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Illawara Institute of TAFE has an open MediaWiki running for their course developments. Its looking pretty tidy, with some interesting uses of categories to manage the content. In a chat with Steven Parker, he told me that uptake by staff has been good, citing management endorsement, 1 year’s research and development time, use of the FCK editor, and the design sensibility of Jo Kay as the key elements for its success.
I have asked Sparker to cost the whole exercise up so far so that we can compare with other approaches to online learning developments, as well as the hosted / self hosted comparison.
How much does it cost to host and develop your own media wiki? What are the running costs? Are there efficiency gains developing online materials on an open wiki (as compared to a learning management system for example)? Has being on an open wiki helped to build awareness of work within the organisation as well as outside? (obviously I can see it, as well as anyone else with an Internet connection – which is far better than they used to have).
Unfortunately there is no indication of a copyright that enables re usability of the resources on the Illawara wiki. Seems Sparks needs to sit the bosses down and deliver the return on investment talk about adopting such a license.. ie.. it means you can start reusing all that Share Alike material which we estimate saves us NZ$10 000 per year.
I’m taking leave from the Polytech work to speak at the 2008 Skills Tasmania conference and a couple of TAFEs and Vocational Training services next week. Given the status of the other speakers, I have in mind a talk with equal or more punch than Teaching is Dead Long Live Learning. But I dunno… almost everyone who dares talk to me about that speech seems to have fundamentally missed the point I was trying to make.
On the one hand Tasmanians can be a little parochial (according to Wikipedia editors of the word and haven’t always taken kindly to outsiders challenging their practices on their home turf. But on the other hand – challenging speeches are what I’m known for and is probably the reason I have been invited? So what to do?
I probably should have been thinking about this talk a lot sooner, but I am just too busy every day (and most nights) with Polytech stuff (I’m getting better with that though) to really be able to think about things beyond my immediate future. So up until now, I really haven’t had a clue what I was going to say. But now I do, I its probably going to be a doozy.
Well, I’ll check with the conference organisers of course, but in the lead up to a conference that they have been spending the last 6 months planning for, they can understandably be a little over cautious and erk on the safe side. And once I get an idea brewing that seems like a good’n to me and my trusted colleagues, I find it hard to let go and change tracks.
I hope I can work this out. I want an opportunity to speak about this in a challenging and political way. It is sure to spark another round of smackdown learning.
Oh, and by th way! While we’re on the topic of Tasmania, controversy, skills and industry:
This is now beyond a joke. The vast majority of the Australian Education sector is blocking access to social media. Our public servant administrators in the State Education are clearly not hearing a single thing from this blogger’s little network. Youtube is now “banned” in Victorian public schools in an effort to “clamp down on bullying”!!
“Guess I’ll stay at home a bit more and do my bullying from there, or maybe I’ll just distribute the evidence of my bullying across all the video platforms… yeah, that’ll do the trick, these teacher bosses clearly have no idea, they probably don’t even know about eyespot, blip, gVids and all the others. God! I hate school…who can I bully to take this pain away”
Thanks to Peter Allen from the TALO eGroup for pointing this miserable news out.