So subtitles need the right keyboard

Well I couldn’t find the question mark but still I was really impressed about subdot being so intuitive (except that I didn’t get the language selection right – but that seems to be quite common). I got a typo (hear – here), which I can’t correct anymore 😦 and at one point I didn’t allow enough time – but in all, that was a good experience. As you know from the days before – wordpress won’t take more than a link – so here it is.

But my silent picture on youtube I may show here:

P.S. I just found that in the YouTube help:

Can I embed a specific YouTube video on an external site?
People who post their original material on YouTube and allow the embedding function to work are implicitly allowing other users to embed their video on other sites. If a user has allowed embedding of a video, you can embed the video link on your webpage or blog. You can find out how to embed videos here.

Well – I wasn’t asked to activate the embed function while uploading a video – so this is a default. But under sharing option you really get to say this. I tried with my introduction video of post 1 and it works, the video is not longer available as an embedded video.

Third try – flv

Oh wow – more than comfy for me: teacher’s tube told me what I should use for my wordpress blog … tricked – i thought it would be easy but I haven’t got my own installation but a hosted one. So this is what the guys and girls from wp tell me – and yes I completely understand but should I give up?

BTW I liked this one a lot! digital natives – still don’t think all is true but very interesting.

I post this you tube here – hoping that Raquel is okay with me doing that – a very interesting intro into the legal aspects of OER 🙂 So I think Raquel is on a meeting in Spain which discusses OER in Europe. She definitely works in the University of Catalonia, School of Law and Political Science.

Liked this one

Podcast – various tries

Hi – sorry I’m late – I’was sick the whole weekend – here’s the view out of my Window.

So unfortunately I got a problem with wordpress and ogg vorbis – it’s not considered as a safe file format even if there’s an audio possibility in the media library, so I’m on my way to look for futher possibilities.

Well finally I created a free podcast site on which means it has got an ad before my unprofessional voice – but there it is – it’s not filtered or anything, I will look into this I promise. But listen yourself… The bad thing about mypodcast – it did not accept ogg either. I changed it to mp3 which makes me feel bad. I will do some research on that – but that was frustrating. Is it true ipods don’t accept ogg either? Well after this experience it wouldn’t suprise me.

The other thing was – I did link back to the German CC license but there wasn’t a possibility to include the picture which I always find really handy.

Taking and sharing pictures – easy? Well…

Hi everybody – it’s great to see your photos, I want more of them!

For this week I read all about the rule of third in the photo composition guide – when I realised my cheesy camera actually has a cross in the middle and I have to imagine the thirds – still I kept that in mind. I read on and finally I did try the diagonal line (see underneath). I continued reading in wikimedia. Still I’m not convinced if my pictures will ever meet the high quality standards of wikimedia featured pictures – but I think it is still not to bad.

I was waiting for the weather to change but eventually I got myself persuaded that I should just grap my camera and take some photos. Right – this was actually more fun than I thought. I’m not really into taking photos – but today I did actually realize how much more you see when you try to find a motif:

I realized that there were two magnolias in the park P1010029

and there were bunnies all over!


So these photos were nothing I really cared about – I just took them. The scene is set in a small park about five minutes from my house. It’s actually one of the few spots in Mannheim which is quite pretty – Mannheim is a heavy industrial town otherwise. The main sight of my town I put on Wikimedia Commons (with a bit cropping etc.) Wasserturm Mannheim – it’s one of 60 other photographs picturing the same tower – still I thought it might be a bit different with the art nouveau lantern. The tower was used for keeping a water reserve for the town until 2002 or so. More here

Before I put this photo there I had put two photos on Flickr and on their map – they show the building of the art gallery just opposite the art nouveau water tower. It has got a sculpture on top.

I didn’t upload them to Wikimedia as I had read about not uploading photos of sculptures to Wikimedia Commons – so I didn’t. I had checked before – and it seems to be okay for German law (‘freedom of panoram’) but as I wasn’t sure about it – it was explecitly stated that this is different in other countries I decided I shouldn’t use CC licences on them – not to harm anybody else. What do you think?


P.S. I like this sculpture a lot (the Artist is Hubertus von der Goltz)- and I was so happy when I got that bird there! So in the end I spent more time on this then I thought. Taking and editing the photos was okay – i do that quite regulary with the website at work. Playing with the flickr map was fun – and in all I really enjoyed this week’s assignment!

P.P.S Whenever I look for photos I use Flickr – I tried Google CC Search once but you can’t limit it to images, can you? Well in the future it’s definiteley Wikimedia, too.

