Discovery Series : Rory McGreal “Open Education Resources and the Future of Education”


[Dr. Kinshuk] OK so, welcome to the first Discovery Lecture Series talk. It is my pleasure to welcome here my mentor, Dr. Rory McGreal. [clapping] He is an UNESCO Commonwealth of Learning ICD Chair for Open Education Resources. Did I miss anything? [Dr. McGreal] No, that’s good enough. [laughter] [Dr. Kinshuk] Before I joined Athabasca University, he was Associate Vice President of Research at Athabasca University. And he’s the one who brought me there and he is the one why I stayed there so long. The kind of vision he had, the ideas and now his fashion about the Open Education Resources is just amazing for me. So without any further ado, I would like you to maybe tell us more about yourself and then tell us where we should go. [Dr. McGreal] Okay, thank you, Kinshuk. Yes, as part of my duties as a chair, you will find that my presentation is very biased in favor of Open Educational Resources. So with that caution, I think I can start by saying that the slides are all Open Educational Resources; you can use them. However, some of the images are under fair dealing or fair use laws in the United States. And I want to start off with our support for the Paris Declaration on Open Educational Resources. And this declaration states that in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations we need to consider using Open Educational Resources, that they will help us to achieve these goals. And the goal is education for all. And it’s the belief that Open Educational Resources will form part of what any solution or solutions we come to to ensure education for everybody. Those of you who don’t know about Open Educational Resources, I would direct you to the Commonwealth of Learning. They have many publications and this one in particular is a primer Creating, Using and Sharing Open Educational Resources. And that’ll give you a good background. There are many other online free ebooks available explaining OER. As an educator, it is my belief that the challenge for the 21st century is this: that by 2025 will be about 100 million students capable of university and college education around the world that will not be able to access it. Either because it is just not available there or they can’t afford it. And it is my belief that this is the challenge for educators of the 21st century is: how do we educate all these learners? John Daniel tells us, he’s the former President of the Commonwealth of Learning, that in order to meet this challenge the traditional way we would have to build four new universities every week between now and 2025. And of course we know this just is not possible. So we have to find new scalable ways that we can educate these masses of students. We can use the internet. The Internet is the biggest commons: it’s the intellectual commons, the intellectual shared knowledge of all of us, and the public domain is a priceless shared heritage. And what that means is that everyone has a right to access information and knowledge on the internet. And there are many companies who are trying to close off parts of it and create closed gardens, we call them. And we need to ensure that people everywhere have access to the world’s knowledge. Now, Copyright, what does it mean, what doesn’t it mean. It was not instituted, as many people believe, to protect the authors rights. It was instituted for this reason: to encourage learning and promote the progress of science and the useful arts. In fact the first copyright law was brought in to limit the rights of the authors and printers. Not to give them rights but to limit their rights in order to promote learning. Jaszi calls this view of protecting the rights of the author as being para copyright or pseudo-copyright, which the publishers want us to believe in. But let’s look back historically about this. Tom Harper reminds that the concept of copyright was utterly foreign to the ancient mind. In fact copyist where the most respected people in society. The early scribes were considered saints in many cases. And so the idea that copying was somehow evil or sinful never entered the mind of people, not until very recently. The first copyright law came about actually in Ireland, in the sixth century, when Columcille, St. Columba, he copied Saint Finian’s psalm book. And the king ruled, King Dermot, that “to every cow it’s calf, to every book it’s copy”. A very strict version of copyright law. And St. Columba did not agree with this and there was a huge battle. 3,000 men died in Sligo in the West of Ireland. And as a result, St. Columba won but then the church exiled him to Iona in Scotland. And where he built a monastery and in fact that’s where they brought enlightenment to Europe. They sent monks all over Europe in the dark ages to bring enlightenment to Europe. The people supporting this idea of copyright as being a right of authors, they stand by the idea of property. Here’s an example, Caught in the Act, and it reminds you of people who go around feeling furtive for copying an article or a few pages of a book. And many people feel “oh, I’m doing something sinful here by doing this,” and it’s a good illustration of that of that idea. But the first modern copyright law, The Statute of Queen Anne 1710, look at the title: “An Act for the Encouragement of Learning.” It is not an act to protect the rights of authors. Usually the title of an act gives you a good idea of the purpose of the act and here it’s an act for the encouragement of learning. And the Copyright Act in the United States is based on Queen Anne’s law. It’s based on the law. There were four states at the time that had copyright laws— Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and I forget which other state– four states actually had copyright laws. All of them were based on the Statute of Queen Anne, so there’s a direct line to American copyright. And look at the title of the Copyright Act in the United States: “An Act to Promote the Progress of Science and the Useful Arts.” Again, it wasn’t an act to protect the rights of authors. President Jefferson put it this way: “Its peculiar character is that no one possesses the less because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me receives an instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine receives light without darkening me.” So when you allow other people to use your work you’re not giving anything away. You’re giving it but you still have it, and I think that’s an important concept and in fact that the concept it’s the difference between theft and infringement. And we need to understand that because publishers keep talking about kid’s as thieves stealing music and things like that and it’s totally disingenuous of them. I won’t call them liars but they’re maintaining a discreet distance from the truth. He also said, “I set out on this ground which I supposed to be self-evident that the earth belongs in you suffer to the living; that the dead have neither power nor rights over it.” This is a pretty basic concept but now copyright in the United States is seven years after the death of the author, 50 years in Canada, and it’s a way of exerting control beyond the grave. I could tell you a story about this: my sister wants to be buried in a cardboard box. Why? It’s because she wants to make her husband and her brother looked cheap. It’s what you call control beyond the grave and there’s something wrong about that. There’s something about it that just does not feel right to most people as it did not feel right to President Jefferson. He said, “inventions cannot be a subject of property.” This is very important. The genesis of copyright law in the United States never intended copyright to be a property right. In fact they were very clear saying, this is not a property right, it is a copyright. President James Madison, he’s put it this way, “incentive NOT property or natural law is the foundational justification for American copyright – It is a privileged monopoly.” And this is what we need to be calling it because that is in fact what copyright is. It’s ‘we give a monopoly to the author for a limited time in order to promote progress science and useful arts.’ And what it is, is a privilege monopoly, we give them that monopoly for that time, but the publishers don’t like using the term monopoly because we don’t like it. We prefer the term property; property we feel good, monopoly we don’t like the term, so they don’t use it but it is a lie. When they use the term intellectual property, they are lying to us. When we use the term monopoly, this is the correct term. It’s the correct term historically, it’s the correct term today. John Perry Barlow put it this way, “the greatest constraint on your future liberties may come not from government but from corporate legal departments laboring to protect by force what can no longer be protected by practical efficiency or general social consent.” So they’re trying to morph copyright into something that it was never intended to be in the first place. So what does copyright mean? No one owns ideas, they belong to everybody. In fact, there is not an original idea coming from anybody anywhere. All ideas are based on previous ideas. They belong to everyone. They are our common heritage as humans. The copyright holders possess a “copy” right. Copyright protects the expression of ideas, not the ideas, and holders have a limited right to control their expression of their ideas for a limited time. We give them a monopoly in order to promote progress and science education in the arts. What it doesn’t mean: clearly in our tradition, in the British Common Law tradition, is the Droit D’Auteur, the right of the author. In European law, this is a concept is based on the Napoleonic code but this is not part of our tradition at all. So, OER, how did they come into this? Lawrence Lessig told us a few years ago that it’s great to have copyright for Britney Spears, protecting her songs, this is wonderful. But in education it just doesn’t fit that way. We need to share everything. Education is about sharing and it doesn’t fit. So leave Britney Spears to her strict copyright, and we should move over to open our resources and share them among ourselves. UNESCO had this definition: “technology-enabled open provision of educational resources for consultation, use, and adaptation community of users for non-commercial purposes.” Actually they’ve dropped the non-commercial purposes. Even if you want to make money on it that that’s fine. Nobody has a problem with that anymore. So they can be text books, OER, they can be movies, they can be a curriculum material, they can be audio files, they can be games, any of these things could be OER. The key is that they’re openly licensed. It comes from the idea of learning objects, where you have a component, let’s say a picture or a physical object that you use for teaching, and you put a number of components together and you create a lesson. And you put a number of lessons together, you get a module. And you put a number of modules together, and you get a full course. And you can even put courses together and create a full program. All of these at each level could be an OER. The OER could be just that simple photo or it could be the entire program of a computer science program at a university. And this is the concept of granularity: where at all different levels we can use OER. And it’s depending on the teacher. Many teachers want to create and develop their own materials, and so they would pick this OER and put this one together with that one and add it and that’s fine. Another teacher wants the whole package, “just give me the whole package, I’ll teach the course.” It’s like you get a textbook with all the materials with it to test everything. And both are possible using OER. The characteristics of Open Educational Resources: we can mix them, we can create a new resource. We can adapt them to multiple contexts, extract things from them, take stuff out, localize it, change it to suit your university, your particular institution, translate to another language or you can reuse or repurpose it for use in in different scenarios. They’re open: you can augment them, edit them, customize them, aggregate them, reformat them, mash them up, and it brings up a new concept for us in education: is that we should start thinking in these terms. That we assemble courses, rather than think of terms of developing ourselves from scratch, but start thinking in terms of assembling courses from different OER components that are there. Sort of like an Ikea set which is supposedly easy to do. Well, it’s not so easy to put these Ikea sets together and I want to warn people it’s not so easy putting OER together either. There’s some skill involved and you generally would need learning designers to help you to do that. We brought in the concept of deboning. That is we take our courses now that have a commercial textbook, we take out the commercial textbook, and we put in an Open Education Resource textbook. I can say now our university has saved about 2 million dollars by doing this. This is just for this year. Next year will be another two million dollars and going on forever it will be a saving. In one course I can describe to you, accounting 101, we’ve changed from a 250 dollar-a-year textbook to an OER. 2,000 students x 250 dollars, that’s our saving in one course. So there’s huge savings possible, as well as you gain the flexibility when you use Open Education Resources. It’s related to but not the same as the Open Access movement. Open Access is for scholarly articles. And so instead of signing off ownership and giving your copyright to a publisher, Elsevier, and let them make money off of you, you keep the ownership and you publish in an open-access journal. And I don’t know why this hasn’t taken off even more than it has. It is growing very rapidly but our traditional model has been: professor writes the article, he assigns the copyright to Elsevier or the publishing company, other professors review it for free, and then they sell it at an exorbitant cost to our university libraries. Well there’s something wrong with this. So the publishers are now saying, “oh, we support open access.” Now to publish, you can publish in Elsevier, in these journals and keep it open. All you do now is instead of giving them the copyright, you pay them to take the copyright, $3,000 and more in some cases, and other professors still do the review for free, and now that it’s open they charge our libraries even more because they’re supporting open access. Martin Weller in his book, The Battle for Open, he calls it open washing: that they pretend to be open in order to defeat it and to defeat the purpose of it. Now, are OER free? I get this if there’s a publisher in the talk I give you know. ‘Oh, but they’re not free, you know, somebody has to pay for them.” Well duh, yes, they’re not free, somebody has to pay for them. They are free for the students, they are free for the teachers who use them, but of course somebody has to pay for them. There’s nobody saying