… that seems to sum up the past 8 years of my life! Perhaps I ought to go.
But I have a few reservations (before even considering whether my employers would fund it and whether my husband will let me trot off across the globe again without him), so I thought I’d write about them and see if I could get some wider input.
One of the reasons this workshop tempts me is that the organizers are very interesting. Lumen Learning, co-founded by the inspirational David Wiley, aims to facilitate broad adoption of OER. Hypothes.is plans to be an open platform for annotation, currently in closed beta. I know that I could learn a lot to influence the direction of our annotation project here at the Open University from these people, we’re particularly interested in extending academic tools such as bibliography and reference extraction into a future release, classifications of annotation (question, quote, rebuttal..). I’d like to see whether Hypothes.is could be an alternative foundation for OU Annotate at some point. OU Annotate is currently a PHP and jquery tool based on the SilverStripe framework, using Rangy for locating annotations on an HTML page. We have aspirations to annotate PDFs, ePubs, images … at some point too.
But this workshop is to be a very small group with specific goals and I’m not confident that I can be as helpful as perhaps others could be – and attendance needs to be a two-way process, give and receive. My caution to put myself forward comes from two places.
First, I don’t have much (any) influence over OER at the OU any more. OK, I still know the people involved, and the technologies the systems are based on, and I can still get my hands on some of the codebase for prototyping but other parts of the codebase are beyond my touch and I couldn’t guarantee to get any prototypes into production.
Second, OU Annotate is a closed-source, closed annotation system at the moment. We did once plan to open-source it, but things have gone quiet on that front. And although the technology supports sharing annotations publicly, at the moment “public” means the OU community rather than the whole world.
So, what do you think? Could I be helpful or would I just be taking up a space?