May 21 2012

The adventure continues

Category: UncategorizedKathleen Stone @ 3:40 pm

My participation in the Openness in Education course is complete and a dedicated blog for the course rss feed is no longer necessary, however I will continue to add information about presentations and other interesting thoughts I have concerning open learning, adult learning, online learning, and adventures as a doctoral student at my other blog site:

Please feel free to follow me there!





Apr 12 2012

OpenEd Overview (Novice Level) Badge Completed! (#ioe12)

Category: UncategorizedKathleen Stone @ 2:59 pm

This is my final post linking to the blogs I have completed for all 12 topics of the Introduction to Openness in Education course . I believe I have meet the requirement to earn the OpenEd Overview badge. I know that I have a much better understanding of everything open, which is critical for my role as coordinator of curriculum and instructional design at Empire State College. As I help with  revisions and new developments of our online science, math, and technology courses, I am now better informed to help our content experts and area coordinators navigate this new world. Education is on the verge of a huge paradigm shift, thank you for the opportunity to understand it better!

The links to my blogs are below

Apr 12 2012

#ioe12 Open Policy

Category: IOE12Kathleen Stone @ 2:20 pm

The last topic in David Wiley’s Openness in Education course is Open Policy. It starts with the Keynote address at the Sloan-C 2011 conference, The Obviousness of Open Policy  by Dr. Cable Green, Director of Global Learning at Creative Commons. He describes openness as a learning machine that needs to be turned on. All the pieces are ready to extend learning in a way that will revolutionize it. He references the Cape Town Open Education declaration. This declarations starts by saying:

“We are on the cusp of a global revolution in teaching and learning. Educators worldwide are developing a vast pool of educational resources on the Internet, open and free for all to use. These educators are creating a world where each and every person on earth can access and contribute to the sum of all human knowledge. They are also planting the seeds of a new pedagogy where educators and learners create, shape and evolve knowledge together, deepening their skills and understanding as they go.”(

The revolution is happening. The open community is large and growing. However, it can only go so far without a change in policy. The problem is that our leaders do not understand the details of what open means. I would also argue that many educators do not know what it means. For those of us that do, it is up to us to help them understand.  The creative commons licenses has been ported to 55 countries. Grants from private foundations are starting to require educational resources be given CC licenses. Publicly funded organizations should be open. Open should be the default and closed should require approval.  Looking at the Washington State Community College systems 8 million dollars is spent on just English Comp books in that system alone. It doesn’t make sense. Dr. Green points out that we need to efficiently use public funds to increase student success and access.

There is some progress being made concerning policy. The National Institute of Health has a public access policy that requires all NIH funded research to be submitted to Pubmed Central no later than twelve months after publication. Researchers must ensure that their publishing agreement allows this.

There is also growing support for the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) that would require federal agencies that are under Section 105 of title 5 of United States code to publish its research openly. Brazil has also introduced OER legislation and the São Paulo Department of Education has mandated the use of the CC-BY-NC-SA license. Last year the 2 billion dollar TAA grant for Community Colleges and Career Training required content developed to be open and cc licensed.

I believe that policy is the key to forwarding the open movement above all else. It is appropriate that it is the last topic in this open course, because it seems to be the last big hurdle. Educators and students understand the benefits and want to be able to learn and teach openly. However, our current system makes it difficult to do so.  Changing policy is what will truly open up access for all.

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Apr 12 2012

#ioe12 Open Business Model

Category: IOE12Kathleen Stone @ 10:04 am

The next topic in David Wiley’s Introduction to Openness in Education course is Open Business Model. It focused briefly on OpenCourseWare, but mostly looked at business models for free ebooks.

The paper A Sustainable Model for OpenCourseWare Development (Johansen and Wiley, 2010) described the cost involved to publish courses openly. Some of these costs include the labor to convert courses to an OpenCourseWare format, scrubbing to remove copyrighted material, hardware and software needs, and other supplies. One big question is how would opening up courses effect paid enrollments. Johansen and Wiley (2010) found it would be sustainable, however there was no data on attrition of paid students due to the courses becoming open.

The remainder of the articles to explore were based on open textbooks or other ebooks.

Free: Why Authors are Giving Books Away on the Internet  (Hilton and Wiley, 2010) looked at the effect of free books on sales of non-digital version. Interviews with authors showed that they are happy with open publishing . Many see it as providing a wider range of access to their works. The free version can also act as an enticement to buy the print version. Regardless of technological advances, people still like to have paper books. Giving away ebooks provides access and exposure, but may not necessarily reduce the number of people who purchase the book.

