Catherine’s talk about the Hewlett foundation

October 31, 2007


Catherine’s Infrastructure model

Originally uploaded by openlearn2007

The chair has just reminded people to tag their pictures and posts with openlearn.

Catherine is up and is telling us Happy Halloween – guess the reason for the title of “Trick or Treat”. She is now explaining about Halloween and about collecting sweets and that it is the eve of All Saints Days.

Alright, she has now started into her lecture about OER … She acknowledges Mike Smith who is unable to make it and Carey (someone!) who helped her with pictures.

They want to continue the equalizing access to knowledge for all … and making sure the poorest countries have it as well. Hewlett has been investing since 2001 and they see 2007 as the end of the phase 1 of their work. Phase 2 is going to start in 2008.

Next year Mike Smith term comes to the end so they are wondering how a new director of education would change what Hewlett does. The OER would no longer be a component of the educational programme but a component of the foundation and it will be something that is being reported to the board (I think!) …

In phase 2, they would decide which projects they would use and take up …

The next thing they need to do is to demonstrate the value of the OER and also demonstrate to teachers how this can be useful.

She is going to talk about the infrastructure of the OER … she is trying to get from the audience what the infrastructure might contain … the audiences have been saying user tools, creative commons, repositories etc.

Her list of things for infrastructure is core agencies (they need to build this), networks and partnerships (they need to buy and leverage in into existing networks and also the regions such as Africa and Asia – and also with other foundations such as OSI, KnowledgesWork foundation, EU, UNESCO, OECD – also the private sector such as yahoo), intellectual property issues (such as creative commons), also the guidelines, the sustainability (tools of which is the highest quality), research, metrics (to demonstrate that how OER is being developed and which can be reported back to the board – so these indicators can help to decide when they’re in track).

She says there are two buckets one is on transforming infrastructure and on the other is to transform teaching and learning. She is saying to transform teaching and learning is to look at game-based environments for teaching complex learning – however, if the games is too slow then students can get bored. The games can probably be transformed quite easily to different cultures. They are working with MIT to build a theoretical framework for these games.

She is talking about some project called CHANGO (I think!) – it is an open language learning initiative and it is a game for students to learn English on the go by Chinese students (I hope I got that right!). They are hoping to have the early versions of these things be available by spring and hopefully by the Olympics as well.

They are also seeking to target Open Textbooks as they’re free and low cost in print form (Reminds me of the ELBS initiative that the UK had a few years ago). They can be a digitized textbook which is quite static or it can be dynamic such as what is being done at Carnegie Mellon (Joel Smith’s talk), and also being able to include games perhaps on it.

She just mentions there is textbook/course continuum when is a textbook a course and vice versa.

Gives an example of a classroom in India …

Last thing under transform teaching and learning to be research and development of open participator learning environments. The OER role is actually to improve learing but they’re not often explicit in that. She is mentioning a project at the Gulf of Main Research Institute in which they do inquiry based learning by looking at ecosystems and look at vital signs. The students share the data from different classrooms and a discussion can be developed. Teachers can therefore have to prepare for a curriculum of this type and be more comfortable with technology. She is mentioning the Carnegie Mellon’s project again by looking at how it is accelerating learning time.

Question time now. Wow – that was a quick presentation – had me typing very quickly.

ADA (Americans Disability Act) – some guy is wondering how much of the interactive textbooks are able to make this accessible to the disable. She replies that this is something that the guideline issues is dealing with and this would be in the phase 2 … the static form is available for all.

Other guy is wondering how is the OER supporting the full range of people to have equal access to all materials – she is saying Hewlett is looking at that but they’re more relying on the networks to build that since they don’t do the ground work.

Patrick is asking whether there are new ways of learning versions or are we opening up our internal models to decide how people learn? (I think – didn’t get the question too well). But she is saying that kids are more likely to be adaptable to new technologies and they learn differently and schools are not ready to open up (or something like that – ok not certain what I’ve written here – don’t quote me!).

Terry asked a question which I didn’t get since I was trying to upload some pictures but she is talking about how to advertise on google – don’t know the connection!

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