Thu 29 Oct 2015 11:13PM

Project: Education Sector Working Group

MM Matt McGregor Public Seen by 373

In this thread, we'll provide updates on the progress of a new education sector working group. My hope is that this group will develop into a consortium of education sector organisations working in support of open education in the New Zealand compulsory education sector.


Matt McGregor Thu 29 Oct 2015 11:15PM

Our first, informal meeting was held at the NZ School Trustees Association in early October, with special guest Cable Green from CC HQ. We had a very general conversation about the challenges and opportunities around CC in schools.


Matt McGregor Thu 29 Oct 2015 11:21PM

Our friends from Creative Commons Poland successfully formed such a consortium a few years ago, and managed to lobby the government to replace all compulsory sector textbooks with openly licensed resources. My Polish isn't good enough (i.e. doesn't exist) to find an online link to this, though we're in touch with the great CC team from Poland, and will look to leverage their expertise.


Fri 30 Oct 2015 2:39AM

I just did a search and found:

Free and Open Textbooks in Poland

In Poland, the Market for Digital Textbooks Expands (June 2015)


Matt McGregor Fri 30 Oct 2015 2:44AM

Ah, the first one is exactly what I was looking for! Thanks Mark.

They had some massive challenges in Poland, as parents used to have to pay for required textbooks, with the obvious consequences for families that couldn't afford them. It's a big OER win.


Fri 30 Oct 2015 3:14AM

The situation in Poland reminded me of the recent #FeesMustEnd campaign in South Africa. I love this post:
No need to wait for leadership. We can all lead.


Matt McGregor Wed 18 Nov 2015 12:40AM

The working group has had its second meeting, with a third planned for February 2016, and every two months following. Myself and NZSTA are developing a workplan for the group, with the aim of getting higher level endorsement for the project.

Attendees included representatives from (apologies for the acronyms): PPTA, NZEI, NZSTA, the Education Council, MinEdu, NZPF and N4L.

Discussion at the second meeting centred on the difficulties involved in copyright and licensing education, as well as some of the challenges faced by the organisations around the table.


Matt McGregor Tue 1 Mar 2016 1:25AM

We had our first meeting of the year in mid Feb. N4L reported on CC integration in Pond, and we discussed next steps for the group.


Sun 6 Mar 2016 9:05AM

I'm surprised (and disappointed) that CC isn't a requirement of everything deposited into the Pond. Also, that it is only accessible by individuals from an accredited educational institution. It's a walled garden that draws the focus away from the ocean that is the open web and the multitude of open resources. I can understand that they want a focussed, curated set of resources, but still . . .


Matt McGregor Sun 6 Mar 2016 9:23PM

At the moment, Pond is mostly resources that live elsewhere - like websites - but that have their own special listing in Pond, so that education specific metadata can be added (like NZQA details, ratings from teachers, etc). Teachers still go to the open web to view the resources.

They do have a repository function, though. At present, these resources, when CC licensed, can at least travel outside of Pond - and back - and anywhere else. But you're right that it is a walled garden. Pond does have a 'public' setting, which means that listed resources are available for anyone to access, so it might be the case that CC licensed resources are by default made 'public.' Hopefully this is the case.

At the moment, the alternative to Pond being used by many teachers isn't the open web - it's Facebook groups and closed email lists. I think we can view this as an improvement on that, if not the truly open platform we might want...


Danyl Strype Thu 17 Mar 2016 8:29AM

Does anyone know what the software behind Pond is? Is it free code, proprietary, or a mix? It sounds like the way they are using Pond is not so much like WikiEducator, as I first thought. It seems more akin to the functions of Zotero, a citation app that offers a free code alternative to EndNote, and funds itself by offering access to more storage on a synch server by subscription (my fiancee pays them $20 a year).

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