There are now a tremendous number of 'Open' Education & Training resources and tools that the VA, DoD, and other healthcare ought to tap into and start using. These include open source software, open access materials (textbooks, journals, etc.), open data, open apps, open education & training communities, and much more. To get a quick overview of the many 'Open' Education & Training tools and resources available, take a few minutes to look at the COSI Open Education & Training web site at http://education.cositech.net
The VA employee education programs, health IT training programs, veterans/user training efforts and more could probably benefit by using some of the many 'Open' Education & Training tools available, such as -
The following are links to selected 'open source' Education & Training software products and tools:
- Claroline - An open source eLearning and eWorking platform allowing teachers to build effective online courses and to manage collaborative learning activities on the web.
- Chamilo - An open source Learning Management System (LMS).
- Connexions - Contains educational materials at all levels, organized in small modules that can be connected into larger courses.
- Dokeos - An open source e-Learning software suite.
- DoceboLMS - An open source Learning Management System (LMS).
- eFront - An open source e-Learning software suite.
- Evergreen - An open source Integrated Library System (ILS)) used by approximately 800 libraries.
- EthosCE - A full-featured, open-source learning management system with built-in content authoring and social media features for continuing education and training for organizations.
- iThinkEd - Microsoft's free software tools for helping educators and researchers publish and share information.
- Kaltura - An open source video application platform for education.
- Koha - An open-source Integrated Library System in use today by hundreds of libraries worldwide.
- Kuali - A suite of open source administrative software modules for use in higher education.
- Moodle - An open source Course Management or Learning Management System. It is a web application that educators can also use to create effective online learning sites.
- MS Learning Content Development Systems (LCDS) - A free tool that enables the Microsoft Learning community to create high-quality, interactive, online courses
- Online Learning And Training (OLAT) - An open source web-based Learning Management System.
- OpenCourseWare - A collaborative, open source educational content solution.
- OpenEducationDisc - A collection of open source software products for students for computers running MS Windows.
- Open Learning Exchange ToolKit - A series of software tools that will help Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Centers quickly and inexpensively provide basic education services within their countries.
- OpenSimulator - An open source multi-user 3D application server that can be used to create virtual reality environments, similar to Second Life Education institutions and learning environments.
- Open Source Scripts for Education - This site provides access to a list of available open source education products.
- Sakai - An open source software for education, research and related scholarly activities.
- SchoolForge - A web site offering a range of free and open source education software for teachers and students.
- uPortal - An open source enterprise portal framework built by and for the higher education community.
- Zotero - A free open source tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources.
The following are links to selected 'open access' education & training web sites, resources, publications, and more:
- Bentham Open Access - Over 230 peer-reviewed open access journals covering all major disciplines of science, technology, and more.
- Community College 'Open' Textbooks - Peer reviewed free and open textbooks for use in community college courses.
- Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) - A directory of a wide range of freely available, online Open Access Journals covering the arts and sciences.
- Encyclopedia of Life - Providing free and 'open access' to knowledge about life on Earth.
- Library of Congress - Recognized as the national library of the U.S. Its collections comprise the world's most comprehensive record of American history, human creativity, and knowledge.
- OER Commons Textbooks - Information about open textbooks offered through Open Education Commons (OER).
- Open Training Platform - UNESCO facilitates collaborative access to existing free and 'open' training courses and materials via its Open Training Platform.
- O'Reilly Open Books - Publishers of quite a few Open Books--books with various forms of "open" copyright--over the years.
- Versita Open - One of the world’s leading Open Access platforms, hosting full texts of nearly 200 scholarly journals.
- WikiMedia Commons - An online repository of freely licensed, sharable educational photos and images available on the internet.
A series of open source education & training projects aimed at VA employees and veterans could prove extremely beneficial. Imagine training users of VistA or My HealtheVet using open source 3D simulation tools, or developing and sharing open source training programs using an open source learning management system like Sakai or Moodle. Is this the right group to take on such efforts, or should a new Education & Training working group be established to engage more participants from the field?
In addition to the COSI Open Education & Training web site, take a look at the COSI Open Education & Training blogs at http://cosiopeneducation.blogspot.com