Open content, tools, sustainability and licensing

The Open Education 2007 conference, held in Utah University, focused on ‘localizing and learning’. Apart from Europe, UK and USA, open education is now provided in a variety of developing countries, such as India, Nepal and several Himalayan villages. Interestingly, open content licensing is strict in several European countries, which leaves the UK at the forefront of producing and providing Open Educational Resources (OER). While most other institutions provide content in the form of raw material or recorded physical lectures, the OU OpenLearn project offers learning resources packaged in the Moodle virtual learning environment together with content remixing and collaborative tools, such as instant messaging, videoconferencing and knowledge mapping. Other universities demonstrated tools for remixing content in the form of a wiki.
The issue of sustainability of open content platforms was one of the main concerns, prompting related institutions to select a business model for their OER projects.
The OpenLearn group from the Open University presented four papers, including the presentation of:
-The OpenLearn tools, Compendium and FlashMeeting (Ale Okada, Elia Tomadaki, Simon Buckingham Shum and Peter Scott – KMi)
-Localising open educational resources with examples from the TESSA (Teachers’ Education in Sub-Saharan Africa) project (Teresa Connolly, Tina Wilson and Freda Wolfenden – OpenLearn and TESSA)
-Open educational resources discourse, discussing ‘flatness’ (Andreia, Inamorato dos Santos, Patrick McAndrew and Steve Godwin – IET)
-Open content used effectively for Education (Andy Lane – OpenLearn)

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