Amy Perrey's Blog


Reflection & Notes from October 27th
October 28, 2009, 12:48 am
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Open Education with tonights Host Jon Mott and his slide presentation. 3915530627_442e19f997

Photo:Nationaal Archief / Spaarnestad Photo / Het Leven, SFA0228189

This was another great night of information on Open Education. Before the class we were asked to take a look at some videos on CC Creative Commons. If you are not sure what this is all about (like how I was), then take some time to look at this – Video #1 and video #2. Creative Commons is a place where people can still have ownership of their work but also give others the chance to perform with it and do some actions. The world is creating a place of more and more learners.

Open Access and Open Publishing: If  we look back at education and the information that was out there, we know it was hard to access and could be locked down. But today we can get information anytime, any place and anywhere! This is great and allows for anyone to learn whenever and wherever! Times have also changed with publishing, once again anyone can publish anything, anywhere and at any time! There are some many different sites that you can publish on – utube, twitter, blogs and the list goes on and on and on. The best tool invented (thank goodness for this class or I would of never heard of it), is the use of RSS. Creating this tiny little tool allows you to organize and keep track of all the information that is out there. Now I love that there is access to information like this and that anyone can publish anything but…we still have to be careful. What we read on the internet doesn’t mean that it is real. We really need to stress this to the students that we teach, especially at a young age. We need to teach them how to look for sites that have good information and sites that help them research. Since anyone can publish information, it doesn’t mean that the information that they are posting is correct. I remember Alec coming into one of my Moral Education classes back in the day  and talking to us about websites, there was this one site that was created to inform people the Holocaust never really happened. ( I tried to look for it) So we need to teach students the right way to look for information, so they don’t get the wrong information.

” If you can Google it….don’t teach it and don’t test it”, agreed. Well almost, we still need to instruct the students and show them the way. We are teachers to facilitate and to help the student grow in their learning. We can do this by teaching them right from wrong and guiding them through different communities of learning. So Why do we test students? It is true the information is out there, if we forget we look it up. If we are testing the students we are just testing to see if they can memorize it long enough to take the test and forget it again. The best way to “test” is to get the students playing and doing the activities/lessons we teach them.

Open education and place to share content through Open Courseware:

– Open Couserware

R Commons

What an amazing website to have a place you can go to learn and you don’t have to pay! Well this class has a lot of learners joining in from all over the world to come together in a common learning enviroment. Talk about this Community of Learners – a map of the people from our class here. We can all share with no fees. I do have to ask – What does the future hold for Open Courseware? If everything become an open courseware- do we still need degrees? We are all gaining the same information but some of us pay so we can hold a degree. This would affect the universities and the instructors. I do think that we need to focus more in the classrooms of schools too. How do we start this? Have other school divisions done this already? Who leads these open courseware classes? Do students take them on their prep times or afterschool? Could you do this in elementary school?  I know we have started our first virtual French class that is one line for High Schools. This can be a great tools if a High school doesn’t have enough registered students then the “class” doesn’t happen. But if you offer open it up to all the high schools and combine all the students to a virtual school then everyone wins. (did that make any sense?)

Community Building – What I do know is that this class has created a community building for myself and others. This is the first class that has done this. I have create different communities from one class – twitter, blogs, Google Reader  I can keep update with my learning communities. I can stay in contact after the class so that I can continue to ask and look for help, so that I can help others, so that we can discuss similar lessons and plans. In other classes you just get each others email and then you never talk again (sometimes). This is what Jon said was our Open Architecture.

He then asked a question: “What do we want to happen to our students?”, I want to see our schools change and that every student has a lab top, that every classroom has a Smartboard, that students can blog at their desks, that the classroom is paperless (except for artwork 🙂 ), that students work together on-line and create their own personal learning communities, that we as teachers give them more control over their learning (but still doing curriculum) and that students start having fun.

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5 Comments so far
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So many things to comment about.
1) You write: “What we read on the internet doesn’t mean that it is real. We really need to stress this to the students that we teach, especially at a young age. We need to teach them how to look for sites that have good information and sites that help them research. Since anyone can publish information, it doesn’t mean that the information that they are posting is correct.” You pose a slightly different question than Allison Treble, but I will repeat portions of my comment to her because I think it also apples here:

One other caution you raised: “…so much of the information on the internet is biased or simply untrue.” My argument or response is that ALL information is biased, without exception. What all users of the internet, television, newspapers, encyclopedias, books, pamphlets, tracts, letters, histories, diaries, recordings, plays, lectures, etc., etc., etc. must be able to do is to ferret out the biases contained therein and also their own biases so that a better understanding might be attained.

What are my biases? What are yours? How does that affect our conversations?

2) You write: “What does the future hold for Open Courseware? If everything become an open courseware- do we still need degrees?”

Let me change your question slightly and ask “What does the future hold for degree granting institutions?” And I could also ask “What if the authority to grant degrees were removed from all educational institutions?”

Three major changes are converging:
1) Information (text, sounds, pictures, motion pictures, graphics) is now everywhere – in all places and at all times to borrow a phrase from the Canadian authors of a 1979 book Gutenberg II
2) Information is no linger controlled by churches, universities, libraries, editors.
3) Information has become abundant and ubiquitous and its prices is approaching free.

Schools have heretofore depended on a scarcity of information, an ability to control it, and an ability dispense it by charging fees. They have been helped with their authority to grant degrees. What happens now if that authority disappears?

3) PLNs and Community Building. This is most marvelous. From New Zealand to Canada to Qatar to Spain to Canada to the Isle of Wight to Missouri to California to Australia to the world! This is where my class and I have been, for substantive visits, just this semester!

Comment by John Strange

Thanks John,
You have some great points, This is what is so nice to get some comments back. I think you are right that all information is biased, and this is what we should use to teach the students in our class.
What does the future hold for degree granting institutions? I’m really not sure, I think that it is so wonderful that we can learn so much and from people from all around the world. Do we need to have degrees? We can all learn the same information…

Comment by perrey

I appreciate the picture of the outdoor classroom. I can’t help but wonder where and when? Imagine a time without colour or motion. I don’t know about others, but I kind of like a world without credentials. I have known talented people without degrees and have worked with people that lack talent and hold a credential, and that’s it. I look forward to working with people that were hired for their dedication and abilities. I realize that credentials were supposed to do this. However, rising tuition costs and the cost of living has excluded capable populations. Happy blogging, Bettina Welsh

Comment by Bettina Welsh

I do like the picture…it says alot with out any words and we can draw our own conclusions from it. 🙂

Comment by perrey

[…] Open Access and Open publishing: more information that I learned was in Creative Commons and Creative Commons Canada, these are amazing places for students to learn, share and create. I loved learning about mashup and can’t wait to start project with students! I learned a lot about open courseware and looking forward to having more classes with the people I met in this class and finding more people with common interests. […]

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