Week 2 Reflection

What do you see as the promise of open learning as an emerging technology/pedagogy/philosophy?

The question this week generated quite a bit of interesting discussion across the class and caused me to think about the topic of open learning.  After doing some research and posting my blog early this week (because I had a full week of basketball camp coaching) I had the opportunity to sit back and read a variety of different opinions.  I feel like there is a pretty good consensus about the promise of open learning.  Supportive educational environments will foster this growth and the evidence seems convincing that the result will produce more motivated, engaged learners who are developing 21st Century Skills.

In doing some research ahead for next week I found a reading on MOOC’s.  I found this interesting because in Week 1 I was drawn to this concept as a way for me to use open learning in my classroom.  In my initial research on MOOC’s, I learned about a service called Canvas.  Canvas seems like a good format for me to use to delve into a blended learning environment.  I chose “blended” learning over “open” learning because the school I teach at is very traditional and I think it would be an easier transition.  Anyway, Canvas offers students the opportunity to post information onto my class site, upload their own videos/projects, and engage with their classmates in a protected online learning environment.  For my project this summer I want to use Canvas or Moodle to create an ICT Literacy Skills Unit that all junior high students can take to earn the privilege of online access at our school.  I feel it is important that we teach students how to be smart and safe online and also how to act appropriately in online academic environments.  All of these skills can be taught and demonstrated in an open learning unit.

All of this to say, there is great promise in open learning and I want to begin its use in my classroom and ensure its successful adaptation at my school in general.  I know that safety education will be a key component to realizing its commonplace utilization.  Many schools have policies and procedures in place already but I see there being a need in my school I can help fill by educating our students with a safety program.


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