by Balthas

New US bill wants to boost a knowledge commons for (English) college textbooks

November 15, 2013 in Freedom to learn by Balthas

800px-Global_Open_Educational_Resources_Logo.svgLike it: Two US senators today introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act, which directs the Secretary of Education to fund the creation of college textbooks and materials to be made available under open licenses.

I can only fully agree with the assessment by Creative Commons U.S.A. Director Michael Carrol: “This bill seizes the opportunity to make high quality textbooks affordable and reusable by paying once for their production and permitting free copying, updating, and adaptation with the requirement of an open license.” I think that this could mark an important step towards a knowledge commons for (English) textbooks. What do you think? Cheers, Balthas
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Note: This text was first published on the blog of Balthas Seibold at the Alumniportal Germany (www.alumniportal-deutschland.org/en/). Check the blog ( register or login first). All blog entries represent the personal views and ideas of Balthas Seibold.

by Balthas

Link to new knowledge sharing wiki on agricultural water management – welcome, knowledge commons

August 12, 2013 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn by Balthas

agripedia logoWith joy, I reproduce below the invitation of GIZ colleagues to join the official launch of the global knowledge platform for agricultural water management

www.agriwaterpedia.info !

 

Main focus

  • www.agriwaterpedia.info focuses on agricultural water management in the context of climate change and food security.

It aims to secure knowledge gained from experiences in development cooperation. www.agriwaterpedia.info serves as an knowledge exchange and networking platform for practitioners and development experts and all those interested in the topic of increasing challenges in agricultural water management. What’s in it for you?

  • The platform contains a library with at the moment about 260 publications, a lot of them from pre-digital times, only digitally available and from anywhere in the world accessible on www.agriwaterpedia.info.
  • www.agriwaterpedia.info will give you access to relevant and up-to-date knowledge, as well as to expedient approaches, practices and experience in agricultural watermanagement.
   
   

 You like the idea and you’re already thinking about how to become a part of the knowledge network?

 Like all wikis, agriwaterpedia.info depends on user contributions. Please feel free to improve the platform by editing or writing articles, or by uploading publications.

 Visit www.agriwaterpedia.info and sign up for an account today!

 For further information please contact: (SV Nachhaltige Landwirtschaft) Your Agriwaterpedia-Team

by Balthas

‘Open content licensing for educators’ – online course now open for registration, online from 4 to 18 September 2013

June 16, 2013 in Freedom to learn by Balthas

Dear all, please find below the invitation to a free course on “Open Content Licensing for Educators”, which might be of interest to some of you – please also share with other interested people. For more info, please contact the persons named on the website.

“The next Open Content Licensing for Educators course will be facilitated by the *UNESCO OER Chair Network* in collaboration with the *OER Foundation* and the* Commonwealth of Learning*.

*Open content licensing for educators<http://wikieducator.org/Open_content_licensing_for_educators/Home> (OCL4Ed) is a free micro Open Online Course (mOOC) designed for educators and students who want to learn more about open education resources, copyright, and Creative Commons licenses. *

This workshop will:

  • Reflect on the practice of sharing knowledge in education and the permissions educators consider fair and reasonable;
  • Define what constitutes an open education resource (OER);
  • Explain how international copyright functions in a digital world;
  • Introduce the Creative Commons suite of licenses and explain how they support open education approaches;
  • Connect with educators around the world to share thoughts and experiences in relation to copyright, OER and Creative Commons.

*Registration*:

Open<http://wikieducator.org/Open_content_licensing_for_educators/Home>

*When*: 4 – 18 September 2013. / *Where*: Online / *Cost*: Free

Reserve your seat today by registering from the course homepage <http://wikieducator.org/Open_content_licensing_for_educators/Home>.

