Richard Baraniuk talks open education tomorrow @ UBC

I must have had a serious brain cramp, as I’ve neglected to plug a talk on open education tomorrow by Richard Baraniuk. Richard has been a heavy hitter in this domain for some time, due to his leadership of the deeply cool Connexions project.

Details and registration for the talk are here:

Date: January 15, 2008
Time: 10:00 – 11:30 am
Location: Michael Smith Laboratories Lecture Theatre, Room 102, 2185 East Mall

A grassroots movement is sweeping through the academic world. The “open education movement” is based on a set of intuitions that are shared by a remarkably wide range of academics: that knowledge should be free and open to use and re-use; that collaboration should be easier, not harder; that people should receive credit and kudos for contributing to education and research; and that concepts and ideas are linked in unusual and surprising ways and not the simple linear forms that traditional media present. In this talk, I will overview the past, present, and future of the open education movement in the context of Connexions (cnx.org), which invites authors, educators, and learners worldwide to “create, rip, mix, and burn” textbooks, courses, and learning materials from a global open-access repository.

We had Richard here as a speaker shortly after I started at UBC, something like five years ago. He’s immensely knowledgeable, highly engaging, and a very strong speaker. Indeed, I’m pretty sure he is our first guest (in the education technology domain at least) who has delivered a TED talk.

This talk amply rewards the 18 minutes of time it takes to watch. I gotta say though, as much as I love discussions on the tensions between analog and digital media, I think Richard’s opening example of vinyl as an outdated technology is grievously misplaced. But that argument is for another post…

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