May 15, 2008


This course was very useful for me and opened my eyes for many new things. Firstly course consisted of many relevant topics of OER. There were both philosophical and practical parts. I liked both of them. Philosophical parts like OER's history, background and copyrights were challenging and provided critical viewpoints for my conventional thoughts. However viewpoints also supported my own opinions and confirmed them e.g. development of copyrights. Every topics included illuminated examples, which support my understanding.

Practical part, pictures, audios and videos making and sharing were hard, but same time so fun ;-) In my case I needed more time than a week to do these assignments. I learnt so many things and I had never guessed at this is so easy. There were so many useful tools in web. Thanks for good links and examples. The course was the best of them, which I have learnt. I got many good ideas for my own projects, e.g. I will do two courses by using open educational resources and I try to get some funding to implementation. Thanks for all study colleagues. You gave me constructive feedback and useful tips. I hope that I can give you my comments before long. Thanks for Teemu and Hans. You have designed excellent course, which provides many thoughts and memorable experiences.

May 4, 2008

Videos & CC

This video assignment was an interesting project for me. I learnt so much. Before I tell you more I show you video from Youtube considering my own subject area, health promotion.

I think that these examples are excellent and humorous way to tell how important is to promote health :-)

Then is time to release my own video. This was my first time to try to do educational video and I think I was success in pretty well...

jumpcut movie:Social support

I used Jumpcut to doing this video and it was easy, even if it demanded time. The hardest thing was to invent the topic and found suitable photos from Flickr. All founded photos used creative commons licences. Jumpcut respects copyright holders and it uses Yahoo! Copyright Notification Process.

In watching copyrights of other video websites I noticed copyright has been taken into consideration a little bit same way than Jumpcat has done. They refer Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Some of them like Teachertube, demand you agree to Creative Commons Attribute-Share Alike licensing and VideoLectures announce that all content is released under the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial No Derivative Works 3.0 license. Also SciVee uses Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. It is encouraging that so many video websites use Creative Commons Attribution License, but the select few gives you to real chance to choose license you want.

Apr 26, 2008

Making audio

Sometimes is useful to come behind the others. I read classmates' technical problems in this assignment, so I prepared myself for problems with reading instructions conscientiously and thinking issues before doing. My biggest problem has had that I do before thinking. But this week I was successful in audio making and everything went well.

Audacity installing was fluent and given YouTube tutorials was informative and useful. Without it I would have forgotten to install LAME. I'm sure about it. Well... I have to confess, I played Audacity with my children many times and we have a great time. My daughters sang the songs and we listened them again and again. Beforehand I thought to use my digital voice recorder, but the problem was that recorder only save files as a Windows Media Audio (WMA), not MP3 files. Maybe there would be some software to convert WMA to MP3, but my schedule hasn't given away to look for this kind of solution. I considered that using Audacity, I managed this easily.

Well here is the picture front of my dwellings and here you can listen my audiocast Unfortunately the quality of podcast's voice wasn't so well as I wish. It was due to my computer's line in microphone, which I only had. But I hope that you will find out.

In my opinion RSS fit to the podcasting as well as other forms like blog entries and news. Usually my problem in RSS-feeds is that I choose too many feeds. Then they are so much and I haven't time to look at them. They go through my fingers. Now I have learnt to choosing only most important feeds for me. Well... I am still with, even if the end of course is in horizon.

Apr 20, 2008

Take and share pictures

This week's assignment was very practical and useful. This topic "pictures taking and sharing" in this course was most familiar to me. I have taken and edited pictures early by using free Gimp image editor. Still I didn't use it in this assignment, because I thought that it is useful to learn new practical tools. So I used Adobe Photoshop Express and I loved it. It is so easy to use. Every editing tools are in the same view.

For the beginners like me every photography and their editing tips are useful. For example I have taught myself to using Gimp. I found practical and good educational guidelines in Finnish. Nowadays it is easy to use digital camera. Of course it is also important to understand which every settings mean. The given video clips shown many basics idea in photography.

Uploading photos to Flickr and Wikimedia Commons was surprisingly easy. I added above photo to Wikimedia Commons. It is wonderful we had this kind of database for free media files. I will use these in my online education in future. Now I don't need to think can I use this photo or not. In this assignment I have learnt more to using Wikimedia Commons.

Have a nice and sunny springdays, I try to catch up with course schedule :-)

Apr 10, 2008

Wikipedia & Wikimedia

This week our focus was Wikipedia, the well-known internet encyclopedia, and Wikimedia, the projects of Wikimedia corporation. I and my co-students have got two articles dealing with Wikipedia. Riehle's article presented an interview with three leading Wikipedia practioners and the other one was case study of Featured Article process in Wikipedia by Viegas et al. Our facilitators also hoped that we would think about what kind of impact of these will have an education and educational resources in future.

The first article by Riehle was fascinating. The interview handled basic questions of Wikipedia. Beforehand I have some kind of images what Wikipedia is, but I haven't any ideas how wide-ranging tasks and roles people are in there. Earlier I thought that Wikipedia is only free encyclopedia for all and anybody can add, edit and use this information. But now I understand that Wikipedia are well-defined structure and processes, where everybody can affect to the rules. It is self-governed community like Viegas et al. said. The biggest surprise to me was that the best articles in Wikipedia are typically written by a single or a few authors. I imagined that most of articles have been done with collaboration of expertises in the topic. So maybe in future there should become more collaboration between expertises. I hope so, because it could be useful in sense of science and its development.

