Access2OER talk:Your Solutions
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Concrete solutions/solution stories: 
- 1 Email discussion around RECOUP, Rwanda, Eritrea, and the Global Grid for Learning
- 2 Discussion on "Ending the Internet Obsession: identifying hybrid information delivery solutions to serve the poor"
- 3 Zambia
- 4 OLPC
- 5 Moodle - Sloodle - LAMS - RAMS - MAMS : GAMING, PEDAGOGY, LEARNING and RESEARCH
1 Email discussion around RECOUP, Rwanda, Eritrea, and the Global Grid for Learning
Email discussion around these four items:
- Access2OER:Your Solutions#Rwanda_and_One_Laptop_Per_Child,
- Access2OER:Your Solutions#Our_Transitional_Societies:_A_story_from_Eritrea,
- Access2OER:Your Solutions#The_RECOUP_manual,
- Access2OER:Your Solutions#The_Global_Grid_for_Learning.
1.1 A comment on the discussion
|Quote image||The Recoup manual is one of the best materials that I have come across relating to qualitative research, an area gaining increasing attention and legitimacy in the social science research community- a subject that opens up much discussion not relevant to the OER focus since most of the interest here is on getting OER materials into educational systems abroad. This raises several important issues:
a) Qualitative research should provide insights and directions of relevance to the OER discussion here. Thus, it would seem to be important to provide examples of successful projects using the skills provided in the RECOUP workshops, other than those which yielded publications in scholarly journals. In other words, what has carried forward from the efforts into the field?
b) Several "qualitative" issues have been raised in these discussions including access to power, computers and bandwidth, social barriers such as needs for potential students to work which keeps them out of the formal school system, economic and political costs for opening up the internet for learning, and the commercialization of OER materials through sale of materials or access.
Three interesting "stories" were posted today, Eritrea, Rwanda and the fact that "Global Grid" is starting out with introducing the education materials into the US and Saudi Arabia since it is easier to test ideas where the barriers to introduction are lower and easier to extract "lessons learned". I believe that your adding to these stories from the results of the RECOUP program and workshops would carry us a long way into seeing through the fog and anticipating how to avoid the rocks and whirl pools.
While the technical barriers to introduction are lower the curriculum issues are possibly more complex. In the US, each state and many of the districts have their own rigid set of education standards to which content must be metatagged. And while, the Arab world have adopted US curricula for science and maths, the cultural sensitivities have to be managed extremely carefully. Images, audio and video files have to be carefully selected and edited for age, gender, cultural sensitivities and semantics on a country by country basis eg the Gulf may be the Arabian or Persian gulf depending on which country you are in.
1.3 Further response
I was hoping that Bjoern's project would have the qualitative research to deal with these issues or provide pointers to the issues at hand. But what you have outlined below raise the issues that the conversation on this list have either not considered or assiduously avoided. And this was one of the reasons that I liked your approach which was to create a successful demonstration from content to delivery to form a baseline for extending. In computer parliance, a Beta test case.
There are, of course, many questions which you raise, below to which I might add the following:
a) much information of education or knowledge acquistion are currently on the web and available to teachers, students, anyone who wants or needs to acquire knowledge. Not all of it is vetted but even within education, some of the reactionaries are now even accepting Wikipedia, for example. So, why build a restrictive data base? And who are the moral, intellectual and social censors- do they reside within the database creators or the end users? For the "Global Grid", is that what people pay for? prevetted and censored? Will there be a Muslim approved database with special codes which allow or control access? Are we talking 1984 where free knowledge is not free? Will Global Grid, for example, become a virtual textbook company or education materials distributor, as with the traditional firms, choosing what it distributes and how it prices its materials but only virtual?
b) How best to use virtual knowledge for education? substitute for text books, supplemental materials, materials for project based learning, home schooled or independent learners. Education is changing, particularly with the rise of the internet and the realistic issues surrounding how, when and where we learn, preK->gray. As some have said, it's a disruptive innovation. So we need to rethink education which wil not, in the future, near future, be the standard age-defined cohorts moving from 1 to 16 and beyond. Most of the discussion to this point has tacitly assumed the traditional mode- teachers, "classrooms", age-appropriate core knowledge. . . We can't solve yesterdays problems with todays and tomorrows technologies and insights.
