Presentation about ccLearn to the Florida Distance Learning Consortium - Apr 25, 2008

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Building the infrastructure of open education: legal, technical, and social challenges.

Educational paradigms are changing. The pace of information creation necessitates new ways of managing and imparting content. New technologies exacerbate the information overload, but they also provide many potential solutions. In particular, the advent of the internet has profoundly altered the ways in which information is accessed and shared, and one would expect the impact on education to be revolutionary. While technological tools are being used in many classrooms to enhance instruction, one of the most exciting areas of development is in the creation of open educational resources (OER), which in their fullest form should be free, accessible, authoritative, and derivable. The availability of open educational content is growing exponentially, yet the usage of such content does not appear to be widespread. Worse, much of the OER currently being created is incompatible — legally, technically, and socially — with other OER.

I will describe the work of ccLearn in encouraging and facilitating the adoption of practices that will enable the fullest realization of the potential for OER to transform education. I will touch upon many of our longer term goals, including substantial community building, provision of educational access to underprivileged communities at home and abroad, and hoped-for changes in the culture of educational practice so that teachers have greater control over their classrooms and pedagogy, greater freedom to experiment, and a larger community for support. Fundamentally, the grand goal is to rise to the challenge and promise of technological and pedagogical innovation in such a way that access to and the experience of quality education is a reality for everyone, everywhere, at any time.

ccLearn activities chart
  • Other projects (current or forthcoming):
    • Video and multimedia educational materials re: CC and OER.
    • Fair-use project - impacts on OER and relationship to CC, esp. internationally.
    • Minors and IP - legal and social issues. Technological or policy solutions.
    • Ongoing consideration of adoption and sustainability models.
    • Constant fundraising, especially for working meetings for specific interest groups (publishers, public broadcasters, software developers, etc.)