Friday, January 25, 2008

Interview with Hewlett Foundation's Catherine Casserly

This interview appeared in Hewlett's November 2007 newsletter; Catherine Casserly is the Program Officer at Hewlett for Open Educational Resources. Her observations on how the OER movement has developed and perspectives on directions it may take are worth reading. ____JH


"What are the implications of having high quality educational materials freely available without issuing credentials like diplomas to confirm a student has mastery of a subject? Right now the educational materials on the Web also serve to guide a student to an institution where they might want to enroll to learn about a certain subject. But I think eventually we will see the creation of institutions to issue credentials based on self-guided study via the Web. That will probably involve payments for testing and evaluation."

"Look into your crystal ball. What do you think all this will look like in another decade based on advances in technology and current trends? We can’t even imagine what the technology will look like in ten years. I think we’ll have a vast library of available knowledge and alternative ways for people to get access to higher education. I think we’ll have institutions that grant credentials for this learning. And I hope we’ll have students who engage in learning in rewarding ways that make them creators of knowledge. And it’s through that creation that they learn. That will be a big turning point."

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SANTA ANA Contract worker accused of theft Read the rest ...

McGill University's Life Sciences Library assembled this excellent set of resources for medical instruction and learning. The site will also be of value to patients who want to be proactively informed about topics related to their own medical problems. The links include Databases, Journals, Directories, Multimedia Resources, Curriculum Tools, and the very interesting ABC of Teaching and Learning Medicine Series. ____JH (Thanks to Ray Schroeder's Educational Technology for this resource.)

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The district does not expect a surplus from its $20 billion in bond issues, however, as costs continue to rise.

Declining enrollment has prompted the Los Angeles Unified School District to scale back its $20-billion school construction and remodeling program sought to relieve overcrowding and end involuntary busing. Read the rest ...

I'm always pleased to discover new sites that provide innovative learning resources. The Virtual LRC combines features of an online reference library and a meta search engine. This is definitely a site that students, instructors, and writers will want to keep available in their bookmarks or toolbars  to facilitate ready information checking. Virtual LRC was created and is maintained by Dr. Michael Bell, a former library administrator. ____ JH (Via Helge Scherlund's eLearning News Blog.)


"The mission of the Virtual Learning Resources Center is to index thousands of the best academic information websites, selected by teachers and library professionals worldwide, in order to provide to students and teachers current, valid information for school and university academic projects!  The Virtual LRC is both a dedicated index of over 10,000 web pages maintained by a real human being, as well as a meta-search engine that includes in its results information gleaned from many of the best research portals and university and public library Internet subject guides recommended by teachers and librarians."

"The VLRC includes selected sites in a growing list of subject/information areas including: full-text magazines, newspapers, electronic text archives, art history, biography, biology, career information, psychology, history, government information, literature, medical information, social sciences, legal information, American Civil War, Art, Careers, Crime, Directories, Economics, Education, English Language, Electronic Texts, Foreign Languages, Geography, Genealogy, Government Information,Health/Medical, History, Legal Information, Lesson Plans, Literature, Mathematics, Music, Reference, Science, Technology, Tutorials on the Web, and Writing Style Guides."

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The LeMill world-wide web community (viewable in twelve languages) contains an impressive  online set of resources for teachers, which are attractively and functionally displayed within the web design. The resources include contents, tools, teaching methods, and stories/cases.  Although the educational resources available through LeMill are mainly at the K-12 level, higher education materials are also included (see, for a fine example, the "Brief History of New Media").  Since all the resources at LeMill are web-based, nothing needs to be downloaded or installed, editing of the resources can be accomplished within a web browser. Also, all of the resources are freely available under a Creative Commons attribution-sharealike license.

View the LeMill Overview for a quick orientation to the site, then examine the Tour and the FAQ. From there users can explore by browsing or searching resources and can also register to participate in the community. (Thanks to Teemu Leinonen for recent information about LeMill.)___JH


"What is LeMill? LeMill is a web community for finding, authoring and sharing learning resources. First at all, you can find learning resources. You can use the resources you find in your own teaching or learning. You can also add your own learning content to LeMill. You may edit your content and combine larger chunks of learning resources from individual media pieces. If you wish you may also join some of the groups producing or editing learning resources. In LeMill the content is always easily found where and whenever you need them."

"Is LeMill another Learning Management System (LMS)? No - LeMill is not LMS. LeMill is a web site engine to author and share learning resources. All content in LeMill server are free/libre/open for all web users. Anyone may also start their own LeMill website. You can download LeMill engine, install it on your own server and put it online. After this you will automatically be part of the global network of LeMill servers. Because of this we like to say that LeMill is 'do it yourself' learning resource website engine. We love to see schools and other educational institutions taking LeMill in use."

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