Posts Tagged ‘Openness’

CCK08 – Week 10 (bis): Openness and Sustainable Open Education Resources.

November 17, 2008

Let’s consider Open Education Resources (OERs) as:

·         Open courseware and content

·         Open software tools

·         Open material for e-learning capacity

·         Repositoires of learning objects

·         Free educational courses.

If we consider Open Education as freely available on non-commercial terms the different alternatives we have on sustainability of Open Education Resources (OERs) become critical. There are different models for funding Open Education:
Endowment model: the project is sustained from interest earned on managed funds to be previously obtained.

1.       Membership model: interested organizations are invited to contribute or subscribe.

2.       Donations model: supported by donations.

3.       Conversion model: giving something for free and convert later into a paying customer.

4.       Contributor-pay model: contributors pay the cost to make possible the provider to supply for free.

5.       Sponsorship model: sponsor explicitly contributes to get a return for its action.

6.       Institutional model: Institution pays as part of its mission.

7.       Governmental model: project is funded by government agencies.

8.       Partnerships and exchanges: the output of the exchange is an OER.


We should also take into account that the development and distribution of the OERs need to be accomplished. So, access, usability/reusability and quality are to be considered. Finally, the production of the resources requires a staff to complete the work, which in some case, but not in all, they make be staffed with volunteers, which also demand some level of organizations.

The concept of Open Education is widely considered here as a the capability of getting access, the possibility of having a conversation, individual networked centricity and dynamic self-determining educational paths, to mentions a few of them.

Be the Universal Access to Internet services and tools a change in paradigm which will bring a new level of literacy in Education?

CKK08 – Week 10. Openness: The collective building of Utopia.

November 15, 2008

Jimmy Wales and Jorge Crom

Jimmy Wales and Jorge Crom

It took seven year to write the biggest Encyclopedia in Spanish. It has 413.000 articles and 22 millions of editions that revised, extended, corrected and updated its content. Its distribution is completely free, using any Internet navigator. Its contents may be copied and re-distributed freely. It is Wikipedia ( A non profit, open and collaborative effort of networked volunteers that spontaneously and generously write and edit the digital encyclopedia.

Founded in 2001 by Jimmy Wales, it is written in 264 languages. Its credibility and verifiability is based on an infinite edition and correction process by its community of followers.  Any hacking and bad intentions are neutralized and emended in 20 minutes average time. Their articles try to show a neutral standpoint where all the positions are expressed through a knowledge collaborative building effort, which in some cases is not easy to obtain. MediaWiki, the software license of its platform can be freely downloaded from Internet. Their servers are distributed all over the world.

Talking with Jimmy Wales, last week in Buenos Aires, he defines Wikipedia as “an open Encyclopedia freely licensed to all persons in the world to access all the human knowledge”. Wikipedia is today one of the five most visited sites in the web and is sustained by the collaboration and donations of the public.  “Small individual contributions are better than large institutional donations to preserve independency” says Jimmy. A staff of 22 persons work in the development, maintenance and technical support of the platform and coordinating volunteers. Jimmy is always traveling around the world advocating and pushing this wiki spirit.

Nature magazine selected 50 articles of similar extension from Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia and gave them to same quantity of specialist for them to detect errors. Three errors per article were founded in Encyclopedia Britannica while four were founded in Wikipedia’s articles. “What is amazing is that the articles of Encyclopedia Britannica are written by specialist on each subject and could not be corrected till the next printed edition. This brought a crisis in Encyclopedia Britannica while Wikipedia made the corrections immediately” says Jimmy. Wikipedia is one of the best examples of the Wiki spirit, the collective construction of Utopia.