Category Archives: Open Education

The Origin and Intent of Copyrights

This week I attended a live event via Adobe Connect in which David Brin presented – Education and Today’s Economy.  This was part of KU Village’s 2009 online conference.

Mr. Brin was an enthusiastic speaker and while I was not previously aware of his work (fiction, non-fiction, sci-fi, and political commentary) I was intrigued by the information presented on Patents and Copyrights. He pointed out that the origin of Patents and Copyrights was to create a system that encouraged people to share their innovations with the rest of society (Benjamin Franklin, I think?)  An individual could register his or her work, benefit from it for a specified period of time, and then it would be available for anyone.

Over time, Patents and Copyrights have become ways to keep your innovations from being shared. They protect the innovator’s rights and through extensions can go on and on.

This has implications in education as we struggle with intellectual property definitions and policies and explore the possibilities of open resources. Encouraging people to share their innovations, in a more open way, is a movement in education with the ability to impact a lot of what we do as course designers, developers, and instructors. This is especially the case as we work with technologies that are changing the way we do things at such a fast pace.

For more information on…

Open licensing options  – check out Creative Commons licensing both for your own work and to find work others have decided to share.

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office – visit

U.S. Copyright Office – visit

Introductions – Social Media and Open Education

As it turns out, I am two hours ahead of the University of Regina, so I chose to view the Elluminate session recording the following morning, instead of attending the live session. My first impressions were related to how well organized the whole course is, even for non-credit students. I saw announcements on Twitter and then was able to review a page in the course’s wikispace that included the slides, a written agenda/outline for the meeting, links to some of the tools that were mentioned, and assignments for the coming week.

How did it go?

I thought the instructor did a great job of addressing a pretty large group mot of whom were non-credit students. (There was a “for-credit only” student session the previous week.) Since I am not taking the course for credit, and there are no expectations for me, other than I should get what I can from the experience and share what I can along the way, it seems only right that the for-credit students have their own thing going on.

The session itself was well-run on Elluminate. There was another moderator, besides the instructor, there to continuously react to student questions in the chat and to provide all of us with URLs throughout as references for the many topics covered. A pretty great “intro session” as they go – no going down the list to ask where everyone was from, etc. (thank you). The course was outlined as far as the tools go and Alec provided his rationale for the course and vision for where we are going.

What did I learn?

There were some nifty things going on:

  • Tweetdeck – I had heard of it but not used it…. until putting my name on the roster for this course. Now I am truly addicted.
  • “The Back Channel” – all of the chatter, passing notes, off line (and maybe online) discussion going on behind the formal instruction.
  • The thought of a “Network Sherpa” leading the way (I like this eversomuch more than the digital native lingo).
  • Greasemonkey – what is this? It was mentioned several times. I need to investigate.
  • And…Wordle was used to display where everyone was from (thanks, again). Over 200 participants overall and 50 or so in the Elluminate session.

Why stick around?

There are a lot of talented, creative, passionate, and curious people in this group. I tend to lurk more than actually engage in this sort of thing, but perhaps I’ll be motivated to jump in a little deeper. The idea that Knowledge is a river, as opposed to a reservoir, was included in this presentation. It’s moving. We can’t take it all in at once. We are going to miss a lot, but we’ll find a lot, too – if we jump in.

I have some reading to do for next week…

Another Open, Open Education Course

I am going to try it again. I just signed up as a “non-credit student” in EC&I 831: Social Media & Open Education offered online by Dr. Alec Couros and the University of Regina.

The course runs from September 15th to December 8th, 2009, and the website invites us all to join in, even if it’s just to view the weekly lectures (live but recorded in Elluminate). Those of us just jumping in are also encouraged to post comments on other students’ blogs and respond to the weekly sessions on our own blogs. It was my (admittedly limited) participation in another open course, one offered by David Wiley through BYU, that required me to start this blog.

Except for the use of Elluminate, it looks like the majority of the course will be delivered via GoogleDocs, Delicious, YouTube, wikispaces, etc. The session topic information is already posted with the list of guest speakers – including George Siemens, Stephen Downes, and Dean Shareski.

One more thing, the Elluminate sessions will be on Tuesdays at 7pm… in Saskatchewan… I need to find a map.

See you there?