Was on vacation with the family for most of last week and the early part of this week. Add in Easter. This summary covers 2 very compressed weeks.
- Talked about Pressbooks TextBooks as part of a CCCOER presentation on OER authorng. Slides on Slideshare.
- Prepping for upcoming presentations & workshops at BCNet & Thompson Rivers University.
- Ministry update meeting.
- Met with ROER4D project. They are kicking the tires with Pressbooks Textbook.
- Took part in a Mozilla Community Education working group call with Emma.
- Open textbook project meeting. Lots of planning for the upcoming Open Textbook Summit. We’re also planning on doing a special thank you event for our authors and adapters the night before.
- Amanda and I met with CAST to talk how we can work together on accessibility.
- Booked travel & accommodation to Kamloops for TRU faculty workshop in May, and Vancouver for BCNet (end of April) & ETUG (June).
- Audrey Watters talk at Western Oregon, which lead me to Justin Reich’s article “Open Educational Resources Expand Educational Inequalities”. After reading the article and the research, I don’t think the headline is accurate and unfairly throws OER’s under the bus. Justin’s research isn’t at all about OER’s, but is actually about educational technology and (more specifically) the use of wiki’s as a teaching tool with his students. A more appropriate title should be “educational technology expands educational inequalities”, not OER’s. In the comments, I found Justin does acknowledge that the headline is misleading, and that the original title of the article was “Will Free Benefit the Rich?” Not sure how OER got dragged into the mix, unless I am missing something in my reading of the research.
- Open Ends? from Brian Lamb. Incidentally, the video of Brian and Alan’s presentation The Open Web at UVic a few weeks ago for Open Education Week is now available.
- Finished We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. Stumbled across this book (which heavily influenced both Orwell’s 1984 & Huxley’s Brave New World) after seeing an interview with Noam Chomsky where he mentioned it. Can’t believe I have never come across it before.
- Started Martin Weller’s Battle for Open.
- Data on Textbook Costs from Alex Usher. 1350 Canadian students interviewed on how much they spend on textbooks. The interesting tidbit for me wasn’t with how much they spend (although it is interesting), but instead that “Overall, two-thirds of students said that they bought all of their required textbooks” Meaning 1/3 of students try to get by in their courses without purchasing the required material. I am not sure if that includes illegally obtaining copies of their material, borrowing from friends or the library, or just plain going without.
- Connected some BC Physics faculty with OpenStax, who are looking for contributors for their new Physics book.
- Working on another iteration of the Exploring Open Education with the Commonwealth of Learning and BC Ministry of Education.
- Registered a new Twitter account for the BC Open textbook project @BCOpenText. I wanted to use the phrase OpenEd, but it is proving problematic to use that phrase in Canada.. I’ll have more to say about this at some point in the future, but it absorbed some of my time this week.
- Ordered the Noun Project commemorative Creative Commons shirt.