Topic 2: History and Context of K-12 Open Learning

The focus of this week’s topic is the historical and theoretical trends in k-12 open learning. The movement towards open educational practices is aligned with a societal shift from small geographical communities to an interconnected global community based on collaboration. As the world and society change, the education system changes with it, moving from  the traditional, instructivist “one size fits all” approach to an open approach where barriers are dismantled and  every learner has choice for the “time, place, medium and content”(Roberts, p.530) of their education, becoming contributors to global funds of knowledge. 

Learning theories guide educational practices, helping teachers to choose strategies and tools based on current research. Theories have evolved over the last 100 years; from Behavourism to Cognitivism to Constructivism, moving from an understanding of humans as passive consumers of knowledge to active producers and contributors of universal content.

Retrieved from https://hamizahmohdisa.blogspot.com/2019/10/3-major-learning-theories-behaviorism.html?m=0

Check out my last blog post for a video on learning theories and this website that provides examples of ways each learning theory can be applied to lesson design. 

Open Educational Practice (OEP) is not a theory but a method (Roberts, 529) to improve the quality and access to education for all. OEP is built on the foundational aspects of Dewey  and Vygotsky’s theories,that learning should be based on real world experiences through creativity and collaboration.  Butcher and Wilson-Strydom (2008) identified 8 principles of open-learning;

  1. Learner centeredness
  2. Lifelong learning
  3. Flexibility in learning
  4. Removal of barriers to access
  5. Recognition of prior learning experiences and current competencies
  6. Learner support
  7. Expectation of success
  8. Cost-effectiveness

OEP requires Open Educational Resources (OER), according to Wiley (2014) to be considered an OER it should include the 5R’s of Openness

  1. Reuse- the right to use the content in a wide range of ways
  2. Revise- the right to adapt, modify, adjust or alter the content
  3. Remix – the right to the original or revised content with other open content to create something new
  4. Redistribute- the right to share copies of the original content as well as revisions or remixes
  5. Retain – the right to make, won and control copies of the content

OER are found in the public domain or are attached to a Creative Commons license designation. Here are some links to OER’s within the public domain;

Open learning practices have the potential to change the way we teach and learn. When combined with public education OEP removes barriers for all learners, bridging the gap between formal and informal learning environments and experiences.

Check out Dr.Roberts Topic 2 post as well as these Google slides on this weeks topic

Also… here is a documentary some of you may find interesting on the paradigm shift in teaching and learning towards a collaborative model.

References:

Barbour, M & Labonte, R. (2018) An Overview of eLearning Organizations and Practices in Canada. In R. Ferdig & K. Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 600-616). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.

Butcher,N.,&WilsonStrydom,M(2008).Technologyandopenlearning:Thepotentialofopeneducationresourcesfor K-12 education. (pp. 725-745). Boston, MA: Springer US. doi:10.1007/978-0-387-73315-9_42

Roberts, V. , Blomgren, C. Ishmael, K. & Graham, L. (2018) Open Educational Practices in K-12 Online and Blended Learning Environments. In R. Ferdig & K.Kennedy (Eds.), Handbook of research on K-12 online and blended learning (pp. 527–544). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Mellon University ETC Press.

Wiley, D. (2014). The access compromise and the 5th R. Weblog. March 5 2014. Retrieved fromhttp://opencontent.org/blog/archives/3221

Open and Networked Learning

I wasn’t able to make it to our class on Tuesday for the video conference with Verena Roberts on open and networked learning but I was still able to take part via Blue Jeans Network, a video, audio and web conferencing tool that works anywhere with any device. Blue Jeans was easy to use and I didn’t miss out on the amazing learning opportunity. What a great way to expand the learning community beyond four walls! An open education experience during #openedweek.

Flickr – Global Water Partnership-CC-BY-NC-SA2.0

Through the video call our class was able to take part in a conference in Edmonton (co-located session) led by Verena, here are her slides and Resources. Her talk made me think about what learning opportunities are available beyond physical experiences and the possibilities of networked learning that connect our students to the wider, possibly global community and how I can bring this concept into my own classroom. Her slides laid out indicators of open educational practice based on her own research:

  • Designing for sharing
  • Participatory learning
  • Learning networks
  • Safe learning spaces
  • Expanded learning environment

Open and networked learning makes Inquiry Based Learning (IBL) possible, an opportunity for students to connect to community opportunities outside of their classroom. In IBL students are not given the answers, the responsibility for finding the information is on the learner, which means that we have to ensure that our students have the proper digital literacy skills necessary to succeed. By starting early with guided inquiry we can help our students learn to not only follow their curiosity and build their digital literacy but to become independent learners.

Video Conference with Ian Landy

Tuesdays class was my first experience with a video conference call, we met with Ian Landy, Principal at Edgehill Elementary in Powell River. Next time I will make sure that I get there early so that I am not in the front row, I was a bit uncomfortable with being on the big screen and the camera moving to wherever the sound was coming from seemed to have a mind of its own.

Ian talked to us about technology as assessment in the form of e-portfolios, fresh grade , just one example of a digital portfolio/ assessment platform (currently being used in SD61) provides educators with a way to report student learning rather than reporting student achievement (what the old fashioned report cards did). It allows teachers to document, capture and communicate learning to parents and students in a secure way, student data is stored in Canada but does spend a few seconds in the US. Through this platform teachers can also share resources and provide their students with formative descriptive feedback. All this capturing and documenting sounds like teachers would spend a lot of time using devices to upload student content, Ian suggested adding archivist as a class job which I think is a great idea that teaches students how to upload to their own e-portfolios. One thing that is great about e-portfolios is that it gives the students the opportunity to document and share their own learning, providing a sense of responsibility. Ian suggested scaffolding independent use of e-portfolios starting at around grade 5 or 6.

Each student comes to class with their own experiences and worldview, no two students are exactly the same so why would we assess them in the same way? As Ian pointed out ” we can’t compare students… E-portfolios allow for personalized achievement”.