MOCSL Tools and focusing on user empowerment

So Day 3 at Open Ed 2007 is underway. DJ RSS just rocked the mic with a free form exposition on openness, free tools, mashups and remix culture.

The conference has been really worthwhile on a number of levels – opening my mind to how the needs for localization might be reconciled with the ongoing divergence of needs between leanrers from developed and developing world, and opening my heart to the moral imperative that is OER.

But there was one low point for me, which was learning that funding for COSL’s “Making Open Content Support Learning” toolset had not been renewed in this current round of funding.

Funders will fund what they fund, not much I can do about that; I just wanted to write this post so that I could say publicly what I’ve said privately to a number of folks here, which is that I am really sad to hear about this, because I think these tools and this effort were really promising and important, because they focus on individual learner empowerment in the networked world of OER resources, something you can probably tell from the short movie on client-side tools that I released yesterday, I believe to be an important aspect of improving the chances of OER content efforts to effect learning across the internet as a whole. Funded or not, I plan to continue pointing people to these tools, evangelizing them and their like, and finding my own ways to continue working on these kinds of learner-centric tools. And hopefully this post is understood in the spirit it was written, simply the honest words of an often impolitic blogger . – SWL

MOCSL Tools and focusing on user empowerment

4 thoughts on “MOCSL Tools and focusing on user empowerment

  1. Scott, what an interesting comment! I hope we meet someday in person!

    Lame joke, sorry.

    I was very disappointed to hear this too, as I think this is a very hot project and pretty much exactly what I want to see more of. And the COSL people were the right people for the job.

    I understand that MOCSL last gasp will be a code release of the various tools. I think the most constructive thing we can do is try to assist the code connecting with a broader developer community so this promising work (much of it very near completion) can fulfill the pretty monstrous potential. I’m no programmer, but will definitely work to help in any way I can.


  2. I’m sure some organization that understands the value of these tools will pick up the baton that’s being passed. That’s how I’m choosing to look at this. Hewlett got the ball rolling, but perhaps it’s time to approach sustainability a bit differently now. That’s been one of the themes of the conference, for me at least. From this morning’s session, “if you’re not spending time planning for sustainability, you’re wasting your time”. Maybe a more decentralized approach? Under the umbrella of the Open Ed consortium/group that was just launched? The tools need a hand up, not a hand out.


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