The Short Term Influence of Free Digital Versions of Books or Print Sales (Hilton and Wiley, 2010) used Bookscan Data to examine the relationship between ebooks and the subsequent sales of the paper versions. With the exception of Tor Books, sales increased. It is important to note that Tor Books used a different model than the others. The free ebook was only available online for one week.

Hilton’s dissertation (2010) looked at whether book sales of religious books were affected by the digital versions. Hilton found that sales increased 26% for the titles that had ebooks released.

A Sustainable Future for Open Textbooks? The Flat World Knowledge Story (Hilton and Wiley, 2010) Used Flat World Knowledge (FLK) as a case study to examine the sustainability of the business model being used. FLK functions similar to traditional textbook publishers only they are free. Another unique feature is instructors can remix easily. Titles have the  creative commons licensing of BY-NC-SA.
For students they can access the free book online and they can also purchase other versions if they want to. Authors get 20% of sales. Authors are also able to share their work with their students freely (what a concept, instructors being able to share their knowledge!). FLK completed alpha tests that included a faculty review of the business model, faculty review of prototype, and student review of approach and prototype. During beta testing 6 books were used in 27 classes with 750 students. 442 students ordered additional resources or the print book.

It is clear that both faculty and students have interest in open textbooks. The bigger question to me is not only how to sustain this movement as a business model, but how to grow it. Open Access Textbooks and Financial Sustainability also looked at FLK. concluding that the open textbook market has not been growing as fast as predicted in the sales of electronic textbooks. Why is this? I know as a student, an electronic version of a text for me, would not be worth the money. I want both! I need to hold my textbooks, flip through the pages, take notes on them. However, I also want them on my iPad. I want to be able to annotate digitally. I do this for journal articles, why not my texts? I think this is where the business model that FLK is using has substance. I can access texts electronically and have a hard copy to hold. I think the next big hurdle for this type of model is to be able to increase the number of books available before people look elsewhere. I was disappointed at the small number of science, math, and professional titles for example. Looking at the costs associated with each book to produce, being able to do this may take more time and support.

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Apr 04 2012

#ioe12 Open Assessment

Category: IOE12Kathleen Stone @ 3:20 pm

The next topic in David Wiley’s Introduction to Openness in Education course is Open Assessment. When talking about assessment in the open environment the conversation is about badges. The short video Badges for Lifelong Learning: An Open Conversation, explains that a badge is a validated indicator of accomplishment, skill, quality, or interest that can be earned in any learning environment. I was surprised and excited to see the wide range of support that is out there for badges. It seems to be drawing from very different fields with lots of creative ideas for how this can work. I knew that the Peer to Peer University had beta courses for badges, but I didn’t realize how many they had. It is amazing to watch this idea gain support.

An interesting blog titles Still a Badge Skeptic by Mitchel Resnick discusses that badges as motivators may not be a good idea. I see it as very behavioral. Rewarding good behavior with a badge. This is often at odds with constructivist views of learning. David Theo Goldberg blogged that just because the badge may lure students in, it does not mean the quality or the learning is any less than if learning was internally motivated. I guess I am somewhere in the middle on this. Its like saying get them in by any means and the learning will occur -they will be able to advance with badges. I am not a skeptic but not an evangelist either. I think I need to see them in action before I can really make a determination on what I think of them. Badges will definitely require buy in from employers, who in the end decide what kind of credentials their employees need before they hire them.

The video on Digital Media and Learning Competition 4 was a bit long and dry to watch, but had some important points. The need for buy in for open badge infrastructure, the idea that wherever learning takes place we should acknowledge it, that we need multiple ways to assess learning, the applicability of badges for professional development, the military and veterans, etc. The list of possible applications and benefits of badges is long. I wonder how this will affect the education system as we know it. Will it replace some of what we do or add another layer that people will need to deal with. Will I need my degree and badges? I hope that this does not become another obstacle for people even though the intent is to open up access to education and good jobs.

Open assessment could mean other things as well, but for now it seems the attention is on badges. After working in continuing education for many years I can’t help but think of them as a certificate of completion or certification for the digital age. I think it is the data that they contain and buy in from employers that will make them different.

