We’d also like to thank Phil Barker for the consultancy work he did with us last year. There’s a lot more for the MoodleNet team to do in this area, and we appreciate his pragmatism and technical knowledge, which we’ll be building on even more when it comes to connecting MoodleNet to OER repositories!
Last week, Doug Belshaw (MoodleNet Lead / Product Manager) spent three days at the Creative Commons Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. This annual event features “hundreds of leading activists, advocates, librarians, educators, lawyers, technologists, and more” coming together for “discussion and debate, workshops and planning, talks and community building”.
The focus was on Creative Commons and its licenses, but also on the more general concept of the ‘commons’, defined by Wikipedia as:
The commons is the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a society, including natural materials such as air, water, and a habitable earth. These resources are held in common, not owned privately. Commons can also be understood as natural resources that groups of people (communities, user groups) manage for individual and collective benefit. Characteristically, this involves a variety of informal norms and values (social practice) employed for a governance mechanism. Commons can be also defined as a social practice of governing a resource not by state or market but by a community of users that self-governs the resource through institutions that it creates .
The MoodleNet team did not run a session at the Summit this year. Instead, our aim was to make connections with as many people and projects as possible. The Summit was very useful in that regard, and this posts serves to list (in no particular order) some higlights in the form of potentially-relevant projects.
1. Creative Commons Network Platforms
In order to facilitate community dialogue, Creative Commons is setting up a number of ‘network platforms‘, or working groups. These are currently being set up via mailing lists such as Google Groups, synchronous workplace chat apps like Slack, and monthly teleconferences.
There’s a real opportunity, we think, for MoodleNet to be the default open place that people from different organisations come together to organise, discuss and share.
Wikidata is very well summarised on its main page:
Wikidata is a free and open knowledge base that can be read and edited by both humans and machines.
Wikidata acts as central storage for the structured data of its Wikimedia sister projects including Wikipedia, Wikivoyage, Wiktionary, Wikisource, and others.
There are currently 50 million items that have been contributed by 20,000 users on the platform. They describe it as the largest Open Educational Resource ever!
We’re particularly interested in Wikidata as a way to represent, in an objective, multi-lingual way, the data used by the resources added and uploaded to MoodleNet instances.
3. Global Digital Library
Global Digital Library (GDL) is a project that aims to “provide access to free, high-quality, early grade reading resources in languages that children use and understand”. A key component of their strategy is that, instead of simply translating OER produced in English by western educators, content is created locally in around 100 languages.
We’re interested in the work GDL are doing in terms of the glocal (“reflecting or characterized by both local and global considerations”) perspective they bring to OER. We’re aiming to do something similar with MoodleNet! Interestingly, the presenter, Chris Gunderson, also talked about the newly-formed Digital Public Goods Alliance, which we will keep an eye on.
4. OER World Map
The OER World Map is a project which aims to “illuminate the global Open Educational Resources movement by facilitating interaction and collaboration”. It does this by collecting and sharing “open data about actors and activities related to OER”. One of the people involved in the project, Adrian Pohl, kindly left a comment on our recent Voodoo categorisation post.
We think that the OER World Map is a great visual representation of the work that’s going on in our field. The data that we can gather on educators’ work through MoodleNet would be a useful way to augment this map, and we can also learn from the work they’ve done around categorisation.
5. CC Search
Creative Commons Search is now out of beta! It currently searches 300 million images across 19 providers, as well as a small number of 3D designs courtesy of Thingiverse. In addition, they have one-click attribution tools to really focus the search on reuse.
Later this year, Jane Park the project lead told us, CC Search will also feature open textbooks. They’ve already got an API for accessing the data they have, but are also looking to create a ‘Push API’ so that data from other sources can make it into CC Search.
We’re particularly interested in the potential of a ‘Push API’, as it means that original OER uploaded to MoodleNet could make it into the global CC Search to be discovered and reused by educators worldwide!
An honourable mention should also be given to OASIS, another OER search portal, which we’ve discussed in a previous post. It’s actually been created by two guys from the State University of New York in their spare time.
There were so many other great sessions and conversations in which we took part. However, in the interests of time, we’ve reduced some of them to bullet points:
Open by default vs Privacy by design — an interesting discussion that led us to think that perhaps the meta issue here is coercive power relationships?
CC ID — some researchers in China have proposed a system similar to Digital Object Identifer (DOI) for Creative Commons-licensed works. We have our reservations about this, but will see how the project progresses.
H5P — lots of excitement about this in regards to Moodle. We think it’s going to be great to curate collections of activities in MoodleNet!
Wikimedia — we were part of discussions about the Wikimedia Foundation’s goals for 2030 in regards to education. More on this soon, no doubt.
Open pedagogy — Leigh-Ann Perryman from the Open University spoke about the vital importance of educators operating in the open.
On the third and final day, we were involved in a Virtually Connecting session right at the end of the Summit, which you can watch below:
It was a great Summit, and we look forward to putting in a proposal to present at next year’s event!
A final, special shout-out to Bryan Mathers’ Remixer Machine, which produced a whole gallery of ‘stamps’ relating to Lisbon and the CC Summit. Check out the beautiful images that were created by participants below: