Archive for November, 2007

OpenEd -week 13
November 27, 2007

The Future of Open EducationThe OpenCourseWars (Wiley, 13 pages)

QUESTIONS: What will the future of higher education look like? What impact will the open education movement have? How will we get there from here? What will be the effects of open education?

I really enjoyed reading the 13 pages and want to focus my attention on one point only: ebook writing and sharing.

This is somenthing I’m trying to cope with just in these days. I’ll quote from the scenario on page 8: “First, the decade-old struggling ebook hardware market suddenly came to life as students could buy a $ 100 piece of hardware that let them read, annotate, print, and wirelessly trade all their textbooks at no additional cost.”

I’ve been teaching English Literature for more than 20 years by now and have collected lots of good practices  and digitalized materials that are being conveyed through the open source Platform Moodle during the school year…blended modality.

What I want to do now is creating an ebook to have my students read, annotate, print and connect wirelessly to work on webquests and other tasks.

I’ve already chosen the title “iLITbook” and trying to optimize for iLiad, a black and white ebook reader with mp3 functions and handwriting facilities.

The experiment is challenging mainly for the efforts to design a book which is 25% to read, 25% for study skills development, 25 % for language skills and 25% for digital skills. Do you find it is a honest treament for a sort of ‘product’ which claims to be brand new in the field?

My great stimulus is that I’m really enjoying working on it!

I’d like to answer all the questions for this week but I’m not so good at predicting and theorizing. My vision is still limited to my everyday work with my students.

OpenEd – week 12 Crossblogging
November 18, 2007

I left a comment on Andreas’ post.

OpenEd week 11 – What if we emphasize the “Learning” part of the Object?
November 6, 2007


I’d like to start from the definition of OERs as it appears in the report which first introduced the term (UNESCO, 2002):

Open Educational Resources are defined as “technology- enabled, open provision of educational resources for consultation,  use  and  adaptation  by  a  community  of  users for non-commercial purposes.” They are typically made freely  available  over  the  Web  or  the  Internet.  ¼  Open Educational  Resources  include  learning  objects  such  as lecture  material,  references  and  readings,  simulations, experiments and demonstrations, as well as syllabi, curricula and teacher’s guide.


So, Open Educational Resources include learning objects.

…and the Elephant in thumbnail?

I feel like being the seventh wo-man of Hindostan in the story of “The Blind Men and the Elephant”.

And here is a quadrant of LO definitions:



Shall we ever have LOs which activate our students learning process to reach volcanic explosions? A sort of Lava of imagination which prevents an earthquake? I don’t think this will happen until the term ‘reuse’ is interpreted as ‘technical interoperability only’ without any implication with pedagogy or contextual dimensions.

On December 10th and 11th there will be an important (here is the WIKI)

 OER IntLO_explosionseroperability Meeting whose outcomes are:

  1.  A checklist of recommended practices for resources
  2.  A checklist of recommended practices for sites
  3.  Commitments from meeting participants to review and implement the recommended practices
  4. Looking forward for the meeting, these are some of the problems I’m facing in ScribaLAB re-design:

    PROBLEMS in  ScribaLAB re-design Is it an OER SOLUTION??
    Decontextualization The answer has been provided bythe editing tools:

    1. personal advance organizers
    2. collaborative tools

     in the LAB section,

    which may increase the value of

    localization for learners and educators.

    Engagement I think that a highly advanced OER may increase learner engagement.ScribaLAB is still a BETA version.
    Social aspect of learning Just trying to acknowledgethebenefits of Web 2.0

    and  intertwine the functionalities

     offered by online tools

    and technologies while maintaining

     writing skills development as a

    foundation module.

    Reusing The intrinsic opennesswill enable reuse.

    HTML/JPG/etc. sufficient

    for rendering in

     webpages VS SCORM

    Producing LO for writing skills in ScribaLAB Teacher can easily add a new LOchoosing between two modalities:

    • 1. Publicly shared:

    every teacher can modify the LO

    • 2. Shared with consent:

     every teacher can modify the LO

    with the password given by

    the first owner of the LO

    Educational Objects Models Other Educational Modelscan be thought of,

    more suitable for the web.

    ScribaLAB is focused on developing Writing Skills the easiest way: you test from the link above?

Animal Farm week 1 – Anticipation
November 4, 2007

Imagine you are a buddhist, choose an animal you would like to be to come back to life. Think of this animal in its natural habitat and complete the following sentences:

On my right I can see…

Around me I can smell…

In the distance I can see…

Suddenly I hear the sound of…

I get up and move towards the…

Finally write down the characteristics of your animal as a comment to this post.

(The aim of this activity is to show how George Orwell wanted to introduce animals as characters ‘in their own right’ and not as symbols of something else)

If you are an Italian Student and have problems to understand the assignment, you can have a look at the Italian version of the activity.

OpenEd -Week 10 cross-blogging
November 4, 2007

I found quite useful the idea of Megan to gather and updating the book reviews during this week.

It really fits my need of the usual ‘Work in progress’ modality I adopted to follow this Course.

Books Reviewed

Free Culture (Lessig)
Commented on by: Elisa, Emanuela, Greg, Silvana (Me)

Coase’s Penguin, or Linux and the Nature of the Firm (Benkler)
Commented on by: Yu Chun, Antonio, Catia, Alessandro, Jon

The World Is Flat (Updated and Expanded): A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century (Friedman)
Commented on by: Rob, Jennifer

A presentation by Friedman

Wikinomics (Tapscott, Williams)
Commented on by:
Andreas, Stian

The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good (Easterly)
Commented on by: Erik, Megan

The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists’ Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics (Easterly)
Commented on by: Silvana

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (Lessig)
Commented on by:

OpenEd – While reading “Free Culture”by Lawrence Lessig
November 4, 2007

Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana

How would we re-write the following episode of intellectual property in the Internet era (Italian Context, this time) ?

In 1888, Verga gave his permission to G. D. Bartocci Fontana to produce a booklet out of his novel entitled “ Mala Pasqua” (Bad Easter). The booklet with the music by Stanislao Gastaldon was admitted to a competition for young composers advertised by Edoardo Sonzogno. The 26 years old composer Pietro Mascagni participated to the same competition with a booklet by Giovanni Tagioni – Tozzetti and Guido Menasci produced out of Cavalleria Rusticana without Verga’s permission. Mascagni won the competition and Verga gave him permission for the performance accepting the 25% out of the incoming as copyright. The work was performed at Teatro Costanzi in Rome on May the 17th  1890. It was a triumph. The extraordinary success of Cavalleria Rusticana provoked a series of judicial proceedings between Verga and Mascagni – Sonzogno. The proceedings ended in 1893 and Verga accepted the sum of  lire 143.000 as copyright, about 500.000 dollars today. “

 Intermezzo, from Cavalleria Rusticana by Pietro Mascagni (3’26”).

One thing is certain, Mascagni is always ahead in comparison to his main inspiring novel writer, Giovanni Verga.

You can download his Cavalleria Rusticana from Microlibrary, a COSL’s project (See David Wiley post for more information)