Open Educational Resources

How Can We Make Open Education Truly Open?

Friday, November 22, 2013 Comment the word open drawn multiple times on graph paper

I have spent the last month being unpopular. I have been in conversation with many ‘Open Everything’ activists and practitioners. At each instance, we got stuck because I insisted that we begin by defining what ‘Open’ means in the easy abuse that it is subject to. It has been a difficult, if slightly tedious exercise, because not only was there a lack of consensus around what constitutes openness, but also a collective confusion about what we mean when we attribute openness to an object, a process or to people. It was easy to define openness as


Global Transmedia MOOCs

Thursday, August 30, 2012 Comment group of people in purple room for mooc meeting

Nearly two years before Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun shook up educational institutions with their massive open online course on artificial intelligence, using videos, blogs, wikis, and online tests, photography educators Jonathan Worth, Matt Johnston, and Jonathan Shaw at Coventry University organized online classes for thousands of students in hundreds of cities, using blogs, podcasts, RSSfeeds, a Flickr group, an iPhone app, a Soundcloud group, and a Vimeo group, and hashtags (#phonar and #picbod). Phonar, the course on photography and narrative, and Picbod, the course on photography and the body, were open to third year Coventry


Learning from Failure: Feminist Dialogues on Technology, Part II

Thursday, August 09, 2012 Comment Girl sitting on outside bench in the evening working on laptop

Professor Anne Balsamo has been collaborating with Professor Alexandra Juhasz and a group of more than one hundred feminist scholars to pilot a new kind of online course devoted to feminist dialogues on technology. Balsamo recently left the University of Southern California to occupy a new post as dean of the School of Media Studies at the New School for Public Engagement in New York.  In this position she will continue to work on one of her other ambitious new projects that involves collaboration with an extended network of researchers and designers to create a digital


Professor Alec Couros: “The Connected Teacher”

Thursday, July 26, 2012 Comment 4 students in computer class working at the same computer

One powerful benefit of networked learning is that when you find something interesting, it often leads to someone interesting – and that someone often leads to entire networks of interesting people. Or, as Dr. Alec Couros puts it, “the tools come and go, but the relationships endure.” I found Professor Couros the way many people did, by coming across the intriguing diagram of “The Networked Teacher” that many educators now use in their slide presentations. By the time I discovered Dr. Couros, now professor of educational technology and media at the University of Regina, I had


Web Literacies: What is the ‘Web’ Anyway?

Monday, July 23, 2012 Comment graphic design depicting network connections

I’ve recently started in a new role for the Mozilla Foundation. At least half of my job there is to come up with a framework, a White Paper, around the concept of ‘web literacies’. It’s got me thinking about both parts of that term — both the ‘web’ and the ‘literacies’. In this post I want to consider the first of these: what we mean by the ‘web’? I’ve already considered the latter in quite some detail in my doctoral thesis (available at neverendingthesis.com). Defining the Web Sometimes it’s important to step back from the things


On the Importance of Webmaking

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 Comment kids and adults working on laptops at table

I’ve come to realize over the last couple of years just how important the Open Web is for online innovation. It’s a standards-based platform that allows anyone to use relatively low-cost technologies to connect things and people together in new ways. It’s radical in its egalitarian, open, and democratic approach. But it’s under threat. When Steve Jobs announced the original iPhone only five years ago in 2007 he emphasized the importance of getting Web browsing right on a mobile device. Hot on the heels of the announcement, of course, came the wildly successful App Store. A


DIY Coding

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 Comment shadow of presenter on stage

Like many in the digital media and learning community, I am a fan of the free and open source computer programming language, Processing, which can be easily downloaded at Processing.org.  Processing is an incredibly accessible computer language for beginners, but it is also a stepping stone to widely used professional programming languages like Java and C++ that may contribute to success in corporate and academic arenas for those who are code literate. There is a large do-it-yourself community made up of individuals who use Processing for everything from robotics to art projects to sequencing neighborhood Christmas


Bryan Alexander: Emerging Learning Technologies

Tuesday, February 07, 2012 Comment mystery and digital story inphographic northern voice 2010 by Bryan Alexander

I knew Bryan Alexander was intense when I first spotted him in the audience at a talk I gave in the late 1990s. Just look at him. Old Testament prophet? Civil War general? Straight out of Middle Earth or Hogwarts? It’s not just the beard and the eyes. When you watch my video interview with Bryan (below), you can’t help but notice he is always in motion. I’ve actually seen him pound the podium. He’s an educator and an educator of educators who can’t disguise his passion and doesn’t care if he stands out in the


Why We Need a 4th R: Reading, wRiting, aRithmetic, algoRithms

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 Comment 2 young girls sitting in grass woods outside reading school books

When Frederick J. Kelly invented the Kansas Silent Reading Test, now known as the “multiple-choice test” or the “bubble test,” he was looking for an efficient way to pass students through the U.S. public education system during the teacher shortage of 1914.  With the advent of World War I, men were off to the frontlines in Europe, women were working in war-time factories, and there was a population boom of new immigrants flooding into the schools.  Taking his inspiration from Henry Ford’s assembly line, Kelly came up with a way to standardize learning and assessment for


Wikirriculum: The Promises and Politics of an Open Source Curriculum

Thursday, January 12, 2012 Comment social browsing redefined infographic

The idea of an “open source curriculum” has until now seemed entirely at odds with the political standardization and prescription of the curriculum. Are there any signs that curriculum will catch up with the decentered open source potential of digital media, and what are the political implications? “Advances in technology should … make us think about the broader school curriculum in a new way. In an open-source world, why should we accept that a curriculum is a single, static document? A statement of priorities frozen in time; a blunt instrument landing with a thunk on teachers’