OER and creative commons can help preserve Indigenous language

Indigenous languages matter for social, economic and political development, peaceful coexistence and reconciliation in our societies. Yet many of them are in danger of disappearing. The United Nations declared 2019 the Year of Indigenous Languages in order to encourage urgent action to preserve, revitalize and promote them.

The world’s indigenous languages foster and promote unique local cultures, customs and values which have endured for thousands of years and these languages add to the rich tapestry of global cultural diversity. Without them, the world would be a poorer place.

However, despite their value, languages, especially indigenous languages, are continuing to disappear at an alarming rate due to a variety of factors. According to the Forum on Indigenous Issues, 40 per cent of the estimated 6,700 languages spoken around the world are in danger of disappearing. The fact that most of these are indigenous languages puts the cultures and knowledge systems to which they belong at risk.

By Christer Gundersen. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license

Creative Commons enables translation into Indigenous languages

Educational materials for children is important to preserve indigenous languages. For many of the communities that speak indigenous languages, it is almost inconceivable to be able to provide educational materials in the local language for the children in their community. Lack of resources and political focus on education in national official languages often creates a barrier that is impossible to overcome. 

For these indigenous languages, translation of existing learning resources could be the only option to preserve a language that is in danger of disappearing. This is where open educational resources and creative commons can play an important role. 

The most common way to openly license copyrighted works is to add a Creative Commons license to it. CC licenses are standardized, free-to-use, open copyright licenses that have already been applied to more than 1.2 billion copyrighted works across 9 million websites.

Collectively, CC licensed works constitute a class of works that are explicitly meant to be legally shared and reused with few restrictions. 

This enables local communities to:

  • Translate the content
  • Adapt and change the educational content to fit the local context
  • Share the content with their community
  • It also will enable local publishers and tech startups to develop apps based on local needs in an indigenous language

Releasing content under a free license creates a unique opportunity to provide educational materials into languages that play an essential role in the daily lives of all peoples. 

These languages contain the indigenous people’s history, traditions, memory, unique modes of thinking and expression but more importantly construct their future. By developing more quality open educational resources we directly or indirectly support languages are pivotal in the areas of peacebuilding, human rights enhancement, education, research, innovation, protection of the environment, and sustainable development. 

One of the paragraphs in this text is reused from Cable Green, and the blog post “Open Licensing and Open Education Licensing Policy” that is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. This text is released under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

Kids in Kenya using Google Assistant

The last few days I have been working to design new features for the GDL with children in schools in Kibera (Nairobi), the largest urban slum in Africa. It has been a true privilege!

The most important learning this week is that even a child living in a shed, without water and electricity can be an expert on a smart phone. Praise and Faith (10 years old) in this video showed us how they are using voice control to read books with Google assistant!

Open Source building blocks for OER

I am currently working on a project where we are identifying building blocks that could be used to develop Digital Public Goods.

Digital public goods(DPG) are tools that serve to educate us, help us thrive in our professional lives, enrich our cultural experiences, and ultimately do good for the benefit of humankind. Examples of these goods exist all around us in the areas of information, education, healthcare, finance, and more. Many also serve to further the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

To contain the scope of the first “beta version” of DPG building blocks I have started with building blocks for Open Educational Resources(OER).

Open Source is defined as a corner stone of all DPGs, so I started working on a list of Open Source building blocks for OER.

Open Source for OER

Open source is software where the source code is available for anyone to view, use, change, and then share. Making source code publicly available allows others to build on and learn from it, enabling broad collaboration from people around the world. 

Instead of starting from scratch, projects that are developing Open Educational resources(OER) should look for ways to adapt and enhance existing products, resources and approaches. An essential part of the term open innovation in the context of OER will be a community built on reuse and improvement of the existing source code, content and data.

Reuse means assessing what resources are currently available and using them to meet future goals. Improve means modifying existing tools, products and resources to improve their overall quality, applicability and impact. OERs should start by identifying relevant methods, standards, software platforms and technology tools that have already been tried and tested. 

Examples of Open Source – DPG building blocks

There are hundreds of open source projects covering all aspects of DPG development. The most common building blocks of the internet are all open source, and most of them could be defined as DPG building blocks. 

The two first examples in this category represent a more general group of platforms. The other examples aim to show the whole spectrum of software, design elements and components that could be defined as DPG building blocks and OER. 

