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Welcome to my website - open resources, teacher education, technology, and other interests.

This is my personal website, so while some of the items here related to my work, much of it does not. On the whole, you'll find things about education, open access, digital technology and ICT, as well as about media, maths and science, across primary, secondary and higher education, both in European, African, and global contexts. If you dig for long enough, you'll also find things about music, languages, and archaeology.


Blog post: 20180310 Publishing only PDF and not your sources is like voluntary entropy

Publishing only PDF and not your sources is like voluntary entropy

Just a quick reflection. Many documents from aid programmes are never published. However, even if they were published, in all my efforts to surface documents, I've only come across one word document. In fact, some time ago the Open University of Nigera was interested in a programme to mass convert PDF back to Word.

Now, of course there is conversation software (some smarter than others). However, it strikes me that converting e.g. an OpenOffice / Word Document to PDF is like the willfull destruction of metadata (i.e. formatting data). It's making it (accidentally or deliberately) harder to work with the document.

So, as we suggested in our open content encyclopaedia entry (here), we need to push for both

  • Legal freedom - Creative Commons
  • Technological freedom - Publishing your sources (whatever they may be)

I do also think that discovery is moving more into focus. Documents cannot just be available somewhere, but they need to be made available so that they are discoverable, ideally posted in multiple places, including a shared platform.

In practice, this may mean that documents are posted in the following places:

  • At each organisation involved in the process (e.g. an NGO, a consultancy, and a Ministry)
  • Plus a shared platform, e.g. a pre-print platform such as Zenodo.

Let's make this happen.

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