* Alright so it's Sunday night and I'm sorry for not getting in better contact with all of you earlier, but we need to work out the final details. Annie, Jana, and Richard, thanks for volunteering to do the powerpoint....we definitely will be using it for the pres tomorrow--i'm assuming it'll be onscreen behind us as we present. The only other thing we need to deal with tonight is this HANDOUT...i'm really hoping at least some of you read this post tonight. I am willing to type up the handout and print a couple copies; we will make however many necessary copies at school tomorrow. PLEASE POST THINGS TO PUT ON THE HANDOUT. AS SOON AS YOU READ THIS PLEASE PUT YOUR IDEAS RIGHT BELOW THIS MESSAGE. I think we've agreed the handout can simply be an outline of our presentation, so please put down your ideas as to specifically what will go on there. PLEASE REPLY AS SOON AS YOU SEE THIS. again, i will type it up and print a few copies but I NEED YOUR IDEAS. Tomorrow, in the 10-15 mins we will have together, we will work out who will be speaking when. Sorry again for not getting in better contact with everyone over the weekend, but please help me out with this handout and we'll call it a night. Thanks, and i'm really sorry for sounding mean here i promise i'm actually a nice person :) --Kristen


We're making an image powerpoint that could guide our presentation along- just 10 picture slides... (Annie, Jana, Richard)
VideoTed Video Link

1. Introduction:
Richard Baraniuk has some interesting ideas about applying concepts so prevalent in the musical culture, and applying them to education.

Who is he: http://www.dsp.rice.edu/~richb/bio.html
Connexions: Mr. Baraniuk launched "Connexions" and is self described as:
a place to view and share educational material made of small knowledge chunks called modules that can be organized as courses, books, reports, etc. Anyone may view or contribute:

  • authors create and collaborate
  • instructors rapidly build and share custom collections
  • learners find and explore content
Feel free to visit their webpage for more information.
2. Create, Rip, Mix, Burn Explanation
Create: Form own ideas.
Rip: Take other ideas.
Mix: Combine and alter concepts.
Burn: Share final project with others.
3. Show Video Clip 2:47-4:27
4. Identify the Issue:
5. Importance:
6. Problems:
7. Connections to Us:
8. What Can We Do?

We also need some images...maybe a powerpoint to go with this.

We also need to create a handout based on the presentation including some other links...wikipedia...video link....biography page...connexions etc.

-Kyle, Emily W., Kate K.

Communication With Each Other
Hey everybody, it's Kate. You have no idea how sorry I am, but I can't present tomorrow...I got sick over the weekend and I don't think I can go to school tomorrow. Again, I'm really sorry, especially since this is so last minute, but it was kind of out of my control.
Hey guys it's Jana. SORRY THIS HAS TAKEN ME SOOO LONG. Overall my computer was being totally screwed up and wikispaces was just not cooperating. But I'm here now and I'm willing to put in the work so we have a great presentation! Thanks so much to all of you guys that have been doing sooo much.
--Hi it's Annie. I'm really sorry I'm posting so late in the project. The presentation is looking great- thanks for being on top of it! Video clip: Mr. Allen said it would be better if we presented the clip from the actual TED website b/c the streamings clearer (I think I did it at the top...). Just curious- this video is a bit more than 2 years old- does anyone know how connexions has progressed?
--Hi, this is Kristen. Sorry these posts are so late, but it looks like we have a pretty good handle on our video, so i think we're pretty good to go for Monday...we should probably talk about meeting over the weekend if we need to, or at least communicating to set up the presentation.
-Hey everybody...this is Kyle...I basically just copied the questions from the guidelines so we have something to work from
-it's mitch. i answered some of this, so someone else can expand on it.
-hey everyone its emily (freshman) now.. all the stuff i did is under mitch's comments. I probably wrong about half the stuff so fix it please!
-I love how none of the seniors have done anything yet. I'll just get started then... -Winston.
-Hey it's Kate...sorry I didn't start working until today...I tried to brainstorm some ideas for the additional research section, since it seemed like that had been explored the least. I'd also like to let you all know that I'm going to be gone for the weekend, and the place I'm going doesn't have internet access as far as I know...so I'll try to do as much as possible before I leave, but I just wanted to explain in advance why it'll probably seem like I'm ditching the project for the weekend.
Hey guys. ok so btw i just wanted to let you all know that I'm not going to be here for the actual presentation on monday...I have a vball tournament in Denver and I am getting back late Monday night..I'm soo sorry!! I feel so bad that I just figured this out today. Anyway, I'll try to work really hard on it but I'm leaving Friday at 3:00. Again, I'm SOO sorry!! -Emily (Freshman)
-(Brandon)- hey this is Brandon and I'm a senior. Looks like you guys already have a pretty good jump on things, So I'll add in my thoughts for each section. I'll actually be here this weekend, but I already know I'll be busy and I have a solo presentaion to do the next day
This is Richard - I'm gone this weekend, and next weekend. But I'll try to help out. I'm a sophomore.

