Teknologiprat med Salve Joshua Nilsen om fri programvare og delingskultur

Dette er den første podcasten i en serie hvor jeg snakker med fri programvare og åpne kildekode entusiaster i Norge.

Målet er å sette lys på det fantastiske arbeidet fra en gruppe utrolig smarte og flinke teknologer som bidrar til en teknologisk delingskultur som har endret verden i det skjulte.

Salve er en av de smarteste folka jeg kjenner, og da er det naturlig å starte det hele med en lang og god prat med nettopp Salve.

I løpet av samtalen var vi innom alt fra Steve Balmer til Perl, Github og Hackeriet i Oslo.

Norwegian OER project H5P used by several hundred million worldwide

The open source and open educational platform H5P has seen fantastic traction of the last two years, reaching several 100 million users worldwide, with the H5P component installed in more than 40.000 websites. Last week it was announced that H5P is soon to be integrated into Moodle core, meaning that hundreds of millions of new community members will join the H5P family over the next year or two.

This is truly an amazing story about a small team of designers and developers that started out on a mission to create an open source tool that allows users to create interactive HTML5 content that you can reuse and share across platforms and devices.

A key success factor is user-centered design and organic development of the platform. HP5 is an easy tool that everyone can learn to master. To start using H5P, all you need is a web browser and a website with an H5P plugin, or you can use a hosted service on H5P.com. H5P empowers creatives to develop rich and interactive web experiences more efficiently, with open source and OER at the core.

H5P is at the time of writing installed on over 40.000 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!

As H5P is open source there are no “strings attached”. Anyone can reuse both content and technology without asking permission and anyone can create their own platform with H5P as part of a new solution.

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting the team working on EkStep, an educational platform currently being deployed in most states in India. This platform is one of many that use H5P in large scale projects, and EkStep is also being considered used in other countries in both Asia and Africa. This shows how reuse and sharing can create a collective impact that accelerates the spread of technology in education worldwide.

The Norwegian Digital Learning Arena(NDLA) team have been working on the platform from the start to develop new content types for H5P and integrating them in our platform and content production.

The team developing and designing H5P have been set up with the best product developers from NDLA and designers and developers from Joubel. What started as a public-private partnership between NDLA and Joubel, a Norwegian tech startup, has now evolved into a global movement.

The landscape of digital literacy is changing

Earlier this week, I hosted a session at the mEducation Alliance Symposium in Washington. This years topic was Digital Literacy and Skills for Education and Development, and in our session, we dived into the changing landscape of digital literacy. After a great session with many of our partners in the early grade reading space, I have written down some reflections.

So what is changing?

Digital literacy is more than digital skills. The cultural, cognitive, creative and analytic elements of digital literacy are crucial for anyone that is using digital tools for learning, at school or in their daily lives. Mastering an app, a device or a platform is just a small part of digital literacy.

new technologies are changing how we learn with tech and how we master tech to learn

The landscape of digital literacy is changing rapidly, not only because technology is evolving, but because new technologies are changing how we learn with tech and how we master tech to learn.

The traditional way of digitizing early grade reading has been to create digital versions of books. That is about to change dramatically.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and Natural language processing (NLP) are categories of technology that changes the way kids learn in a profound way. For a child learning to read this poses a great opportunity at the same time as it requires a different level of digital literacy. Just a few years ago, this was more of a theoretical field of research. Over the last two to three years, NLP has been added to the “smartphone” user experience, and we also see applications like Google Bolo being able to run these algorithms offline on the device, bringing this paradigm shift to a broader user group.

Platform agnostic content

For projects developing new material, this new landscape requires a different approach to content development. We actually need to develop content without knowing how it will be used in five years.

Content creation, re-use and adaptation are also vital parts of what we define as digital literacy for the future. For content developers, this requires them to develop content that is platform-agnostic, leaving it up to the consumer whether to use content “out of the box” or create their own derivative, tailored to their needs.   

When All Children Reading launched their new price competition Begin With Books earlier this week, it was amazing to see how they have developed the whole prize concept around this idea that content development of books should be platform-agnostic and born accessible.

