The more that I read about my classmates’ interest in wikis, the more anxious I get to create one…just as soon as I read a few more articles.
Today, I have been reading about “Open Educational Resources” (OER) at <http://blog.missiontolearn.com/blog/2007/09/blog-spottings-.html> on OlDaily. According to the blog and wikipedia which, Jeff Cobb, writer of the blog is quoting, the term “OER is intended to denote ‘educational materials and resources offered freely and openly for anyone to use and under some licenses re-mix, improve and redistribute.’ ”
From what I gathered OER is stronger in international and non-governmental organizations than in domestic U.S. Also, the academic sector is more active in keeping this, what is termed a “movement”, alive. That just makes sense to me because academics are the people searching for answers and trying to collaborate with others in their respective areas of interest. Some people just have insatiable appetites for learning. Imagine that.
An issue at the current time seems to surround the task of establishing standards for sharing of intellectual properties and arranging access for all interested parties. There seems to be something like a membership drive going on, too. As much as anything, it seems like an all call for anyone who has anything worthwhile to contribute to software, information, or other materials that can be shared with others at no cost. With the sharing of content materials, the potential for collaborative work is awesome.
Changing subjects now…I hope everyone read Kim’s blog about taking a picture of the computer screen. Most of you probably already knew about this tool or trick, but I didn’t until today and I’m impressed. Thanks, Kim. Like you, I will use it for class and student documents.
Rccola I read your blog about the student being expelled for drawing a picture of a gun. I remember boys drawing pages of war scenes complete with tanks, guns, and soldiers when we were in elementary school. As far as I know, all of those boys became good citizens. It’s a shame that children have to attend school in such a fearful environment. Sometimes I wonder what effect it is having on their learning. For example, are they stifling their views on this subject or that for fear of repercussion and what does that add to a learning experience?
Not to make light of the gun-drawing incident, but it reminded me of a song that I heard long ago about a child whose primary grade teacher taught him or her to color only in the lines and that the sky should be colored blue only and the grass green (you get the idea). Then the child moved to a new school and the teacher gave the students freedom to draw and color as they pleased, but it was too late for the child because he or she had already learned the rigid forms and couldn’t change.
Something else that I have been doing this week is informally polling my students about whether they would like to learn online. I told them about this class and some of the things that we have been blogging. The response was neither decidely positive nor negative. I think they are somewhat intrigued but they have no experience upon which to draw. Many of them talked about the social aspects of learning online and that they liked the idea of physically seeing people in their classes. Most agreed that they would not want to “go to class” everyday online, but rather two or three times per week. I probably broke a cardinal rule of teaching when I made it sound like they would be learning. One must remember to keep the students interested in learning without actually saying the words.