MP3 recording of the meeting (12.5M)

Thanks to Kattie Ellwood from the Otago Polytechnic communications for her great work drawing public attention to this occasion. Press release as follows:

Vancouver-based Commonwealth of Learning (CoL) representative Wayne MacKintosh, an expert in the field of open and distance learning, visits Dunedin this week to meet with the growing number of Otago Polytechnic staff members developing education resources on the CoL’s WikiEducator initiative.

While WikiEducator is likely to be unfamiliar to most as yet, the website which is loosely related to the world’s largest, most extensive, and fastest growing encyclopaedia Wikipedia, has the potential to have an enormous impact on the way education is accessed and delivered internationally.

“I believe that all learners and teachers should have the freedom to use the technologies of their choice,” writes MacKintosh.

“No learner should be denied access to an education because learning material is locked behind copyright or because people may not have the resources to pay for licensed software. All people of the world have a fundamental right to participate in the knowledge economy.” []

The Commonwealth of Learning an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of education knowledge, resources and technologies in a socially inclusive and sustainable way. COL is helping developing nations improve access to quality education and training.

Wikieducator promotes the development of free education content; open education resources that anyone with an internet connection can access and edit.

“The Commonwealth of Learning’s provision of Wikieducator and its facilitation of an educational development network has helped saved some of our flexible learning development projects an estimated $10 000 so far this year,” explains Leigh Blackall, Programme Developer in Otago Polytechnic’s Educational Development Centre.


“This estimate is based on their hosting many megabytes of our content, backing it up, and offering round the clock technical support for teachers working on the platform.”

The CoL recently paid for Blackall to visit Vancouver to learn about upcoming plans, the future for related projects like Wikipedia and the importance of careful copyright management to education.

MacKintosh is also expected to congratulate Otago Polytechnic on the development of their new Intellectual Property policy which uses the Creative Commons Attributes license as a default.

“This license places Otago Polytechnic as the most progressive educational institution in New Zealand and Australia” says Blackall.

“Using such a license not only makes our educational services and content more accessible, it also allows us to collaborate in educational resource developments internationally, on such platforms as Wikieducator