that this is done freely. A professor can do it and they can donate it but it’s taking his time. The university has paid for his or her time so somebody’s paid for. We can and we are doing it; we put out an RFP and a publisher sells us the copyright to a book and we use that. Somebody’s paid for but it is free to the students. So they’re free for the students, they’re free for the institution that uses them. There’s no unnecessary duplication so if you use somebody else’s psychology one course in OER, you don’t have to develop it. You don’t have to duplicate it. Sharing reduces the cost of development so if you’re sharing and using OER instead of you developing everything yourself in your unit, you only have to develop part of it and use what other people have developed. It removes the cost of copyright clearance which is a real pain in universities. Usually there’s one or two people assigned, and all they do with call up and ask for copyright clearance. Well, I can tell you that in Canada, the Supreme Court ruled a few years ago that fair dealing must, MUST, be interpreted in a large and liberal manner. And there is no other court case in any english-speaking country that contradicts this. And I would suggest that in the United States, you have fair use laws. Start interpreting them in a large and liberal manner. I don’t think they’ll sue you because they lost very badly in Canada when the publisher sued us. The supreme court was very very hard basically saying, and going back to Queen Anne’s law, that educational use is integral to copyright law and fair dealing has always been part of it and you must interpret it in a large and liberal manner. So you can use a chapter from a book, you can create class copies, put them together, you don’t have to worry about that anymore. Now cost considerations of using commercial content. Developing and improving curriculum: you can’t do that because you’re not allowed to change it, you’re not allowed to do anything with it. With ongoing program in course design you have to take what they give you. You can’t change it, you can add your own stuff, but you can’t change that stuff. Planning of contact sessions with students, development of learning materials, design of effective assessment: you’re crippled when you’re stuck with the commercial content. You have to do with the way they want you to do it, the way they have decided it should be done. But OER are free and adaptable: you can do whatever you want with them. Here’s an example of a commercial learning service or rentable. Do you have them in your university, these? The student owns nothing, the student can share nothing, they can save nothing, they can sell nothing. When the subscription ends everything ends. The publishers own the students data, not the student. The notes, the highlights, all that the student put in, and the students can’t transfer the data because the data they’ve created in the e-book is not theirs. It belongs to the publisher. And David Wiley put this out, I think it’s gone up a dollar now, this was a couple years ago. Netflix- 20,000 movies: $8. Hulu Plus- 45,000. TV shows: $8 Spotify- 50 million songs: $10 Total: $26. Coursesmart- one, ONE, biology text: $20.25 a month. There’s a huge discrepancy there in using commercial ebooks. Now, how open is an open license? There are a number of open licenses and the only one I’m going into today is the copyright license and the creative commons. And creative commons license is not equal to public domain. The public domain is for older OLDER articles and they keep trying to keep older content, they keep trying to keep older content out of the public domain, the publishers, as much as possible, trying to extend it. Extend backwards the time frames but the public domain is, okay you’ve got Mark Twain, 19th century; anything in the United States before 1923 is public domain, in Canada it’s before 1945. So you have now Hemingway’s books are becoming, they are public domain in Canada but not yet in the United States. That’s the public domain. Now what happened was in 1963, we agreed to the World Intellectual Property Organization view that everything was Copy Writed. Before 1963, you had to put a ‘C’ with a circle on to make it copyright, otherwise it was in the public domain. That was the default but we agreed now that everything is copyrighted so if you want to share your work with other people you need to put a share license on, Creative Commons license, otherwise other people cannot use it without your permission. And so if you get an email from your friend and you forwarded it to another friend without requesting permission you’re breaking copyright. You must ask permission. And if you haven’t asked permission… We all do it, right? We’re all breaking copyright although it’s sort of like in Nazi Germany, the gestapo would go and they’d say, “oh they’ve got to be dealing, they’ve gotta be doing, breaking the law somehow. We just picked them up and we’ll find out what it is.” And we’re all stuck in that situation. But the way to get around it is to put a Creative Commons license on and that is permission for people to use your work. This license, it avoids your automatic copyright restrictions which I’ve just described so you don’t have to worry about them if you put a CC license on it. It’s for different countries, different languages, in fact now there’s an international license that’s available for and good in all countries. And there’s a license generator that you can go to online and it puts it in human, legal, and machine language. So: language that you can read and understand, one that lawyers can read and understand, and one that machines read and understand. And what you’re agreeing to is that others can copy or change without permission your work. You keep your authors rights, you still own the copyright. The copyright belongs to you but you restrict some freedoms. For example, attribution or reuse or whether it can be used commercially or whether people can change it. And here’s a picture of this site you can go to to get the your content into a Creative Commons license. You go there, you just click click click through it, and it generates human, legal, and machine languages. So the four restrictions are here: the two on the left are the ones we recommend. They are open, that is fully open resource and that is attribution. Well, you have to put the author’s name on anyway because if you don’t know it’s called plagiarism. We’re not allowed to do that. We can get fired for doing that so that’s pretty obvious you have to put that restriction on there. And share alike means that anyone can use it and change it but if they change it they must use the same license; they cannot change the license. if you choose no derivatives that means anyone can use it but they can’t change it. We don’t recommend that, we don’t think this is a good idea for classroom teaching or teaching online but it does have its uses. For example, you may have a scholarly article that you don’t want changed, you want people to use it as is. So there are uses for it, its not totally negative, we don’t recommend it if you can get away without it. For example, I’m the co-editor of EURODL, an open journal, and we just have a cc by: license. We’ve never had a problem of anyone changing the articles or anything but some people worry about it. The last one is non-commercial and this means if you still have the vain hope that you’re going to make money out of it and you don’t want somebody else to make money, you put a non-commercial onto it and that