KMi+OCI= Open Sensemaking Communities

The Open University announced today a £5.65 million (US $9.9 million) Open Content Initiative (OCI) to make a selection of its learning materials available free of charge to educators and learners around the world. KMi&#39s OCI team has played a key role in shaping this, and will be integrating its collaboration, presence and knowledge mapping tools into the OCI learning support environment.

Supported by a grant of US $4.45 million from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation the University will launch the OCI website in October 2006. This project brings four new positions (2 developers and 2 research fellows) to work with KMi OCI Technical Lead Simon Buckingham Shum, Marc Eisenstadt (Chief Scientist) and Peter Scott (CNM Director).

The result? Tools for Open Sensemaking Communities, a concept proposed by Simon Buckingham Shum at last year&#39s Utah Conference on Open Educational Resources. Learners and educators are given tools to self-organise into online groups and communities, to engage with each others&#39 ideas and build social networks. They are also provided with tools to annotate, map, share and critique open educational resources.

Technically, we&#39re looking at an exciting convergence of the OU&#39s open source Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle), with KMi&#39s Web 2.0 Social Software building on the BuddySpace project, Internet video conferencing building on FlashMeeting, and hypermedia mapping of resources, ideas and arguments building on Compendium.

Join the KMi OCI team! Visit the OCI website (also created by KMi) for full details of positions, and the OCI project&#39s mission.

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