-This is Kyle, how do you think we should set up the handout? I'm thinking outline of the presentation and maybe links the video and other websites, maybe also some interesting extra information...elaborate you guys
-It's Kate. I think that's a good idea Kyle. If it's possible to find others with views similar to Baraniuk, maybe some information on them should be listed...you know, other places to check out for those who are interested? I think maybe we should add some visuals too...those always catch people's attention.
-(Brandon) If you click on "Read full bio" on the Ted vid page, you can see "related speakers, one of which is Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, which clearly has a lot of similarities to Connexions in terms of drawing on the knowledge of the public for little or no cost.
Here are some visuals (still frames that I have creatively borrowed) so people get a sense of what we got to see:
Our Guy

Interactive Textbooks-comparable to the music industries "mix" phase

Summary of Presentation
1. Create, Rip, Mix and Burn
2. Introduction to Connexions
3. The Long Tail of Publishing
4. Protect the Content
These are just the main sections that the video divides itself into...feel free to elaborate -Kyle

Who is the presenter? Why should we trust him/her?

-educator who works in the field
-Richard Baraniuk, an educator who has already started working on the issue. We should trust him because he seems to have researched this topic and seems motivated to continue working in this field.- Emily
-(Brandon) I like what the site tells us as to "why we should listen to him": "Rice University professor Richard Baraniuk has a giant vision: to create a free global online education system that puts the power of creation and collaboration in the hands of teachers worldwide." (http://www.ted.com/index.php/speakers/view/id/26)
-> Its these kinds of visions and innovative ideas that, even if the original plan doesn't take off, can spawn spawn other great innovations. and I agree that he seems very learned on the topic, he has invested the last 6 and a half years in this project
- The presenter is an educator who is part of a company that provides open-source textbooks and education. He is credible because this is what he has been working with for years.
-May not be best reason, but he was important enough to warrant a large audience (1000 people) and their money.-Kyle
--Kristen: a quote from the video's site: "people in some 200 countries tap into its vast store of texts..."
--Jana: Everyone has pretty much already stated this...but just the fact that this is a project our speaker has been pursuing for a significant amount of time provides us with some credibility. Also, I like how he provides his audience with concrete evidence (charts, numbers, etc) that supports the integrity and potential success of open-source learning. (over 43 million licenses w/ Creative Commons; success of program in Iraq, etc)

Identify the issue and describe its context. Why is it important? Why should we care?