c) As the example on this list, regarding Rwanda, shows, OLPC, or one laptop per child, is a technology that was obsolete before it hit the market, particularly as far as education is concerned. Most developing countries may lack the broadband internet, but cell phones are ubiquitous, cheap and getting cheaper and more powerful. In one country, there is an 80% penetration of cell phones into communities. Smart phones and not so smart phones are coming down in price and increasing in capabilities and are due to change education. The web wants to be free and that is profound when the schools are no longer gate keepers. Maybe the one roll they will keep is that of certification.
d) There are lessons to be learned from virtual worlds, both the massive multiplayer games and those like Whyville, Habbo Hotel and the old standard, Second Life. Moving knowledge from bricks into clicks, particularly in a world that is actually more like going from France to England or Djubuti and then to Second Life, changes education profoundly. Knowledge, particularly open access materials, will not be bound. Think about sites like LiveMocha where I can learn Spanish for free. Think about University of the People which will offer certification separate from packaged knowledge. We are far from being "on the edge". We are well on our way to changing how we learn and are certified for what we know or don't
e) With web 2.0, social networking and other ways for linking and learning, many who have been excluded will find ways to access knowledge. We know this from the studies of people like the Peruvian eeconomist, Hernando DeSoto on how those disenfranchised from the normal economy are able to learn and function, often creating more wealth than all the foreign aid.
We need to break out of the current conversation about a past that never was and deal with a future that will never be because it is dynamic.
A very loaded email late at night ; )
Regarding your first point, I think there is a difference between editing for an audience and censorship. Not taking in to account audience attributes such age in an educational context is a brave proposition but not even something the virtual worlds you cite as examples ignore.
Regarding Global Grid, free and open resources will be free but will feature metadata advising on age and market appropriateness. It is up to the user, if a teacher, to decide to download.
Commercial resources all join the library on the same terms and they are open to ALL content providers subject to those terms and conditions. Pricing is determined using a common base model for all content related to an index or by the content provider. But why have a commercial model at all? 1. To incentivise innovation. 2. To provide local publishers in the developing world with potential access to funds for good content. 3. To fill those gaps in the market that aren't available in the open community.
Diaggregation does not assume a tie to a location or model; quite the opposite. Furthermore, GGFL's model is a lifelong one based around a user authentication model that recognises the user's role changes over time. An eportfolio model is core part of future plans which allows the learner carry their learning portfolio across sectors, institutions and frontiers. This supports a model on institution-independent certification suggested by your model.
Please note, we can deliver on mobile phones and to some extent share your enthusiasm for mobile learning.
While we need to look to the future, we also need to work in the real. Is anything really free? Someone foots the bill whether through sales, subsidies, grants or pro bono time. Whether we recognise this or not is a different issue.
2 Discussion on "Ending the Internet Obsession: identifying hybrid information delivery solutions to serve the poor"
2.1 A comment
I have to say that I agree with Cliff in that local networking capacity is more realistic solution in the short to medium term particularly if such a model can be combined with differential caching solution or synchronous updates.
Ironically, this type of solution is being used right across the UK and in particular in primary schools where budgets for ICT and internet access for all students is a priority.
An issue that might be explored is whether the oer community requires further coordination as a whole to avoid duplication of development effort and that so gaps in curriculum are met.
2.2 A vocational school ...
Very impressive message for the community of people who are looking for supports like yours.
I am working for an area where people are deprived from almost all sort of modern facilities. A vocational school has been established in 2000 to upgrade their life style but things are not moving the way it needed. There is no electricity in the region, no health facility and road communication is also very bad. There are social and cultural problems. Financial problems are very serious.Almost no financial support from any source. Moreover education for girls was unimagnable just before ten years. The only school for about 12000 people is a vocational one with trades like textile engineering, civil engineering and building maintenance. The students of the tenth grade have a course on Computer but there is neither any computer nor internet. The students walk a long distance to learn computer basic courses from private centres. The area is an island created by the river erosion as such communication facilities are very bad. The govt. rarely take care on such institutions where communication is not good.
