A Future Focused on the Human Core of Open: Imagining a More Inclusive 2036

Open Call

Author: Sarah Crissinger, Scholarly Communication Librarian, Indiana University, United States

Librarians spend a lot of time talking about the future, which sometimes means that we overlook the importance of what is happening right now. I often wonder how different every “future of libraries” or “future of scholarly communication” talk would look if it started with a reflection of where we are currently. Reflection might prompt us to articulate where we’re stuck, critique our progress, and thoughtfully consider how we might intentionally work toward a future that we’re invested in. Thus, before providing an answer for what the future of open education might look like, I want to consider where the open education movement is in this moment.

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Designing OER for Learning Data

Open Education 2016

Author: Tom Caswell, Learning Objects, United States

As we look to future opportunities for OER, it is clear that we need to start developing more modular content that can be placed into different delivery systems which can interoperate.

Content: Could be in the form of a site, book, or some other material. I think I’m becoming more and more interested in this idea of a content API. Rather than getting the content through an HTML page, we can just get the raw HTML, which can be styled appropriately by whatever LMS CMS that we want to use.

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A Letter from 2036

Open Education 2016

Logo of Trump Presidential Library Bar & Grill
Trump Presidential Library, Bar and Grill
Trump White House Resort
Atlantic City, NJ

2036-11-4

Dear Brandon and Norman,

Thanks for thinking of me. Two weeks on the transatlantic steamer have given me the time and the space to put myself back into the mindset of the “Uber Age,” and I have begun to remember some of the Open Education debates and discussions which were current in the mid ‘teens. As you say, it does feel very much like another world—lavish and ambitious in some ways, short-sighted and reckless in others. I hope these reflections are helpful to you in developing your book.
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Building the Open Future of Education

Open Education 2016

Authors: Mary Lou Forward, Open Education Consortium, United States

In my work life before Open Education, I was engaged with other deans in our institution, devising strategic plans for future curricular directions. Specifically, our focus was on how best to prepare students for an interdependent future. These discussions centered around helping students gain understanding of “critical global issues,” those big, complex problems that the world needs to collectively address in the 21st century. Challenges like energy, sustainable economies, public health; issues that require input from multiple stakeholders and appreciation for how actions can impact people thousands of miles away. In order to meaningfully address these big issues, education itself is a critical issue. More perspectives, more understanding, more information, and more empathy are keys that can unlock new and better approaches—approaches that require collaboration, sharing, and an open mind.
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The OER Research Themes of the Future

Open Education 2016

Authors: Martin Weller & Patrick McAndrew, The Open University, United Kingdom

Open Educational Resources can now claim a history that goes back at least fifteen years. What it cannot claim at this stage is that its influence is certain for the future. One way of considering the future of the OER movement is to imagine what research will be conducted five or ten years from now. To support this thought experiment, we can start by examining the research that has been conducted over the past ten to fifteen years.
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From Open Education to Open Science

Open Education 2016

Author: Willem van Valkenburg, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands

Fifteen years ago MIT took a big leap by introducing OpenCourseWare. In the intervening years, many universities have followed their steps in the world of Open Education. In 2007 the Delft University of Technology launched their OpenCourseWare website. In 2010 we shared our course materials through iTunesU, and in 2013 we joined edX to publish openMOOCs.

The first ten years were mostly focused on the creation of more open resources. Over the last five years, the focus has shifted towards adoption. We are concentrating on the move from Open Educational Resources (OER) to Open Educational Practice (OEP).
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The Future of OER

Open Education 2016

Author: TJ Bliss, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, United States

As awareness of Open Educational Resources grows and enters mainstream use, mainstream education technologists are beginning to explore their potential, and this is good news for OER enthusiasts. As people who build technology appreciate the value and inherent qualities of openly licensed content, I predict that they will start to solve many of the technical issues OER have faced for the first 15 years of their formal existence – particularly around search and discovery. Amazon’s recent interest in OER, for example, is symptomatic of OER gaining mainstream attention and adoption.

Vivek Ragavan, a technologist in Silicon Valley, recently explained to me the simple framework that describes the necessary components of any successful education technology venture. Ragavan’s edtech framework looks like a pyramid, with hardware at the bottom, layered under a platform, layered under a learning management system, layered under content, layered under teaching and learning.
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A University of Open

Open Education 2016

Author: Paul Stacey, Associate Director of Global Learning, Creative Commons, United States

Back in 2011, I started imagining a University of Open, synthesizing multiple related means of openness into a common core operating principle that defines what an open university is, along with the education it provides. I said the University of Open:

  • uses open source software for its administration and for teaching and learning
    involves students and faculty in research which is published in open access journals for all to see and use
  • operates in an open government/open data fashion, whereby the learning analytics and data about the institution are open and available
  • offers credential education through programs built using open educational resources, both those developed in-house and those reused from elsewhere
  • involves all students and faculty as active contributors in one or more of the open communities that open source software, open access, open government/data, and open educational resources rely on
  • expands on the traditional no-entry requirements, open-door policy of an “open university” to intentionally and strategically utilize new and emerging open pedagogies

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Wither Open Educational Resources in 2036?

Open Education 2016

Author: Marshall (Mike) Smith, Retired, United States

Except in the broadest generalities, I cannot imagine what the world will be like in 2036. Assuming that the pace of change holds, digital technology will be far faster, have seemingly infinite capacity, be cheaper in some sense, and, in general, be far more ubiquitous in our lives than it is now. It also seems likely that artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), and medical research will play very important roles in society, some good and some bad. Robots will replace very large numbers of workers, even those in what we now think of as jobs that require human judgment. For many, fantasies will come true in their living rooms. And those in well-to-do parts of the world will live for a long, long time.
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Mapping Unbundled Open Education Resources: Pathways Through the Chaos

Open Education 2016

Authors: Karen E. Willcox, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States and Luwen Huang, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States

Navigating the data-rich world of open education

“They must be scalable, they must be innovative, they must be adaptive. They must have the production of knowledge, the synthesis of knowledge, the storage of knowledge at the core,” asserted Michael Crow, president of Arizona State University, on an expert panel at SXSWedu in March 2016. Crow was referring to institutions of higher learning, but this comment underscores a central theme that pervades education today: we are on the cusp of a wave of educational disruption, fueled by the ever-growing size of educational data, triggered by pressing questions. How do we augment the value of education while serving a growing population of learners with increasingly diverse backgrounds? How do we design customized pathways based on demonstrated competencies? How do we undertake curation and reuse of digital resources? How can we make data-driven decisions in order to measure, improve, and adapt student learning? And what role can open education play in all of this?
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