natnelson19

Open Education

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As part of my Open University Open Education course I had to create an artefact defining open education using some of ideas put forward by Weller and Anderson

Here is my artefact for which I used Prezi.

My main point is that we have now, more or less, achieved education for all (obviously lots of countries still have a way to go and some might argue the UK still has lessons to learn, but that’s another post!) and this is one aspect of “openness”. However, humans and technology are evolving and we are now accessing education differently. It’s not just about being able to access education, it’s how we access and use it.

The MOOCs (massive open on-line courses) I do have highlighted this. We are now called “open scholars”. Wells raises the following point in his article The openness-creativity cycle in education – A Perspective

The combination of digital content and a global, socially oriented distribution network has created the conditions in which new interpretations of open education can develop. Indeed, some commentators have begun to talk of the ‘open scholar’, which is almost synonymous with the ‘digital scholar’ so closely aligned are the new technologies and open approaches.

I completely agree that the new technologies and open approaches are interlinked. Without technology I would not be competing these courses. They have opened a new world of global on-line collaboration which I have never encountered before. The access to resources is another aspect new to me. The fact that people are so willing to share their resources, ideas and experiences is amazing. Throughout the MOOCs I am a scholar but will also “teach” as will the others taking part. We all have something to bring to the course. The lecturers are there and start us off but the scholars are the drivers.

This model of education has the potential to “open” education to all. Whether to those who have already been through the education system or those who have never had the chance. I saw one of the most inspirational TED talks recently. I love the idea that the “teacher asks the question and then stands back and admires the answers”. Sugata Mitra, educational researcher, has a wish; “My wish is that we design the future of learning. We don’t want to be spare parts for a great human computer, do we? So we need to design a future for learning. My wish is to design a future for learning by supporting children all over the world to tap into their wonder and their ability to work together”.

And this is how I feel about MOOCs in that they support me to learn by tapping into my sense of wonder and letting me collaborate and share with like minded people. I am open to education and education is open to me.

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2 Comments

  1. I think UK penetration of broadband is around 87% but there are those who have little or no access to the internet. There is a cost – hardware and software, then somewhere to ‘do stuff’ which might be a desktop in a corridor or a laptop on the kitchen table – if anything at all. Some 4% don’t want anything to do with the Internet, and these are people in groups who you’d imagine would be online. Mobile phones are closer to universal, though text is a bit clunky – increasingly smartphones rather than desktops or laptops should increase access. Then of course you have to ask how accessible any of this might be for people with a variety of disabilities.

  2. Nat Nelson says:

    Poverty in the UK also has an effect. Students not eating properly, not having a quiet place to study, no access to broadband and being disadvantaged in terms of literacy in many cases.

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