Your message impress with the hope that the students of my project area in Bangladesh will be benefited through you. It can be assured that your team will be able to collect valuable information for the research project from the region. This is a case of transformation from indigenous to modern society through science and technology education.
I should like to introduce myself as Professor Lutfor Rahman. Now I am Professor of Electronics and Telecommnications at Peoples University in Bangladesh. I am the founder VC of a science and technology university in rural Bangladesh.
I believe we have lot to share on our mutual benefits.
2.3 Power of film
|Quote image||musing at your experience & experiments, it is worth to know that in many areas in the World there exist a variety of eco-cultural environments such as those mentioned, yet, what seems most important are contents which not too often are geared towards significative local experiments. As you may know I am a total adept (nearly addict!) to scientific and otherwise documentary (non-fiction) film as an instrument for (capital E) Education. This said, I believe that this may be the moment that performing experiments such as those of Discovery Chanel might enter the scene in order to fulfil obvious needs of meaningful and powerful contents.|
2.4 Educators and internet
My perception is that finally more and more educators are becoming aware that the Internet Obsession is slowly coming to an end...
The high cost of Internet access is not the only problem... at several remote sites here in Cuba we rely on expensive solar photovoltaic power that require replacement of deep cycle batteries or accumulators every certain number of years... Then we can use a radio link to the Intranet access point , but the speed available is as expected not very high. It works OK for e-mail messages, and for browsing very simple websites...
So, for those students and their teachers, installing a DVD home video machine is now very important because the VCR's are coming to an end of their useful life, and VCR machines will soon be technological dinosaurs !!! Also, having a DVD reader installed to the school's computer or computers will make possible for us to send them e-books, dot pdf files with bibliography etc, that can be used over and over again, and don't require a connection to the telecommunications networks.
Everytime we receive here foreign professors and researchers,as during the recent Informatica 2009 Convention that took place a few days ago, we always find out that they are surprised about the how effective our mixed approach is .... something they can see by themselves by watching the growing collections of well made educational materials , including interactive software that really helps the teaching of many subjects at the elementary, junior and high school levels.
Yes, we do have ON LINE materials to download too... but they are not as easy to access as the CD and DVD discs that are distributed now, and we also have to keep the VCR tapes distributions until the last VCR machine at our schools quits operating ...
E-books, IMHO are not the way to go for many reasons...
It seems like a book "translated into a well made PDF file is a much better approach, and it is inter-operable with the LINUX operating systems that we are installing and also developing here .
2.4.1 Another comment
|Quote image||Internet with or without its obsessions has to have some meat inside, so to speak.
Look, for instance, at the UNEP-Nayrobi Green TV in my estimate one of the first and best forms of teaching with video-graphical materials. In fact, this and similar kinds of obsessions are welcome and should be replicated, multiplied if you may. Tha's why I think that situations such as this of Discovery Channel are welcome.
2.4.2 Another comment
I like very much the program of eGranary and the idea to turn every posible mobile device into a tiny digital library, and in this sense I would like to share the iniatitive of the Personal Digital Library that we call the PDLIB project (http://copernico.mty.itesm.mx/pdlib/) that store any type of file online and later retrieve it from any desktop, PDA, laptop or even cellphones. We use PDLIB with our students to share and retrieve documents anytime, anywhere and from any device (http://www.ieee-tcdl.org/Bulletin/v2n1/alvarez_cavazos/alvarez_cavazos.html).
Also, I’m very enthusiastic listening the different histories and initiatives that are being carry out about the mobile learning -and in this sense I don’t want to set apart of the main theme of access of educational resources (OER)… and certainly I see a huge pontencial upon designing educational strategies with the support of mobile and wireless technology.
2.5 Education and content transfer
While I do not think anyone is suggesting education can be equated to information transfer, making content available is a starting point.
Does constructivism perclude using existing content to construct knowledge? Whether collaboratively or otherwise. I think not.
I think we need to -agogy neutral in our thinking and not be bound by objectivist OR constructivist models to the exclusion of others approaches.