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Mar 20 2012

#ioe12 Open Teaching

Category: IOE12Kathleen Stone @ 4:16 pm

The next topic in David Wiley’s Introduction to Openness in Education course is Open Teaching. Videos included a short introduction to what a MOOC is and David Wiley’s Keynote on Open Education at Penn State

So what is a MOOC?
It is a Massive Open Online Course. It is an engaging, collaborative event, where work is shared. Content is distributed and it is highly participatory. It is lifelong learning in a web-based world. I am not sure how many people are needed for an open online course to become “massive”, but it appears to be hundreds to thousands of people who take them.

David Wiley’s keynote on open education focused on the changes that higher education must be aware of and adopt if they are to be able to meet the needs for learners in a digital world. Some of the key changes he listed were:

analog to digital

tethered to mobile

isolated to connected

generic to personal

consuming to creating

closed to open

He talked about the “Book-ification” of TV. It is not time constrained any longer. People can watch in their own terms. This is similar to a live lecture vs. podcast. He spoke of why people come to education. The need for content, support services, degrees, and a social life.

I am not sure if this is why they come or what they get by coming. Motivations can vary.

Wiley stated that credentials are now competing with degrees. The economy has hit business hard and some have been given bail outs to make it through. However, higher education has no bail out, just budget cuts. He speaks of how e-learning has helped us, but that it is not enough. It is digital and mobile but isolated, generic, consuming, and closed. He believes that openness is the key to the other changes. Connecting needs openness, you can’t personalize if you don’t have the rights to modify, and it is hard to create if you don’t have a place for your creations.

He then asked, How might we open things?
Open 1.0 was MIT and opencourseware. It was inspirational but not sustainable (4 million a year). Focused on ”them” not “us”.
Open 2.0 is opening for our own students, OER in the classroom etc.
Wiley gave some examples of what he has done. For instance using blogs as a space to submit homework. They write longer and better by doing this. He also talked about disaggregation in education using the example of competency based Western Governors University that only offer assessments and questions what is the value of integration? When you do just one thing you can do it really well.Being open is not a technology problem it is a policy problem.

I could not agree with this more. I have come to the same conclusion as I worked through all of the open topics. It is policy and paradigms shifting.

Wiley’s answer on how to open things up seems to be to use OER and engage in policy reform. He said If we can’t meet the needs of students others will, but innovate for students not to save your job.

I found it very intriguing to read Wiley’s Open Teaching Chronicle article “David Wiley: Open Teaching Multiplies the Benefit but Not the Effort”. Wiley talks about the fact that open teaching does not take much additional effort, but I would also argue that it could and should be more. Teaching is more than providing content. There may be benefits to teaching openly, but informal participants may not get the same out of it. This course is a good example. I do not feel a teaching presence. Is it not as important for informal learning? We can have interaction with other participants and share our blogs; however I have found the course update feed to be ineffective. The fact that my blogs do not typically show up in the feed, but the blog from ds106 does, makes the disconnection I feel even worse. I believe that informal adult learning needs to be considered on its own and requires different techniques and a different type of effort and attention than learning for college credit. By going open we introduce our work to a new audience. Who is taking this course? Other educators? Is it for professional development or for fun? Open teaching is extremely exciting and fascinating. I have said this to my colleagues more than once-we are on the verge of a transformation in education. Just as online learning became a game changer, so will openness in education, but who will it benefit and how, is yet to be determined.

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Mar 15 2012

#ioe12 Open Data

Category: IOE12Kathleen Stone @ 10:58 am

On the heals of open access and open science comes open data in the Openness in Education course. Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, gave a Ted talk about “The next web of open, linked data”. When he wrote the code for HTML he did so because he was frustrated by the lack of consistency. He says that his idea was hard to explain at the time. I tend to think that someone who can come up with the idea that became the web is someone worth listening to. He now wants data on the web, not just documents. Specifically linked data. The web is diverse and data is diverse. He wants raw data that is open and accessible to anyone who can access the internet. I had to chuckle when he had the audience saying “Raw data now!”, what a great concept, especially after learning about open science. I can certainly see where having all sorts of data available would be extremely useful for forwarding the creation of knowledge.  Having data open can bridge disciplines, as long as everyone is doing their bit.

The Wikipedia page about open data listed some of the major sources of open data. Most are in science and government. is a great example. I can easily get lost on the site from the amount of information contained there. Interestingly, while I was teaching my online geology and the environment class yesterday I had come across open data on dams in the world. We happen to be discussing hydroelectric dams this week. So I was able to link to the site and show everyone an image someone had made from the data. What a wonderful way to be able to connect the learning of a topic to the real world!

