English Teacher Article LORs (Learning Object Repositories)

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There has been some discussion about 'Open Source Teaching' recently. As I understand it, the idea is to build vast databases of reusable computer resources. I would like to suggest two other possible ways of doing this.

Firstly, I would establish a common directory on educational websites. At present, there is a huge discrepancy. Taking Google Page Rank as a measure, there are some universities that reach 9 (a very high score indeed, attained by Cambridge and Oxford), 8 (a high score, attained by colleges from the University of London). However, when one moves to Further Education (FE) colleges, this score drops.

As you go down the academic scale, the Page Rank tends to go down, suggesting that the schemes for building national grids are not in fact being built as well as they could. This could be improved by using directories on every single such site. Sites like the National Grid for Learning are often not found on college websites; a more focused policy on links would be beneficial.

Demos suggest 'open source teaching', in which teachers hand over the copyright for what they create and this resides with the eventual owners of the databases constructed. I would suggest that the opposite might be more effective.

If teachers have an exportable homepage, that could accompany them as they move from college to college, then this would become a positive asset. which colleges would be able to bid for. If a copy of any LOs were left behind in a college, then the network of assets would build up. A teacher could build up their own page,with the LOs they create, though they would also be accessible within the institution, but they could go with the teacher. Transportable mini-databases like these would leave the teachers in ownership, which is an incentive for creation. On the internet there are thousands of sites by individual teachers and groups, showing that the creativity is there. I think ownership should be in favour of the creator.

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