Wikipedia and Wikimedia

I know I’m late on my post – sorry – I try to catch up.

So Wikipedia – an success story of an OER project. In my eyes it’s the most advanced and experienced OER. It’s wonderful as we can learn of the experiences made there. For example the quality assurance issue – this is in my eyes a crucial point of the OER movement. How do you make sure that the resources are actually high-quality. For me Wikipedia is a very good example where the principles of open source qa were successfully transferred into the open content area – and enhanced with specific points for content.

I was quite puzzled when I read about the interview about the three Wikipedia projects and the way they handle quality assurance and occuring problems. Processes were made by self-governance. A mixture of peer review and awarding system also incl. a “request for deletion” A flexible but somewhat sophisticated model that gained enough stability to let newbies still jump in without doing one week research on how to do it. Similar but still different approaches in different countries as not every wikipedia is similar to the other. They differ in size as well as in culture – therefore what is good for one might not work for the other. But still every wikipedia model can learn from the experience of the other.

It’s a really hard question when I think about the future of Wikipedia – I take three guesses:

  • Wikipedia will not go into any commercial direction – no add-on or upgrade features. I think this will be prevented by the editors themselves – as a consequence there will be massive need for money
  • Quality Standards will still have to be worked on (and academics should rather go and contribute then hide and complain.

Copyright – any alternatives?

Well before I go to the assignment, I want to tell you about an argument I had today – because of this course. It was not about educational material or copyright in general but about open access to scientific literature – still about the question why should sb do this – so maybe interesting for Teemu.

The argument was about OA and structures of the German scientific community – I talked to a friend of mine and why he would not publish his dissertation (history) nor his articles open access – not even parallel to a publication with a well known publisher (&even if his publisher would agree).

He said the structures in the historian community wouldn’t allow this, he would be out of business in his discipline, publishing OA would decrease his reputation. We were going further into it and he said that even if he was established, he would probably not advise any of his students to do so. Exclusiveness seemed to be really important to him – & he was afraid of cut and paste. Also his research would probably only be “important to some people in Germany as it is about an inter-German subject” and they’d certainly be able to buy or lent a book. Well at the moment – thank god – he doesn’t profit of any public funds.

The point I want to make is that we need to change structures and thinking. After this argument my conclusion was that faculties should – as Harvard FAS (with some waivers)- oblige their staff to publish OA – so that no young unestablished scientist would have to worry about his or her career (and sb. who thinks that research needs to be exclusive just has no chance to proceed with this thinking). Now – when I think about it, I’m in doubt – I believe in free will and free decisions – so is this really a way to go?

Right, back to the assignment:

What have I learned.

  • Copyright development was related to the birth of printing press – so technology that could reproduce writing industrially.
  • The Statute of Anne 1710 was the first ‘modern copyright’, it underlined the rights of the author (rather than the publisher). For 28 yrs (Lessings said 14). In the coming centuries publishers were fighting for a longer and longer period of protection.
  • At the moment we are at the highest level of copyright protection despite we think of us as being far further developed as in the past.

Some news for me

  • Copyright is to protect the rights of the author and his economic interests. In Germany that would be moral rights and exploitation rights, in some countries moral rights are not as extensive.

Anyway the most important point for me this week was this: we need to secure those who want to use their creativity and build OER and therefore we need to ease copyright.  Reasonable licences for those who want to give the rights to the public domain, Creative Commons licenses to distinguish what rights are given to the reuser.

BTW – I think Nichthus is right – of course we need to have authors and publishers who invest their creativity, time as well as money – honored. And this is why I can totally understand my friend – I would never asked him to risk his career and I can understand that he wants to make the most of his work. On the other hand I believe that publicly funded research needs to be accessible. I have seen prices rise for journal subscriptions – that is insane. Universities have to pay for publicly funded research results – that is insane.

But the question is – are there alternatives. Are there OA models that are sustainable.

Standing on the shoulders of Giants

I very much like the idea of the present being related to the past. I think it’s reasonable for everybody to look for one’s cultural and scientific roots and OER activists definitely can refer to the thinking of the philosophers of the age of enlightenment. So we dwarfs stand on the shoulder of giants and therefore look further (if we connect to the roots, the past helps us to even more advance in the present).

I would automatically think of Immanuel Kant thinking of the age of enlightenment. I wouldn’t dare to say I read and understood his books but a few thoughts I remember. He does not only describes enlightenment as freedom to use one’s own intelligence but also as a responsibility: if you have the means you are responsible for your maturity and independence. Have courage to use your own brain – dare to know (sapere aude!). Kant is very much about autonomy and states that ethics develop from the subject’s autonomy in thinking. For education the age of enlightenment means a lot – if you are asked to question everything and rely on your reason you need to develop capabilities in analyzing and judging. If it’s important for your society that you think – then society has the duty to provide you with the means – regardless which class you belong to. If you are not able to pay for education there need to be alternative ways: scholarships, state loans, public libraries, folk high school etc.

