Connect with 2022 Open Assets Awards Winners

We are always up for a chat.

And you wrote “And curious to know more about the wiki foundation … … usually a technology thought of as old…”

I guess Wikis are old, but simple enough to be very flexible - that is their utility (wiki is the word for “fast” in Hawaiian). The wiki tech is used for the central repository and if campuses or countries need a more local approach, we will be releasing Project Solo which is a FOSS technology based on Drupal (in partnership with Learnful) to allow for local hosting, but still couple to the principal repo and share in a pseudo-federated approach (via the proposed SoloNet). In the theme that just publishing is not enough, Solo has native H5P, QTI and other courseware features to make it useful.

We have a soft release of this, but people can see a video of it for OEWeek last March:

@OpenLearn I am very much interested in learning more of your project. We would love to partner to expand out scope more globally.

@DelmarLarsen Please do – it would be a pleasure. patrina.law@open.ac.uk

What I meant by “challenge function” is a bit like Devil’s Advocate. Just more oriented towards acknowledging the importance of the work and pushing it towards something as appropriate to the context as possible.
So…
Your ambitious vision inspires awe and can serve as a rallying cry. Some of the questions voiced in Nantes which might expand it have to do with global inequalities and “Who decides on what counts as knowledge worth learning?”. (I tend to call it “Epistemic Justice”, because academic jargon is sometimes useful.)

The easy part first:
Translating LibreTexts into our languages is great. How about translating from diverse languages? Including Indigenous ones?
Then, something a bit tougher… If the LibreVerse is to become a thriving ecosystem, how will it serve as a breeding ground for the type of diversity there is in ways people approach learning? As we go beyond texts, how might we bring in lived experience, especially that coming from the so-called “Global South”?
Much of that might go beyond formal schooling, especially that set by levels (“Higher”, “Further”, “postsecondary”, “primary”, “secondary”, “K-12” in the US and some parts of Canada…).

In other words (and by partial reference to an exchange @paulstacey), can the LibreVerse avoid the “international development” paradigm to get into global participation?

Hello and congratulations for the awards !
What about offline access ? is there a plan ? Thanks

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Ahh. I love talking offline distribution. All our pages can be exported as PDFs and our compiled books can be piped through print-on-demand services (Lulu or Amazon) for physical books; many countries have access to that resource, but clearly many do not. We built a mock-up of a raspberry pi system called “LibreTexts in a Box” that we initially used Kolibri to download the entire corpus for offline access. This sneakerware approach may be better with Kiwix, which we pursued before the pandemic and we should reconnect with them again.

Our not-in-production-yet Project Solo is a standalone FOSS technology that hosts our corpus too along with added power like H5P, QTI questioning and general courseware capability. That should work on raspberry pi boxes too, but that hasn’t been tested.

We feel that these effort coupled with out machine translation efforts will scale up the utility of our corpus to a greater number of students. The issue we have is not the technology, but tapping into or building an effective distribution channel for our corpus and the financial support thereof. Naturally, we are also interested in other ideas that we haven’t considered.

@Enkerli Please keep in mine that the LibreTexts project is a community project. Over the past ~15 years, 20,000 people have contributed (a little bit or a lot) to our corpus with thousands of OER projects harvested (integrated and standardized). No reasonable contribution is blacklisted (with obvious exceptions of illegal, improper or incorrect content - loosely defined). We have curation boards to help address this, but since the development team is from academia we can evaluate many things internally.

For the easy part of your question: The LibreTexts corpus was built from a variety of mechanisms including harvesting of existing OER, building our own OER, open pedagogy, and now machine translation. There is no throttling of the content from one specific mechanism. We do harvest from different languages (as part of the language-specific libraries like Spanish and Ukrainian), which we hope to scale up in the near future.

For the hard part of your question: The content, organization, and use of the LibreTexts corpus is entirely dictated by the people that contribute to it. If one feels a different approach is needed, then come-on-board and make it. The platform is sufficiently flexible to enable multiple approaches. The issue a isn’t question of technology, but of community engagement and buy-in.

So, given this, how do you propose we pursue your vision?

Congratulation to all.

I do get that. And my challenges were about ways to define this “community”. Any community has an in-group and an out-group.

I wasn’t pursuing any vision, in this specific case.

Were I to do so, it’d be about extending the sense of belonging implied by the concept of “community” to those groups already doing things in the space, whether we agree with them or not. From eager learners to commercial publishers and from indigenous elders to potential teammates.

If it’s to be a LibreVerse, it’s probably about something which doesn’t fit any single organization.

Addendum: My hunch is that you’ll then ask me for specific steps (perhaps like a “counterchallenge”, which shifts the dynamic away from the continuous improvement implied). If so, I’d start with listening and observing. And step zero is to identify and map stakeholders. It’s easy enough to check on what are other actors doing, in this wide ecosystem, once you know who’s involved. Typically, there are many biases and “blindspots” which prevent us from understanding the complexity of the scene. Yes, OEG-LATAM and OEG-Francophone expand our scene. How about large OE efforts which have little to no connection to OEG?
If we’re not careful, we end up with a -Verse which mostly works with California weather and monolinguals.