19 Oct 2009

The word’s your oyster – OU Week on online dictionary

The Open University (OU) is the first University to team up with, the online visual dictionary, launching a week of themed videos from today. In celebration of the OU’s 40th anniversary year, is running a series of seven videos, one per day, highlighting words of significance to The Open University. Those supporting the week by submitting videos include TV presenter Kate Humble and singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading.

Over the week, seven Word of the Day videos will be published on the front page of exploring words of significance to The Open University – from evolution and inspiration to pedagogy and literacy. Open University broadcaster Dr Janet Sumner said: “Although so much of TV relies on amazing visuals, words are incredibly important in the job that I do. Pictures tell only half the story – and I’ve chosen to define the word “inspiration” in my video. It’s a word that describes what we want our broadcasts projects to be, and it also applies to many of our OU students!”

Wordia is a collaborative, participative online dictionary that encourages users to explore and debate the meanings of words through personal perspectives communicated on video. It gives users the freedom to express their own thoughts, feelings or personal associations with a word or subject in a creative, social context - next to the authoritative textual definition.

Those taking part in the OU Week on Wordia are TV presenter Kate Humble, who defines ‘literacy’; genealogist and TV presenter Nick Barratt who talks about ‘evolution’; dancer, writer and broadcaster Deborah Bull who defines ‘innovative’; singer and songwriter Joan Armatrading who explores the word ‘collaboration’; Times columnist and OU Professor of Law Gary Slapper who defines ‘education’; broadcaster Janet Sumner who talks about ‘inspiration’; architectural historian and TV presenter Dan Cruickshank who explores ‘pedagogy’.

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Editor’s Notes
Wordia was launched on 18 September 2008, on the 299th birthday of Dr Samuel Johnson from his house in Gough Square, Fleet Street. It is the first and best in the field of online visual dictionaries – helping redefine the dictionary for the 21st century.

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