-could be really good tool in helping everyone from poor to rich students customize their learning experiences. it makes learning interesting relevant and comprehensive
- In the first couple minutes he talks about his ultimate goal: to make the world more interactive, connected, inovated, and up-to-date. In the short term it would change HOW we retrieve information. It would elimate "out of date" textbooks and problems of different edition textbooks. Open access knowledge elimates the physical barrier of heavy textbooks, small print, large size that discourage the student from learning. Also elimates geographical and cultural barriers of different countries and languages. -Annie
-This tool would motivate students to actually learn the material since it would provide interactive learning. It would be a way to get knowledge and books to poorer students or students in poor countries. It would be a way to customize learning. It would also save paper and money from editing, printing, and reprinting. -Emily
- The issue here is that of education. Open-source learning would provide a cheaper more effective way of educating people all over the world. With new technology, we can enable this type of access to everyone, and we should do so; lack of education is one of the most prevalent problems in today's society.
-It would also help people who have information but can't publish a book get their opinions and information out to the world. It also would make people more likely to learn about something if they can get it for cheaper than a standard textbook.-Kyle
-As he puts it, we're in an education crises, books are expensive and the pubishing process is complicated. The little guys with ideas (the Creative Minority**) like the private music teacher, do not have the resources to publish and share ideas until something like Connexions makes it possible. These people, along with those who cannot afford to access published information, are the "shutouts."
I think this might fit well with the handout - If the handout had some information related to the difficulties facing educators regarding information. I.E. "65% of children in developing countries can't afford basic math textbooks..." etc.
--Kristen: Going off what Emily said aobut interactive learning, he gave that really good example of seeing a math equation for the first time, then being able to click on it and open an additional window with more in-depth description, example problems. etc. Also, a good quote from Richard: "We're trying to enable anyone in the world, i mean anyone in the world, to be their own education DJ."
--Kristen: Also, I like his term "KNOWLEDGE ECOSYSTEM" I definitely think that's an idea we should harp on...may sound kind of strange, but our world is a vast environment containing endless "species", if you will, meaning just lots of diverse groups of people that can all come together in a common place to share and obtain limitless amounts of knowledge.
--Jana: One point that I think is particularly interesting is Richard's commentary on how this new technology breaks cultural barriers beyond just the language barriers. He notes that providing developing countries with free content is usually received as "cultural imperialism," and can seem quite imposing. However, giving the people in these developing countries the ability to translate the material into their own language as well as the opportunity to "recontexualize (is this a word?) and take ownership of it" will allow for much greater success and better reception. We often talk in class about the US's role in world affairs and how we can help the rest of the world without being the "world police", etc. Here, Richard Baraniuk is giving a compelling argument as to how we can help facilitate the diffusion of knowledge and education without trying to westernize or imperialize developing countries.
-I agree with jana here. Also, making textbooks 'adaptable,' will allow regionally irrelevant information to be exlcuded - a lot of what's taught in the united states may well not be applicable in developing countries. changing the information to adapt to local needs is not only less imperialist, but also more efficient.

What philosophy or worldview informs and supports the presenter?

-american educator.
-The United States. The idea that everyone would have access to learning that takes place via technology.-Emily
-The worldview that education is good? Rational thought is a right that every human being should be given the opportunity to utilize.
-The "Connexion" program, wikipedia, the success of the music industry. -Kyle
--Kristen: It helps that he's giving this discussion in the U.S. (California, is it?) because who puts more emphasis on information technology than we do?? We view the world as an arena for our technological progress.
--Jana: Our presenter is clearly influenced by ideas that relate to the potential of technology. This is one of the issues I have with his argument. I find it a bit hard to believe that it is easy to bring computers and other technologies to so many developing countries in order to promote the use of open-source learning. He is also supported by this worldview/philosophy that "two heads are better than one," if you will. Baraniuk strongly emphasizes this idea of "sharing knowledge" and multiplicity of authors--> better quality/quantity of content. He also very briefly expresses that the type of "on-demand publishing" he is promoting is not about the money. The authors that contribute to this open-source learning network are not after "intellectual property." Baraniuk states that all the authors need in return is attribution; they are publishing their ideas for the sake of "sharing knowledge and making impact..not for making bucks."
--Annie: Agreeing with Jana, Richard B. contributes to the worldview of being "increasingly relient on technology"- his presentation is about the positive effects of technology and how it helps spread and increase education globally. However, there may be some flaws with this: 1. if our only source of knowledge database is on the internet- what happens when it often goes down, this makes our education foundation extremly fragile? 2. If people can't afford textbooks to become educated, how will they afford computers to access this information. Not everyone has access to electricity...

How does the issue connect to your education and experience?

