Tag Archives: open

Open from different perspective: OEP as boundary crossing and OEP as open educational practice

Just assisted to a webinar with @weller and @AlgersAnne, from the University of Gothenburg.

Both speakers focused on OEP and OER, but from very different perspectives. Martin Weller a Professor of Educational Technology at the Open University  (UK) tackled the issue of open more from a pedagogical standpoint, what does it mean for academics to be open and how they have to face many different challenges in the open. He also mentioned that in times of Trump and Brexit it is important to reflect critically.

Martin Weller also talked about the American view on open which is much more focused on OpenText, it is more about costs, the motivation of students, retention, and so on. He also mentioned the various challenges that are in the open space related with aggressive discourses, anger, and the difficulty in interacting in such a dangerous space at the moment.

I ask myself, could ‘intra-action’ happen in the open wild web?

Anne Algers, Senior Lecturer in Higher Education Pedagogy at the University of Gothenburg instead, focused on OER more as an intellectual artefact. She called them boundary objects, objects that are created in the process of finding a common space, a common voice, in a particular situation that is affecting both spaces. Boundary objects are created at the intersection of two different, parallel spaces, i.e. academia and NGOs. There are tensions between the two and boundary objects and practice aims to ease those tensions finding a more productive and constructive intersection between them.

This idea of OER as boundary objects and OEP as boundary practice comes from or is influenced by Engeström’s idea  (1995) of boundary crossing also addressed by Akkerman and Bakker (2011). I remember @catherinecronin @francesbell @GoogleGuacamole in their presentation at NLC2016: Synergies, differences, and bridges between Network Learning, connected learning, and open education #NLbridge they used this framework.

Boundary crossing, @AlgersAnne explained, is when the issue at stake is happening between two spaces -academia and citizens in society (farmers). Horizontal movements of knowledge in two parallel worlds. Now the word parallel has an implication of disjoint, of non-crossing.  In geometry, parallel lines are those who never coincide. This is interesting because as I understood Anne, the idea is exactly the opposite, to cross those boundaries through OERs. And it is precisely the object or the practice the materialisation of that crossing, which happens as a product of trying to solve the tensions that are between the two ‘parallel’ worlds.  And it is precisely in that crossing where the power resides. Once that crossing has been made changes will materialise and both spaces would have been transformed. They have expanded, in Engeström words. I believe will then not be parallel worlds anymore but coincident places at some point of their trajectory. 

This idea is powerful! I am using it for my study. It fosters constructive conversation, it encourages actions of reconciliation, it looks at common voices in parallel spaces with the aim to change the geometry of that space to a more coincidental one, a more inclusive space where at some point, that which was created through the intervention has more common elements with the two worlds.

Anne presented a case study she just finished, about (if I understood it well) an NGO representing farmers (?) and academia. And one of the things that came out of the focus group was the need for a common forum for discussion where participants truly hear to one another and try to find commonalities and solutions that suit both worlds.

She said, on the one hand, we have academia, and on the other we have society but we have to reconcile the two. How can we find a more united world? She asked. 

There is a need to give citizens access to information, empowerment and awareness raising their agency to act critically for the bigger good of the world. Academia has a responsibility in this! That is my take on my own study.

I believe students need to be empowered, need to enact agency over the open space, the open wild web, so they can participate fully in an open practice and shape the culture to a more open and inclusive one where asymmetry and parallelism are less present. 

NGOs, animal protection organisations, communities, don’t get to be heard in the corridors of academia, many don’t have access to that space. But academia needs to talk with them, understand their needs and their ethos, and in doing so, producing a more sensitive research agendas that serve them and the greater good.  It is a very contested area. She said that a change in the attitude and values of academia could increase trust in science through inclusion. 

The creation of OERs from both perspectives is a complex endeavour, there are different views and conflicting perspectives. How to question and problematize knowledge among two different worlds? Researchers need to argue what they have open to the public. 

This webinar was excellent food for thought about open as pedagogical practices and as boundary objects. Both of them stressed the many paradoxes that are still to address in the hope of creating coincidental spaces instead of parallel worlds.

Thank you @weller and @AlgersAnne!!  And sorry if I have misunderstood any of your ideas. I hope not but if, there is always place for change and expansion 🙂

We make the road by walking

The title of this book, which is taken from a poem of Albert Machado, for which Joan Manuel Serrat took inspiration to write his song ‘caminante no hay camino’ (walker there is not a path) is remarkably meaningful for me as it tells the story of the last 5 years of my life. I left my  home country looking for freedom and agency. Looking for my essence. In this long walk, there has certainly been no trail marked for me, I had to open my own. And as Machado says in his poem:

caminante son tus huellas el camino y nada mas, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar, y al andar se hace camino y al volver la vista atras se ve la senda que nunca se ha de volver a pisar. Caminante no hay camino, sino estelas en la mar

Saying, that the road is nothing else but your footprints. There is not such a thing as a footpath, one makes the road by walking, and in that walking, you make the road, and when you look back, you see that road that you will never walk again.

