Open education: What does it mean to us, to South Africa and to you?


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In celebration of Open education Week (10-15 March 2014), we hosted an evening event at Siyavula to spread the message about open eductaion and OER. We specifically looked at what this means to us in South Africa where we have such a diverse education system with many challenges and how individuals can get involved in promoting open education and strengthening the movement. This can be as easy as using open licenses on any work you create, to taking part in a MOOC to becoming a volunteer on one of our Siyavula projects and joining a larger, growing community of people passionate about education and striving to make a difference.

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Open education: What does it mean to us, to South Africa and to you?

  1. 1. OPEN education? Let's get your initial ideas!
  2. 2. Why open education matters Link to video:
  3. 3. “a collective term to describe institutional practices and programmatic initiatives that broaden access to the learning and training traditionally offered through formal education systems”
  4. 4. “open” in open education = elimination of barriers What barriers? ● High cost ● Access to resources ● Distance to institutions ● Restrictive copyright laws ● Incompatible technology ● Academic admission requirements ● Accreditation
  5. 5. When and how did it all start? Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages” (United Nations, 1948, Art. 26, para. 1)
  6. 6. A bit of history... On the role of openness in education: A historical reconstruction (CC-BY)
  7. 7. A bit of history... On the role of openness in education: A historical reconstruction (CC-BY) Global Open Education movement
  8. 8. Take home message Openness in education is not a new idea. Society's knowledge should be a common good. Fundamentally, education is a human right. On the role of openness in education: A historical reconstruction (CC-BY)
  9. 9. Key players Open Source Initiative (CC-BY) David Wiley (CC-BY) David Wiley 1998: “Open Content” A creative work freely available for modification, use and redistribution under a license similar to those used by the Open Source / Free Software community The 4Rs: Reuse Remix Revise Redistribute
  10. 10. Key players Richard Baranuik 1999: Connexions A global repository for educational content, provided by volunteers, available for remixing, editing and download in various formats.
  11. 11. Key players Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2001: MIT OpenCourseWare MIT committed to putting all their content (lecture notes, syllabi, lecture videos) for all their courses on the web, freely accessible to the public
  12. 12. Open Educational Resources (OER) "teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge" William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  13. 13. Key players Larry Lessig 2001: Creative Commons A non-profit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. Lawrence Lessig (CC-BY)
  14. 14. A shared culture Link to video:
  15. 15. Closed Open By attribution No derivatives Share-alike Non-commercial
  16. 16. Open licenses are a tool to enable sharing, legally
  17. 17. A global change
  18. 18. OER initiatives
  19. 19. Enter the MOOC Massive Open Online Course 2012: “The year of the MOOC”
  20. 20. Enter the MOOC MOOC poster (CC-BY)
  21. 21. Open education What does this mean to us at Siyavula?
  22. 22. CommunityCommunity Technology Technology Openness Openness Siyavula – 'we are opening' Siyavula is a social enterprise built on community, openness and technology, working to make high quality educational resources available to every learner and teacher in South Africa.
  23. 23. What we have done
  24. 24. Technology enables and enriches
  25. 25. Open everything... Open processes - iterative, transparent and collaborative Open copyright licenses - freedom to distribute, adapt and enhance Open standards - formats that enable the freedoms Opensource software - freedom distribute, adapt and enhance
  26. 26. Open education What does this mean to Africa and to South Africa?
  27. 27. Our context and challenges CC-BY on Flickr Parklands School gallery Contexts abound and all are challenging Every child deserves a chance
  28. 28. Benefits of open licenses and OER OER are freely available for use by educators and learners, without the need to pay royalties Remember the 4 Rs? Reuse Remix Revise Redistribute Retain
  29. 29. Opening up access to education and resources will help CC-BY on Flickr CC-BY on Flickr Parklands School gallery ● Build capacity by providing educators free or low-cost access to tools, content and communities of practice ● Reduce the cost of access to educational materials ● Adapt and develop materials relevant to African contexts and learners
  30. 30. National distribution in South Africa ~ 10 million books In South Africa, opening up education and making resources openly available is only PART OF THE SOLUTION We also need teacher training, capacity and accountability
  31. 31. Benefits of open licenses and OER Grant freedoms instead of impose restrictions Sharing is fundamental to teaching Collaboration
  32. 32. Communities of open practice Share ideas Adapt Localize Translate CC-BY OER Africa
  33. 33. Open education and OER in Africa Plays a leading role in supporting higher education institutions across Africa in the development and use of OER to enhance teaching and learning, covering teacher education, agriculture and health. The African Virtual University released 73 of its courses as OER in 2006, and has since developed the OER@AVU repository to increase the number of Africans using and adapting OER. An initiative which brings together teachers and teacher educators across sub-Saharan Africa, offering a range of OER to support school based teacher education and training.
  34. 34. Open education What does this mean to you? How can you get involved? CC-BY Stephen Borengasser The Noun Project
  35. 35. Embrace open! Use open licences so anyone can draw on your work for educational purposes
  36. 36. Use OER Personally or in your classroom And if you adapt it, improve it, localize it, share it back so others can benefit!
  37. 37. Strengthen the movement Take part in a MOOC ● A beginner's guide to irrational behaviour (Coursera) ● Exploratory data analysis (Udacity) ● Exploring Beethoven's piano sonatas (Coursera) ● The future of fashion (Marist College) ● The science of gastronomy (Coursera)
  38. 38. Strengthen the movement Get involved in Citizen Science
  39. 39. CommunityCommunityTechnology Technology Openness Openness Community - Volunteers
  40. 40. Workshops Community - Volunteers Online proofreading Online translation
  41. 41. Our volunteer community adds great value both contextually and practically – more eyes going over our content means fewer errors slip through Community - Volunteers
  42. 42. Community - Recognition
  43. 43. Community It's easy to get involved and it's fun! <>
  44. 44. Challenges of OER? Technology Awareness Sustainability Open business models
  45. 45. 12 March ● Creative Common Version 4.0 for Educators and Education ● How to use Open Resources in the Classroom ● How can you get an OER degree? ● Inspiring Educators with Open Educational Ideas 13 March ● Teachers Teaching Teachers – Exploring Open in K-12 Education ● Exploring the Battle for Open 14 March ● OER & MOOCs: What's the fuss? (UCT)
  46. 46. Please don't hesitate to contact me! @megan.beckett2