Thursday, June 4, 2009

Brian Lamb: Open Education

His presentation was terrific. The whole concept that we have students do authentic work is for some reason seen as cutting edge. This is true in one sense, but most people learned this way in the past. They learned by doing work!

One of the items that I thought was really good was the analogy. We fear often that if we send students to post on the internet that legions of Sexual Predators will creep out of their basements and descend on the students. The reality is that the people who creep out of their basements are more likely to be people who really love copy editing, formatting bibliographies or formatting tables and graphs. The point: For the Most part online interactions are positive.

One thing I wonder about with this whole idea though. Brian Lamb encourage adoption of open architecture. Things like blogs, youtube, iTunes University, and others. The challenge becomes for me is on the users end. As a participant it is a frustration to have to learn new sets of tools for every course. My wife is taking a course right now that is a mashup of three different online curriculum tools. It becomes extremely frustrating to have this course with due dates listed inconsistently, with multiple logins and with a f2f component that each sends a different message.

Course management software has it's downsides but there are advantages to it because it provides a consistent interaction for a student in a specific institution. The challenge will be watching students bringing courses from multiple institutions together to create their own learning.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Thanks for your kind words, and the feedback, I look forward to meeting.

Your point about the challenges of a disaggregated environment are valid. And how to address those challenges is something of an obsession of mine and a lot of my favorite bloggers. (If you Google "eduglu" you'll find a lot of our posts... Others do similar things under the notion of the "PLE". And there's been some interesting work using Portals like Netvibes: like this one by Michael Wesch.) Another key is managed identity... things like OpenID are very promising, but we still have a long way to go.

But while we as ed techies need to improve the experience, on the other end I think part of developing new literacies is the need for learners to accept multiple, mutable spaces, and a slightly higher tolerance for the right kind of chaos. (That's no excuse for sloppy things like the bad links you describe.)

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