Tuesday, February 15, 2011

week 6--Open resources

OOPS, Turning MIT Opencourseware into Chinese: An analysis of a community of practice of global translators.
OOPS is a volunteer organization in Taiwan with the original goal of translating MIT OCW into chinese so that all could benefit.  Since then, however, with the astronomical amount of information available through OER, OOPS has become a clearinghouse where information is translated no matter what the topic is.  It is no longer just about MIT, but any information, such as the Lord of the Rings books.  This paper, however, doesn’t focus on what they translate, by rather why and how.  Since OOPS is a volunteer organization, they struggle with things like participation, struggles with translations being accurate, and asynchronous formatting for problem solving. 
OOPS seems to be doing a fantastic job, tackling this monumental undertaking to translate something as large as 1000 courses into a language that doesn’t even use the same letters that we do.  Looking at Figure 2 on page 6 of the article, I find it fascinating that the translations fit into the same space but look nothing alike.  I also like the idea that the OOPS translations must go through a translator and editor after completion, before they are posted online.  Much different from the Wikipedia page, where the information could be erroneous for up to 3 days before the editor can fix it. 

Models for Sustainable Open Educational Resources
Sustainability in this article focuses on costs of open source education.  Even if it is free to the public, it tries to describe where the costs actually come from and who foots the bill if the consumers/users aren’t paying for it.  It goes through many different possible models and scenarios.  Then it also brings up the case that it may not be free to the user, but it is sustainable in terms of technology—that it will continue to be usable in the future.  Or, it could be sustainable in that many people use it when it is not possible to use a different form of teaching that lesson.
There are so many different definitions of the word sustainable that it can make your head spin! There are ways to keep information sustainable, money sustainable, time sustainable, person sustainable, etc.  Once you get into the definitions of the sustainable education you want, the different models used to find the right way are bound to match each organization, because again, there are so many different options available.  There has to be a way for each organization to find one or two that can be tailored to fit their needs.

Quote for the Week from Models for Sustainable Open Educational Resources: “The use of a learning resource, through adaptation and repurposing, becomes the production of another resource.”

1 comment:

  1. This is really amazing that some people put their time and efforts into open resources projects to help others. Open education resources have potential to innovate and improve current education by providing teachers and students access to new alternative educational materials and tools to traditional classroom lectures.