Without scientific understanding, we don’t run the government, the government runs us” -Carl Sagan, in his final interview.
Last week we released a big batch of new CC-BY licensed content for Citizen Maths a free online course for adults who want to improve their grasp of maths at what in the UK is known as Level 2 (the level that 16 year old school leavers are expected to reach, though many do not).
Jonathan Worth is a celebrated, successful, internationally recognized award-winning photographer who saw the writing on the wall for his business -- selling pictures to magazines -- when he found himself threatening a young girl for pirating his pictures, and decided there had to be a better way. Read the rest
For Open Education Week, Jonathan Worth convened a conversation about privacy and trust in open education called Speaking Openly in which educators and scholars recorded a series of videos responding to one another's thoughts on the subject. Read the rest
It takes more than videos on the Internet to get kids engaged in learning to code, writes Mimi Ito.
For years, Flickr has been one of the most important repositories of Creative Commons imagery in the world; now, thanks to a new design, it's all but useless for serving and attributing the CC-licensed images it's been entrusted with by museums, galleries, national archives, libraries, and millions of individuals.
Photographer Jonathan Worth
, a National Teaching Fellow and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and Commerce, describes his photography program and a new open course of learning from World Press Photo
Every year, there's a day or two between the date that my daughter's school shuts and the day that my wife's office shuts for Christmas holidays. Those are the official seasonal mid-week daddy-daughter days, and for the past two years, my daughter and I have gone to my office to record a podcast. Last year's was great (MP3), but I think we hit a new high this year (MP3).
(Photo: Jonathan Worth) Read the rest
Jonathan Worth sez, "Four years ago when I first opened my photography classes online the big issue was 'free' - if you 'give your classes away for free then no one will pay for them'. My answer to those people was that the classes weren't what people paid for - they paid for the learning experience, of being in the room - this online version - this open and connected version just meant that the room they paid to be in now sat at the middle of a network. And that network is now significant. Yesterday it trended on Twitter - I don't know many classes that do that. Read the rest
The BBC's picture editor Phil Coomes has a long, excellent feature on the open education photography classes offered by Jonathan Worth and Matt Johnston through Coventry University. The course is open to anyone in the world, via webcast, and runs with up to 35,000 students. The class focuses not just on technique, but on the role of photographers in the 21st century, when everyone has a cameraphone, and when controlling copies of photos on the net is an impossibility.
Read the rest
He uses Creative Commons licenses (CC) for his classes. "I'd always been an avid All Rights Reserved user but it just stopped making sense. The open classes can only work with a CC license, which was a big deal for the university because it turns out education establishment are avid All Rights Reserved users too. Much like me thinking I was just an image maker, the uni thought its product was 'knowledge' and their old business model relied on keeping a tight grip on that.
"Well, I knew it wasn't my product as a teacher. My product is the learning experience and opening the doors online meant that I turned that product into an outward-facing asset.
"In a world where everyone with a smartphone is a potential supplier of image content, I had to work out what I did that was different, and it turns out there's a whole bunch of stuff both as an artisan and as a mediator and publisher.
"On a personal level I also found out that this stuff has applications in other areas too - education being a case in point, where I realised the real thing of value was not the knowledge but the learning experience.
Here's a great piece on Jonathan Worth, an English photographer who has embraced Creative Commons and who offers free, CC-licensed photography instruction.
The breadth of content and openness of the class is enough to make any online education junkie salivate. The class’s RSS feeds host audio-recorded lectures, class assignments and special discussions. Worth’s Fall course attracted over 10,000 visitors to its website from 1,632 cities in 107 countries... Thanks to some savvy networking, the class also gives access to some big names. The crowd-sourced list of photo books, with submissions from bandstand photographers Alec Soth, Gilles Peress, Joel Meyerowitz, Todd Hido and others had over 100,000 page views.
“I think Jonathan’s course experiments are fantastic,” says Professor David Campbell, member of the Centre for Advanced Photography Studies at Durham University. “He is probably the most creative teacher I know.”
After nearly 15 years as a successful commercial photographer specializing in portraiture (he’s photographed celebrities like Alan Moore, Colin Firth and Brett Easton-Ellis), Jonathan Worth gave up the advertising and editorial jobs, left New York, and returned to his native England to take up a part-time teaching gig at Coventry University.
Jonathan shot some portraits of me as part of a National Portrait Gallery project, and they're among my favorite photos of all time (check out his portrait of Alan Moore!).
Free Online Class Shakes Up Photo Education
(Thanks, Jonathan!) Read the rest
Photographer Jonathan Worth sez, "I've written an article for the Telegraph that argues for searching out new business models from old relationships. It posits 'free' as an emotive distraction. Similarly it argues that the notion of photo/media-convergence is being mis-represented as a 'what technology does' issue rather than what it will come to mean. It suggests that the important issues for trace-storytellers (photographers in this case) are not 'will new cameras kill the decisive moment' but instead questions what this century's decisive moment will be. The 'big-reveal' is that the article itself is not paid for by the Telegraph but two other parties - those whom the author (me) decides are most likely to benefit."
This reluctance to accept the shift and recognise alternative ways of leveraging 'free', is born out of a tendency amongst photographers to see technology in terms of what it does rather than what it means. The latest Red cameras see photographers clamouring over the future of the 'decisive moment', a phrase coined by the Henri Cartier Bresson in the last century that referred to a precise moment at which everything came together, Zen-like, both in the mind of the photographer and in the 'real world'. Red cameras can shoot movies at such high resolution that print-ready still frames can be pulled directly from the footage, leading some to call this a 'convergence' and others citing futuristic films as proof of such an inevitability.
Mo< If the lessons learned from free and instantaneous modes of delivery teach us anything, it's not that photographers of the future will be hosing down decisive moments by the terabyte. It tells us that the decisive digital moment will be when the subject takes ownership of their story in real-time and engages in dialogue with the audience and the creator. The decisive convergence that technology is driving toward is not one of stills vs moving capture, but one of traditional content supplier vs mediated authorship and direct engagement with the audience.
"[A] tendency ... to see technology in terms of what it does rather than what it means." There's an epithet for the age we live in, all right. Read the rest
Photog tries out copyleft