oer report 2011

The Open Educational Quality Initiative (OPAL) released its Report 2011, entitled Beyond OER: Shifting Focus to Open Educational Practices.  Key factors:

  • Policy support for OER
  • Role of networks and partnerships for the diffusion of OER in institutions
  • Demand for specific quality assurance processes for OER

The report notes that building trust in OER would help increase the actual usage of OER in combination with open learning architectures in order to transform learning.

OER is reported to have an effect on institutional innovation culture, in higher education as well as in adult education institutions. It may thus be concluded that, regardless of educational professionals considering OER to be important for themselves or for others (e.g., students), the lesser the fear, insecurity or discomfort vis-a-vis OER, the higher the frequency of OER use. As regards the existence of open resources’ programmes or initiatives in the institution, individuals from institutions where such programmes/initiatives already exist did show a higher frequency of OER use.

The report is divided into sections to elicit macro and micro factors to explain the slow uptake of OER within organisations:

  1. A policy environment for supporting the usage of OER is important
  2. Institutional support strategies are fostering open educational practices
  3. Networks of Innovation play an important role for shaping OER developments and open educational practices
  4. Specific quality assurance processes for OER are viewed necessary
  5. Open educational practices are supported through cultures of innovation and in turn provide innovation in organisations

To read full report click here [pdf].

this is a great list

Found this list and will not repeat it, but it is great. Some of them I was using already but many are new to me. 101 Great sites for social studies classes. It is more than just social studies classes. They are found here Some of those I really liked that I had not used before are:

  1. The National Archives and Records Administration has a massive collection of material on U.S. history that can sometimes be overwhelming to search through. The Resources for National History Day Research page guides students on where to find material in the archives.
  2. The Smithsonian Institution has a wide variety of exhibitions and collections on American history and culture. It also offers lesson plans searchable by grade level, type of resource and historical topic.
  3. The National Archives’ Charters of Freedom explains the making of and impact of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights. It includes images of the documents, biographies of the framers, and fun facts……….. Read More …

– mapping human rights abuses in the ME

Update: everything is working now – images and all. Took a while though.

I finally was able to install ushahidi, a crowdsourcing mapping software. It is fatnastic and makes life easy creating geospatial mapping – however installation took quite a bit of effort because some files were missing and directions are not clear. I also succeeded in translating the interface into Arabic and managed to have Arabic language on it. A proud moment in my life for sure! 🙂  So.. while it is still in beta, some things don’t work – such as the images do not show up and some minor stuff, but for the most part, this is the first geospatial mapping of human rights abuses in the Arab Middle East after al Jazeera used it to record the War on Gaza.

Mapping human rights abuses in the Middle East


– mapping the arabic blogosphere

A study at the Berkman Center at Harvard came out in June 09 entitled “Mapping the Arabic Blogosphere: Culture, Politics and Dissent“. [link to the report]

Here are some of the key findings:

The Arabic blogosphere is organized primarily around countries. We found the primary groupings to be: Egyptian (largest, with distinct sub- and associated clusters, e.g., Muslim Brotherhood bloggers, including some women); Saudi Arabian (second largest and focused comparatively more on technology than politics); Kuwaiti (divided into English and Arabic language sub-clusters); Levantine/English Bridge (bloggers in the Levant and Iraq using English and connected to the US and international blogospheres); Syrian; Maghrebi/French Bridge; and Religion-Focused. Demographic results indicate that Arabic bloggers are predominately young and male. The highest proportion of female bloggers is found in the Egyptian youth sub-cluster, while the Syrian and Muslim Brotherhood clusters have the highest concentration of males. Arabic media ecosystem: Bloggers link to Web 2.0 sites like YouTube and Wikipedia (English and Arabic versions) more than other sources of information and news available on the Internet. Al-Jazeera is the top mainstream media source, followed by the BBC and Al-Arabiya. Arabic bloggers tend to prefer more politically oriented YouTube videos over cultural ones.

In addition, the Berkman Center organized a workshop entitled Online Discussions in the Arab World: Dispelling the Myths.

Watch the live webcast here at 10 AM ET: http://origin.usip.org/arabblogs/.