I reviewed some posts today, and saw some interesting persectives. I am of for Thailand this week, so I try to finish off all assignments, 2do’s etc before Wednesday.
Jennifer Maddrel has put some nice illustrations in an online video (@ voicethread.com so you can add voice and text comments). Still a draft, but worth looking at.
Jessie focuses on the Chinese education system and says:
I feel like it is too difficult to change the traditional system of higher education.I feel that too, but rather than changing an existing system, I think in creating a new system, which might replace existing ones. Think about what you need for learning: materials, support & guidance, and a reason. I think at least part of the reason will be the future ability to get a job and earn money. With flexible employment mechanisms built in a new system of learning, people may be willing to put effort in that system in building up a reputation that can be used in order to get job opportunities.
“formal” OER community (higher ed courseware projects, Hewlett funded projects, etc.) implode under their own weight, there are a number of other open efforts that cannot be stopped.She refers to Wikipedia (and related projects), YouTube, TeacherTube, Facebook, etc. And then she asks a very valid and interesting question. Great question:
One question I have is whether all of these resources and the learning opportunities they present will at some point decrease the value of a traditional higher education degree? Especially as formal education gets even more removed from truly relevant content (critical thinking, collaborative skills, higher order thinking), will industry realize that a solid informal education and demonstration of real-world competencies outweighs a piece of paper from a university?That really depends on the formal educational reform: will they reform fast enough, or not? I think that traditional universities, funded by government, such as the university where I study, will receive funds until the end of time, because of tradition, name, reputation, etc… Still, they feel the pressure of change. I talked to the university’s Vice-Chancellor and Executive Board Vice President about open education last week, and one thing they mentioned is that we are only starting to see some of the benefits of IT. The need to keep on investing in IT related projects remains unabated in order to keep up with trends and technologies. They even mentioned new structures and processes for accreditation and evaluation, and explained a new division of labor at the university. So, my point is that some universities recognize not only the potential of IT, open education, informal structures, etc. but do indeed link that to organizational change. The way that change is brought about, and the speed, will determine the value of the university of tomorrow.
What an empowered Africa and Asia will contribute to the world will make MySpace and Wikipedia look like baby steps.This implies also that one need to be able to learn from all those resources online. I think that we should not afraid of having not enough content online, but how to find your way? Anto refers to George Siemens’ Connectivism Learning Theory, and whether it is a learning theory or a pedagogy, I think that Siemens provides a new and very interesting view on learning, which is more capable of handling the overload of information than current ones.
I don’t think that OER will have that large of an effect in the next century, but in time I can see some of the things discussed in the readings coming to pass.Clearly, OER alone will not have the impact that has been previsioned by David, but it will have the described impact in combination with other factors, such as social change and newer technology. OER might form the hubs around which some communities will come into existence, and different technologies will form the glue between people and content. New ecosystems will come into being, I suppose, and change, partly caused by OER, open source software, and their philosophies spreading into other corners of society, is eminent. Who says that you cannot make money from Open Source Software? Who says that you cannot make money from OER? Why not use this strong incentive to create better infrastructures, better education, and better content? I do see change happen at least partly because of these incentives.
A primary goal of the Open Learning Initiative (OLI) at Carnegie Mellon is to provide free access to high quality post-secondary courses (i.e., similar to those taught at Carnegie Mellon). Previous evaluations of the effectiveness of OLI courses have shown that our online courses teach students as effectively as existing instructor-led courses. Two such studies have found this result for the OLI-Statistics course. This report describes our current study of OLI-Statistics in which we are evaluating the accelerated learning hypothesis – that learners can learn a semester’s material in half the time, while still achieving the same or better learning outcomes.
The courses offered by CMU OLI are, as I have explained before, not ordinary open courseware materials. They mention the following about the learning material:
There are four feedback loops based on student learning data; science of learning, instructor activities, course design, student performance.. The initial assumption that the open courses would not be used at university appeared to be wrong: they were better than the normal courses, and quickly became a prototype to be used. The interesting thing is the research done on the learning outcome of students following the normal course, and students following the online course.
