Discover Microblogging (Draft)

Note Draft Microblogging (the act of broadcasting short, real-time messages) allows people to express themselves in new ways. It offers people a new communication channel to broadcast and share updates about what they are reading, thinking, experiencing, watching and doing. Educationalists that choose to incorporate Microblogs into their courses could refocus Microblogging as a peer to peer learning activity and use this tool to
· share information
· build community and foster collaboration and,
· encourage reflection.
This Discover Microblogging fact sheet is intended to introduce the concept of microblogging, the two main platforms (Facebook and Twitter) and “poke” academics, teachers and other professionals into thinking about how they could use a subset of social media to assist post graduate or part time students become co-contributions to their own knowledge instead of passive consumers of information.
Update (3 Nov 2009): Sometimes the Slideshare server takes a while to load
Discover Microblogging (PDF) is also available from this blog.

Update (4 Nov 2009): Created a slideshow to accompany the microblogging document

5 Ways to Open Access

open access week It’s Open Access Week (19 – 23 October 2009), where the ideals of the Open Education Resource (OER) movement are highlighted. The movement believes that the Internet should be used to throw open the locked doors that once hid knowledge. Open Access aims to encourage and enable free sharing of content for the advancement and enjoyment of science and society.

I confess, I’m one of the ones that have not been egalitarian in the distribution of information. I’ve stored when I could have published. I’ve righted my copy when I could have shared. I’ve decided that it’s about time that I opened up my electronic filing cabinet and supported the ideals and ideas behind the Open Education movement.

Here are five ways that I could contribute to OER

  1. Remove the barriers to using my work.
    Notes, worksheets, photographs etc that I publish on the net should be licensed with an appropriate Creative Commons license. Flickr makes it easy to choose an appropriate license for your photographs.
  2. Author / Sponsor high-quality open content
    When writing or co-ordinating resource production, think of ways in which you could make your course accessible to an audience beyond your institution. For example, if you use Moodle, then make sure that you allow guest access. If you use a presentation package (like PowerPoint)  add a rights slide to your presentation.
  3. Stimulate use of OER amongst others
    Create a network of people that want to share and collaborate. Follow me on Twitter . Build your own Personal Learning Network, subscribe to a list serv, use Facebook to form/join a community of practice.
  4. Go beyond your website and publish your work in an online accessible open access repository.
    I’ve taken the first step and am putting my work on my website. But it can go further. If you put your material into an appropriate repository  (Thutong for example) it will more readily be identified as an appropriate resource.
  5. If you run a journal, facilitate open access of your research using Open Journal System
    The Directory of Open Access Journals has 4370 journals in their directory and have (as of 19 Oct 2009) 319585 articles are included in the DOAJ service. Consider using Open Journal Systems to expand and improve access to research.

15 years on since I first “surfed the web”, the ’net continues to make a profound effect on my learning and a substantial effect on my teaching. Access, however, to eminent educational content, is still limited and large amounts of excellent content still remain locked behind passwords, inaccessible for outsiders. Open Access is a timely reminder that everyone globally should be sharing in the development of knowledge.