There are arguments for and against open data, but I had a hard time seeing the arguments as real obstacles. Some of the arguments for open data on Wikipedia included:

  • data belongs to the people
  • if public money was used it should be public
  • facts can not be legally copyrighted
  • rate of discovery in science is increased

There are not as many statements against it that seem to have any meat. They included:

  • privacy concerns
  • it’s time consuming and costly to collect and manage data.

Open Data Commons lists the various licensing options with data. They include:

  • Odbl- an open database license with attribution and share alike
  • Open data commons attribution license
  • PDDL- public domain dedication and license

Terms do not seem as intuitive as the CC system for me.

The article on where to find open data was very useful and included options such as CKAN (comprehensive knowledge archive network), (which is now also offering a platform), DBpedia, Freebase and more. It seems that the idea behind open data is spreading as with all other open topics.  The NY Times even has linked open data of news vocabularies. is pretty in depth with the technical aspects of linked data, which unfortunately is beyond my technical knowledge. In fact most of the open data sites are a little beyond me. My database knowledge is pretty limited and the tutorials quickly moved beyond my knowledge base. Maybe my next learning adventure should be on databases.

Overall open data makes sense to me, just as open science and open access does. I will conclude with a personal reason why open science, data, and access are important to me. My mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in her early 30’s. She is 63 now. If we can increase the ability for people to connect to the data they need to respond to problems such as Parkinson’s disease, maybe someone would not have to live for 30 years with a degenerative disease. I want to see progress in my lifetime so that my children will be able to live in a world where problems can be identified and solved quickly so that someone will not have to live there life as my mother has had to.

Off to the next topic…open teaching!

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Mar 12 2012

# ioe12 Open Science

Category: IOE12Kathleen Stone @ 1:36 pm

After learning about open access in the Openness in Education course I couldn’t help but wonder how Open Science was different. Science Commons helped me to see that it is open access, just taken a little bit further. Basically any science being done, especially publicly funded research should have:

  • Open access to literature
  • Open access to research tools
  • Data in the public domain
  • Investment in open Cyberinfrastructure

Michael Nielsen’s TedX talk on open science was a great introduction and highlighted some of the benefits and barriers of open science. He used the example of a collaborative math problem that was solved online in 37 days from the collaboration of 27 People. He said that the ability to solve problems openly and collaboratively “amplify our intelligence”. However the ploymath project is unique with the high participation level. In 2005 there was a science wiki that no one contributed to. Social networks for science fail. Why? His answer was basically the same idea I mentioned with Open Access in general. We need a paradigm shift. Publishing scientific papers advances your career. No one is rewarded or being paid for sharing. The culture is currently set up to make openness in science very difficult, but the irony is that openness would make science easier in the long run. To change the culture Michael Nielsen suggested getting involved in openscience projects, starting one, or at minimum having conversations that will create awareness with public.

Wilbanks and Boyle (2006) used the example of a malaria researcher trying to conduct research within the closed system. It seems impossible that we ever make any progress at all when you think of what they must go through to get information, data, and tools needed to be successful with their research. The openscience project blog dated 9/23/11 talks about advice for how a junior faculty member wanting tenure should frame their open science work. It seems more daunting as I read more. While openness seems to be growing it also seems to be running into some pretty tough implementation problems. Changing paradigms is not a quick or easy process. I think the key with open science becoming a norm is public entities requiring it.

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Mar 09 2012

#ioe12 Open Access

Category: IOE12Kathleen Stone @ 3:04 pm

This week I looked at Open Access in the Openness in Education course. What I got from this section was that research should be free, unrestricted, and online. has made a strong case for this. This short video is excellent!

Research is conducted by faculty who give their articles to journals for free, they are peer-reviewed by other experts for free, and this work is able to be accomplished through tuition or tax dollars that students contribute to; only for them to be denied access to the information. How sad that a researcher could publish their knowledge and then not be able to share it with their students because the library couldn’t afford the journal? It makes no sense.

Peter Suber gave a great Open Access Overview.
Gratis OA = Free of charge
Libre OA = Free of charge and some of the restrictions
It should be immediate and apply to full  texts! What a concept. As a doctoral student I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to be denied access to full text articles that would further my learning. Publicly funded research is a strong argument for open access. For example, if a faculty member at a state college publishes work they completed on the state’s payroll, why must the state then pay someone else for that information? Again it makes no sense. Open access journals and open access repositories seem like the most common sense solutions to this problem. Journals may not be free to produce, but the cost should not be a barrier to readers. OA Journals have peer-review and follow the same standards as journals that are not open, only students do not have to pay. Their are many other business models to sustain an open journal. Some the author or institution pays a fee for submission, others have subsidies, member groups etc. OA Repository often are at institutions, that do not perform peer review, but may host some that have been.