What excites me is the possibility of multi-stakeholder inclusion in a solution not an exclusionary one. Which goes back to the issue of strategic coordination....who will/can be the shepherd?
Nothing teaches like a teacher!
Sure, there are a few kids who thrive in a self-guided environment, but many do not.
I like to harken back to the message that Dr. Paul Farmer preaches about medicine in developing countries -- that good medicine heals both the rich and poor.
I wouldn't send MY children to a school that promised to give my kid a laptop so he could be taught by his classmates -- I want skilled, well-paid, and enthusiastic teachers (who may or may not need computers to convey their ideas) because that's what has been proven to work. I could not, in good conscience, recommend something different for my friends in developing countries.
My hope would be that access to computers and digital information would enhance the schools' and teachers' capacity to train the kids, but there's no evidence that the computers can play much more of a role.
One of my early observations about the OLPC endeavor...
The OLPC folks asked potential partners to pay $100,000,000 to purchase 1,000,000 cheap laptops. Now, if they had asked 100 of the that country's best educators and concerned parents (and there are plenty to chose from) to sit around a table and decide the best use of $100,000,000 to improve education in their country, my guess is that none of them would have said, "Let's purchase a boat load of new, unproven devices that use a new, untested software and forces us to subscribe to an educational theory that has had only marginal impact on education elsewhere."
Despite all the hyperbole, a laptop computer in the hands of school kids is NOT a pedogical revolution. (In fact, many U.S. schools have abandoned early experiments because the laptops proved mostly to be distractions.) In the world's poorest regions, access to information -- digital or analog -- is.
Teachers of any stripe, teaching of any style, can benefit from access to a broader array of information.
I don't like the idea of pushing a technology that proscribes teaching techniques that my colleagues have yet to embrace. I'd rather have them in the driver's seat.
Aother response to "Does constructivism perclude using existing content to construct knowledge? Whether collaboratively or otherwise. I think not. I think we need to -agogy neutral in our thinking and not be bound by objectivist OR constructivist models to the exclusion of others approaches."
I agree completely. Actually, I was trying to make a point about the how we frame these kind of questions, not taking a particular position on the content - constructivism spectrum. For me it is useful to think in terms of axes with more or less extreme viewpoints at both ends. One of those axes is the old "transfer of information" vs constructed knowledge. But Cliff brought up another interesting way to frame the OER debate: the "global internet" vs "local networking" axis. I said I preferred to think in terms of positions on the first axis, but thinking about it, I guess it is just habit.
A third axis could be distributed vs centralized: OER resources can be consumed, produced and stored in big centralized repositories or in a distributed, personal way. I think it is useful to be as explicit as possible about the framework your are working in. Cliffs message helped me see a different axis.
2.6 handheld computers
A school with no electricity sounds like a challenging place to teach computers! I've mostly worked in places where electicity was at least occasionally available, so we had to develop systems for storing and converting power. (Deep cycle batteries and inverters.)
We're experimenting with a couple new classes of handheld computers: Internet tablets and netbooks. Some of these are pocket-sized computers with a host of network and multimedia features. The best thing is that they can run much longer on a single charge, making it very functional for a user to keep one battery on the solar charger and one in the unit, swapping once a day. Something like this might make a good application for your area.
2.7 Educational principles
Moodle is based on a pedagogy (the art, science, or career of teaching; especially; education) applications that are based on four educational principals: Constructivism which assembles or creates new knowledge as people or applications interact together, Constructionist learning takes place when instructing or creating elements surrounding an experience, Social Constructivism is a collaborative effort combining a social group assembling things for one another and their shared experience and meanings, and the motives of people in discussion are Connected and Separate behavior; Connected in that a greater subjective empathetic approach is taken in listening, asking questions, and understanding someone else’s point of view and Separate in remaining insensitive to others ideas defending the facts and logic to find loop-holes in participant’s arguments. On the other hand Constructed behavior demonstrates an appropriate use of either the Connected or Separate approaches in a given situation. Consequentially the idea surfaces that both teacher and student are continually learning from their experiences.
