[1] An OpenCourseWare is a free and open digital publication of high quality educational materials, organized as courses. The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a collaboration of more than 200 higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model. The mission of the OpenCourseWare Consortium is to advance education and empower people worldwide through opencourseware. The Goals of the Consortium include:

  • Extend the reach and impact of opencourseware by encouraging the adoption and adaptation of open educational materials around the world.
  • Foster the development of additional opencourseware projects.
  • Ensure the long-term sustainability of opencourseware projects by identifying ways to improve effectiveness and reduce costs.

OER Commons:[2] In a brave new world of learning, OER content is made free to use or share, and in some cases, to change and share again, made possible through licensing, so that both teachers and learners can share what they know. We believe a culture of sharing resources and practices will help facilitate change and innovation in education. OER Commons gathers relevant materials about teaching, technology, research, and more, and encourages you to add links to materials, projects, or news related to the emerging field of Open Education. See OER Commons Wiki for more about our ongoing programs and research.

Connexions:[3] Connexions is an environment for collaboratively developing, freely sharing, and rapidly publishing scholarly content on the Web. Our Content Commons contains educational materials for everyone — from children to college students to professionals — organized in small modules that are easily connected into larger collections or courses. All content is free to use and reuse under the Creative Commons "attribution" license.

WikiEducator:[4] WikiEducator is a community project working collaboratively with the Free Culture Movement towards a free version of the education curriculum by 2015. WikiEducator's technical infrastructure is supported by the Commonwealth of Learning (COL). COL is an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies.
Building the WikiEducator community together
In realisation of this vision, the WikiEducator strategy will focus on:
  • Building the capacity and skills of the community to engage meaningfully in the mass-collaboration required for the design and development of high quality learning resources, for example capacity building workshops.
  • Developing free content and knowledge to support the development of open communities and free content developers so that resources can be reused in multiple contexts, for example the Newbie Tutorials.
  • Ensuring smart connections through appropriate networks, ecosystems and the smart implementation of free software solutions to fill the gaps between existing mainstream technologies and the unique requirements of asynchronous learning thus widening the reach and access of free content in the developing world. This is achieved through community nodes on WikiEducator (e.g. VUSSC, FLOSS4Edu), technology think tank meetings (e.g. Tectonic Shift Think Tank) and fostering strategic relationships with the freedom culture (e.g. Wikiversity and the WikiMedia Foundation).

CC Learn (Creative Commons more generally):[5] ccLearn is a division of Creative Commons dedicated to support open learning and open educational resources. Our mission is to minimize barriers to the creation, sharing, and reuse of educational materials—legal barriers, technical barriers, and social barriers. Educational paradigms are changing. The Internet has profoundly altered the ways in which information is accessed and shared. One of the most exciting new trends is the growth of open educational resources (OER): free, authoritative educational resources that can be easily accessed, shared, and modified by anyone at any time. The availability of open educational content is growing exponentially, but its use does not appear to be widespread. Worse, much of the OER currently being created is incompatible — legally and technically — with other OER. Our Goals include:

  • Minimize legal, technical, and social barriers to the creation and reuse of OER.
  • Bring new communities and groups into the world of open learning.
  • Change the culture of education so that teachers have greater control over their pedagogy, greater freedom to experiment, and a larger community for support.
  • Empower participation and expertise in education from around the world.

OpenLearn:[6] The OpenLearn story started in 2005 with a grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Sharing our aim to open access to education for all, they agreed to help us set up the OpenLearn website. Since 1969, The Open University has been a pioneer in making learning materials freely available through its successful partnership with the BBC. Many of our television and radio programmes are already supported by free internet activities and print materials. We wanted to use our knowledge of the latest technologies in education to extend our mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas. The vision was free online education. Website development began in May 2006 and the site was launched in October 2006, with an aim to regularly add new content and features. OpenLearn now offers a full range of Open University subject areas from access to postgraduate level and has seen over 3 million visitors since launch. In April 2008 OpenLearn reached its target to have 5,400 learning hours of content in the LearningSpace and 8100 hours in the LabSpace. It continues to grow representing The Open University's commitment to opening access to education.

EduCommons:[7] eduCommons is built around a workflow process that guides users through the process of publishing materials in an openly accessible format. This includes uploading materials into a repository, dealing with copyright, reassembling materials into courses, providing quality assurance, and publication of materials.

The Center for Open Sustainable Learning (COSL):[8] The Center for Open and Sustainable Learning (COSL,), at Utah State University is dedicated to increasing access to educational opportunity worldwide. At the Center, we believe that all humans beings are endowed with a capacity to learn, improve, and progress. Educational opportunity is the mechanism by which we fulfill that capacity. Therefore, free and open access to educational opportunity is a basic human right. When educational materials can be electronically copied and transferred around the world at almost no cost, we have a greater ethical obligation than ever before to increase the reach of opportunity. When people can connect with others nearby or in distant lands at almost no cost to ask questions, give answers, and exchange ideas, the moral imperative to meaningfully enable these opportunities weighs profoundly. We cannot in good conscience allow this poverty of educational opportunity to continue when educational provisions are so plentiful, and when their duplication and distribution costs so little.
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