-fits in, could make personal experiences much better, especially if more mundane courses like science could have exciting textbooks.
-Many things at our school ARE online (such as the wiki or freshmen forum). Some books (that we used at NBJH) are online already. -Emily
-Open source learning is a great tool for learning. Everyone is familiar with Wikipedia.... this is just one example of how influential open-source information can be. With more and more textbooks online, people could learn new topics on their own much more easily.
-Annie: I think the combination of convience, abundance, and accessibility would make people CHOOSE to want to learn more.
--Jana: I would have to agree that the interactive science/math textbooks would not only be a more exciting method of learning, but just an overall better way of ensuring that students understand what they are reading. With ordinary textbooks, it is very easy to just skim over a concept that you dont understand, due to the fact that there is no one there to answer your questions. However, with interactive materials, students are provided a more in-depth opportunity to grasp concepts and answer questions. This issue is also directly related to our opportunities as students. Texts and materials that would normally not be published due to high fees and low demand (hyper geometric partial differential equations anyone?) now have the capability to be published on-demand and thus end up in our classrooms and minds.
The ability to immediately access additional information on the subject - Jana's example of the partial differential equations is a good one here. This makes information more digestible, and education more encouraging.
-Annie: I feel like teachers have already begun to incorporate different methods of teaching in everyday lessons- they use different ways b/c they know that some students are visual learners, audio learners, hands on learners... This interactive textbook seems like another way kids can grasp concepts.

What statistic, anecdote, and/or image do you find most compelling? Why?

-0. amount of these textbooks i've seen or used.
-The stack of books. I never realized how many books are actually in print. -Emily
- The reduction in cost. Textbooks these days cost a fortune.
--Kristen: Again, the slide where he shows a complicated engineering equation and then shows how simply clicking on it reveals a host of other windows and links to additional information, practice problems, etc.,..shows connexions' advantage over a normal textbook.
--Jana: I really liked the imagery he used comparing this program with lego blocks: this idea that we have a world filled with a plethora of different topics and information and with open-source learning we are given the means to rearrange this information and content into a myriad of different intellectual forms. This kind of connects to Kristin's comment about the "knowledge ecosystem." We currently have this huge "ecosystem" filled with tons and tons of different intellectual "species" and these different species are the hypothetical lego blocks that can be combined to create supercharged intellectual machines.

What does this video make you wonder about?

-the viability of the idea, whether or not material quality would degenerate
-If this idea would really be available to countries where they don't have access to technology and they rely on books that have been passed down for generations. If students really want interactive learning. -Emily
- The video raises questions of feasibility... is it really possible to transfer hundreds of years of knowledge into electronic material that can be as interactive as the video demonstrates?
-What would textbook companies do about this? What about people who make their livings writing textbooks?
--Kristen: How reliable is the Quality Control Baraniuk discusses? Would the organizers actually be able to weed out the bad or plagiarized info via their Peer Review systems or whatever else? They're allowing anyone to contribute, after all...
--Annie: I agree with Kristen's point, will this website end up like wikipedia, i.e. a source that teachers won't let us use in works cited? Also is there a cost to contributing free information? Will credible research companies be "ripped off" and would they want to display years worth of work for free, instead of selling it to textbook companies?
--Jana: Just expanding off of everyone else...why would someone want to give their research as opposed to getting it published for profit? I know that it is a much faster way of spreading your information, but still, people have to make a living. I think it is a bit unreasonable to think that all of these credible authors will choose open-source methods as opposed to getting ownership over their own publications. Isn't it a bit naive to think that everyone is all about sharing knowledge and the diffusion of intellect rather than making some cash from their hard work? And, I have my doubts about the peer-review group. On his slide for that topic, he showed that even kids from the Tau Beta Pi sorority/fraternity whatever it is, can review content. How qualified are these college frat boys to review various scholarly topics?
-What's the incentive for producing information, or processing knowledge? This seems much more ambitious than wikipedia - wikipedia is a secondary knowledge source - i.e. it uses information from textbooks, publications, Somehow, I can't imagine a professor willing to write my history textbook for free...

How does the video inspire you? How does it make you think about your plans for the future?

-it makes me hope my own learning experience will be changed, and i f i become an educator, i'll consider using the tool.
-Technology has really expanded and improved in the past 30 years and this seems like a really helpful idea. This could be a helpful tool for concepts that are especially hard to master just from reading in textbooks or by listening to a lecture. If I become an educator, I could use this tool to help my students further grasp concepts. -Emily
- I actually have thought about using online open-source learning material to learn on my own. This video only makes me want to do so more. Additionally, it would be great to be able to contribute myself to this store of knowledge in the future.
--Jana: I think this video just shows how remarkable our society's grasp on technology is. The fact that we have the capability to spread information at such a fast and efficient pace is mind blowing. Also, its inspiring to see the incredible dedication these people have to spreading knowledge and education in a cost efficient manner so it can be available to developing countries.

