Wiki Educator

The first presentation of the Open Education conference jumped right into a large community owned curriculum development project, wikieducator.org. 

It is goverened internationally ,using a console consisting of a mix of elected and nominated members from Asia, the Indies, Africa, the US, Europe.

The Open Education Resource Handbook is one of the premiere projects being developed on the site. It is addressing these challenges:

 

  • developing royalty free textbooks for primary and secondary schools;
  • simplifying licensing of resources for authors and educators;
  • packaging and indexing educational materials so they are easier to find and use;
  • nurturing online communities for teachers and authors; and
  • growing open education as a field and a movement.
One of the cool features of wiki educator, is the ability to create a collection of wiki pages, brand the items you selected (with a logo for example) then generate a pdf document. All the advantages of WIKI for development, all the advantages of PDF for packaging and print. Brilliant.

 

Growth rates of the site have exceeded expectations, and participation in creation exceeds the ratios wikipedia runs with. They say it is because of the investment into the community itself. They conduct free workshop in exchange for the promise for the teachers to share some of their knowledge. Right now a few thousand lesson plans exist.

They began by establishing foundations by creating wiki skills and hitting the skepticism around OAR.

The project has outgrown its original home, and will now be hosted at Otago Polytechnic in New Zealand. They are revolutionary institution in the sense that they enforce a blanket OAR IP agreement. Everything created there is open sourced through CC. Everything!

SOmething interesting about the way wikieducator.org works is that it works on multiple modes of funding. They aim to pay some authors to seed high quality materials.

Question: Let’s talk more about quality. Many projects that rely on the “wisdom of the crowd” have very low quality results. How do expect to address that? 

Response: “Quality” varies depending on where you are. We are worried.

Question: Wikipedia is all about refrence material. How might Wikieducator might go beyond and become interactive, etc.

Response: Our main goal is to produce OARs to be used by teachers.

Question: Any examples of how it is being used?

ResponseOtago Polytechnic is using the material in about 20 courses. Students can sign up for courses without being part of the university, but they need to be enrolled to receive a certificate.

Question: It is very international, does the system support multiple languages?

Response: WE do have a few versions. For example, Hindi and french are going well. Others are more challenging.

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