by Stephen Downes
Dec 15, 2015
Going Open With LangOER
Malgorzata Kurek, Anna Skowron,
Jan Dlugosz University,
This is a basic but effective guide in the use of open educational resources for teachers, focused mostly on licensing and selection. It is " a compilation of tasks and materials used in the online teacher training course on Open Educational Resources that we taught in Fall 2014 as part of the EU-funded project LangOER." It also raises and discusses the idea of open teaching. "The idea, obviously, is not new as many teachers have always been willing to share their teaching ideas and materials regardless of the technologies available. The difference is that now, due to technology affordances, sharing has become global."
adapting to perpetual beta,
"Critical thinking," writes Harold Jarche, "can be looked at as four main activities:
- Observing and studying our fields
- Participating in professional communities
- Building tentative opinions
- Challenging and evaluating ideas."
Here's a better model. Critical thinking can be looked at as the following activities:
- Observing and studying our fields
- detecting patterns, similarities and regularities
- aligning with truth, value and purpose
- perceiving potential uses and applications
- noting contexts, frames, alternatives
- defining terms, drawing conclusions, explaining, describing
- accounting for change, trends, growth or cycles
- Participating and sharing in professional communities
Long-time readers will recognize the centre as the critical literacies. Yes, observing and sharing are important, and we (quite rightly) spend a lot of time on this. But it's to easy to simply elide over what, exactly, we mean by challenging ideas and forming opinions. Literacy means knowing not just about these, but knowing how to do these, and knowing what they consist of.
Showing Teachers They Matter
There's a certain set of people that believe awards are important in recognizing contributions to a discipline. And I agree that the recognition is important. But far more often, the recognition isn't the main focus of the award; usually it's to market a brand and to support the promotion of a certain business objectives. A good example of this is the university ranking system, which tries to encourage universities to raise tuition, have smaller classes, and limit enrolment. In the current case, we have nominations being used. Other awards use nominations and voting. In cases where there are nominees competing for the prize, the sole purpose of the award is to co-opt the nominees into vocally endorsing the organization promoting the prize. Real awards don't need to do this. You know - like the Nobels, which will not tell you who is being considered, in order to avoid crass publicity and campaigning.
Four Things that Highly Creative People Do
The Creative Classroom,
This article helps dispel the myth of the genius. It's important to dispel this myth. The four things (paraphrased):
- they make mistakes
- they are normal
- they are afraid nobody will like their stuff
- they make stuff anyways.
These are totally true for me. Every time I write a post or give a talk or whatever, my first concern is that people won't like it. Then (when I'm on my game) I suck it up and do it anyways. Because there's a fifth thing:
"The common theme there is work. They all work on their craft. Every. Day. And they spend hours and hours doing it. You can't productivity hack your way through it. You just have to spend hours working at your craft until the stuff you make goes from kind-of sucky to okay to prolific."
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