How could the information from this video lead to making the world a better place?

-it could help educate thosee nationally and abroad who don't get educated.
-Like Mitch said, students who don't have access to books could have access to an education. However, I don't see how students who can't afford books could afford access to the internet. -Emily
-Open-source learning is a powerful idea that could enable millions of underprivileged individuals worldwide to obtain an education that they otherwise would not be able to obtain. This in turn helps innovation and makes the world a generally happier place.
-People who wouldn't normally can get their voices heard.
--Kristen: This Connexions system allows for massive circulation of ideas around the world...and thus collaboration between scientists or mathematicians or musicians or just common people from distance countires is infinitely more feasible...

What one thing could you do, this week, to make a positive difference in this area?

-spread the word, encourage teachers to use.
-Like Mitch said, encourage teachers to use this idea. Keep reading about this topic. It's not really fully developed yet, so there might not be a whole lot that can be done right now. -Emily
- As previously mentioned, raising awareness is about the only feasible thing that we can do as students now.

How does the Glenbrook Academy of International Studies help prepare you for the future? How could the Academy serve you better?

-yes, we don't use enough textbooks for this to be relevant
-Most of the Academy is discussion based, with only a few textbooks, so this is not extremely relevant. However, we already use a forum and wiki to expand on our discussions (which is basically our whole curriculum) -Emily
-The Academy is most likely not the primary target of open-source learning, which tries to facilitate learning where it otherwise might not be obtained. However, open-source learning could be a useful resource for learning about random opics which we do not have the materials for.
I agree for the most part - but open source learning can have its benefits in the Academy. This might seem small, but personally I find it very helpful to have Mr. Allen's essay writing rules online. There's no way i'm going to dig through months of notes to figure out the 7 different ways to phrase appropriate intros... but having it all online makes it a lot easier. This could go a lot farther... -Richard
--I agree with Richard's very profound connection of open-source learning to writing English essays. Nice one Richard. But in all seriousness, I think that Academy tends to promote and support this idea of community and community learning (hence the crazy amount of discussions, group activities, "acadabuddies", and all that other stuff) Similarly, this video definitely promotes the idea of community learning and the sharing of knowledge and intellect (multiplicity of authors contributing to one publication,etc). So I guess in that field, Academy is pretty on-track.
--Annie: Like previously mentioned, open-source learning would be more helpful to textbook based cirriculums so in Academy I think this connexions idea would be extremly helpful for history. I know any history teacher that I've had always explains how our one textbook can't explain every single point of view, doesn't have the room to explain every battle fought, or doesn't have access to every stastic available. I think history could use this program to a learn a more well rounded view of world history.

Additional research:

Identify and research a particular claim made by the presenter that intrigues you.

Personally, I was really interested in the stress on hands-on learning. To me it was amazing to think that you could learn about a math equation or a science term, and simply by clicking on it, you would instantly be connected to activities to test your learning. -Kate
--Kristen: It amazes me that the presenter/his colleagues could possibly come up with a quality control system with the capacity to weed out bad or plagiarized information. With millions of people (i don't actually know the scope of Connexions, i guess) contributing, i imagine it could be a pretty huge task trying to control what is posted.

Identify and research a problem raised in the presentation.

Could plagiarism be an issue? Or possibly what he mentioned towards the end of the presentation about quality control? (Not that I've done research on these, just throwing out ideas) -Kate

State a question raised by the presenter or implied by the presentation and research some answers.

Research opposing views to the presenter's philosophy or work.

I don't know...does anybody know of supporters for a more traditional approach? I don't think supporters of the current educational system are as common or as highlighted as those who have new ideas, like Baraniuk, so this might be kind of difficult to find. -Kate

State and research a question you'd like to ask the presenter.

How would it be guaranteed that the information that was posted was accurate? For example, on Wikipedia, anyone can write about any topic. How do you know that the person who is writing the information actually knows anything about what they're writing about? -Emily