Share the gift of knowledge and invite your friends and colleagues to join you.

by Balthas

The School of open just opened: Learn open practices, discuss Open Educational Resources, Open Access and more

March 18, 2013 in Freedom to learn by Balthas

News on an open course on openness by our friends from p2pu. Reproduced below:

Why “open”? Universal access to and participation in research, education, and culture is made possible by openness, but not enough people know what it means or how to take advantage of it. We hear about Open Source Software, Open Educational Resources, and Open Access… But what are these movements, who are their communities, and how do they work? Most importantly—how can they help me? A collaboration with the public. Courses are powered by mentors and learners like you. Whether you are an individual volunteer or organizational representative, we invite you to create or improve a course! The School of Open is coordinated by P2PU and Creative Commons, a globally focused nonprofit dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright. Learning about “open”. The School of Open offers courses on the meaning, application, and impact of “openness” in the digital age and its benefit to creative endeavors, education, research, and beyond. We offer two types of courses: •Stand-alone courses that can be worked through at your own pace at any time, with or without others •Facilitated courses that run for a set period of weeks with an organizer that provides feedback and facilitates discussion Get involved. •Sign up for announcements. We just launched our first set of courses. Sign up to be notified of future launches. •Join the discussion. Help us build the School! Conceive, create, and test courses with your peers. •Learn more. Give feedback on core documents, attend an upcoming workshop, participate in our monthly working calls, and more.

——————————————————————————–

Facilitated courses Sign up for these facilitated courses through Sunday, March 17. These courses will start the week of March 18. To sign up, simply click the “Start Course” button under the course’s menu navigation on the left. 1.Copyright 4 Educators (US) 2.Copyright 4 Educators (AUS) 3.Creative Commons for K-12 Educators 4.Writing Wikipedia Articles: The Basics and Beyond

Link to news on p2pu.org

by Balthas

Interesting OpEd by ICT association: ‘Should Industry Support LDCs’ Request For Unlimited Time To Implement The TRIPS Agreement? Absolutely

March 4, 2013 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, Open Source & Africa, Open Source IT business by Balthas

Just found a good Opinion Editorial on ‘Intellectual Property Watch’ on the question, whether LDCs should have Unlimited Time To Implement The TRIPS Agreement: The ‘Computer and Communication Industry Association (CCIA)’ thinks so and has endorsed a bid by the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDC’s) to remove any specific deadline for full compliance with the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement. Read more in the opEd.

Link to OpEd on http://www.ip-watch.org/2013/03/04/should-industry-support-ldcs-request-for-unlimited-time-to-implement-the-trips-agreement-absolutely/

by Balthas

Learning Creative Learning – interesting new open online course by peer-to-peer university and the MIT Media Lab

February 4, 2013 in Freedom to learn by Balthas

The Peer-to-peer university (p2pu) has worked with GIZ’s Academy for international Cooperation (AIZ, where I work) last year on “Selbstlernen”. Now p2pu and the MIT Media Lab are experimenting with a new course approach on “Learning Creative Learning“. It’s being organized as a massive open online course, meaning everyone is invited to join. The organizers have asked to “tell your friends about it”. Which is what I do with pleasure, copying below the course announcement by p2pu. Cheers, Balthas Seibold

“Learning Creative Learning is an online course for designers, developers and educators. Offered by the MIT Media Lab & yours truly, the folks at P2PU. It’s based on a course Mitch Resnick teaches at the Media Lab. And now it’s online for the first-time through a collaboration with P2PU. That’s pretty cool. You learn a whole lot about learning. And because learning (and learning about learning) is more fun with other people we’ll group you with other students, so you can share ideas, give each other feedback, and make new friends. Each week we’ll focus on a particular topic related to creative learning, such as “Interest-Based Learning” or “Powerful Ideas” or “Tinkering.” We’ll host a panel discussion, inviting some of the world’s best thinkers and builders to join us in person or online. You’ll be able to suggest questions beforehand and follow along live (or watch it later). We’ll also design a hands-on activity for each week that you can tackle on your own or in a group (more fun!). You’ll get a chance to experiment with lots of different technologies and projects. More information: http://info.p2pu.org/2013/01/29/medialabcourses-launches/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=medialabcourses-launches

by Balthas

(How) can institutions deal with community-driven innovation? – EFF’ Carolina Rossini at the „Second global congress in Intellectual Property and the Public Interest“

