Open Source

LeMill population reached 2000 members

We all know that the European community is growing. What is probably some kind of news is the fact that also the European community of learning resources is steadily growing. The European community of learning resources is called LeMill.

Like in many other areas of life in Europe the growth is not created by the citizens of the welthy “old Europe” (France, Germany, UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Finland etc.) but by the new Europe: the Baltic countries and the Eastern European countries. Also in the LeMill these countries are the super powers.

Hans’ and Tarmo’s LeMill presentation for Czech teachers in Brno, Czech Republic on February 7th 2008.

I am probably one of the last people who would claim that big numbers matters. I am much more a person who likes to claim that “small is beautiful” and “not the quantity but the quality”. Here are, however, the LeMill numbers as they are today, or actually were on February 12 – when I gathered the data. They are still small numbers but important fact is that they are growing fast:

  • 2029 community members – check the number today from the end of the member cloud page
  • 176 groups
  • 4934 media pieces (audio and video clips and images)
  • 903 learning content resources, of which..
    • 514 web pages,
    • 225 exercises,
    • 211 references,
    • 141 presentations,
    • 23 progressive inquiry learning object templates (PILOT)
  • 78 descriptions of learning methods
  • 160 descriptions of learning tools

I am not sure actually how to interpret these numbers, except that it is obvious that the PILOT, something I consider to be a real pedagogical innovation and a contribution to the research of education technology does not get a lot hurrays from the users (teachers). It is also possible that we have failed to communicate the idea of the PILOT. Well, already the name – Progressive Inquiry Learning Object Templates – is some kind of research jargon. We must think a new name for this.

Anyway, to put the number in some scale we may compare them to other online communities build around the idea of providing open and free educational resources.

The Connexions – a project we have been following from the very beginning and also own a lot for them – states today in the site:

“5033 reusable modules woven into 313 collections”

I am not sure if we may or even should compare the numbers of Connexions to the number of LeMill, but at least for me it looks that the two systems are not that far away from each other:

  • Connexions: 5033 reusable modules and 313 collections
  • LeMill: 4934 media pieces and 1141 learning resources (content resources, methods and tools) – all naturally reusable

Wikiversity is great. I love it and actually I am pretty active in there. The English Wikiversity, the leading Wikiversity, tells their size, as follows:

“There are 47,246 total pages in the database. This includes “talk” pages, pages about Wikiversity, minimal “stub” pages, redirects, and others that probably don’t qualify as content pages. Excluding those, there are 6,292 pages that are probably legitimate content pages.”

So, lets compare Wikiversity and LeMill:

  • English Wikiversity’s 6292 pages (+ several thousand pages in other Wikiversities in other languages)
  • LeMill 1141 learning resources

Wikiversity – the English Wikiversity alone – is obviously much larger than the LeMill or the Connexions. Maybe, however, in here we may consider the question of quality against quantity. In LeMill we have a lot of “soil” (you may call it crap), but if you click the “Random topic” -link several times in the English Wikiversity hmm… you do not learn very much at all.

Anyway, I am very happy that we have the candid and progressive people in the Europe that have made LeMill what it is today. We are working hard to get teachers and educators around the world to join the LeMill community. In some places – like in Finland – teachers are very conservative people that are hard to convince. Sometimes this is a good feature – sometimes it is a bit too much.

Still, we are willing and happy to go again on LeTour to tell about LeMill. Please, invite us and we will come.

We know that 2000 members is not really anything to celebrate. When it is 20 000 I will buy you all a drink …hmm… no no, no! I will not! You see, I am not very good with the numbers.

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