Patrick McAndrew had a nice presentation called: From Boot Camp to Holiday Camp? Some issues around openness, Web 2.0, and learning.
Patrick explained motivation using the metaphors of carrots and sticks. Carrots are teasers for students to perform better, such as grades and diplomas.. sticks are a metaphor for punishments to threaten students used for increasing their performance. These are the principle motivators for learning in schools today. With freely available learning materials, openness enables another learning driven by motivation and enjoyment. There is a transition going on from straightforward to open learning: abundant choice and driven by motivation and enjoyment.
“Open Educational Resources were initially seen as a way to exchange and exploit content. For example, the MIT OCW material can be adapted as acurriculum plan and set of resources for use in another institution.
What has also emerged is that there is also direct use of the material by learners. OpenLearn has a configuration that more clearly reflects this by offering a ‘LearningSpace’ designed to allow users to pick units to work with and use them within their personalised learning environments and alongside other learners. However, these learners will not be part of any registered course, won’t be focused on compulsory assignments and will not get a qualification at the end of their work.
The ‘Boot Camp’ elements of education, where learners are organised and coerced into performing necessary learning practices, has therefore disappeared. So a question is whether these elements should be replaced with features that are more in line with a ‘Holiday Camp’, where learning is loosely structured and ‘fun’, but is still relevant and valuable. This talk will explore these metaphors as lenses that can help us to design for learning practices that share their landscape with huge-scale media-rich interaction and radical publishing in the context of open technologies and Web 2.0.”
I hear and I forget,a long time ago. The web allows to actually do (see keynote JSB). But in order to embrace it, we need to reconceptualize learning.
I see and I remember
I do and I understand
I did the blog readability test. The Blog Readability Test. What level of education is required to understand your blog?
I wake up at noon, because I had to finish this last-minute assignment for a regular client of mine late last night. He pays well for it, so the fact that I could not attend an interesting online seminar this morning on Web 3.0 technologies doesn’t bother me so much. I will watch it back later online. I start up my computer, and go to my personal site on http://myopen.org, a website connecting communities of every interest and profession, where I have my friends, colleagues, employers, teachers, and peer-students, and where I am a friend, colleague, employer, teacher, and student. I see that there are some questions and remarks on an online article I just posted, and comment on them. My teacher status on this subject now increases, which may result in being employed. I post a text on my weblog about some problems I encountered during my last employment, hoping that some people read it and respond to it. Usually this takes no more than a day or two. Another employer has urged me to finish a certain job, and I tell her that I will most probably get the results of an essential research I delegated at the end of the week. I check my balance, and see that I made quite some money last week, which is also good for my credibility. People tend to have more trust in me now, when I have made some money, than before, when I just started living my life through this portal.
I sit back, take a sip of my coffee, and decide on what I want to learn today. A week ago, I really got stuck in a school project on e-government solutions for municipalities, so I type in the tags e-government, municipality, online voting, and corruption. Two communities, a dozen persons, and even more resources pop up. I see that a specific community is quite popular, has a high rating and quite some people involved, and I decide to enter. This is what I am looking for, I was thinking, when I browsed through their collection of free resources. I contact someone online, Susan, and tell her about the problems I encountered. She does not know the answers herself, she is new in the community, like me, but she directs me to George, someone who did a similar project and has a lot of experience. George says he is willing to talk to me for $45 an hour, which I think is reasonable considering his status. He also promises me an assignment, which, if I do it correctly, will earn me $120. In the end, George sells my results to his employer for $200 and earns $90 dollars for teaching me some very useful information. George was helpful, also in recommending me some free online courses and papers, so I make some comments on his public profile. I spend two hours learning from an expert on e-government and put this knowledge directly into practice, creating me a lot of understanding, practical and theoretical, and earning a little money ($30). Besides, it improves my online portfolio, increasing the trust it transfers to other people. Because of my specific knowledge gained in another field, which might be useful in this community, I decide to share this using freely available educational software.