Open Learning

The Importance of Working ‘Open’ in Education

Monday, October 31, 2016 Comment elevator key

Is working “open” the binary opposite of “closed” ways of working? Could it be that it’s as simple as flicking some kind of switch for your organisation or institution to begin embracing open working practices? Matt Thompson, a former colleague at Mozilla, doesn’t think so. Building on a post he wrote five years ago entitled simply “How to work open,” Matt has recently encouraged us to start small — using the metaphor of a dimmer switch to explain his point. Another metaphor we might want to use is of an elevator, as Bryan Mathers has used


Teaching Urban Digital Literacy Outside Schools, Part 3

Monday, May 04, 2015 Comment students sitting at computers getting help from teacher

World making or world building as a pedagogical activity emphasizes authoring entire environments and systems collaboratively rather than merely having students compose one discrete text at a time in isolation. A few years ago, DML Central covered the large enrollment college course of Wayne Yang at UC San Diego, which included a curriculum of graphic novels, video trailers, and live performances dramatizing possible dystopian outcomes that might emerge from present structures of injustice. Other sites in higher education also are experimenting with the world-building paradigm. For example, the World Building Institute at USC encourages experts in cinematic


Peering Deep into Future of Educational Credentialing

Monday, March 30, 2015 Comment doug belshaw graphic breaking down badges and block chain

I recently attended Nesta’s FutureFest event in London. It was a heady mix of everything related to what’s next: from food to technology to economics to politics. What really caught my attention, however, was the way in which one particular innovation seemed to have captured the imagination of people across various sectors. That technology is the blockchain. Bear with me. Some of this will have to be slightly technical in order to get across the point I want to make about credentialing. First, I’ll explain in broad brushstrokes how the blockchain is currently used to underpin Bitcoin, the ‘cryptocurrency’ you’ve


Phonar: A Massive, Free, Open Photography Class

Thursday, January 23, 2014 Comment phonar class students working on photo project on computers

When asked to explain his attitude toward arts education, British photographer Jonathan Worth describes what he is teaching as “storytelling” that should be an integral part of everyone’s “digital literacy and digital citizenship” rather than a rarified artistic skill for niche training of a cadre of aesthetic elites.  Worth is currently the instructor of Phonar, the sprawling massive, free, and open undergraduate photography course that he teaches to as many as 30,000 participants at one time. Worth’s initiative was one of five recognized recently for outstanding innovation in the international Reclaim Open Learning Challenge and Symposium. 


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


Beyond the MOOC: ‘Reclaim Open Learning’ Winner Jaaga, A Creative Community Space

Monday, November 18, 2013 Comment side by side pictures of a creative community space packed with students

The initiative to Reclaim Open Learning launched a competition that was covered here at DMLcentral to recognize projects that were transforming higher education with innovative uses of technology and learner-centered programs.  As Anya Kamenetz argued, publicity for the project recognized the need to get beyond the headlines and “move beyond the MOOC” to highlight new approaches to the “course” part of massive open online courses and divert some of the attention being paid to companies such as Coursera or Udacity that were quickly standardizing formats that did little to effect substantive reform to more creative experiments


Reclaim Open Learning Symposium Keynote: “Let the Learning Drive the Technology”

Friday, September 27, 2013 Comment pink index card writing how can we help learners build global learning community

Editor’s note: This is a timely curation and storification of the opening session of Reclaim Open Learning by guest blogger Luka Carfagna that we wanted to share (Image credit: Andrew Forgrave, Flickr) [<a href=”//storify.com/LBCarfagna/reclaim-open-learning-symposium-keynote” target=”_blank”>View the story “Reclaim Open Learning Symposium Keynote” on Storify</a>]


Digital Storytelling 106: Open, Participatory, Student-centric, Social…the Future?

Monday, September 09, 2013 Comment Jim Groom infographic illustration participatory promoting a culture of innovation

Far more important to me than all the venture-capitalized consortia of elite university MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) and the hundreds of thousands of students flocking to them is a course taught by an adjunct professor at University of Mary Washington. In my personal learning network, Jim Groom and ds106 are the stuff of legend. I’ve conducted more than 40 interviews for DMLcentral, and without a doubt, Jim Groom is the most excited and exciting educator I’ve talked to. If I had one wish regarding the way online education will happen in the future, it would


‘Reclaim Open Learning’ Innovation Contest

Friday, July 05, 2013 Comment close up of pink index card with writing how can we help learners build global learning community

Mark your calendars for Aug. 1! We are looking for proposals that rethink open learning in new ways. The participation of elite research universities in initiatives offering Massively Open Online Courses (MOOCs) has generated considerable discussion within higher education, as well as mainstream and educational media, about the next generation of open learning initiatives.  The New York Times declared that 2012 was “the year of the MOOC,” and The Chronicle of Higher Education announced that it was “the year of the mega-class.”  Alternatives for the free delivery of course content have proliferated in the years since


MOOCs, Hype, and the Precarious State of Higher Ed: Futurist Bryan Alexander

Monday, June 10, 2013 Comment infographic showing the different negotiable meanings of the letters in MOOC

Does it continue to make sense to go to college when the sticker price of a college education is soaring, the amount of debt college students are taking on – even for the non-elite universities and what were formerly affordable public universities – is severely constraining their choices post-graduation, and job prospects for new graduates are dismal? A year ago, I talked with Anya Kamenetz, who delved into these issues in her book, DIY U. Since then, the ballyhooed arrival of free MOOCs into this frightening intersection of economic, intellectual, and social forces has ignited debate