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Re: [Fsfe-uk] BBC digital curriculum service in England

From: Graham Seaman
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] BBC digital curriculum service in England
Date: Sun, 10 Oct 2004 14:00:46 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla Thunderbird 0.8 (X11/20040918)

Ian Lynch wrote:

BECTa believes that a key aspect of the distinctiveness of the
BBC's offering could include support for and promotion of, emerging
technologies and practices.
So we shouldn't just concentrate on the inputs to the proces. The arguments over avoiding supplier lock-in, total dependency on a particular OS, etc are ones others should also make; the limitations are purely practical ones. What we can bring that's different is an emphasis on the outputs and
'Emerging practices' already sounds to me like a willingness to consider free software development practices. The outputs the BBC develops should be free software. This doesn't just mean slapping a license on them and tossing them over the wall, but making them available with an infrastructure that encourages feedback and improvement based on experience of use by schools. The BBC already has experience with sourceforge (betsy, dirac) - maybe that should be expanded to make this a free software development process from the start, with input from schools encouraged from the beginning. A process that encourages schools to feed in new material as much as to suggest improvements to code; the learning objects should not have tight integration of code with content, so that people can generate incremental additions to content (which has been impossible in the flash 'learning' games I've seen in the past). For that to work, the content also can't be under restrictive licenses. The MIT approach might be a good starting point; there might also be some cross-over from the open BBC archives (at Lessig's meeting there was an announcement that there was a revised version of the creative commons license being created specifically to cater for the BBC, does anyone
know anything about that?)

Would that be a possible approach?


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