WOS 2 / Proceedings / Panels / Öffentliches Wissen / Universität als Profit Center? / Seda Gürses / skript

On Panel "The University as Public Service Provider or as Profit Center?"

Seda Gürses

I'd actually would like to go to the MIT example. I do not know if you heard of it but MIT now has made this amassing step and said that they are going to put the content of all their courses online starting next year which is I think about five hundred courses offering their very high quality special educational content to the whole world especially to the third world. It is very altruistic of them I must say. But I thing this is what I mean by the difference of open source philosophies versus just open source. Just showing the source of the lectures or the notes for me is not enough and certainly does not break the technology and content dichotomy in the sense that there is still you have a pretty fine content which simply can not be played around with. There is no technology available to do this. Technology can not be developed to interact with this contents in anyway. Basically what they want is a book that is online. For me that is really nothing innovative.
So, what I mean by open source philosophies is using for example open content. I think there are some people talking about that right now in this conference as well. And I will quote Jean Newmarch who wrote in the first Monday magazine who claims that open source courseware might actually be very beneficial to universities and will actually come to some of the points that where refereed by Christoph Oeller.
First of all it could be interesting to have open source course for a meaning you develop a source, it is available to the rest of the public. They can change it around. They can copy it. They can develop it with you. They can develop it on their own. Where this might lead to? I think, he is very influenced by the cathedral and bizarre text by Raymond. He says:" This might lead to first of all correctness in the sense that open courseware in comparison to proprietary software. The potential for ambiguity or erroneous understanding is fare higher in the case of educational content. And through a community working on the source of the educational content you can have bug reports and per-assessment on the educational content which can be very useful." He talks about reusability of course. What he also talks about is per-recognition. So the concept of first Monday. You have a bunch of people reviewing your educational content which is not possible if you have very strict intellectual property rights on your course.
So, this is a kind of work I think where open source philosophies can be interesting to break the dichotomy in the sense that you break the standard approach to representing text in new media which is nothing new. It is just putting a book online. And allowing the technologies to interact with these content and see how it works out. So, loosening your ideals on intellectual property rights: This is mine. I won't share it. Opening it up and seeing that you benefit as well as others. So, this is what I meant with that.
About the change in Turing galaxies? What is new? One thing I did not talk about I think something new can only exist again within a context and within a certain practise. And therefor I don't want to talk about some universal innovation that is possible. I think one of the best examples that I have known in the context of Germany were coming from Heidi Schelover and Mister Naki from Bremen and they were giving examples of a modular software. It was not internet based. It wasn't about interaction among different communities. It was a software which was supposed to teach you something and the something was colour theory. So they were working with a bunch of students from art schools who were doing colour theory, who would normally take some red there and some blue there and mix it up and see what happened to understand how colour functions. What they did is they developed a software which would do this for the students. What happened is the process of semiotisation, this is what they call it, meaning that you take some reality, you model it and you put it into the computer through which a specific picture of this reality comes to being. Meaning you have a very specific perspective of colours. And therefor the students might be able to realise aspects of colour theory that they would not be able to see if the semiotisation had not taken place. Because even at the moment you think why have they done this like this right. In the moment that you questioning this program your are questioning the semiotics of colour theory. So through this kind of work that is interesting and that could lead to some innovative work in the sense that you don't have to concentrate on this reality but you can also look at the semiotics and the new picture that appears. So I think there is some possibility for innovation.

[transcript: Katja Pratschke]

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