Obviously Moodle cannot impose this method of activity, but supports the concept of pedagogy. Forthcoming improvements to the overall technical infrastructure of moodle architecture will support improvements in the pedagogical model.
2.8 Internet = PC?
|Quote image||There is a tendency to see Internet equals PC, Mac,Linux and netbooks and leave TV and Mobile phones as being 'non internet'
We will shortly start piloting G4 mobiles in UK which are native IP, internet protocol. One route for TV futures is IPTV based. Developments such as WiMAX also play a role in some geographies.
The issue of digital convergence on a 5-10 year scale is that this distinction between internet and other routes will diminish be it at very different rates in different countries.
Around a decade ago I was booed at a conference for suggesting IT and was told that we should concentrate on pencils and books for developing world.
I don’t have a blueprint in mind other than we should get a mixed mode of delivery. In the discussion about hybrid online/offline solutions I would urge some caution from UK experience.
We built up a considerable legacy in UK education on CDROM based titles just as DVD and online took off, slowing down the transition. I have seen that elsewhere.
The POTENTIAL exists for developing world to do a step change in performance and leap frog some of the developed world. The balance between TV/PC/Mobile/Games/WiMAX will vary considerably.
What would concern me is if we assume that we must go down an offline route that we build inertia and barriers downstream in exchange for short term progress.
It is not easy and each geography will have its own approach.
cf. also discussion here.
|Quote image||I agree that all sorts of technologies need to be considered, especially as WIMAX backbones and handheld appliances come onto the scene in more significant ways.
However, to say we shouldn't do something practical today because better things are coming tomorrow can be tantamount to writing off a generation or more of the world's poor.
I've been working in the water field in Africa for 25 years. ( See http://www.wellspringafrica.org ) For this entire time I've listened to experts and government ministries promote one scheme after another to "revolutionize" the field of safe drinking water, with big consulting companies and equipment manufacturers dismissing small-scale water entreprenuers as "backwards." Still, half of the African population -- mostly rural and poor -- does not have access to potable water and few countries are capitalizing on small-scale water technologies that could make a difference.
How then can we expect that digital technologies that have yet to gain a toehold in the wealthiest countries will revolutionize the information access of the poorest people in the poorest countries? Do we have any historical models for this?
Internet access in the U.S and developing countries follows a predictable pattern: urban households with incomes above $25,000 are much more likely to have the Internet than those without. (Give or take a few thousand, depending on the local economy.) Those households firmly in the middle class are more likely to have broadband. Rural populations struggle still.
Most of the companies who are marketing new technologies to developing countries understand that their market segment consists of urban families who make $25,000 a year. That's appropriate. But I remain concerned about the vast majority who do not (in the U.S and elsewhere..)
So I suggest that the distinction we need to make is not geographic, but economic. We should be asking, "what are the best technologies to deliver information and communication to the disenfranchised people of (fill in the blank)", rather than "what are the best technologies for 'Africa'."
The hybrid technologies we're exploring in this forum are things can make the greatest impact today. Off-line information storage so that teachers have instant access to a wealth of video and audio and high-bandwidth multimedia. Low-bandwidth updates and messaging using self-healing, asyncronous, inexpensive connectivity (like the satellite broadcasts we've experimented with that serve an entire continent.) And then highly managed, intermittent real-time connections for those times when nothing else will serve.
These are all technologies that exist today and leverage the infrastructure already in place.
To badly paraphrase an old saw: A CD-ROM in the hand is worth two future Internet connections, "in the bush." <grin>
|Quote image||It is very overwhelming to hear what your organisation is doing for the sub-saharan Africa.
Iam an IT teacher at one of the Zambian schools who might need your help interms of ICT resources like computers and other materials that can help our school pupils to have hands on the computers. Yes, we have few computers which cannot be used by the big number or population of the pupils at our school.
In your mail you talked about "communities is to build local communication and information networks". yes, that is a very good thought and it can be a very good idea if at all, the communities can have information networks. Now, how can this be done for the african setup especially a Zambian scenario where even the connectivity of internet is very difficult interms of the bandwidth. Schools in Zambia at one point in time had connectivity with internet but this time around very few schools have remained with connectivity. This is due to the internet expenses that they encountered and others is because of the slow connectivity of internet from the ISPs.
