State of the UNU in 2008

UNU_ar2008_coverWithout doubt 2008 was a year that will be remembered for a very long time. It is the year that the financial crisis erupted on the global stage, triggered perhaps by high energy prices and decades of misguided financial practices. At the same time, leaders across the globe were proposing emergency measures to cope with a major food crisis.

At the end of 2008, we did not seem as rich as we once were. This is at a time when we need huge resources to cope with a growing list of global concerns related to freshwater scarcity, over fishing, shrinking biodiversity, compounded by climate change. Meanwhile wars and conflicts continue.

Everyone is affected by these changes and every institution needs to respond. It is in this context that a major re-thinking is on-going at the UNU and the initial results are presented in the UNU 2008 Annual Report.

With new vice Rectors Takeuchi and Parayil taking their posts in 2008, we have begun to see the research programmes shift in response to the new challenges facing the globe. Under Takeuchi’s leadership the new Institute for Sustainability and Peace has been established in Tokyo, while Vice Rector Parayil is now heading the Institute of Advanced Studies in Yokohama.

Download the UNU 2008 Annual Report to find out more.

by Brendan Barrett on April 28, 2009 - Comments (00)  

Results available from Wikipedia user survey

wikipediaThe Collaborative Creativity Group (CCG), based at UNU-MERIT, together with the Wikimedia Foundation have just published the results of the first multilingual survey on the global use of Wikipedia.

More than 170,000 Wikipedia readers and contributors completed the extensive survey questionnaire, a figure that exceeded all expectations.

Since the questionnaire had been available in 20 languages and respondents came from over 200 countries, the survey had a true global character that gives the researchers a comprehensive and valuable insight in the Wikipedia community.

You can find a summary of the results at the Wikimedia Foundation Blog. Or download the online workbook.

by Brendan Barrett on April 23, 2009 - Comments (00)  
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Launch of OurWorld 2.0 Japanese version

ourworldHere it is at last.

It has taken longer than we had planned, but we are delighted to announce the launch of the Japanese version of the Our World 2.0 web magazine.

You may recall that this web magazine deals with the interaction between climate change, peak oil and food security, and that we launched the English version in July 2008.

We have spent the past few months writing new articles and translating the entire web magazine. As we moved forward from now on, we hope to publish every article in English and Japanese at the same time.

We are also looking for people to help us run the web magazine and for sponsors to support its future development.

by Brendan Barrett on October 22, 2008 - Comments (00)  

Where to next for open educational resources?

the-oer-agendaAre you curious about the notion of open educational resources? Is it just another way of saying open courseware or open content? There is a new report from Susan D’Antoni and her team at UNESCO that goes some way to answering the above questions. There is an online version that you can explore and edit.

The report is the output of deliberations by a community of 600 interested stakeholders from across the globe who corresponded via a mailing list between 2005 and 2007 (how time flies!). The UNU was one member of this community.

I am really impressed by both the report and the way that UNESCO has developed this project – it is community based, interactive and uses open technologies, such as wikis. In my view, this is a good model for other United Nations sponsored projects.

I borrowed the slide from the Open Content Holistic Research Environment blog.

by Brendan Barrett on March 11, 2008 - Comments (00)  

3Rs – Recut, Reframe and Recycle

No this post is not about protecting the environment. Instead, I would like to point you to a recent report from the American University Center for Social Media entitled “Recut, Reframe, Recycle: Quoting Copyrighted Material in User Generated Video.” Authored by Pat Aufderheide and Peter Jasz, the report shows that many uses of copyrighted material in today’s online videos are eligible for fair use consideration.

Fair use is very important for the educational sector and is the part of copyright law that permits new creators, in some situations, to quote copyrighted material without asking permission or paying the owners. The report is focused on experience in the United States and recommends that a special committee be established to develop best-practices principles, similar to those found in the documentary film-makers statement of best practice in fair use.

by Brendan Barrett on February 7, 2008 - Comments (00)  

Whitepaper > E-case studies for environmental education

E-case studies for environmental educationThe e-case study concept emerges as a combination of the case study method of teaching and e-learning. The basic idea is to use different types of interactive multimedia to support the salient features that make up the strengths of the case study method.
In this paper I give a brief overview of the case study method, and then explain the particular way in which the e-case study model supports its salient features to deliver an effective media supported learning experience.
Download whitepaper

by luis on August 13, 2007 - Comments (00)  

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