Archive for the ‘Open Education’ Category

Italians do it better?
December 18, 2007

Here is the last feedback by David Wiley to the participants.

OpenEd week 15: Wrap Up
December 5, 2007

Overall feelings about the course: the Italian Group has worked on a shared document.

On the content side, what did you learn?

I learned a lot about free culture and open content phylosophy and practice.

 How will you use it after the class is over?

I designed ScribaLAB two years ago, this course has made it appeared to me as if it is a twenty-year old project. I’m re-designing it as an OER.

I’ve been working on Moodle with my students for five years. Interaction is quite satisfactory but I need a change: ebook writing is my next challenge to have my students read, annotate, print and connect wirelessly to work on webquests and other tasks.

What did we not cover that you realize now we really should have?

Hands-on-project activities to practice what we preach, even if on a small scale. As for example, designing an OER module collaboratively.

 On the process side, how could the class be better next time it’s taught?

By working more on knowing-me-knowing-you activities from the very beginning, in small groups of five or six with a coordinator, which is something we have already experienced in LTever thread while following the course.

 What would you change?

I’d have less theory for a head-only but even more for talking heads participants. Free choice for the reading materials with the possibility to trust summaries from those participants who read complete books and papers.

 What would you keep?

Crossblogging and deadlines.

 Is there anything we as a group can do after the course is over?

Yes, we have already started sharing ideas and projects.

Something similar to this one by Thieme – Open Education wiki on 

OpenEd week 14
December 5, 2007

…didn’t have time to catch my breath and reflecting on week 13, this time. I read the posts commented on Wiley’s Blog and those ones of my Italian Group.

I also left some comments.

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?

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)

OpenEd week 10 to 15
October 28, 2007

Week 11: Open Education and Learning Objects

The Learning Objects Literature (Wiley, 12 pages)

RIP-ping on learning objects (Wiley, 3 pages)

Openness, Localization, and the Future of Learning Objects (Wiley, 36 minutes)

Recording from David Wiley’s session at The Future of Education Online Conference

Week 13: The Future of Open Education

The OpenCourseWars (Wiley, 13 pages)

Week 15: Wrap Up

Blog your overall feelings about the course. On the content side, what did you learn? How will you use it after the class is over? What did we not cover that you realize now we really should have? On the process side, wow could the class be better next time it’s taught? What would you change? What would you keep?

Retrieved from “

OpenEd week 9
October 24, 2007

Week 9: Elective Reading Synopses David’s recommended books:

The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom (Benkler)

Coase’s Penguin, or Linux and the Nature of the Firm (Benkler)

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

An overview of the book

Chapter with the title “Educated for What?” (…wanted to learn more)

Education level is constantly presented as one of the principal determinants of economic growth, yet Easterly finds little empirical evidence for this correlation. 

The author shows that in Africa, education level of the 90’s are much higher than those in the 70’s, yet efforts to achieve economic growth in this region of the world have failed in the majority of the cases. 

One of the reasons Easterly puts forth is that advances in education must be accompanied by adequate productive capital and the capacity to absorbe new technologies.  The author points out that the supply of knowledge is higher than the demand and cannot be absorbed.

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

The World Is Flat (Updated and Expanded): A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century (Friedman)

A summary of the book

My points: I was rather impressed by the fact that Friedman identifies three broad categories of workers who will have job security in the flat world. Synthesizers, explainers, versatilists and explores the “right stuff”that the educational requirements need to survive in the flattened world. He recommends building right-brain skills, or those that cannot be duplicated by a computer. Friedman believes that globalization serves more to enrich and preserve culture than to destroy it, as each person is given their own voice and vehicle of expression through podcasts, websites and so on.

Enough food for thought…

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace (Lessig)

Free Culture (Lessig)

Lessig’s PowerPoint Presentation of the book

Lessig-Valenti debate (mp3)

The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid: Eradicating Poverty Through Profits (Prahalad)

An overview of the book

The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time (Sachs)

Development as Freedom (Sen)

Add other recommended books here:

Wikinomics (Tapscott, Williams)

Beyond the classroom

SIe-L30marzo 2007: a national Workshop

QUESTIONS: What can the open education movement learn from the book you chose to read? Elaborate on at least three points. Which of the ideas presented in the book did you find hardest to believe or agree with? Why?

My three points from Free Culture come along with Lessig’s refrain:

1. Creativity and innovation always builts on the past

2. The past always tries to control the creativity that builts on it

3. Free societies enable the future by limiting the power of the past

Estabilished companies have an interest in excluding future competitors and claim for extentions of copyright from copying copies to derivate works mainly because of technology.

How about education?

No one can do to Disney what Walt Disney did to the Grimm Brothers.

Well, may this derivative work, from the famous Cinderella, created by school-teachers uploaded and shared on line?