December 17, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn by Balthas

Copyright of this picture: http://www.global-congress.org/?goback=.gna_4517509.gde_4517509_member_196540076

Copyright of this picture: http://www.global-congress.org/?goback=.gna_4517509.gde_4517509_member_196540076

The „second global congress in Intellectual Property and the Public Interest“ that I am attending right now, is full of interesting talks and takes on the „public interest“ side of copyright and development (for more see the extensive twitter coverage at #gcongress). But a highlight was certainly yesterday’s „session on IP, Innovation and Development“.

Read the rest of this entry →

by Balthas

Alumniportal Deutschland just started ‘Creative dialogue on social networking’

December 11, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn, Work by Balthas

The Alumniportal Deutschland just started an interesting discussion on the history and culture of social networks.

Link to the discussion on the www.alumniportal-deutschland.org (register or login first).

by Balthas

Creative Commons is turning 10 – Celebrate!

December 7, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn by Balthas

cc_celebrationCreative Commons is turning 10 this year. The chapters of CC will be hosting parties around the world and sharing party favors online for a ten-day delebration, December 7 to 16. Spread the word at 10.creativecommons.org.

by Balthas

Africa’s First 3.0 Licenses! – Creative Commons

December 3, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn by Balthas

Cool news from the friends from Creative Commons and from the CC Uganda team, which I am happy to relate here (of course duly under the required Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License ):

Aurelia J. Schultz from CC reports on November 30th, 2012: “We are pleased to announce the launch of the Creative Commons 3.0 Uganda licenses. Since joining the Creative Commons family in March of 2011, the Ugandan team has been incredibly busy: hosting the African Regional Meeting, pulling together petitions for the Pan-African Intellectual Property Organization, and spreading the news about CC licenses. While doing all these great activities, they’ve also completed one of the last 3.0 ports.

The licenses are available through the license chooser, and like all of our licenses, are intended for use anywhere in the world. The Uganda 3.0 licenses are important as the first 3.0 licenses in Africa and one of the last 3.0 ports before the launch of the new 4.0 licenses.

Creative Commons would like to extend a huge thanks to the whole CC Uganda team; The National Book Trust of Uganda (NABOTU); the Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD); and especially to Primah Kwagala for leading the porting team.”

Link: creativecommons.org

by Balthas

Two Wikipedians in Residence for Africa – call for application

November 12, 2012 in Freedom to learn by Balthas

WikiAfrica has put out a call for two Wikipedians in Residence (WiR) for the African Continent. The first will facilitate the WikiAfrica Cameroon Project at doual’art in Cameroon. The other will be based with WikiAfrica at the Africa Centre in Cape Town, and will concentrate on assisting, training and supporting the content partners that are part of WikiAfrica’s Share Your Knowledge project. Wikipedian in Residence is an experienced Wikipedian who works with organisations and activates communities in order to share and open up cultural, arts and heritage content to the world through Wikipedia and related Wikimedia projects.

I find this a very interesting initiative and approach, and I believe that Wikipedians in Residence is a cool tool, which has already moved quite some things in North America and Europe. For more info on the call for application, check the website http://www.wikiafrica.net/two-wikipedians-in-residence-for-africa/ . Please do not contact me, Balthas, as I do not have any extra info. Cheers.

by Balthas

„Amorphous action communities for commons-based peer production“ – some thoughts on networking in the future

November 1, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn by Balthas

seibold_future of global networking for international cooperationYesterday, I tried to put the future of „global networking for international cooperation“ in one slide –  looking five to ten years ahead. My first problem was to find a name for the future. I ended up with „Amorphous action communities for open innovation and [commons-based] peer production (globally connected, innovating locally)“.