way anyone makes money on it or wants to make money, they have to come to you for permission and you share the money. But I haven’t seen too many making money by putting a non-commercial license on it. Interesting- “The act of reading, by itself, is an exercise that will almost always constitute fair dealing even when it is carried out solely for personal enlightenment or entertainment.” So really reading is fair dealing no matter which way you look at it and fair use in the United States. Some people get very worried that they’re reading something. “Oh, do I have the right to do this?” Yes you have every right to do it. And here you can see intellectual property and the judge there is saying “Ooty Wooty Sweet patootie” -it’s neither intellectual nor property. And again we need to return to the correct term for it, which is a privileged monopoly that we give to people. Again why do they use property? Well, William Blackstone, back in the 18th century, put it this way. “There’s nothing which so generally strikes the imagination, and engages the affections of mankind, as the right of property;” -people love the idea of property- “or that sole and despotic dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in total exclusion of the right of any other individual in the universe.” And certainly this idea of property has become a very sacred to us and that’s why the publishers use that term instead of monopoly. We don’t like monopolies, I think that, since Theodore Roosevelt broke them in the early part of the last century. So intellectual property, is that what it is, or is it a manifestation of government intervention in social relations? It’s similar to imposing duties, restricting freedom, and inflicting a burden on users. This monopoly we give is the same as imposing duties, restricting freedom, inflicting burden on users, but we believe it’s worthwhile in order to promote learning and the useful arts. So we know it’s not a good thing but for a limited time we allow it. And originally with 17 years, which you could apply for another 17 years, now it’s seven years past the death of the author. So it’s gotten a bit ridiculous, the length of time, but nevertheless it is a monopoly. And we’re not against it, we’re not against copyright, but as I said earlier Britney Spears needs this type of thing. This is wonderful. And if I were to write a book, 50 shades of McGreal or something like that, I’d want to copyright it. But my learning object book was a best seller: 326 copies. I didn’t make any money on it but that was a best-seller according to the publisher. In education we’re just not gonna make that amount. Now some people do with textbooks, there’re some selling 100,000 textbooks and making lots of money. Well, those professors I don’t even blame them, supporting the publishers. You know that there’s so few of him compared to the 99% of us who write books and don’t get anything from it. I mean, why are we going down that road? Now digital locks, or it’s known as Digital Rights Management in the United States. In Canada, we call it a Technological Protection Measures, but it’s a digital lock that they put on your devices to make them defective, so that they don’t work properly. And one of the earliest examples was with Animal Farm, do you remember that, it was about 7 or 8 years ago? Where amazon sold Animal Farm and somebody protested about it and they went into people’s computers and took it back. They just went in and just took it off their computers, people who bought it. And with Digital Rights Management, they can do that and it’s been, it’s a pain. I’m going into that a bit more why and how dangerous this is. There’s three common types of Digital Rights Management: from Amazon, Apple, and Adobe. They have different systems and they completely control the systems. They can go into your, with the Digital Rights Management, they can go in and pretty well do whatever they want with your device. So, who’s really losing? The Sony rootkit, does anyone remember the Sony rootkit scandal where they put in Digital Rights Management and it destroyed your operating system on your computer? Any obstacle that makes a record harder to listen to is bad news for the artist that made it. And this is what happened, they put in all kinds of Digital Rights Management on songs and the pirated version was better. And I can remember I started my computer journey with a Commodore 64, told you how old I am, but never mind that. They had a, the word processing software was called Paper Clip, and you got what you call the dongle, and you had to put the dongle into the port in the back in order for your Paper Clip to work. And all the time, “Where’s that F-ing dongle, where did I put that damn thing, oh I left it at home and I wanted to work at the University.” And it was a nightmare with this dongle so I joined this computer club that, I was at McGill University at the time, and these guys hacked through it and we all shared it and we all got pirated copies of it where we didn’t need the dongle. The pirated version was more useful than the official version and that’s what’s happening with all of this Digital Rights Management. Now, with Digital Rights Management, what they do is maybe not all of these things, maybe it’s some of these things, but I found all of these things in different e textbooks. You can’t copy/paste/annotate/highlight, or if you can, they own what you copy/paste/annotate/highlight, not you. Text to speech for important for visually disabled people, you can’t use their applications. Format change, you can’t move it from a mac to a pc. Move material, you can’t even move it from one pc to another pc. I can’t print it out, it stops that. You can’t move it geographically! I had a book, I was going to read it on the plane. I just bought it and it said you have no access to the internet, you can’t, they can’t verify that you own it, so I couldn’t read it. So I got to Paris. I was in the hotel. I’ll read it. I went and “It is not available for use in this country”. So you bought your book and you can’t read it! I mean people are going all over the world now, everywhere, and they have decided on their own to divide the world up in the way they want to be divided up. So big problem moving geographically. A really big one: after, they put in a dead date so as after the exam the student loses the material. And can you imagine, a student just finished calculus 1 and he’s going to take calculus 2 and his textbook disappears. I mean, very bad for us in education, and unlike a print book you cannot resell your ebook. And Digital Rights Management needs deep permissions into the operating system. It can stop normal operating system functions. They control your device. They can go in and control your device however they want. How many of, do you have these here, access codes? Where now you get the commercial text and now they have to get an access code, you have to pay for that and charge for that. Another huge problem with commercial content. We have to get away from that. And there’s, I should’ve waited to tell my story to that one but I got excited earlier on and kept on about it. But yeah that’s what it looked like. This is the problem: your device is your property and DRM, it restricts our freedom. That is your device, your cell phone, that’s your property, your Iphone, that’s yours. That is property. That is real property. You own it and what they’re doing is restricting your freedom to use your property. And we’re letting them get away with it. Here’s a simple question: can we