Archive for September, 2010

Open Education – What’s Next?

open education, OER, bon education, anna batchelder

Recently I’ve participated in a number of discussions around creating open education repositories and initiatives in the Middle East. Beyond the question of finding sizable portions of open Arabic content to seed a new repository, the questions of sustainability (how do we pay for this?), language (who’s Arabic?) and so what?! (What will people do with the content?) always come up shortly after.

Putting the first two bold words aside, let’s focus on the so what?! of OER. As Max Fawcett (Managing Editor at Alberta Venture) points out in the Open Education Open Debate:

Education, after all, isn’t an acquisitive process, an exercise in procuring and storing information. Instead, learning is a social process, one in which people get from point A – ignorance – to point B – enlightenment – through a messy combination of challenge, failure and consolidation. While there might be a few people who can (and should) take advantage of open-source learning models, there are, I suspect, far more who can’t. Information, in the absence of the ability to apply it, isn’t very valuable, as anybody who’s ever tried to fix their own car using only the supplied factory manual understands only too well”.

This reminds me of a comment in Brian Lamb posted in his blog two years ago:

“If we live in an era of information abundance, why is the primary drive around OERs the publication of more content? And what other activities around the open education movement might be an effective use of our energies? What other needs have to be met?”

In the past couple of years we’ve seen online course initiatives like P2PU and the Open High School take steps towards using the open content out there in meaningful ways. But, I would like to hear directly from teachers and students:

With so much free content out there on the Web, what services or apps would you like to see built in conjunction with all that content to help bring more meaning, value, time savings and/or joy to your education?

Anna

@bon_education

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What skills do kids need to be “successful” today?

While reading EdTech Digest, I came across an interesting page of videos that reflect on what it means to be a 21st Century learner. While I had seen most of the clips before, I had not yet seen the one above.

As you watch, think about:

  • What skills and opportunities do kids need to participate effectively in modern day society?
  • To lead happy, healthy and learning-filled lives?
  • Now, how can you help?!

Anna

@bon_education

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Tips for Teachers that Want to Become EdTech Leaders and Champions

anna batchelder, literacy blog, edtech, education technology, ICT

I was recently asked to put together a one page document titled, “Tips for Teachers that Want to Become Education Technology Leaders and Champions in their Schools”. I thought readers of Literacy is Priceless might enjoy reading the tips as well. Feel free to add your own tips in the comments section of this post!

Anna

@bon_education

1) Always keep learning!

Technology changes rapidly! Therefore it is important to stay on top of the latest news, trends and research. Here are a few recommended resources to start with:

  • International Society for Technology in Education – articles, advocacy kits and conferences about education technology
  • Edutopia – videos and articles about education best-practices
  • eSchoolNews – K-20 technology news
  • Mashable – Learn about the latest applications and trends in social media
  • A mentor – Find someone that knows a lot about education technology. Meet and share ideas and feedback regularly.

2) Share your knowledge.

  • Help other teachers in your building learn how to use and teach effectively with technology by hosting workshops, coaching and mentorship sessions.
  • Keep a classroom blog. Make sure to tell other teachers and students about it!
  • Post your technology-infused lesson plans on open education resource sites like Curriki and OER Commons. Or, on sites like BetterLesson and the Ras al Khaimah Teachers Network.

3) Don’t be afraid to experiment.

See a new technology that could be effective in your classroom?! Try it! Remember, it is okay if the students know how to use the technologies better than you do! As teachers, we learn so much from our students and they from us. By trying new things, practice and an open mind, we can learn and do many great things in the classroom, for and with our students.

4) Start an education technology passion project with your students!

5) Stay connected.

6) Reflect!

  • Keep a teaching journal. Document what went well in your lessons and what you would like to improve in the future.
  • Solicit feedback from your students! What do they enjoy doing in your class? What are their challenges? How can technology be used to address some of these challenges and to inspire enthusiasm towards learning?
  • Create an education technology professional development plan for yourself. Do it! Have fun!

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(Image CC by Brian Hathcock)


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