Friday, 28 September 2012

Copyright and power

The readings and viewings for #oped12 on openness in education Week 3 get you thinking.
After watching the excellent RiP: the Remix Manifesto by Laurent LaSalle, I turned to G+ and found a What's Hot item. Except I could not see it. I saw this instead:

Samuel L. Jackson's WTFU campaign for Obama had been taken down due to a copyright claim by JCER. Could this be the Jewish Council for Education and Research, the same group that produced the advert? Don't know.
But why are they objecting to a showing of their advertisement? Surely that is the point of an advert - getting maximum air time.
There are other places to see it, of course.
The Remix Manifesto and Lawrence Lessig's Free Culture (another viewing for the course - free as in free-up, or no cost, but not OPEN, a more recent term, perhaps), are thought-provoking. The early Walt Disney mash-ups done in true open style, when contrasted with the demonic protection of that same Disney material later, illustrate so well the use of commercial power. This power has stifled creativity and affected random individuals in a way totally disproportionate to the individual harm done. And the strong arm tactic of governments is felt throughout the world on this issue.

Friday, 14 September 2012

What is Open Learning K-12?

The terms we use, particularly for new ideas, can be confusing and mean different things to different people.
Here is one approach which I throw out for comment, particularly for the #oped12 MOOC.
In schools - that is K-12 or Primary/Secondary schools - students are taught in walled classrooms (literally and metaphorically), with a well defined curriculum/instructional plan, by a teacher who has control of the learning, the pace, the amount of scaffolding. This is "closed" learning.
"Open" is the opposite of this.
In this type of open learning in schools, we hope to have students devising their own learning, working together (peeragogy), not under the direction of the teacher, using technology (where age-appropriate) to extend beyond the classroom. And with an open scope.
The regular curriculum would remain, open learning sessions would be a small portion of the main learning experience, perhaps just initially, perhaps for a very long time.

Why have this approach? What do we hope to achieve? What will students achieve? Here is some information devised for students in 6th or 7th grade (Year 7 or 8):

Students are expected to:
  1. construct understanding and knowledge by defining parameters and sharing agreement with others;
  2. work cooperatively as part of a team;
  3. look for different interpretations and consider different solutions to problems;
  4. think from the perspective of others;
  5. communicate effectively;
  6. organise information and data;
  7. reflect on their discoveries. 
It is recognised that many of these aspects of learning are a feature of the established curriculum but they will be the main focus of, and will be explicitly promoted, in the open learning sessions.
Open learning sessions will set up a context and a task, and students will then design and evaluate solutions. They will work in teams and collaboratively. They will keep a journal of their work and ideas. They will be encouraged to think widely and consider different possibilities and perspectives. 

Examples of seed questions for open learning sessions:
  1. What do you know about your brain and how do you know it? Why does learning take place and how do you learn best?
  2. What is intelligence and how should it be measured?
  3. You have to send a message to someone in secret. How would you do it?
  4. Who should receive a kidney transplant when only one is available?
  5. What 10 things would the group take for survival on a desert island?
  6. What would you put in a box and send to another civilisation to explain what our civilisation is about?
  7. A meteoroid is heading to planet earth - what will happen, how would you prepare for what will happen, where would you try to go to?

(Thank you to the Open Learning team at the ABC and in particular Graeme Keslake for the student expectations and seed questions)

There are some very similar ideas to these - authentic learning and project based learning come to mind - but the emphasis here is on handing over the learning responsibility (perhaps gradually at first) to the student and peers.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Openness in Education - is it all about content?

Happy to be on #oped12, the Openness in Education MOOC, after sticking to 35 weeks of #change11.

The Course Outline is as below and it all seems to be related to OPEN CONTENT rather than OPEN LEARNING. Open learning is dealt with in the definition of Week 1, perhaps in Week 2 and in Future Trends in Week 12, the last week.

I do want to follow the content issues, both as OERs and in terms of digital scholarship, but would also like to learn from everyone about Open Learning, particularly about K-12 Open Learning approaches. There is clearly a great deal to learn about university level open learning approaches too.

Have asked George Siemens the following questions:
"1. Is it possible to include an open learning/teaching week? Is there enough going on in this area to warrant it?
2. Our interest is K-12 open learning - although there are things to learn from the university view too; should we have a K-12 learning strand, or even an extra week at the end for this sig?"

- BUT do not want to upset what must have been an extensive planning and preparation set up.

Has anyone on #oped12 who is interested in Open Learning and, in particular, K-12 Open Learning, got any ideas how we might complement this excellent opportunity to discuss Openness in Education?

Please comment below or use #opedK12 on Twitter. 

Course Introductions
Module 1 – Defining openness
- History of openness in higher education
- Types of openness: content, teaching, scholarship
Module 1 – Defining openness
- Current definitions and trends in openness
Module 2 – Licenses and content protection
- History of copyright
(Paper #1 due)
Module 2 – Licenses and content protection
- Alternative licensing systems
- Open source/Linux models
- Creative Commons
- Current copyright/content protection initiatives  (ACTA)
Module  3 –Models for developing open resources
- Crowdsource? Or Expert?
Module 3 – Models for developing open resources
- Economics and impact of open source
Module 4 – Searching for resources
- Semi-open resources (Wikipedia, iTunes, YouTube, Academic Earth)
(Paper #2 due)
Module 4 – Searching for resources
- OER databases
- Search engines
Module 5 – Scholarship
- Open access journals
- Informal peer review
Module 5 – Scholarship
- Open press and textbook publishing
Module 6 – Openness and systemic change
- Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
- How does openness influence learning design?
- Do OERs save university money?
- Does the university’s role in society change when content is freely available?
(OER-based Learning module/resource due)
Module 7 – Future trends
- Open Teaching
- Open accreditation
(Concept map due)

Course Wrap-Up & Lessons Learned

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

PLE - extending the ZPD

Vigotsky's Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) has always been a useful way of analysing a learning moment. The idea of the leap forward in learning with the help of a "more knowledgeable other" (MKO) was a useful one to explain a difficult process, and allowed the idea of a scaffold for learning.
Ismael Peña-López brings Vigotsky's ideas right up to date, arguing in “Personal Learning Environments and the revolution of Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development” that a Personal Learning Environment (PLE) can take the place of the MKO, extending the ZPD significantly. Taking a "dynamic" view of this (many directional) one can argue that the ZPD is dependent only on the quality of one's PLE.
Great idea to ponder on....