Open source development frameworks

Node.js, AngularJS and Bootstrap represent some of the most used open source development platforms and toolkits in the world. These are platforms used by thousands of projects, involving a large existing community of developers. 

Open source content management systems(CMS)

A content management system or CMS is a software that facilitates creating, editing, organizing, and publishing content. WordPress is an example of an open source content management system, that allows you to create and publish your content on the web. 

WordPress and other open source content management system could be defined as DPG building blocks. 

Readium

The fundamental goal of the Readium project is to produce a set of robust, performant, spec-compliant reading system toolkits that support digital publishing formats (e.g. EPUB, Web Publications etc.) and can be deployed in browsers or built into native apps on iOS, Android or the desktop. 

https://readium.org/

H5P

H5P is a free and open-source content collaboration framework based on JavaScript. H5P is an abbreviation for HTML5 Package and aims to make it easy for everyone to create, share and reuse interactive HTML5 content. Interactive videos, interactive presentations, quizzes, interactive timelines and more.

https://h5p.org/

EPUB and the EPUBCheck

EPUBCheck is a tool to validate the conformance of EPUB publications against the EPUB specifications. EPUBCheck can be run as a standalone command-line tool or used as a Java library. EPUBCheck is open source software, maintained by the DAISY Consortium on behalf of the W3C.

https://github.com/w3c/epubcheck

Google Lighthouse 

Lighthouse is an open-source, automated tool for improving the quality of web pages. You can run it against any web page, public or requiring authentication. It has audits for performance, accessibility, progressive web apps, and more.

https://developers.google.com/web/tools/lighthouse/

Material Design

Material Design is an open source adaptable system of guidelines, components, and tools that support the best practices of user interface design. The Material design framework and community includes principles, examples, icons and open sources implementations like material-ui.com that support reuse and easy adaptation of Material.io.

https://material.io/

Sector specific applications 

In some cases, application features are specific for one sector, like education. Assessing what source code and resources that are currently available amongst sector-specific projects can be useful for a DPG project developing in the same sector. 

Examples OER projects within the educational sector sharing code on GitHub:

Sharing my travel pictures under Creative Commons

I am merely a hobby photographer that every now and then end up being in the right place at the right time, catching a sunset or a great view of an elephant, a mountain or a lake.

Inspired by the new CC search and the magical sharing community at the #ccsummit I am releasing 95 of my travel pictures under CC-BY 4.0.

Cool kid in Nairobi

Over the last few years, I have been travelling in a few countries, and my collection of pictures reflects this. You will find pictures from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya, Paris, Rome. Most pictures are still from my home country Norway.

All pictures are available on Github and SmugMug.

Nytt CC søk gir brukerne tilgang til 300 millioner bilder

Nytt CC søk gir brukerne tilgang til 300 millioner bilder

Denne uken lanserte Creative Commons et nytt søk som gjør det enda enklere å finne bilder på nett som det faktisk er lov å gjenbruke, uten fare for å motta en faktura i posten fra fotografen. Det nye bildesøket gir brukerne tilgang til 300 millioner bilder i et og samme søk.

Dette er å regne som et globalt digital fellesgode som fremmer god delingskultur. Samtidig gjør det nye søket det enklere å kreditere opphavspersonen riktig, noe som bidrar til at vi får mindre ulovlig gjenbruk av bilder på nett.

Søket vil i første omgang fokusere på bilder, men på sikt vil det også inkludere lyd og digitale læringsressurser. Målet er å utvikle et felles søk for alle de 1.4 milliarder objektene som idag er tilgjengelig under en fri lisens på internett.

Søket samler bilder fra 19 forskjellige kilder inkludert den norske tjenesten Digitalt Museum.no som tilbyr et åpent søk på 2.3 millioner objekter hvor 126.000 av disse er underlagt en CC lisens. Den største kilden er Flickr som tilbyr 289 millioner bilder i det åpne søket. En spennende ny kilde er thingiverse.com som tilbyr 3D tegninger som er sluppet under en fri lisens.

Tema i denne blogg posten er gjengitt som sak på digi.no.

First 4K video using Pixel XL3

If there’s one area where smartphones have really improved over the last couple of years, it’s photography and video.

Even though 4K video on smartphones is no new thing, I have never tried to make one complete edit with 4K from any smartphone. I got the Pixel 3 XL this winter and for the first time, I decided to try to shoot a ski-trip and edit the whole thing in Premiere Pro without any colour correction, just to see if the quality was “OK” when published on Youtube in 4K.

