Over the last three weeks, we at the Global Digital Library have conducted workshops in Nepal and Ethiopia, as a part of the initial phase of our project. These user tests are an important part of our work as they provide us with initial user feedback on prototypes and personas. For both workshops, we have made prototypes based on a great mix if content and tech from different open sources and OER projects including resources from Storyweaver by Pratham Books.
Localization using Storyweaver
Localization and translation will be an important part of our work and as a point of reference, we have tested both our own tool for localization and a tool developed by Storyweaver.
We at the GDL project are in the early stages of developing our platform, but if you want to join the community of translators now, you can start using Storyweaver. Our friends at Storyweaver have developed a great website with stories and books that you can read or translate into you own language.
To prepare our workshops we made this tutorial that also can serve as the first practical introduction for anyone that wants to join our movement of translators, using the Storyweaver platform. Check out this 4-minute video to get you going!
Over the last couple of years, the NDLA team have been working to replace Flash based applications and interactive learning objects. NDLA also needed a tool to make it easy to create, share and reuse HTML5 content and applications. We started developing a new tool in public-private partnership with Joubel, a tech startup in Tromsø, in the northern part of Norway. This collaboration ended up as a project and product called H5P.
H5P is at the time of writing installed on over 14.000 websites. H5P is reused by many universities, large companies and smaller personal websites worldwide. It´s great to see this kind of reuse and in the long run, this will make the platform more sustainable, also for NDLA.
The team developing and designing H5P have been set up with the best product developers from NDLA and designers and developers from Joubel. This kind of public-private partnership is essential to NDLAs innovation process.
In H5P, all you need is a web browser and a website with an H5P plugin. H5P empowers creatives to create rich and interactive web experiences more efficiently.
H5P is a free and open source tool that helps you create HTML5 content in the browser of your choice and share it across all operating systems and browsers. Check out the list of different content types.
As H5P is open source there are no “strings attached”. Anyone can reuse both content and technology without asking Joubel or NDLA for permission. One of the universities that have reused H5P is Colorado.
How to use H5P?
H5P is a plugin for existing CMS and Learning Management Systems (LMS) systems like WordPress and Drupal. Just install the H5P and your system becomes able to create, share, and reuse great interactive content. For systems that don’t have an H5P plugin available yet it is possible to embed content using an iframe or using the Learning Tool Interoperability (LTI) standard. With the LTI and supporting APIs and specifications embedding an externally hosted H5P authoring tool is also possible.
The H5P format is open and the tools for creating H5P content are open source. This guarantees that creatives own their own content and are not locked into the fate and licensing regime of a specific tool.
The release of the 2016 State of the Commons, is an annual deep dive into the global community working to promote the open and free internet. The report covering 2016 was released at the CC global summit in Toronto this weekend. I attended the conference and spoke on a panel Friday.
This year’s report goes beyond data and metrics to focus on the people that power the commons in every region of the world. These stories illustrate how our movement is growing and evolving, driven by people who choose to share. The commons continues to grow, with the total number of CC licensed works now at 1.2 billion in 2016, including the increased use of licenses that invite remix, commercial use, and collaboration — up to 65% of all content shared this year.
The commons is the largest collection of free and open knowledge in the world. In order to bring you this report, we’ve partnered with a handful of the hundreds of platforms that provide CC licensing to bring you more data and user spotlights in a new and attractive format.
The king of the commons is still Wikipedia. The world’s largest encyclopedia is completely collaborative and openly licensed, with 100% of Wikipedia articles under CC BY-SA. To date, ~2.5 million Wikipedia volunteers have contributed 42.5 million articles in 294 languages.
The number of works released under a CCO is also growing, the total number is now just shy of a 100 million. One of the contributors is The New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art releases 375,000 digital works into the public domain via CC0.
African Storybook is a project that we are collaborating with over the next years. On a continent where conventional publishing produces relatively few titles in African languages, the African Storybook initiative provides open access to thousands of picture storybooks for children’s literacy, enjoyment, and imagination.