And yes, I believe we make a footpath while we walk searching for our essence, for who we are and more than that, we are the trailblazers of our destiny. This reading will be part of my path.

Ideas that have caught my attention:

  • Formal education prepares people to live in a system, the prevailed system, i.e. capitalism. Institutions block freedom creating this incredible contradiction of educating people that cannot move out of the system, perpetuating it and its pitfalls. I think this book is a conversation of alternatives to escape that. In the case of Hyghlander School, the idea of Myles was to make the experiences of their students the building blocks of the curriculum. This reminds me David Cromier’s idea of Rhizomatic learning, the community is the curriculum. Myles says: Students analyse their experience by storytelling and reflecting about an experience leads to change, or at least it is the beginning of change. Although they are talking here about adult education, I ask myself how can this idea be extrapolated to children or young people education.
  • The main goal for both, Freire and Horton, was supporting people in the process of finding their freedom. They had a radical democratic belief in the capacity and right of all people to achieve that freedom through self-emancipation. This has much in common with my idea of fostering agency, so students can pursue what they want and have the knowledge, skills and attitude to do so. The concept of freedom I am using in my work is the one by Sen and (here) and Marta Nussbaum. They have developed the human capability approach where freedom and agency are addressed in a holistic manner.
  • Both believed that participation is the means to freedom and educational practice ought to be seen as both liberatory and participatory. In a way, I think, it allows students to embody participation in education, and this way of learning could then be a means to participate in society involving the people themselves in the creation of their own knowledge. Much of this is argued when talking about the benefits of open practice.
  • These ideas grew from the struggle the authors had to connect theory and practice, which is still a struggle nowadays. All the brilliant ideas about OEP and OEP are a response to the unconnected theory and practice. We need to see how we can, through OEP, uncover and critically analyse the power structures that are once again doing their best to keep those structures that protect their power. This hopefully is among the aims of the OEGlobal conference in South Africa next year where I am presenting my ideas about how personal learning spaces are open context created by the learner but at the same time, they are part of open practices.
  • The main objective was linking participatory education to liberation and social change. Asking questions about the role of the student, the teacher and the organisation. How is education linked to mobilisation and culture to create a new society? Can society transform education or must education first be transformed?

I can see in their ideas much of the basic tenets of socio-cultural activity theory the theoretical approach I am using for my research.

What I see with this ‘movement’ of OEP is an attempt to transform education. My argument is that for that to happen, students need to have the skills, the knowledge and the attitude, an explorer mindset, I call it, so that they can harness the affordance of the digital revolution. Following Freire and Horton’s ideas, learning needs to happen through participation. How can we design learning for this digital participation to happen? The question of the microcosmos is important. Which is a suitable, ideal microcosmos where students can enact digital skills? It will be through satisfying that need that they will learn. This needs further elaboration, for now, I will leave it as it is because I will never hit the publish button.

How can we design learning experiences for this digital participation to happen? The question of the microcosmos is important. Which is a suitable, ideal microcosmos where students can enact digital skills through critical participation thus emancipation. This needs further elaboration, for now, I will leave it as it is because I will never hit the publish button.

Identity and teaching and learning spaces

Relevant and interesting ideas to look at! @catherinecronin and open spaces

kshjensen - always learning

Recently, a paper I co-wrote about the ‘Student Teaching and Learning Consultant’ scheme was published. I wrote it with Dawn Bagnall, who was one of the students working as a consultant, and it was a really valuable experience to be able to discuss and analyse what the scheme had been about with someone who had worked with the staff. I was the project co-ordinator and co-trainer of the student consultants and although I did get feedback from staff who participated in the scheme, I did not participate in the consultancy activity itself.

Although the scheme is not running this year, for a variety of reasons, I continue to reflect on the space that was created as a result of the scheme. I have characterised this space as ‘liminal’ in other posts (and in another forthcoming paper, link added 25th June 2015) because the roles of students/staff became ambiguous and…

View original post 428 more words

Open Data as Open Educational Resources: Case studies of emerging practice | Open Education Working Group

Source: Open Data as Open Educational Resources: Case studies of emerging practice | Open Education Working Group

From openness to permeability: reframing open education in terms of positive liberty in the enactment of academic practices – Learning, Media and Technology – Volume 40, Issue 3

Martin Oliver: From openness to permeability: reframing open education in terms of positive liberty in the enactment of academic practices – Learning, Media and Technology – Volume 40, Issue 3.