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Notes on Resources videos #el30

I am behind in #el30 and these notes are for the videos for the Resources topic (which is just being wrapped up now). I have watched the two videos posted by Stephen as part of the main course materials and I’ll dive into the task videos next – hopefully before tomorrow’s new topic conversation begins!

Video 1:

Stephen begins the video ‘From Repository to Distributed Web’ by laying out the topic that we are considering with resources: A vision of moving from a repository to something distributed.

At the moment we have the habit, concept, protocol of going to ‘a place’ for stuff, and he’s suggesting that we move to a different system where we can all have the stuff. (that is very simplistic understanding, and may be very incomplete or even wrong. I’m definitely finding my way through a nettle patch here instead of treading on a clear path with this topic.)

We know that in the Open Educational Resource world licensing, and distribution, sustainability are all very important. This is where the idea of using a Content Delivery Network comes in.

At this point I am struck that you need a network to enable this principle to work. Making a network is SO HARD TO DO. How is it that some disciplines have this in such a wonderful way? What if you don’t fit into a single discipline neatly? What am I? What are you? (goes back to identity – I love circular thinking) I am both musician, psychologist, educational developer, all at the same time – but in those individual circles I don’t quite fit in any of them. How do I make a network? (I’m not really asking for me, but I find it easy to use me, or a scenario of me as an example. Hopefully you will translate to your situation and either see that you cross boundaries of labels, or that you don’t – either way there are challenges to networking.)

Stephen says that the Network Distribution System serves static content to lower bandwidth consumption. That sounds good to me. I am unclear how or who hosts the content. If I have a website I have to pay for it and I am aware of things like image size… when creating OER who pays? That’s the question I have when talking about peer-to-peer. Peer-to-peer saves traffic by providing a more local server to access content – makes resources available to others, but do you have to host it? (I am sure I am missing a piece of the puzzle here.) This would move from decentralised to distributed. (but then do I have to support your traffic?)

When Stephen mentioned Beaker Browser I was not sure why making a website on the Beaker Browser allows me to look at things in a different way than a normal website? D web content. Is not my own website part of it? I don’t know about this at all and am hoping that when I watch and read the resources about it I will understand. I think this is all a sort of parallel web, maybe?

Stephen says Hashbase will be hosting it… (who pays?)

At the end of the intro video I had questions, which is a good way to start learning.

The Featured Hangout:

In the week’s featured conversation with Cheryl Hodgkinson-Williams and Sukaina Walji there were more questions, but also some common themes and yes, even some answers.

Stephen asked:

Does the community creation of an OER relate to its adoption?

To me this again highlighted the importance of the network. I mean both the people network and the infrastructure network.

People (participants) did create and remix OER, but it was the problem of the barrier of upload – especially if format changes/procedures required. This is interesting! Now we’re talking about the practicalities of learning as humans with our own wants, desires, inhibitions – the human of learning.

‘It’s a little bit scary to share with the whole world’ and newness of having a system that everybody knows how to use were both cited as barriers. Those are both so very real and the realities of experience cannot be understated.

Cheryl said that when people update OER by creating new versions, there are issues with naming, finding, and curation. (who pays to host it?) Having a standard nomenclature for OER would help very much. It is very difficult to find who started the OER and who developed it.

Sukaina added that ‘the tyranny of having to understand licenses’ was off-putting for people and they tended to say – ‘you sort it out’ to the teacher. (I have heard that before! I’m happy to share… if you share it)

Institutional support was mentioned. This is a pie in the sky for anyone at a small institution or at a conservative institution. It takes a leap to support staff in creating something that takes time and might not have a directly measurable outcome in terms that are easily translatable for attainment or other KPIs. Personally I don’t know where to look for funding in the big world. Maybe it goes back to that all important network?

Toward the end of the conversation, Stephen dropped a sneaky definition of a graph as a network of connection. I like that. It broadens the understanding.

At the very end there was an impromptu little chat before the sign-off where Stephen said – this video will be an OER and maybe it will be uploaded to the DWeb, but I don’t know how yet… but there is this thing called PeerTube, maybe I’ll look into that. The others said – we’ll leave that to you.

They didn’t intend to role play the problems they highlighted earlier in the video, but they did this very well.

I’ll look forward to diving into the other resources and doing some tasks.

I was talking to a wonderful educator yesterday who said ‘Sometimes it’s a very big river for teachers to cross’ The context for this was implementing new things, risking failure, being willing to collaborate, and genuinely learn. It is a big river, but when people work together they build bridges and boats and even spaceships to help us not get there, but continue the journey.

2 thoughts on “Notes on Resources videos #el30”

  1. The question of ‘who pays’ is also relevant for news media. My newspaper uses a combination of ads and a pay wall, fortunately people are willing to subscribe for high quality information (we’re a business newspaper, much smaller than the Financial Times but similar in style). Of course I’d prefer my content to be widely available for free (I’m not a teacher, but also an optimist regarding the power of information and knowledge), but then again I do realize you have to pay the bills at the end of the month (we also have an investigative desk for instance, hard to pay for that without paid subscriptions). Asking the government to pay for it seems like a bad idea, donations is a slightly better idea (The Guardian is doing that, but still loses tons of money). Fot now I don’t see an alternative for paid subscriptions.

  2. Who pays?

    Speaking only from my limited viewpoint as a public school teacher of younger students, the one who pays is the one who shares — for hosting, for bandwidth, for whatever — and I acknowledge this is both a hurdle for OER and a place to take a philosophical stand, by which I mean I share widely and freely any of my teaching resources because I go forward in faith that a student/learner/writer somewhere, at some time, will catch hold of some spark that might, just maybe, move them in a new or interesting direction.

    Maybe even change the world (we teachers are an optimistic bunch).

    This might unfold in a different way at the University level, and it might be different in different parts of the world. I need to finish the hangout with guests to learn more about how their research is informing OER distribution networks.

    You have me thinking now of the site Teachers Pay Teachers … maybe some future blog post …


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