“Mind The Education Gap, now in its 5th year, continues to be a firm favourite amongst KZN educators. This year’s theme is “Taking your Teaching to the next level”. Educators from primary, secondary and tertiary levels will benefit from attending. Not only will they enjoy the interaction amongst like-minded delegates, they will also get to learn new skills they can take into the classroom/lecture room. Continue reading “Mind the #Education Gap 2017”
Our second topic lead to a challenge of carrying out an experiment to investigate what forms of OER (Open Educational Resources) are available online, of which can used to enhance the teaching and learning experience and delivery of my lecturing team.
I went the Twitter route as I enjoy the short to the point information that is available, yet simultaneously accessing additional detail through links.
• Traditionally education is static. This tradition is being challenged, splintered and fractured and forced into a space of change. With the overwhelming availability of information, it makes sense for educators to share what works and experiences. By sharing educators are able to support and encourage one another without having to go through the whole learning process individually which seems to be a senseless waste of time.
• Interesting video supporting the fact that education is static and in it’s current format is not serving our future generation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cui59UkoDMA
In the experiment I considered if sharing could be misused? In my opinion most definitely. Plagiarism and intellectual property need to be taken seriously. The “theft” of someone else’s ideas and theories is a serious offence, which sadly not many people are aware of. As educators we need to be at the forefront of ensuring intellectual integrity is maintained.
Sharing carries with it responsibilities and accountability. In order to be professional and give credit to the original thoughts of authors the user must:
• Ensure permissions are available to use
• Creative commons
• The work, research and thoughts of others is acknowledged by correct referencing.
The benefits of sharing for educators is positive, developmental, encouraging. We are in a world of information overload, the vast array of applications and platforms available offers a confusing choice to educators. If we share with one another what has worked and what hasn’t and the reasons why we are collaborating for our own, our students and our associates benefits.
As educators we need to ensure that the use of educational resources is done in a responsible manner. As educators we lead by example by ensuring that intellectual property is recognised, by acknowledging the work of published information, by sharing sound research material, and doing our own research and sharing our findings
My experiment for Openness and sharing using OER – as indicated above I went the Twitter route. I searched for OER and found and article on “GoOpen” – ‘a national movement to expand and accelerate the adoption of openly licensed educational resources in K-12 school districts and at state departments of education.’
Interesting to see how the “uptake” of this #GoOpen has gathered momentum, proving that sharing and collaborating is supportive, encouraging and academically sound practice (as long as it’s done professionally and ethically).
Another interesting site on Twitter was https://twitter.com/MITOCW – MIT Open Course Ware offering free lecture notes, exams and videos.
So what are the pros and cons, benefits and limitations of OER? The benefits of OER far outweigh the limitations as sharing allows us to learn far more than trying to go it alone. However, for me the biggest limitation is the vast knowledge base and making the right choices of resources for our own and educational needs within our environments.
In conclusion, choosing a topic and refining that choice will assist in accessing the information and resources available. If one looks at OER in broad terms it will become overwhelming which will lead to no knowledge or information sharing. Any research conducted requires focus and alignment with the required/perceived outcomes. I cannot allow myself to become all-encompassing and fall prey to confusion.
The next Open Online Learning is due to start on 26th September. Having participated a year ago I have learnt so much from the course I did and now I hope to be able to pass on some of what I have learnt to the next phase of participants. Since the ONL152 course I have practiced a lot of what I learnt, become more proactive online, participating in webinars and focus groups. As an educator I feel that I have learnt how to deal with Problem Based Learning (PBL). The question is obviously you never actually “deal” with PBL because there is always another problem, another solution, another way of thinking about concepts.
The spin off of these online spaces is meeting and interacting with people I would never had had the opportunity to speak to, exchange ideas with and have interactions with whether it be academically or socially. The learning is not just academic but also culturally and socially.
Looking forward to the 10 week journey ahead.
What is a learning environment? It could by a myriad of different spaces and places. I recently did a road trip which was a learning environment. But before I could undertake the road trip I had to design/plan my route. Similarly with the #ONL152 course, it was a learning environment which had to be designed and implemented for participants to participate.
Designing learning environments can be spur of the moment or planed and predetermined. The spur of the moment environments often elicit far more retention and value than the academic predesigned platforms. Yet in order to achieve academic value and to be able to measure this achievement environments have to be carefully planned, monitored and assessed. To achieve post graduate, Honours, Masters, Doctorates and more there has to be strategic investment of research, information, outcomes and measurable achievements.
In the #ONL152 course we looked at 7 different topics where we endeavoured to reach outcomes which would guide us to experiencing different learning environments. I feel that this course did expose, encourage and create learning environments from which we learnt and were able to take away positive learning and teaching ideas. We were also able to investigate various platforms and decide which were suitable to us as individuals and which may work for our students and the various educational institutions to which we are affiliated.
All in all the learning environment created through the #ONL152 course was positive and encouraging and above all else exposed us to different ways of thinking beyond the tried and tested.
Open practices seem to generate argument, pessimism and reluctance. Whether one is in business, education, personal or professional – sharing seems to be the one thing you don’t do. Through the non profit organisation of Women In Business I have found that the members and contributors often get confused or question my keeness with be open and sharing. Through this open platform I have managed to meet, interact and share with many people, not just women, have made remarkable contacts, have learnt so much from the vast array of linkages. Continue reading “Open Educational Practices #ONL152”
Flexibility? Mobilility? So many definitions too two complex yet simple words. Flexibility can mean many different things to many different situations to many different people. Flexibility to an athlete will mean something completely different to Continue reading “Flexible and Mobile Learning #ONL152”
Collaboration is a term loosely used in various scenarios. It can be used in education, business, family, socially. Team player was the term used for someone who worked well with others – do we now refer to team players as collaborators? Continue reading “Collaborative Learning & Communities #ONL152”