February 27, 2008

Cape Town Open Education Declaration

Basically I already wrote about this in another blog, it didn't seem to get much attention...

Anyway, now I have my own blog and I can post whatever I want (:D) I'll express some thoughts I have bouncing in my mind...

What is this declaration about?

It's a list of items about the usage of free resources in the education field.

Full declaration text can be found here. Among other things that I'd like to mention from the inititative we can highlight:

  • Promote the usage of free resources such as course materials with open licenses, class programs, textbooks, games, software and other material which support learning and knowledge sharing..

  • Promote the usage of free technologies which facilitate a collaborative and flexible learning, sharing teaching experiences which help educators benefit from their pair's ideas..

A lot of times I see myself discussing about WHY free software works. The people with whom I discuss (in a constructive way, of course) sometimes think "hey, I'm trying to make an idealist stubborn change his mind", might be, I really don't know. What I do know is that using open source and free software (which by the way, are very different) and free license schemes (i.e. non-software material distributed under licenses which allow sharing, modifying and redistributing it, e.g. Creative Commons) allow to build a more agile and flexible interchange, useful for the community and for future generations.

From the educational point of view (which I'm interested in today) It's important to see how this 'sharing' influences our student's education.
Once (a few hours ago...) a friend of mine (which is also an educator that I deeply respect) told me "If you don't let the students write and become authors, they won't read whatever you write, no matter what it is". This is a great point, What would happen if we extend this notion to education and knowledge?

I think that leaving that expositor-like role while we teach is crucial if want to change the way knowledge is transmitted.

Promoting the idea of free resources and not privative (I repeat, I'm not talking exclusively about software) collaborate in building a different type of mind openness.

To close this post, I hope you could understand what I wanted to say, and feel free to go deeper inside free teaching resources.

Here I leave some interesting links about topics which I have just mentioned and others that I haven't.

Open education initiatives: A list of Cape Town - related inititatives.

Creative Commons.

Free Software in Wikipedia: Some history and explanation of the term.

Free Software Foundation: That.

Pagina de R. Stallman

PS: Please note that English is not my primary language, feel free to read the original Spanish version of this post here.


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