not own and control our own property? They’re putting handcuffs on to our devices but we’re innocent, we’ve done nothing wrong. But they handcuff us, deliberately. How many have seen this? “The uploader has not made this video available in your country.” Maybe you don’t see it as much in the States, we see it all the time in Canada. And this seems farfetched, I believe it was Senator Hatch in Utah introduced it to the Congress about 10 years ago, that destroy your system if you are using illegal pirated content. Luckily it didn’t go anywhere with the people laughed it off, they said it’s just ridiculous, but that’s what the publishers wanted. Error 53, who’s heard of error 53? I hope nobody here has heard of it. One of the worst things that can happen to you, your iphone. If you take your iphone to an unauthorized iphone dealer for repair, the next time you upgrade the operating system you will get error 53 and it disables your iphone. It cannot be used again ever. It cannot be fixed. You have to buy a new iphone. And this was discovered last May by a reporter and of course these are absolutely necessary devices for reporting now. It was a foreign correspondent in Kosovo and in Kosovo they don’t have an Apple dealer. And he had a problem with his device so he went to a computer shop and they fixed it for him and it worked fine. He got back to England and a month later he upgraded to the next operating system and he got this error, error 53. So it is a very real threat, of them controlling your devices and basically making them useless, and you can’t do anything about it. I have this picture because Cory Doctoraw brought this up. I’ve been on about this Digital Rights Management for years but it never occurred to me just how serious this issue is. It’s far more serious than just textbooks. A farmer in Australia, with his John Deere tractor, had a problem with John Deere and they disabled his tractor. They all work with software now. A modern tractor can’t work without software, but he doesn’t own the software, John Deere owns the software on his tractor. And if they have a dispute with you, they can just shut it down and you cannot use it. You cannot work with it. Cars today. You don’t own your car. You have a right to use the software on your car and with Digital Rights Management, you can’t go in and find out how it works or what’s happening or fix it. You’re not allowed. You can’t do that. And hackers can, hackers can go into your car and do all kinds of crazy things with it. But this is very serious stuff. Even more serious: what about heart pumps? They’re protected by Digital Rights Management, you don’t know what it is. Or how about voting machines. Your voting machines, you don’t know what’s in there, you don’t know how it works, what’s happening, nor can you get in there because it’s got a digital lock on it. You can’t find out what’s happening. So this is a very serious issue and I’m hoping, I think there’s people now in California wanting to take this to the courts to protect us from this because it’s far more serious than just text books. Now on top of the digital locks, they also have digital licenses. How many here read their digital licenses before you click on “I agree”? There’s one nerd in the back, I’m a nerd –I’ve read a lot of them–, two nerds, nobody reads them. Some of them are 68 pages long, and even if you read them, you’re scratching your head and wondering what it means because it’s written in legalese, not in English. But when you click on “I agree” what are you agreeing to? Well you’re agreeing to their right to put the digital lock on and block you from doing all these things that I just mentioned. You’ve agreed to that. You’ve also agreed that the owners have no liability even if the product doesn’t work. Well, in British common law which is in America as well, it goes back this goes back centuries, is if you sell somebody something, there’s an implicit guarantee that it works, unless you put As Is on the on the receipt, it works. Well you’ve agreed that it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work. You’ve agreed to that, you’ve agreed that they can invade your computer without further permission, and collect and use your personal data. You haven’t agreed that they can use your data related to their software, you’ve agreed that they can use any of your personal data, anything that’s on your computer. You’ve agreed that you have a privilege to use the product not to own it. So you don’t even own it anymore, it’s theirs. And you are prohibited to show your content to anyone else. By the way, this is a criminal offense. Can you imagine being in jail for showing your content to somebody else? You’d be pretty low on the prison hierarchy, wouldn’t you. It’s a pretty scary thought but you’ve agreed to this. You’re prohibited to show your content to others. How can we work in an educational environment with this? That you say, “oh this is an interesting a formula, look at this.” But nope, too late, you know what the licenses say? Is if you do this, you must immediately delete the application from your computer and contact, inform the owner of the application. And you must accept that you have no rights, you’ve agreed that you no longer have fair use rights. So all of those things you’ve agreed to with your digital license. And Brian Rakowski put it this way, “We’re going to own all of your shit whether you like it or not. Deal with it.” but if you go to open e-textbooks you can copy-paste, text-to-speech, move material, move geographically, reuse, remix, rematch, and retain your privacy and digital rights. It’s a way, let them put in all the restrictions, if we move to OER it doesn’t matter. That’s why i believe that OER are essential for e-learning implementations. Not that they’re nice things to do and we should be thinking about it, but that they’re essential. That we cannot work as educators with the restrictions that are put on us by the publishers. Here’s an example of one lesson. They have the right to reasonably inspect, announced or unannounced, and to audit your records and inventory and use of the software, whether located on the licensees premises or elsewhere at any time. You’ve agreed they can come into your house and, without announcing anything, and check your records and do what they want with them. So, it brings up this question: do you own what you pay for? Very interesting question. That they brought it, it’s a new concept in the world. They control you look they can control how, when, where, and with what specific brand of technological assistance audiences are able to access content. And there’s the map of the world, that’s their map of the world. They’ve divided it up the way they want to, to make sure that they can keep their profits. They brought this new concept into the world: you buy but you don’t get. You remember the world the way it used to be? If you bought something you got it? If you bought a hammer, you could hit any kind of nail with it you wanted. You could choose the nail that you wanted to hit it with. But with these applications, they decide what you can do with what you bought. They decide that. It’s a totally new concept. You buy but you don’t get. They control how you use your device, your property. Commercial Learning Service or Rent-a-book? Students own nothing. Oh, I think we’ve seen that one before. David Wiley put it this way: “When you subscribe to content through a digital service, the publisher achieves complete and perfect control over you and your use of their content.” Cory Doctorow