Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Open and Connected Teaching and Learning in a paragraph.

Here's a task:  Please sum up Open and Connected Learning in a paragraph for instructors entirely new to the concept.
Open as in openly accessible (free-speech),  open to improvement (in beta) and open to being shared.

Connected refers to both our on and offline communities and acknowledges that we are part of their fabric.

'Teaching Openly' means we can both draw on our communities as a resource and when we need to, leverage their influence, however these relationships are collaborative, not dictatorial. Its essential that the communities are intrinsically motivated by being a valued part of the process, rather than a patronised consumer of a product.
In practical terms this means making those 'learning moments', outward facing (there's a raft of different ways we can do this) and understanding that for most people these moments will be their 'touch-points' .  The degree to which you engage them in these there, will directly effect your ability to draw on them in turn.

This was a #fail - too abstract - any thoughts?

Saturday, 28 September 2013


Heading back from DML Research Hub UC Irvine having taken part in the #ReclaimOpen event - there's a whole bunch of talks and amazing people to listen to and follow if you truck on over to the site

Thursday, 27 June 2013

NTF National Teaching Fellowship Award

A lovely endorsement for the Connected Classes Phonar and Picbod today by the Higher Education Academy :
"National Teaching Fellowships represent the most prestigious awards for excellence in higher education teaching and support for learning. Successful National Teaching Fellows (NTFs) are chosen from nominations submitted by higher education institutions across England, Northern Ireland and Wales."

Next up:
  Matt Johnston with Picbod2012 and the PhotoBookClub
  Pete Woodbridge with his Creative Activism

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Who are @RawFmt ?

"With a foreword to the exhibition by Jon Levy, these guys mean business. There seemed to be a really good understanding of what makes their work appealing to buyers and picture editors. You know that old chestnut of making a living out of photography.
I actually taught these students towards the end of their first year, but I didn’t recognise them. That is to say I hadn’t grasped just how much they’d progressed in the two years since I last met them."

Lovely and well deserved (I may be a little biased) piece on what was #phonar2012 but blossomed into Raw Format - it's over on Photo Editor Tom Broadbent's blog.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Looking for some specialist "unknown" open collaborators. Know any?

Earlier in the year I was one of a bunch of people invited to MIT's Media Lab to hack post-MOOC open ideas and models. It was good, I've never sat in a room full of people like that. It was also terrifying - I've never sat in a room full of people like that, but the most valuable thing I came away with was a list of questions. Not questions from me but questions that others people asked. These were questions I didn't even know could be questions - they were "unknown unknowns" and together they mapped out the enormous sink-holes in my knowledge.

I came away knowing that API's are of crucial importance to my understanding of what Open and Connected are and need to be, but not exactly what an API is. And I needed to know why @kinlane calls himself an API evangelist. I needed to know how github works and if opensource could translate out of coding and into teaching and learning models. Would the "forking" ethos work when designing a course or platform - and beyond, what about journalism? Could one scrape and visualise a bunch of event-specific information then curate, edit, collaborate, corroborate - even fork the story/stories? Would people buy into that level of mediation?

"oh, you mean like Tony Hirst and Martin Hawksey?"

"I've heard of them, do they do non-linear multi-perspective storytelling?"


And why is Jim Groom so uptight about people owning their own domain? More importantly why did that bring everyone in the room together? And why did everyone nod when Audrey Watters segued into the funding-life of MOOCs and their relation to how open they start out versus how open then end up - leading (obviously) to the consequences for participants who's data is inevitably atomised across a bunch of online ("free") start-ups (not limited to educational) whose nebulous terms of service mean owning your own domain has to be a digital keystone.

So here's the thing: I don't fully understand that last paragraph even though they were my words and after three months of trying I still can't scrape data, fork from a repo in Github, explain APIs or speak MOOC legalese. I do however know where those unknowns need to fit and I do have a big picture in mind but I can't build them in without the help of other experts, who I trust will point out more as yet unknown unknowns.

I want to write a photography (applied visual literacy/storytelling) undergraduate degree that builds on the blended approaches of phonar and picbod. It needs to be open over the three years (not just two ten-week classes), and enable different approaches to Open Teaching and Learning throughout. The framework also needs to be modular - like lego, so it can be retro-fitted to high school/college and lower, adapted/adopted/remixed/improved on - in short evolve Openly.

I already have a bunch of discipline specific content and trans-discipline approaches to build on openly (I use X-mind to map out my ideas and google docs to write)- all of which will be licensed CC-BY and my hope is that the attribution string won't be limited to just me - I guess I'm asking for help from some "unknown" co-authors/collaborators - know any?

Projects mentioned and linked to here:
Domain of One's Own http://umwdomains.com/#about
Reclaim Open http://open.media.mit.edu/
Reclaim Your Domain http://reclaimyourdomain.org/
Photography and Narrative (phonar) http://phonar.org
Picturing the Body (picbod) http://picbod.org