In Riehle's article the challenges of Wikipedia in future was an interesting topic too. I agree with article that maintaining of openness is essential. I have noticed that students use more and more Wikipedia in their essays and assignments, even if material's credibility can vary in Wikipedia. It is obviously that students need media literacy today. How well we notice this in education? I'm remembering that some article in local newspaper handled with this question, and there was said that media literacy education varies between schools and interrelates with teachers and their own media skills in Finland. Students and pupils are unequal situation. We need media literacy education in comprehensive schools, but also at universities and other educational institutions.

Well, back to the credibility. I think that peer-review mechanisms add credibility in Wikipedia like in academic world. This ensure quality too. I referred early in my this blog to philosophy Tere Vaden. He has said that the credibility of Wikipedia comes through expert systems and peer-reviews. The most important question in Wikipedia isn't credibility, but freedom. Wikipedia is democratic for learning and knowledge. Of course in this kind of "project" credibility can vary, but in my experience Wikipedia contents relevant and reliable knowledge. I have recommended Wikipedia to my students in their references, but in the same time I have emphasized critical attitude.

Wikimedia was a big surprise for me. I haven't imagined that it contents so many projects. When I read the material and got familiar with it. I got a good idea to my own project. I will start to write Wikibook. We have a course named by Theories and models in health promotion and we have had problem to get suitable Finnish material, which is available easy. In this moment we have very relevant book, but it isn't easy to get from public and scientific libraries. I hope that I can tempt two my collagues to start this project. Well now it it time to continue to the next assignment.

Apr 3, 2008

Copyright is all right?

This week's topic was an interesting: copyright and alternatives. The given materials threw light on the history of copyright law, free culture and learning commons. It is obviously that history of copyright law is tied to financial benefits. When I read the Wikipedia's article I realized that the easier and more prevailing copying is, the tougher copyright laws are. Also Lawrence Lessig's "Free culture" presentation supported this view of mine. He told examples of Disney Corporation where copyright times of Mickey Mouse has increased.

At the same time I read the article from Teostory 1/2008. (It is a journal of Finnish Composers' Copyright Society.) There professor Bruun, Finnish expert of copyright laws, said that copyright situation is conflicting in this moment. Copyright has become the question of consumer. The problem is that music and other business adapt slowly to the new media environment. The copyright has been blamed scapegoat, even there haven't been been workable operations models for business. However he thought that business need copyright without dispute. It is basis of business. He also said that Open source movement found its activities to the approval of copyrights. They require that material is open and is used in non-commercial purposes.

After this article and our educational materials my mind was addled. Whose benefits is copyright after all? Whom is enshrined in copyright law? Business or consumer? Can Lessig's thoughts come true? ..."Our society is less and less free society."... It is obviously that laws come always behind the progress and they characterize limiting. Can laws control and regulate the creativity? Well, I have so many questions and only few answers, but I believe that these questions become clear during this course and my thinking.

The article by Bissell and Boyle gives me more clarification. Creative commons support copyrights and given licenses are understandable for everybody. This is a way how anyone can use the material without fee or permission and everybody can utilize created material.

This article was also rewarding from viewpoints of education. They mentioned some problems using OER in higher education like cultural barries, tenurse standards and agency problems. But in my mind there is still the same barriers than K-12 education in higher education. Many innovating pedagogical solutions remain behind the firewalls and an institutional Moodle sites. Everybody is satisfied that some solution works well in my own webcourse, betweentimes many colleagues struggle with same problem. Why are we (teachers) not ready to share our solution or our learning materials? Everybody wants to stick with his/her own materials. Do we fear to lose something? I think that one reason for this can be fear to come under fire of competive colleagues, even the collaboration with each other could be more progressive way to develop the subject. The other reason can be that we fear that colleagues tap our materials too easy without his/her own conributions. So conclusion is that we have attitude problem, even if we announce proudly significance of collaboration and interdisciplinary. This has been my problem too, but the more I study OER and e-learning the more I make certain that this is right way. My moved to other department to another last autumn has also opened my eyes a lot. In current workplace is already interdisciplinary and we collaborate in truth. For example we use the Wiki doing our project application. It is time-friendly and fun.

Well, now I am ready to formulate answer to my title. Copyright is all right, but we have to be ready to start "revolution of OER" in higher education.

Mar 18, 2008

Behind the OER movement

The given materials provided me some philosophical and educational background of the open educational resources. These materials recreated me that OER are public good like public libraries and popular education. Actually Ilkka Tuomi has mentioned in his report that one open resource type is a public good from an economic point of view.

The Age of Enlightenment emphasized common sense and knowledge. Also rights for common people was the main idea. This comparison is too straight, but I see that OER and other free softwares are important social movement in this time such as the age of enlightenment once. Here are some justifications. First knowledge and free access to the archives of knowledge is human right and open educational resources are wonderful way to provide it. At the same time OER add peoples' equality. Of course there is still some kind of technical blocks, but I believe that this problem will draw back.

Secondly this kind of movement has social order. On Monday I was in seminar where was considered Quality of Higher Education. There one emeritus professor Lindqvist mentioned that higher education has forgotten one important emphasis in information society. Higher education has given people readiness to use technical devices and softwares but readiness to build civic society and learn lifelong has forgotten or has been minor. So in my opinion OER and free sofware movement have a great potential to become one significant movement which fills the holes of current education, creates new way to learn and promotes the building of civic society.

Thirdly everybody can create and share open educational resources. This is almost same like "idea of science", where research results are public. Everybody can use and utilize these results. The difference is that in science only academic researchers can carry out research, but in OER anybody can create and share the material and also use and utilize it.

In fact open educational resources and other free software movements are more democratic way to learn and share the knowledge than anything else. Anybody can participate in OER movement and express one's opinion, and thus create the diversity of knowledge. Tere Waden, has mentioned that civilisation (culture and education) can be the diversity of knowledge, even it is absolute value. By the way, he has written excellent book with Juha Suoranta: Wikiworld.