put it this way: “There’s no theory of capitalism that says that my private property should be regulated by the state because there’s a copyrighted work Inside of it.” And this is very important concept and this needs to go to the courts now, because everything you buy has software in it. Even your fridge with intelligence now; you’ll go down at the night and they’ll say, “What are you coming here at this time of night for, Fatty.” You know, there’s all kinds of different applications but everything has software in it, everything has digital rights management in it. And as Cory Doctorow says, you know, where is the theory of capitalism that says that they can do that to your property? Audrey Watters put it this way, she calls it the Post-Ownership Society. We all just share and rent on the powerful platforms of Silicon Valley billionaires. This is far from a satisfactory alternative. And David Wiley tells us again that, “Openness is the skeleton key that unlocks every attempt to vendor control and lockin.” So let them go that way, with their strict regulations and everything. We go Open Education Resources, Open Access, and stay away from all of their shenanigan. I mean the reason they’re pushing so hard in education is that educational publishing is the most profitable part of the entire publishing industry, by far. Forget about Harry Potter, Fifty Shades of Grey, they make money once in awhile, it’s great, but they get… it’s a constant cash cow, educational publishing. Every year they make a fortune, all the time. They pull in the money. It’s the gravy train for them. And the way we get away from that is by opening up. So how can we participate? Well we have the OER Chairs Network and all these beautiful people around the world, some of us not so beautiful. In Canada, New Zealand, Brazil, Holland, Mexico, Slovenia, the UK. These are chair holders in Open Educational Resources and we work together to promote OER. We have started the global OER graduate network. Where people are studying for a PhD, in some aspect of Open Educational Resources, join this network of others and now there’s about 25 graduate students, doctoral students, half-a-dozen post docs, and about a dozen professors who work together on this global OER graduate network. If you have any students who are studying OER, contact me and I can put you in touch with them. The OER knowledge cloud: this is what we put together. It now has 1300 scholarly articles and reports about OER. So these, they’re openly licensed but they’re not OER, they’re reports about OER for people studying issues related to open education resources. That’s an example of some of the documents available there. The OERu: we are involved with it, with about 30 other institutions on five continents. And it’s to address this problem: Learners who access OER and acquire knowledge and skills can’t have their learning assessed and accredited. And this is a big problem in Canada, and I suspect in the United States too, Is where we have the most well-educated taxi drivers in the world. They come to Canada and they have great skills and education but they can’t get it recognized. And so we need to find ways of getting it recognized and this is one way that we’re addressing this and other problems. The traditional model of the university is on the left. Our students using our faculty take our courses and we give them our credential. The OERu model is any learners anywhere–they don’t even have to be students– using any faculty or any mentors–anyone who can help them– using any materials–OER particularly but any materials– but if they want an Athabasca University credential, they take our assessment. If they want a University of Southern Queensland in Australia credential, they take their assessment. And that’s the model we’re looking at in order to give free, and we’re coming out in April, free first-year university online. It’s going to be available, you just pay for the exam. And that’s a model that we’re going to be testing out in the spring. However, with all that’s going on, if you’re not confused by all this you don’t understand. The reason you’re confused is because the world has become very confusing. Be very careful of people who know exactly what’s going on; they’re either charlatans or fools. Everything you know is wrong. Everyday computers are making people easier to use. Innovation always produces hostility among those who prosper in the old paradigms. I’ll finish off with this: The Royal Society in the UK is the oldest scientific society in the world. And they say that, “The restriction of the commons by patents, copyrights, and databases is not in the interest of society and unduly hampers scientific endeavor.” And Reverend Frame says “that to penalize consumers in order to give special benefit to an industry might well come under the biblical definition of theft.” So I was saying earlier that it’s not theft, its infringement when you download a song or whatever. But he’s saying that by closing off parts of the internet and stopping people from being able to access all kinds of content, that that could be considered theft. That’s a very real problem we have with publishers when they take things away from us, that is theft. And the previous pope put it this way. “On the part of rich countries there is excessive zeal for protecting knowledge through an unduly rigid assertion of the right to intellectual property…” What does that tell us? That both science and God are on our side. We are on the side of the angels. I’m going to finish off now with this story about the frog. If you put a frog in water, and you slowly heat it up to til it boils, by the time it boils he can’t jump cause his legs are cooked. And I tell the story because the technology is bubbling all around us and at sometime we’ve got to jump and if we don’t jump we’re going to be cooked. Well I put this story out on the internet and I got an email back from another country and it said, “Very sorry, Dr. McGreal, but at 45 degrees Celsius, a knee-jerk reaction in the right anterior of something something muscle of the frog’s legs causes it to automatically eject itself from the water.” And I’m thinking, “oh my god, there’s people all over the world putting frogs in water and boiling them because of my story.” So I had to put out a disclaimer. I said, “There seems to be a cultural misunderstanding.” I said “I come from the maritime region of Canada and there, we do not let the facts interfere with a good story.” So I’ll finish with that and open for questions, thank you very much. [Moderator] I do have a question from the stream. There’s a question of whether or not we have the ability to save up these slides and present them along with the video for them to peruse later. What kind of permissions do you have on this presentation? [Dr. McGreal] This is a disappointment to me. This is a disappointment to me because my whole talk has been about Open Education Resources. I put up a big black slide right at the front of, “these are open.” I mean anyone can use them and they’re on your computer here, anyone can use them. My one caution is that some of the images are under fair dealing or fair use in the United States. But that means you can use them for an educational purposes. So yeah, it’s a big disappointment to me, people aren’t listening. Yeah yes. [] We’ve been worried for a while about the property of the publishers that you mentioned. Whenever you use their resources and especially the dangers of big data where these kinds of things are in the case of minors. The