July 5, 2011
What I talk about when I talk about user outcomes - #6 - Open Educational Resources
Weblog, July 5, 2011.
Doug Belshaw mixes his work with an OER infoKit and his understanding of pragmatism to reach some general conclusions about open educational resources:
- There’s nothing special about OER
- There are no meaningful metrics for OERs
- It’s not about OER, it’s about Openness
He writes, "Whilst academic ideas and debates are important, the point - to paraphrase Marx - is not to describe the world but to change it. Waiting for everyone to agree about OERs before getting on and doing something about changing the system is a fool’s errand. No amount of posturing changes practice."
[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, Academia]
Not A Clique - But a Cluster
Thoughts By Jen, July 5, 2011.
Summary and reactions to the ISTE11 conference, nicely brought together by The ISTE keynote by Jennifer Wagner, who observes "We travel in swarms or clusters from session to session. Hearing people we have heard before, chatting with people we have chatted with before, dining with those we have dined before….and not dismissing anyone from joining in... but not venturing out to invite others in either."
Dean Shareski's summary was an interesting light look at a bunch of sessions. He was also quote critical of the keynotes. "This is an organization who's mission is to help schools effectively use technology for learning. Shouldn't we at least be trying to focus on learning and technology?" Having listened to Chris Lehman's keynote, which sounded like a sermon more than anything, I have to agree (note, Lehman's talk starts 30 minutes into the recording - I should use Tube Chop to link to these).
But another keynote, John Medina's, was bang on. "Every brain is wired differently from every other brain and learns in ways unique to that brain," was quite good (note that if you watch the video the keynote starts some 30 minutes in - I don't know why). I really like his map analogy. Everybody should listen to this.
[Link] [Comment][Tags: Schools, Video, Chatrooms]
Skills for prosperity - a roadmap for vocational education and training
Skills Australia, July 5, 2011.
Discussion document released in May by the Australian government focusing on plans for the Vocational Education and Training (VET) in that country. The document lists many of the same ambitions as the recent British white paper but is a lot less obvious about private-sector involvement in the educational marketplace and tuition increases for students. But I'm seeing much the same sort of language, a focus on industry priorities, and a regulatory framework designed for significant private sector involvement.
[Link] [Comment][Tags: Vocational Education, Great Britain, Australia, Online Learning, Tuition and Student Fees]
My Practical Futurism / Tutoring at Scale Keynote
Tran|Script, July 5, 2011.
The future of educational technology, says Mike Caulfield, is tutoring at scale. What does that mean? Not 'frosting the horse pill' - not taking what we're already doing and dressing it up. Nor is it some sort of adaptation to the '21st century learner' differences or learning styles. "You can't solve an Ikea problem with a discovery-based methodology." Traditional lecture-based is not conversational enough, it's not customized enough, and it doesn't provide immediate feedback. These are all things tutoring brings to the mix. The process of tutoring helps both tutor and learner by requiring them to explain their understanding. That's the conversational bit. Customization increases 'time on task'. Feedback has a similar effect; the expectation of feedback leads people to focus. We can accomplish all of these (conversation, customization and feedback) without tech - groupwork, for example, addresses each of these. It's the basis behind the 'flipped classroom'. Or clickers in the classroom. Good presentation, well worth the half hour it takes to listen.
[Link] [Comment][Tags: Learning Styles, Customization]
Open Education Is Transforming the Way We Learn: Ray Schroeder Speaks to Education-Portal.com
EducationPortal.com, July 4, 2011.
Coverage of Ray Schroeder's eduMOOC has been extensive. We are seeing a convergence here between open educational resources and open learning. "Over the next decade we may see the advent of the OERu - a model in which students take open college courses freely available on the Web and then seek academic credit through credentialing of their learning at a university which provides assessment, validation and academic credit at a cost lower than formal classes." Here's more coverage from EdLab. And this article on WikiEducator. And more from EducationPortal. Meanwhile, the study group seeing whether MOOCs can be adapted for OERu. Wolfgang Greller, from his new website, comments "there is always the danger that a MOOC gets drowned in anectotes and story telling."
[Link] [Comment][Tags: Open Educational Resources, Portals, Assessment, Academia]
Welcome to the all-you-can-burn buffet
Abject, July 4, 2011.
Brian Lamb nicely documents the corporate sector's assault on education and open content (and, I might add, everything else): "I think about Mr. Murdoch’s contribution to the art of journalism, and have to ask what exactly his contribution to the field of education might look like? ... Access to great symphonies? Gee, how could that be possible without the benign assistance multi-national conglomerates raking in billions of profits? The lectures of Hawking? If only we could view them in the future, sometime after Mr. Murdoch has secured the long-term exposure of his investment plan. And us yokels in the education sector will never figure out how to share a lesson plan, not until we bust the teacher’s unions and sign an assured distribution contract with a serious content provider… So when I grumble about an open educational discourse that “favours” commercial use, it’s because I am probably thinking about how that aligns with the interests of Rupert Murdoch and his wacky pals." Exactly my thinking.
[Link] [Comment][Tags: World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), Online Learning]
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