Then, I outlined some of intermediate steps in networking such as „Open networks of trust“ and „Communities of Practice“, which we are already seeing popping up. My final guess was on some of the driving forces, that will lead us from today’s networks all the way to the „amorphous action communities“.

So here’s the picture, with the steps and the driving forces:

Read the rest of this entry →

by Balthas

Tackling global problems by pooling knowledge – highlights of the first international conference on the knowledge commons

September 14, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn by Balthas

Source: A. Diez Herrero | Flickr | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 siehe http://www.flickr.com/photos/21572939@N03/2090542246/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Source: A. Diez Herrero | Flickr | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 siehe http://www.flickr.com/photos/21572939@N03/2090542246/sizes/m/in/photostream/

What do the problems of climate change, global access to affordable medicine and software, food security, and crop availability for poor farmers have in common?

In all of these fields, more and more people are looking at how a collective building and owning of key knowledge can help solve protracted global problems. A global core of these people just met in a tiny Belgium university town at the at the „First International Thematic Conference on the Knowledge commons“. (for more on the term, see wikipedias Knowlegde commons entry”).

It is quite tough for me to sum up such an endeavor. I will still try and do so by picking some issues related to my own main interests, mainly „global knowledge cooperation“ and „harnessing the knowledge commons for open innovation“. I will complement that with a totally non-exhaustive and personal „list of quick links“ on how to save the climate, solve the food crisis, fight pandemics and increase food security with commons approaches.

Read the rest of this entry →

by Balthas

Why open innovation helps to scale up development impact – Great new article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review

September 6, 2012 in Freedom to innovate, Freedom to learn by Balthas

Steel Wool Sparks on the Beach

Now that is sparkling (innovation?) – Picture by: Evan Photo Extremist, licenced under CC BY-ND 2.0, source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thevlue/5813641070/sizes/z/in/photostream/

The Stanford Social Innovation Review just published an article on “Open Innovation: A Muse for Scaling” – Good chances, that this paper will become my personal “favorite article of 2012”. Why?

Well, the paper manages to explain in just two pages and in plain words, why open innovation has the potential to drastically increase the impact of development interventions. It is very prone to scale. As they sum it up: “Open innovation enables community participation, distributed accountability, and knowledge creation—all behaviors that provide the groundwork for scale”.

So let us all work on getting the five tips right in our own work, which are:
Tip 1: Turn beneficiaries into co-creators
Tip 2: Move from enterprise to ecosystem
Tip 3: Master the art of gifting
Tip 4: Spark entrepreneurship inside and outside your organization
Tip 5: Allow for mutability

Very relevant stuff indeed for development cooperation and international cooperation. For more info (on two pages), check Open Innovation: A Muse for Scaling or here on the Alumniportal: APD-copy of Open Innovation: A Muse for Scaling [This is a link to content within the Alumniportal Germany (register or login first to access the link)]. Cheers, Balthas

P.S. Thanks and Kudos to Jeremy de Beer who pointed me to the article.

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Note: This text was first published on the blog of Balthas Seibold at the Alumniportal Germany (www.alumniportal-deutschland.org/en/). Check the blog ( register or login first). All blog entries represent the personal views and ideas of Balthas Seibold.

by Balthas

New course sign up! Tutoring for eLearning Communities, Tutored Online Course of the GC21 E-Academy

August 2, 2012 in Freedom to learn by Balthas

The GC21 E-Academy of GIZ has just started to take in applications for a new round of an online course on “Tutoring for eLearning Communities”. This might be of interest to anyone who works for institutions involved in e-learning or who is closely related to a network of institutions that aim to enhance their capacity on e-learning within their country and/or region. More on the site. Cheers, Balthas

Link: shop.gc21-eacademy.org