The goal was not to do a review or anything like that, but my general conclusion is that both the 4K and the stabilization works great. At the end of this short ski-clip, you will see that I am filming while going downhill, and still, it seems steady.

Creative Commons on the GDL explained in 2 minutes

We have been working on a short explainer video describing the important role of Creative Commons on the GDL platform. It has been an interesting experience for me personally, as we have been crafting this short version of a rather complex explanation on how Creative Commons makes free access, sharing and translation of resources possible on the GDL platform.

This has forced us to focus on the core elements of the CC licenses and a simplified message. We will later pick up some of the positive consequences for stakeholders and actors like publishers and commercial companies.

The Global Digital Library

Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to work with the Global Digital Library, an incredibly rewarding project, with the vision that children around the world will have the opportunity to learn to read in their own language. My responsibility as the CTO of the project has been product development, user testing, partner involvement and marketing. 

The GDL collects existing high quality open educational reading resources, and makes them available on the web, mobile and for print. By the end of 2018 the Library will offer resources in at least 25 languages, and by end 2020 at least 100 languages. The platform also facilitates translation and localization of GDL-resources to more than 300 languages.

By the end of 2018 the Library will offer resources in at least 25 languages, and by end 2020 at least 100 languages. The platform also facilitates translation and localization of GDL-resources to more than 300 languages.

After working over the past year with fantastic people at Norad, NDLA, USAID, UNESCO and a large group of other organisation, it is safe to say that this has been a collaborative effort. To be able to launch the GDL platform this week as part of the Global Book Alliance is truly rewarding.

As part of the launch of the platform in Addis Ababa this week,  we created the first introductory video that explains the project in 50 seconds

 

 

 

Workshops using Storyweaver in Nepal and Ethiopia – get involved as translator now!

Over the last three weeks, we at the Global Digital Library have conducted workshops in Nepal and Ethiopia, as a part of the initial phase of our project. These user tests are an important part of our work as they provide us with initial user feedback on prototypes and personas. For both workshops, we have made prototypes based on a great mix if content and tech from different open sources and OER projects including resources from Storyweaver by Pratham Books. 

Localization using Storyweaver

Localization and translation will be an important part of our work and as a point of reference, we have tested both our own tool for localization and a tool developed by Storyweaver.

We at the GDL project are in the early stages of developing our platform, but if you want to join the community of translators now, you can start using Storyweaver. Our friends at Storyweaver have developed a great website with stories and books that you can read or translate into you own language.

To prepare our workshops we made this tutorial that also can serve as the first practical introduction for anyone that wants to join our movement of translators, using the Storyweaver platform. Check out this 4-minute video to get you going!

Link

NDLA technology reused by 14.000 websites worldwide

Over the last couple of years, the NDLA team have been working to replace Flash-based applications and interactive learning objects. NDLA also needed a tool to make it easy to create, share and reuse HTML5 content and applications. We started developing a new tool in public-private partnership with Joubel, a tech startup in Tromsø, in the northern part of Norway. This collaboration ended up as a project and product called H5P.

H5P is at the time of writing installed on over 14.000 websites. H5P is reused by many universities, large companies and smaller personal websites worldwide. It´s great to see this kind of reuse and in the long run, this will make the platform more sustainable, also for NDLA.

The team developing and designing H5P have been set up with the best product developers from NDLA and designers and developers from Joubel. This kind of public-private partnership is essential to NDLAs innovation process.

In H5P, all you need is a web browser and a website with an H5P plugin. H5P empowers creatives to create rich and interactive web experiences more efficiently.

H5P is a free and open source tool that helps you create HTML5 content in the browser of your choice and share it across all operating systems and browsers. Check out the list of different content types.

As H5P is open source there are no “strings attached”. Anyone can reuse both content and technology without asking Joubel or NDLA for permission. One of the universities that have reused H5P is Colorado.

How to use H5P?

H5P is a plugin for existing CMS and Learning Management Systems (LMS) systems like WordPress and Drupal. Just install the H5P and your system becomes able to create, share, and reuse great interactive content. For systems that don’t have an H5P plugin available yet it is possible to embed content using an iframe or using the Learning Tool Interoperability (LTI) standard. With the LTI and supporting APIs and specifications embedding an externally hosted H5P authoring tool is also possible.

The H5P format is open and the tools for creating H5P content are open source. This guarantees that creatives own their own content and are not locked into the fate and licensing regime of a specific tool.