This work is a derivative work of Creative Commons blog on Medium used under a CC BY 4.0 license.
Earlier this week I hosted a workshop together with LIFE Academy in Karlstad Sweden. At LIFE academy they are running a unique program focused on the training of decision makers on the topic of ICT for pedagogical development, and this week LIFE had 26 educators speaking 13 different languages gathered in Karlstad Sweden.
This was a fantastic opportunity for us to test methodology around reuse and translation of early grade reading materials into Mother tongue languages, and the workshop this week gave some great results.
During the workshop did the following:
- I talked about Open education resources and the work that we have done at NDLA.
- We worked in groups to translate early grade reading books
- The participants gave feedback on both on the methodology and the tools that we used.
The main part of the workshop was a practical session where we used a platform called StoryWeaver to find early grade reading books that could be relevant for use in different contexts and cultures. The participants then translated from English and into their own languages.
We had participants speaking 13 different languages from Europe, South-America, Asia and Africa. (Bangla, Kubsabiny, Runyankole, Rukiiga, Luganda, Quechua, Khmer, Lusoga, Albanian, Kinyarwanda, Ndebele Shona, Amharic, Kiswahili)
All the participants successfully translated at least one book during our session. This shows the magic of open licenses and crowdsourcing. 2 books into 13 different languages in just 2 hours.
This has been a very interesting session. Never knew I could be a good translator. – Marie Gyaviira from Uganda
This tool was awesome i really enjoyed it, I work with elementary students and I am sure they will enjoy using it. – Doruntina Sejdiu from Kosovo
Storyweaver offers a simple user interface to translate any book.
About Life Academy
LIFE Academy is a global actor in capacity development with a presence in more than 80 developing and transitional countries. One of their focus areas is training of decision makers on ICT for pedagogical development. The foundation for LIFE Academy´s work is knowledge exchange between industrialised and developing countries.
In this podcast, I talk with Jamie Alexandre from Learning Equality. Learning Equality focuses on technology solutions which are optimized to work in areas where Internet access is lacking or costly. Their project KA Lite is an offline version of Khan Academy, used in over 170 countries. Based on feedback from KA Lite users, the Learning Equality team is actively developing Kolibri, their next generation platform which allows for curriculum alignment of a broader set of content.
Learning Equality builds educational technology solutions that leverage open-licensed content and low-cost hardware to enable a broad range of NGOs, schools, governments, and individuals to implement programs that improve educational outcomes in their communities.
There are many good resources about Creative Commons on the web. I have used a film from Creative Commons New Zealand whenever someone have asked me to explain CC Licences. The short video is a really good introduction with great drawings and examples.
To make it even more suitable to be used as part of my standard OER talk I have re-mixed it and made a version that is just over 3 minutes.
In this short version I have stripped it down and focus only on the core elements and the explanation of these.
The copyright reform proposal presented by the European Commission in september 2016 fails to meet the needs of citizens, educators, and researchers across Europe. Instead of strengthening the information economy, the proposal preserves a status quo defined in the analog age.
The Link Tax
This includes unprecedented new Link Tax powers for publishing giants, as well as requirements for websites to monitor and filter content. This will hurt your right to access and share content.
The European Commission has proposed, as part of the Copyright Directive on the Digital Single Market to allow news publishers to claim an additional copyright over the snippets of text which automatically appear alongside most links.
As a result linking to online news content would therefore require a license and explicit permission from the publisher.
It would give press publishers the right to charge fees for websites operating any form of business using snippets of text when they link to content from press publishers.
The European Commission promised to modernise copyright, but instead of creating a well-functioning legal framework addressing the concerns of creators and end-users it proposes to protect old business models by creating what it claims to be a “well-functioning marketplace”.