In the Global Digital Library project, we have developed a prototype where we connect our own content API with the Google Assistant. During this project, we see very clearly how crucial platform-agnostic content development is.

we are moving into “unknown territory”, and we must navigate with caution

Navigate with caution

I am personally excited to explore these new opportunities that AI and NLP create, but we are moving into “unknown territory”, and we must navigate with caution. In some cases, AI will be a perfect fit to create a new learning experience; in other cases, we should keep it “human”.

Fremtidens skole er bygget på delingskultur

I en sak publisert på NRK 26. september beskrives en kjent problemstilling, nemlig at piratkopiering av læreverk er blitt hverdagskost i flere norske grunnskoler. Lærere klager på for dårlige lærebøker og gjør seg til lovbrytere gjennom at de kopierer fra bøker og annet materiale som er underlagt loven om opphavsrett. Vi i Creative Commons Norge mener det er viktig at alle lærere i den norske skolen forholder seg til lovene som regulerer deres mulighet til å kopiere.

Også utenfor skolen er dette et problem. Noen ganger kan selv små brudd på opphavsretten, gjort i god tro, få store konsekvenser. Et eksempel er Loddefjord idrettslag som for et par år tilbake brukte et bilde av det norske flagget i forbindelse med 17. mai, uten å spørre fotografen om lov, for så å måtte de punge ut med 5.000 kroner. 

Norsk faglitterær forfatter- og oversetterforening, Kopinor, Steffen Handal i Utdanningsforbundet og KS uttaler seg alle om den “kritiske situasjonen” som den norske skolen og lærerne har havnet opp i, men her mener vi at det er et svært viktig element som mangler i diskusjonen.

Delingskultur i norsk skole

Det gledelige er nemlig at det finnes en veldig enkel løsningen på problemet. Den digitale delingskulturen er i dag godt utviklet globalt. Denne delingskulturen bygger på at digital bøker, læringsressurser og andre kilder blir underlagt det som kalles en fri lisens. Den mest brukte av disse er Creative Commons. Denne lisensen gir alle som ønsker det lov til å gjenbruke digital bøker, annen tekst, film og lyd uten å spørre om lov, men under gitte forutsetninger. Tillatelsen for å gjenbruke har opphavsmannen gitt på forhånd ved å bruke denne lisensen. De meste brukte av Creative Commons lisensene tillater også gjenbruk av kommersielle aktører, noe som gir spennende muligheter for forlag og og bedriftere som utvikler teknologi for bruker i norsk utdanning.

Norsk skole står ovenfor en betydelig omveltning i forbindelse Fagfornyelsen 2020 og det blir helt avgjørende at man nå bygger en aktiv og lovlig delingskultur blant lærere og elever for å kunne tilby oppdaterte læremidler for fremtiden. Et viktig perspektiv for fremtidens skole er også at eleven skal skape mer selv og da må de kunne gjenbruke, endre og dele det materialet de jobber med. Det finnes idag allerede mange gode ressurser som det er lovlig å kopiere fra. Et eksempel er Nasjonal Digital Læringsarena(NDLA) i den videregående skolen, mens det for grunnskolen er få norske ressurser som tillater gjenbruk og deling. 

For å være rustet til å skape fremtidens skole må vi tenke nytt, vi må bygge delingskultur!

Det er også viktigere en noen gang å involvere lærerne i prosessen. Læremidlene blir best når læreren slippes til og de kan definere hva som er best for deres elever, noe frie digitale læringsressurser legger veldig godt til rette for. 

Vi står midt i en overgang fra “Gutenbergs paradigme” hvor bøker ble produsert og distribuert, til en digital fremtid hvor bøker er regnet som utdaterte nærmest før de er kommet frem til eleven, og hvor lærebøker nesten alltid kombineres med andre former for læringsressurser. For å være rustet til å skape fremtidens skole må vi tenke nytt, vi må bygge delingskultur!

Denne posten ble publisert på digi.no 2. oktober 2019.

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.