Recap of the 2011 Tech Fair

The second annual UD Tech Fair was held on October 19. This event showcased a vast array of IT products and services available to the UD community.

The booth I was assigned to was called Open Education. My main goal was to raise awareness about open educational resources (OER), open textbooks, college affordability, and the professional development potential of teaching in the open leveraging personal learning networks.

Most faculty and staff I had the chance of interacting with were very interested by the concept, and I was able to gather some names of people interested in giving open education a modest try. Out of all the conversations I had, two main points came up, and I’d like to use this post to direct readers to additional resources regarding those.

OER Repositories

Although everyone has a good idea that you con find almost anything on the Web, most attendees did not know about OER repositories. I have spent a significant amount of time simply navigation Connexions and Merlot, as well as discussing other state initiatives like the Open Course Library and the Orange Grove. Khan Academy also came up as a very promising STEM resource. I have created a page listing some of these resources on this blog, so feel free to explore at your own pace!

Copyright Licensing

Creative Commons' Three Layers of Licences.

Using David Wiley’s 4Rs of openness as a framework, I made a point to explain that making content available on the internet does not mean that it’s open. One of the ways to make sure you’re within your rights to use materials found on the web is to check if a copyright license has been applied to it, describing it authorized uses.

Creative Commons are the most widely used and understood copyright licensing processes. The creator decides which kind of license is assigned to work of his own, and with the chosen license comes attached all the legal uses (and legalese)  for that work. I have addressed Creative Commons in a guest post on the UNU-ViE Learning Hub.

An Invitation to Share

If you’re interested in using or publishing open educational resources or open textbooks, please get in touch with me by sharing a story as a comment to this post or by contacting me directly by email (mathieu at udel dot edu).


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