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.

Creative Commons

We spent our last class learning about copyright and creative commons. If your like me you have probably heard the word copyright or seen the little symbol but are unclear about what it all means. While doing a bit of my own research I came across this site that breaks it down and makes it easier to understand. Here’s the basics….

So what the heck is copyright anyway? Copyright provides legal protection for original work that you create in a “tangible medium of expression” (picture, painting, written work, data file etc.). As soon as you have created it, it has instant legal protection.

Once you have written it you can either keep it all to yourself or you can give it away. If you decide you want to give it away there are many many ways to do that and they all fall into two categories: licences and assignments.

The first way to give your copyright away is as an assignment. You can think of an assignment as selling your copyright. Whoever purchases it can do what they want with it.

The other way to give away your copyright is through a licence. A licence means you are lending the rights to someone, you decide how they use it and for how long.

This is where Creative Commons comes in…. it is a licence that is applied to work protected by copyright. Essentially a way to easily share copyrighted work.

Creative Commons symbol

Creative Commons, a non-profit organization allows people to licence their copyrighted work to anyone who is willing to follow the licencing terms.

How do you use Creative Commons (CC)?
Follow this link and search for media, pictures and more that you can share, use and/or remix. Creative Commons licencing uses four basic restrictions or rules that need to be followed when using copyrighted work from the commons. These four restrictions each have symbols that will come up when you search CC for a copyrighted work to use. The four symbols/restrictions are:

Attribution: This requires people who use your work to let all other people who see it that it is yours and not theirs. No cutting out your name. All Creative Commons licences carry the attribution requirement.

CC Attribution symbol

Non Commercial: This means they are not using your work commercially which means “no private monetary value” gained.

CC Non Commercial symbol

No Derivatives: People can use your work as long as its not modified.

CC No Derivatives symbol

Share Alike: Allows other people to modify your work as long as they allow others to use and share the work they created from your work.

CC Share Alike symbol

Here is a link to a Wikipedia page on best practices for attribution that can help you properly attribute pictures you may use on your own blog.

Here is an example of attribution which follows this sequence – where you found it/ username of person/ licence type

flickr@USDAgov – CCBY2.0

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”.