Monday, May 27, 2013

OpenAccess for World-Wide Education and Training

The number of people with the desire, focus, and energy to learn skills that require considerable rigor far exceeds the resources that would be required to educate and train those people. By this I mean that the capacity is there (both in the person and the institutions) but the funding is not. This is especially the case with people in less wealthy countries.
One of the cost issues lies in access to the literature. Many authors and others concerned with education and training have recognized the problems that come about when commercial publishers (for-profit and non-profit) get control of the world's intellectual output. Thus, those who produce that output are increasingly turning to OpenSource, CreativeCommons, OpenAcess, GeneralPublic, and PublicDomain styles of licensing. The internet has created a connected world. Within that world, it is relatively easy to produce, store, and index books, articles, seminars, and even entire courses. Additionally, print-on-demand presents a cost-effective means of producing a physical product when that is desired.
I was asked by the University of Zimbabwe, Department of Computer Science, to design a course that would retain rigor and quality study material while not depending on a traditional textbook. You are welcome to read what I found out about freely-accessible material that maintains quality while controlling costs.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Book Review: Share or Die

Share or Die has the goal of talking about sharing as a means of survival in today's economy. The book presents stories collected from young liberal arts graduates and their post-graduation efforts to establish themselves. The stories are most revealing. There are 26 stories. These come from a broad spectrum of situations involving many types of people. I found that these groups of people include: the totally clueless, the totally rebellious, the achievers, and the survivors. Along the way you will find inspiring stories from people who made something meaningful happen in their lives and careers. They tell about what they did and how they got through the down times. These stories offer a lot to think about and many ways to look at difficult situations. You will benefit from the stories offered in this book, even if some of them are an example of what not to do. A detailed review is posted on my website.