discussion in the US recently has been even though the parents actually never gave permission. And so should the schools be held responsible for students being given a textbook? And in Texas they certify the textbooks for the whole state. so, you can take it up to whatever level you want. long I But I wondered if you could give an opinion. I think I know the answer but in our particular case here in Texas, it seems like there are several layers of problems even beyond the idea that education or knowledge is meant to be shared. That our dangers that the kinds of systems that publishers have put in place, that are imposing on us. [Dr. McGreal] Yeah I’ve only touch the surface. There’s gonna be all kinds of other issues like that. I mean privacy of students, I mean they own the data that they collect, the parents don’t have any control over that. But to me I think I guess it depends on the laws in the different states. But if a parent were to sue the school board to say, “you can’t use my child’s without permission” it’s going to go through some process. And again, I think that the publishers will win because they can buy off the politicians. So the answer is, what you guessed, is OER; go to Open Education Resources, you don’t have that problem with people, with the publisher. But they want that data, that data is as important to them is selling the books to you. This is, they sell that data and make a lot make a lot of money out of it so it is a major concern. [] You might still have that problem even with educational resources. So Barnes and Noble and many others are packaging the openly licensed materials in their own systems that make it easy to use, where they’ve gathered some additional material from various places and allow you to customize it and things. And then for you to use that it’s still a closed system so you’re still, the student still has to buy an access key and they’re probably agreeing to terms of use and such things like this. So are you concerned about a re-enclosure of the material? [Dr McGreal] Yes, well, I touched on it but thanks for bringing this up. Martin Weller published a book, it’s available open access, The Battle for Open, and he calls this Open Washing. So the publishers are saying now, “Well oh, we support Open! You know what, we support it.” And they’re building these things so they have their controlled space where you pay them so much a month forever and then you use their application in order to access the OER. And not only that, then they’re collecting the data and doing it. So they’re using OER in order to promote their own profit interests. So it is a problem, and I think we should avoid that and stick to open source applications but it’s a battle. As Martin Weller puts it in his book, it’s a battle for open, is they’re going to try to close it any way they can because it’s so profitable. I don’t blame them. The president of Elsevier made four and a half million pounds last year for publishing our stuff. We give it to them for free. So I mean, we give it to them for free, we review it for free, and they sell it to us, back to us at an enormous profit and they make the money. I think there’s about eight vice presidents who are making over a million pounds a year. I mean we’re giving it away to them really. We’re just shoveling money towards them all the time. They’re not going to go without a fight, they’re gonna keep it up. Yes? [] Apparently so vendors also services so actually always considered you are I collaboration also our awesome [Dr. McGreal] Yes, yes, they do! They do a lot of good things and they charge us for it, they charge us heavily for it, and we can do that ourselves. We can have service, we could actually contract with them at a reasonable cost rather than at the ridiculously high cost that they give to us. And we contract with others and do it ourselves or do it with other publishers and let them make a profit on it. I’m not against profit, I think they should but it is exorbitant profit they’re making off of us. It is ridiculous the amount of money we’re paying them. And how about we can keep our copyright rather than give our copyright to them. And these vendors are making all this money. I’m a reviewer, why won’t they pay me to review it? I won’t review for a commercial publication anymore unless they pay me. When they asked me to review I say, “You know, give me a hundred dollars and I’ll donate it to the Open Education Movement.” They won’t give me 100 dollars. But why why would anyone review for them for free! They’re making a fortune! If it was a charitable organization I do it for free; I do it for free to all. Any Open Access publication I do it for free. But I’m not going to do it for free for them to make this huge amount of money. But to say they don’t do it, yes they do do good. Yes and we need to have that done, but we don’t need to pay that kind of money for it. And what we can do is instead of paying 10 million dollars a year to to them, is take 1 million of that and start supporting Open Education and Open Access. And in a few years it will be less than a million and it’ll only be a reasonable amount and everything will be open and available. And to say they’re opening up and making it accessible, no they’re not! They’re closing it down. If you’re not a member of the university, you cannot access the Eelsevier’s content, Thomson, Reuters, you can’t access that content. Only the people who’ve paid can access, or the students in those universities that have paid can access the content. So they’re not making it available. This was true in the past before the internet. And I had no problem with it before the internet because in fact back then they didn’t, they weren’t as exorbitant. They weren’t charging us the huge amounts of money they charge us now. And there was no other way of doing it or we couldn’t figure out another way of doing it. But now it’s obvious, you know, open it up and they’re taking advantage of it. Yes? [] So earlier you showed a quote from Cory Doctorow, which he was talking about terms of use, I believe, like for websites or for software, and said something about the State intervening in this relationship right. And so, I’m a little puzzled by the quote. I was thinking about, well maybe he means the states intervening and that there is a relationship between the customer and the producer/manufacture that the state is involved in because they’re arbitrating that contract except the laws of contract. But they’re otherwise not in that relationship, right, the contract… the state isn’t the party here, it’s just a contract between a customer and a producer/manufacturer. And so there’s a sort of certain libertarian perspective here that says, well you know, this is consenting adult that has entered into this relationship. They could choose to go somewhere else and not agree to those terms. What thoughts do you have on that? [Dr. McGreal] Well my understanding of that statement is that the state is directly intervening In saying you have a monopoly, we’re giving you a monopoly. So leave that out of the equation, get the state out of it, nobody has a monopoly and then come make your agreement. No, the state’s given them a monopoly and so they have that to ride on and the state will enforce that monopoly for you. [] The ‘you’ there has been given the monopoly to is the manufacturer/producer, right? Not the customer. [Dr. McGreal] Yeah, yeah, they’ve given the author and the publisher, the state has given you a monopoly. That’s what you have is a monopoly, it’s not property, this is nonsense. You