Heather Morrison blogged about the huge increase in OA in 2011. This is a good thing, but I think what we really need for open access to become the norm instead of the exception is a major paradigm shift. Tenure can not be based on being published in closed journals. Institutions need to make a commitment to open access by rewarding those who choose to publish that way. They need to take the lead by creating their own repositories or even their own journals. Pressure to publish in a top “prestigious” journal is so strong and often rewarded. This is what needs to change, otherwise faculty who want to publish in an open access journal may be choosing between their career and openness.

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Mar 02 2012

#ioe12 Open Educational Resources

Category: IOE12Kathleen Stone @ 12:03 pm

The number and depth of the resources David Wiley provides in this section was a bit overwhelming, but it also is a reflection of the recent increase in attention that has occurred with open education. There are so many facets that can be explored, researched, and developed with this topic. Where to start??

I started with David Wiley’s talk on Open Education and the Future My favorite part was his descriptions of the role of openness in education. Open is what we do. We share our knowledge and the resources we find with students, we share our creativity when we design courses, and we do so because that is what education is; a collaborative mutual sharing of knowledge between people. However, our own ego’s and selfish motives have created a system where knowledge has been “owned” instead of shared. Maybe because of the idea that it is nonrivalous. You can’t take my knowledge away from me. It is mine no matter what. With everything else is society that we think of as “mine” we think of as owning and needing to protect, by holding it tightly and staking our claim. But then came the internet. We need to go back to kindergarten and learn how to share and why it is important to share what we think of as “mine”. As a reminder here is an excerpt from Robert Fulghum’s 1990 book All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten pg 6-7.

All I really need to know I learned in kindergarten. All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate-school mountain, but there in the sandpile at Sunday School. These are the things I learned:

Share everything.

Play fair.

Don’t hit people.

Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Don’t take things that aren’t yours.

Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.

Wash your hands before you eat.


Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

Take a nap every afternoon.

When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.

Be aware of wonder.

Remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup:

The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die.

So do we.

And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere.

The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation.

Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or your government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm.

Think what a better world it would be if all – the whole world – had cookies and milk about three o’clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap.

Or if all governments had a basic policy to always put thing back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are – when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

My goals for taking this course include building a knowledge base on openness in education that will allow me to properly integrate the use of OER’s into online course design for adult learners. I also want to make sure that this is done, not based on what is shiny and new, but on sound adult learning theories. So I next explored the resources with this in mind.

According to the OER Handbook for Educators The term “Open Educational Resource(s)” (OER) refers to educational resources (lesson plans, quizzes, syllabi, instructional modules, simulations, etc.) that are freely available for use, reuse, adaptation, and sharing. So pretty much anything used for education that is free and meets the the 4 R’s of open content. The handbook covers many of the topics educators need to know to use OER: How to find, compose, adapt, use, share, and license OER. It is a good intro to the different topics, their benefits and issues. This is a great resource for my first goal. As was many of the other resources. The Basic Guide to OER lead me to the Catalogue of OER related website where it is kept updated. Links include other resources, OCW initiatives, textbooks, content specific resources.

I next decided to search through the resources for anything I could find concerning adult learning theories related to OER’s. I found little within the documents. I did find within “A Review of the Open Educational Resources Movement: Achievement, Challenges and New Opportunities” the following statement on pg. 46

“All these examples point to expanding learning theories that include situated learning and learning-to-be (within an epistemic frame) rather than just learning about. The stage is being set to reformulate many of Dewey’s theories of learning informed by and leveraging newer cognitive and social theories of learning and delivered in computationally rich experiential learning

So it appears that there is plenty of research that can be done on how adults learn in this new age of openness. I also found the Carnegie Mellon study on The Open Learning Initiative: Measuring the Effectiveness of the OLI Statistics Course in Accelerating Student Learning from 2008. While a quick glance doesn’t not tell me if the learners were adults or traditional age students, it provides further reading when I get a chance. The best resources came from Darin’s blog towards the open ed researcher badge where he has listed several good peer-reviewed articles on this topic. It is certainly an exciting time to be learning about OER with all of the wonderful research and conversation taking place.

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