At the moment we are at a turn point in Germany – for several decades access to universities was free – now we introduced study fees in several federal states. What I find worse – studies showed that education in German schools is not giving children from different social backgrounds the same possibilities.

I’m convinced that primary education needs to be free (as it is in Germany). German schools still need to change and long more for equality in chances than they provide at the moment. On the other hand I can’t deny that I think that study fees are justifiable as long as you allow enough and fair possibilities for scholarships and study loans & provided that you use the money for the education system – still the state should not be left off the hook. But as adults you are responsible and you decide which way you go. I know I’m not radical about free education but I want education for all.

So you might ask why I think that OER is a way to go –

for me OER means free access to educational material not free formal education (so tutoring and certificates etc.). I believe that formal education needs to be obtainable – free to those who cannot pay, affordable to those who can. I believe in informal and life long learning which can be triggered with OER and last but not least I believe in collaborative new learning forms as a chance for a change in educational methods.

Le Mill – Wikiversity – further thoughts and impressions


Right, now the server answers in a reasonable time. So here are my further impressions. I still thing that LeMill is a very nice and thought through environment. After I read where it came from (EU Project) I understood why there is a lot of content deriving of Eastern European countries. It made me curious cause I know next to nothing about our new EU partners I have to admit. Well – naturally I was confronted with a language problem pretty soon. I find it great to have a multilingual Europe – but on the other hand it does create problems.

My first content is an image in LeMill – I like the tag idea and I think this is reasonable. One word for methods which I was very curious about – other then at the content area tags did not do it for me here. I would have prefered a kind of hierachy.

Usability here is pretty much okay – still not intuitive.

On the other hand the impression of abandonment of before didn’t vanish. I added a link in a discussion group that interested me. But this one was a one person group (that now has two persons :-)) I pretty much doubt he will come along and interact with me. I would say, the rss feed is not enough for a forum discussion – you need email notification.

Conclusion: good intention, needs more active participants and a “Recent changes” area (maybe I didn’t see it?)


I have used Wikis before so I chose LeMill for my exploration. But I have to say I love Wikis and the way of collobaration there. I’m not very good in designing pages but when I come along a site in Wikipedia with a broken link of sth which I’m sure of – I do try to help. Wikis are not everything but for a start: collaborationg via wikis is quite handy. Not so good for discussions sometimes – so I’d combine it with a forum if an in-depth discussion is needed.

LeMill – first impressions

Registering at LeMill was quite easy and yes, it was tiring to do the  introduction thing. But it was more difficult to look for a group that I could fit in. And it was quite slow. I will retry in a couple of hours. For now I think LeMill is a great infrastructure. It just needs to be used in terms of community. I know there are over 3000 content pieces.  But I didn’t get the chance to go into it yet.

Will be back later.

Commentary on the Projects

OpenLearn – great resources for self-learners as there are full courses and even prorgrams which you can take. A login is required to join in the activities but you are also able to retrieve the mostly textual content without registration – I find that great, so you know what you give your personal data for).
Reusing: you may and most times it’s even allowed to remix the content – which makes it a Level III resource. So this is also interesting for teachers 🙂 Non-commercial use only. Packaging in standards such as SCORM and IMS.

On the other hand if you want the services such as qualifications – you need to pay. No uploads it’s their own publishing page. Common language is English.

Connexions – reusable objects. Collaboratively developing and sharing is enhanced. Thought to be very modular – so in my eyes a good resource for teachers looking for content. Licensing is in CC – so you may or may not reach Level I, II or III.

MIT Open Courseware – very varying in the content. Mostly propriatery formats as PDF etc. Still interesting as I think of MIT as high quality.

LeMill– first one I didn’t know before. Find and share learning resources. Even collaborate. Apparantly standarized content (Scorm). They differntiate between media pieces and learning resources. There’s a method section – I have to look deeper into this one. There’s a login require.

Wikiversity – I love Wiki’s for teaching so I like Wikiversity. I’m not convinced it will become a Meta-University as mentioned in Tuomis text but I think it could be one way to go. there’s a section on learning material that is quite handy yet not very developed for HEI teaching. I just read about the experiment Moodle on the sandbox server – so yes – the problem with a wiki might be that you don’t have enough features even if it’s an elaborated one.