can see there’s court cases in quite a few states showing quite clearly that it’s not property, it is a monopoly. And yes, I fully agree we should be able to make our agreement but without that monopoly, without the state monopoly. Yes? [] pay them see them play them more money than we’re getting out from the publishers such as they take the copyright they give instead they get the copyright to work to the publishers give the prop copyright to a university that all and give the copyright to a funding agency that gives them the money i think we should pace [Dr. Greal] Yeah it’ll be cheaper and yeah, you take some of the money that we saved and then I said, our university has just got into it, we saved two million dollars already. Take some of that money and use it to pay authors and update the material or create new material or whatever or use it to search and find other material that’s out there. And the other thing is to start using what other people have created is And creative commons is working on this now of a federated search through repository so you can easily find Open Education Resources, which is a bit of a problem. Not as big of a problem as a lot of people think that it is. It is a problem and we’re working on the solution to that. But I want offers to be paid, no problem. I want publishers to be paid. We’re looking at, instead of us supporting the Clalen Stewart and the big publishers, international publishers, let’s support a local Alberto publisher. And so here’s a text book created by one of our professors. You publish it. You put in all the fancy stuff and you do it and make a really good job of it, but you do it locally or have it print on demand, and you can charge for that when it’s printed and if it’s online, it’s online and they can get it for free. And many people still want print. [] taking that but also the option by educating more and more people are getting more and more educated people there and developing things I let me be ya and student accesses i’m doing that again [Dr. McGreal] I’m not against copywrite or patents, that’s fine for a limited time. I think we’ve gone overboard. 70 years after the death… after somebody dies they’re not going to innovate anymore, that doesn’t make any sense. Patents for 17 years is fine. I wish we had copyright for 17 years. But while the patent is in, that doesn’t promote innovation, that stops innovation. If you look at what happened with the Wright brothers who put patents on all of their machinery for their airplanes, very little innovation took place in the United States until the patent expired in the 1920’s. All the innovation from about 1904 to the 1920’s was in France where they didn’t accept American copyright. So patents stop innovation, they don’t encourage innovation, they stop it. They say only this person can innovate in this area. So it’s a two-edged sword but I’m definitely not against it. I support copyright. I support a limited monopoly, even though it is an intervention by the state so it’s not it’s not libertarian, but I think sometimes the state should intervene and I do believe in that, that they should. Yes? [] Well, there are all kinds of lessons out there and components and things, and you have to, as a designer, you’re looking at your course. Instead of developing yourself from scratch, you say, “oh that’s a good piece; how would that fit in here?” And “oh, I’ll have to alter that a bit to get it to fit in here. And this piece fits in there but it doesn’t quite fit; I have to move it around here.” And it’s a lot more complex than we originally thought but first we use the analogy of Lego blocks and no, it’s more complex than Lego blocks. It’s putting courses together and assembling them and putting them together but it is possible. But you need people who understand Learning Design in order to do that or just get the whole package. One of our computer teachers, he wanted to do a Green Computing Course, Dr. Kinshuk knows about it, and he came to me and I was chatting to him about it. He said, “Oh it’s going to take me about a year to develop it.” And I said, “Well, why don’t you look online to see if there’s an OER?” And he said, “How do you do that ?” I said, “Well, Google ‘green computer course’.” He was a bit embarrassed because he’s a very proficient computer person and so we did. We Googled ‘green computer course’; halfway down on the front page ‘green computer course Australian National University OER Moodle’, which is the learning management system we use. He took it home and, well he didn’t take it home, he went home and looked at it online, and he came back a week later he said “It’s got everything I need!” He said, “All I have to do is add some Canadian examples,” because they were all Australian examples. And he sent the Canadian examples to the professor in Australia who’s using them in his Australian course. So you could do the whole course is possible sometimes. But what a lot of people, what we find is it they say, “Well I didn’t really invent it here in that,” and they don’t sort of like it. But it’s the two types of personalities: some professors, and I believe it’s the majority but I don’t know that, want the whole package. And they don’t want to deal with creating this and putting this together and taking that out and taking that up. Me, I’m a different type: I like the whole package but then I’ll take this out of the package and I put this in. Oh I’ll do all kinds of things anyway with it But there’s different types, then there’s different possibilities for the different ventures. [] required [Dr. McGreal] No, if it’s the full package you don’t need it and if you don’t worry about, too much about a specific… I mean some people are nitpickers, some people just accepted the way it is, and that’s fine. And if you’re a nitpicker, you’re gonna go and take this, “Ooo, that’s not quite right. I’m going to take this one and that one.” And these are good teachers, I mean, it’s a good way of approaching it but another good way is take the whole package, somebody else’s thought it through, and you know you have a lot of research to do so, ‘I don’t want to spend time developing a course.’ I think it should be open to everyone. I mean there’s two streams in the Open Movement that I found. One stream is, they’re in Open because they want to change the way we teach. They want to bring in connectivism, constructivism, other different ways, more personalized learning, and they’re in it for that reason and they support OER as long as it brings those in. Then there’s the others who just want free content. They don’t want to change anything. And for me, I believe both can co-exist. We can have both, that’s fine. Let the professor decide, you know, if he wants to just take the whole thing that’s great, and if you want to do working all different things, do so. I would hope that we could get Learning Designers to work with those that want to put things together. Or maybe they’ll learn Learning Design on their own by doing it. Sorry I’m overdoing the time. [Dr. Kinsuk] Yeah, we are kind of pushing the time. So, thank you very much for the wonderful talk and thank you for the questions. We also had presence online and this will also go, as I mentioned already mentioned that this must be CC By. So they can use it as they want. And we will also put slides up. [Dr. McGreal] yeah and and CC By means the publishers can use it. Thank you very much for your attention and for your very insightful questions. I really appreciate it.

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