What other help can we get from your project so that we can not rely on internet connectivity which is giving us problems interme of connectivity?
The contribution Access2OER:Your Solutions#Ending_the_Internet_Obsession:_identifying_hybrid_information_delivery_solutions_to_serve_the_poor also sparked off a lot of OLPC discussion. Details: More discussion on OLPC here.
5 Moodle - Sloodle - LAMS - RAMS - MAMS : GAMING, PEDAGOGY, LEARNING and RESEARCH
To answer the question about Gaming - Music - Movies all that I can say is Moodle or Sloodle (Second Life Moodle)..
Sloodle - SCORM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7c17uXV8poQ
Sloodle version 0.3 Promo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cboCQl5M5JI
SLOODLE DEMO 3: THE CLASSROOM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPA1CWrKpx0
EDUCATIONAL USES OF SECOND LIFE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOFU9oUF2HA
Moodle is a Modular Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment that is collaborative and interactive in nature - it can support Video Web Conferencing - Video - Streaming RSS Feeds - http://moodle.org
- Lams = Learning Activity Management System = http://www.lamsfoundation.org or http://www.lamsinternational.com
The LAMS Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that manages research and development into LAMS and the concepts of Learning Design. The Foundation is based at Macquarie University, Australia as part of the Macquarie E-learning Centre Of Excellence (MELCOE), under the leadership of Professor James Dalziel (Director of MELCOE and inventor of LAMS).
The LAMS Foundation collaborates with LAMS International to foster the adoption and implementation of LAMS across all education sectors.
The LAMS Foundation is also the copyright owner for all LAMS software.
- Rams = Research Activity Management System = http://wiki.lamsfoundation.org/display/rams/Home;jsessionid=7777F6CDC8BA7560A58A18F6ECD88B8B
The RAMS focuses on capturing E-Research activityflows so that they can be analysed, shared, re-used and adapted. This will lead to a national website providing a library of "actionable" best practice activityflows for common research processes and the Research Activity Management System (RAMS) to run them. This approach draws on the success of capturing and sharing "Learning Designs" within e-learning, and applies it to the challenges of people-based workflow in E-Research.
Introduction As part of the DEST-funded RAMP project, MELCOE is investigating the area of people-oriented workflows for research processes. This stream of work is researching and developing "RAMS" (the Research Activity Management System) to support "process-oriented" research requirements, such as:
managing the research enterprise lifecycle (from grant planning to grant submission, to project initiation, to project lifecycle management, to research outcome dissemination), implementing auditable evaluation processes for assessing research quality (RQF assessor workflows, journal/conference peer review management, etc), designing and tracking article submission processes for Institutional Repositories, flexibly configuring and running online research collaboration processes (such as staged collaborative analysis and discussion for PhD/Postdocs around raw data, leading to interpretation, visualization, and ultimately publications), and process-oriented research data collection from human subjects (such as in the humanities, and social and cognitive sciences). The common element of the above examples is people-based workflow, or "activityflow". Activityflow is defined as workflow involving two or more human actors, often acting concurrently (not just sequentially) over multiple steps, potentially in multiple roles, co-ordinated by a software system that allows for authoring, running and tracking (including auditing) of activityflows. As many researchers collaborate across institutional boundaries, activityflows must be capable of running in distributed (trans-organisational) contexts.
A key focus of RAMS is capturing E-Research activityflows so that they can be analysed, shared, re-used and adapted via shared repositories of activityflows.
- Mams = Meta Access Management System = https://mams.melcoe.mq.edu.au/zope/mams
Welcome to MAMS
Meta Access Management System This project allows for the integration of multiple solutions to managing authentication, authorisation and identities, together with common services for digital rights, search services and metadata management. The project provides an essential “middleware” component to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of Australia’s higher education research infrastructure. It will develop a new conceptual architecture which is capable of supporting multiple, independent models of distributed access and identity management within a unified overarching framework (a "meta access management system" or "MAMS"), which is implemented locally within organisations, but with the potential for inter-institutional communication.
Thanks for letting me in ...