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Some reading suggestions for Christmas holidays

Christmas treeAlthough I hope your Christmas time if full of family, friends, fun and time to relax…there will probably be a couple of days where you might want to browse some journal articles to broaden your awareness of issues affecting education and learning. If that doesn’t appeal to you, go here instead Funny Cat and Dog Videos 2015

Thanks to a recent post by George Veletsianos, I found even more open access education-focused academic journals that you can browse and share with other educators or your students. Not all are “equally open” – some journals publish a mixture of open and “behind a paywall” articles; other journals are truly open.

Go to my EduResources page and click on the first accordion listing A-J for 30 journals (one is actually a well-respect news-zine “First Monday”); or click on K-Z for another 9 journals. Note:  I do need to re-organize the listing but time is tight these days 😉

If you know of other open journals, please post a comment or email me at sylviar at educomm.ca. The list will stay open so it can be shared by anyone who’s interested.

So enjoy browsing and reading. And celebrate and support “open access’ whenver you can. I’ve seen some disturbing signs of an increasingly protectivist perspective from some of the former leaders in this area, particularly in the US. But the open education, OER, open educational practices movement is strong and spreading in BC, Alberta and various other outposts across Canada. More about that in future posts.

The fruits of BC’s focus on “open”

fruit ripeningHave you been following the development of open textbooks on the BCcampus OpenEd Resources site – https://open.bccampus.ca/?

If you visit the website, you’ll find some exciting statistics about the amount of money saved by students, the number of textbooks created and adopted, the progress made in funding the development of ancillary resources. You can learn more by reviewing Dr. Tony Bates blog post “Acorns to oaks? British Columbia continues its progress with OERs

While I’ve been appreciative of the efforts of the Open Textbooks project I’ve been far more impressed with their efforts to develop a broader understanding (and integration) of the “open” approach through their events and workshops, and the support of various special groups that pursue a particular aspect of OERs (eg, librarians, instructional designers, educational technologists).

I was particularly impressed with Lauri Aesoph’s decision to “walk the talk” by making the development of the popular guides:

BC Open Textbook Adaptation Guide

BC Open Textbook Pressbooks Guide

visible and transparent by posting, in the Pressbook for each guide under development, a page that lists the dates and progress of various sections. AND she’s going to cc-license the “in process” material as well as the final version – very gutsy but definitely in keeping with the spirit of “open” I admire.

While the cautious side of my personality looks ahead and sees the potential chaos if people see too many “warts” in an open development project (i.e., lack of trust in the final product), the side that has always been thrilled by the possibilities of crowdsourcing and open learning/education/development approaches, applauds Lauri’s “big sky” thinking “A New Future for Open Textbooks” at the end of her blog post “From Transparent to Invisible: Open Creations

What I see missing is a way for people to connect with each Pressbooks project and to volunteer to contribute or to report back whatever they take and use or repurpose. The shareback step seems to always be forgotten (cuz it’s hardest maybe). But kudos to Lauri and BCcampus.

You go grrrl!