A disaster for educators, non-profits and individuals
The European Commission is also demanding that companies create or buy expensive new technologies to monitor and filter the content we create. This means every website or service that allows users to upload content will have to build expensive robot programs to spy for material that rightsholders want to block. What’s worse is that these bots won’t be able to make exceptions for parody, public interest, fair use, and many other legal forms of expression.
Because the draft of the Copyright Directive does not limit the implementation of this proposal to aggregators and search engines, it may also allow press publishers to charge non-profits, social media websites, or even individuals who communicate online using hyperlinks. The proposed educational exception, despite having some good elements, will overall worsen the legal environment for educators.
And it likely will introduce major costs for public educational systems around Europe.
Access to most audio-visual content will continue to be hampered by geo-blocking (which the Commission had earlier committed to end), and online platforms might be forced to collaborate with rights holders on censoring content that is shared by users on these platforms. The whole package lacks forward-looking, innovation-friendly measures that embrace digitization as an opportunity for users, creators, businesses, and public institutions in Europe.
We have to act now
Despite opposition from over 120,000 Internet users and dozens of civil society groups, the European Commission charged ahead with its wrong-headed plan. But now that it has reached the European Parliament, we have a real chance to stop it in its tracks. This will have the same impact in Norway as in any if we were full members of EU.
The European community is joining forces to send a clear message to the EU Parliament. We urge everyone that think the web is a wonderful thing to fill out this petition at OpenMedia.
Alek Tarkowsky, Director, Centrum Cyfrowe and Christer Gundersen are co-authors of this text.
Resources used in this text:
I believe that the CC-BY license is the ideal Creative Commons license for open textbooks and other open educational resources. If you are part of a project funded with money from a donor trying to get the most out of every invested dollar the more restricted licenses would create unwanted barriers.
The CC-BY license drives innovation and creativity – including commercial use. It also increases the overall goal of sharing, translation and re-contextualization of open textbooks and OER.
Sometimes there could be good reasons for adding restrictions but more often the not, CC-BY is the best way to go.
Why? Here are some of the most obvious reasons:
- The CC-BY license drives innovation and creativity – including commercial use.
- The CC-BY license increases the overall goal of sharing, translation and re-contextualization of open textbooks and OER.
- The CC-BY license is easy to understand and follow, requiring simply that attribution be provided to an open textbook author(s).
- Content with a CC-BY license can be remixed** with all non-ND CC licenses, making it easier to remix others’ OER into an open textbook.
- I believe an ND (no-derivatives) licensed textbook is not an open textbook because ND licenses do not allow two of the five Rs: revising and remixing.
- The NC license also reduces remix options.
- The SA license reduces remix options.
- The NC license often causes confusion and limits the spread, adoption and use of OER. Creators should consider carefully whether their reasons for using an NC license justify the limitations it will impose on users.
- NC license has been used to claim that OER cannot be printed by a commercial print shop for use in classrooms.
- Some Colleges have assumed that because they charge tuition, they can’t use NC-licensed OER. Others worry about printing and selling (cost recovery only) NC-licensed open textbooks.
This article is a derivative of “Open Textbook Community Advocates CC BY License for Open Textbooks” by Mary Burgess, David Ernst, Hugh McGuire, David Wiley used under CC-BY 4.0 International License. This article is licensed under CC-BY 4.0 International License by Christer Gundersen.
StoryWeaver is an open source platform by Pratham Books for multilingual children’s stories. It addresses all the issues around the lack of content by using an open access framework and technology as force multipliers combined with a platform that supports translation and re-mixing av stories.
I had the great pleasure of co-organizing a workshop at the mEducation Alliance Symposium in Washington on Oct 18–20 with Jennryn Wetzler as the main organizer. After the workshop I sat down with Purvi Shah for a talk about Pratham Books and their latest project StoryWeaver.
Jennryn Wetzler is the Senior Program Designer at U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ Collaboratory. She organised a great workshop at the mEducation Alliance Symposium on OER and in this short podcast she talks about why education is important.