Reimagining Open Educational Resources
Stephen Downes, Nov 10, 2020, Open Education 2020, Online, via Zoom
This session introduces and demonstrates content-addressable resources for education, a set of tools and processes for the creation and storage of learning resources in a distributed peer-to-peer network.
I just read a post from Mitch Resnick on the seeds that Seymour Papert sowed, and highlighted for myself this most important statement: "Seymour rejected the computer-aided instruction approach in which 'the computer is being used to program the child' and argued for an alternative approach in which 'the child programs the computer.'" A few minutes later I read a post in Getting Smart from Tom Vander Ark saying that "The pandemic laid bare the inequity and inadequacy of the patchwork American system of education. It made clear that learner experience (LX) is an invention opportunity." He offers a list of 12 strategies. It's not a bad list, but we really need to change the focus. Hence, I've adapted his list for my own needs, and repurposed is as '12 Degrees of Freedom', describing ways we can enable students to do the programming rather than have a system program them.
This is an edited transcript of my presentation 'Reimaging Open Educational Resources' presented November 10 2020 to the Open Education 2020 Conferemce. https://www.downes.ca/presentation/534 This session introduces and demonstrates content-addressable resources for education, a set of tools and processes for the creation and storage of learning resources in a distributed peer-to-peer network.
This article is sort of a half-way point between the full freedom I describe in '12 Degrees' and the limited freedom in Tom Vander Ark's version. I would still chafe under the limitations. Still, as Trevor MacKenzie writes, "By encouraging children to have more control over their learning, educators hope students will leave our classrooms and schools with a range of skills that will support them in being lifelong learners, engaged humanitarians and empathetic people," something, he notes, that "has become increasingly apparent as teachers and students have pivoted to more distance learning experiences."
The short answer is "no" but it's worth reading this item to see how Pat Bowden gets to drawing that conclusion. Because after all, even at $279.99 per year, FutureLearn Unlimited seems to offer good value, providing as it does access with certificates to hundreds of online courses. And if you don't have Unlimited, your access to the course disappears after its done. But you're not actually going to take hundreds of courses from FutureLearn. There are many online course providers. Bowden has taken 130 courses online from numerous providers and comments, "It would be an expensive hobby to pay for all those certificates." I'll say! The current pricing strategy is designed to push you into one or two providers as you try to justify the cost of your subscription.
I have mixed feelings about this article. On the one hand, after looking at an image of the mangled presentation, I can certainly agree that the message could have been a lot clearer. But I'm not sure storytelling is what we need here. Yes, true, a press conference is a presentation, and presentations are linear narratives. But the visual aids need not be linear (and after presenting today I'm feeling that I should be adding an 'explorable' resource to each presentation I make. I agree with this, though: "Good visualization is key to making sense of data. By understanding the grammar of graphics (26 page PDF) we can learn how to encode data visually to make it both aesthetic and meaningful."
This article is a forward to a new edition of Seymour Papert's Mindstorms and looks back at the influence of the book 40 years after its publication. And if anything was key about Papert's approach, it's this: "Seymour rejected the computer-aided instruction approach in which 'the computer is being used to program the child' and argued for an alternative approach in which 'the child programs the computer.'" This is a lesson I have always kept in mind, and as I look at the criticisms of ed tech (and especially the work of people like Audrey Watters) I think this is the form a response should take. Or as I said in my presentation last week, "it's not about the technology all the time, it's so often about critical literacy, about perception, sense of belief, it's so often about how people see things, what their environment is, what their ways of perceiving things are, how they're going to learn." Via Aaron Davis.
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Copyright 2020 Stephen Downes Contact: firstname.lastname@example.orgThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.