[PD] Concept: Open Knowledge Online Univercity (OKOU)

Anton Woldhek woldhek at xs4all.nl
Wed Mar 17 14:20:35 CET 2004

Hello list,

I've been spinning this idea for e-education around in my head for a while
now, and I thought i'd pass it by you guys for reason that will become clear
should you decide to keep reading this.

Basically I'd like to develop a community that spreads knowlegde in a
similar model as BitTorrent spreads data. For those of you unfamiliar with
BT, it is an advanced P2P program that uses a very cool way of distributing
bandwith. (check http://bitconjurer.org/BitTorrent/ if you'd like to know
more). Basically its makes it possible for you to download i.e. a fodera iso
and even during your download you'll be sharing the bits that you have
allready got with others that are downloading. This eases the load of the
first "seeder" a lot since after enough people have been getting the iso,
the seed will have been planted and the original seeder can retire and use
his bandwith for other things. Also, if you as a downloader allow a high
number of uploads you'll get a higher "ratio" which basically means that
your downloads will go faster aswell. So good sharing behaviour is rewarded.

 Today's most common learning enviroments are schools, physical places we go
to where profesional teachers do there very best to teach us their
knowledge. If you are not able to go to these places (for whatever reason)
you could choice between expensive commercial "home-study" schools, or you
could turn to books.

The concept for OKOU would add a new option, one more inline with the
current trend towards open source & p2p sharing. Suppose that a music
technology faculty was allready opened at the OKOU and that today we would
be signing up for a course called "DSP with Pure Data level I" by none other
then Miller S. Puckette (DISCLAIMER: I have not communicated any of this
with Miller, this is just to illustrate my point).
We logon to www.openknowledgeonline.edu select the course and we get some
basic information about the course. It states that this is a beginner level
course, that no prior DSP is required but that some basic math would be
necessary. It also reffers to http://www-crca.ucsd.edu/~msp/techniques.htm
as the main text for this course.
Within a few days we receive an email that the course is about to start and
that we are expected to have read the first chapter of the text by then. We
also receive an url thats intended for students of that particular course.
We go there and find some links and a forum where we are asked to introduce
ourselves to our fellow students by Miller. Here we find out what level our
fellow students are at and perhaps solve a few riddles with installing pd.
It's also got a schedule for the whole course.

Schedule for DSP with PD level I

Date            Topic               pre-Class        Where?
17 march     Start of course
19 march     Introduction     read Ch. 1        DSP_PD_1 on
23 march    Wavetable        read ch. 2        DSP_PD_1 on

At the end of our introduction class we'll be given an assigment to work on
before next class. Miller will be available on the forum if we need help,
but its advised to aks help fromyour fellow students first, and ofcourse to
help them. ofcourse we thank our teacher for all that he has taught us and
we move on.

At the end of the course we're asked to solve a few problems individually
after they are completed succesfully a student has "passed" the course.
This is great because we now have the knowledge to take the course "DSP with
PD level II". Our teacher here is Frank Barknecht. Similar events to Level 1
follow and we thank our teacher again.
But now, all of the sudden, we are receiving a request from the OKOU board
to teach "DSP with PD level 1" to a group of eager new students. What? Me?
But i only just learned this stuff. How am *I* going to be able to teach
Well first of all, you passed the course and you've sinced moved on to the
2nd level of that course, so you must have some grip on the material by now.
You wont be thrown in the deep all alone, you can email Frank Barknecht if
you really cant help somebody out, he'll be your mentor during your first
teaching class.
Maybe I'd say that I would rather teach about a topic i have a little more
grip on and suggest i could do a course on basic western harmony. The board
replies that they are very happy if I did that because nobody had volunteerd
to do such a course up till now. Jesse Liberty will contact me and help me
set the course up.
All my students passed the course and I feel very proud about them and
myself, i teach another Harmony Level 1 course and also got the priviledge
to take the DSP with PD level III course, which is reserverd for teachers.

Are you guys getting where I am trying to go with this? Ofcourse certain
topics are better suited to an online learning enviroment then others, and
computer related topics will probably be the main dish during the startup
fase. But I hope that people

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