Open education…authentic sharing?

For this week’s blog post, we were asked to reflect upon the idea of openness in education. So far, my experience involving open education has been extremely positive. Due to the flexibility that somewhat comes hand in hand with open education, I now realize that as a teacher and an adult learner, knowledge literally has no limits! Moreover, open education offers a unique, authentic learning experience and helps us grow into the future.

With open education, what we are learning and how we wish to learn appears to be flexible in the sense that it offers somewhat of an unstructured format, allowing learners to explore other people’s perspectives while considering our own. Open education provides a variety of forums which allows for people to expand their knowledge through a collective experience. For instance, being a member of EC&I 834 has allowed me to share my thoughts and opinions as well as learn about my fellow classmates perspectives in regards to similar topics, through class discussions, blogging and using Twitter. Not only is this refreshing, but it continually helps to better my understanding. As adult learners, we may not always have similar perspectives about particular subjects but this does not necessarily mean the information we share is inaccurate or demands its authenticity to be questioned. Open education presents us with the opportunity to study others and to consider numerous perspectives in order to enhance our learning experience.

This week, my classmate Amy Singh wrote a fantastic blog post about open education. She explains how she enjoys the concept of open education tremendously and how its flexibility offers an exciting yet challenging learning experience. She also shares her experience with using Learning Management Systems and how they offer a “one size fits all” mentality, leaving little or no room for collaborative or cooperative involvement. She also notes how closed forums are limited and offer less opportunities for discussion, which contributes to deepening a person’s understanding of information. With that being said, I’d like to thank you, Amy. Thank you for sharing your experience with both open and closed forums. Your perspective regarding open education has contributed to my learning and is a perfect example of the effectiveness of open education!

As a Grade 3/4 teacher, it has been difficult to provide my students with the experience to work with open forums. Within this specific age group, working with closed forums may appear to be somewhat simpler and more effective. My reasoning for this is based on the limited experience my students have with technology and digital resources. As noted in Benita’s blog this week, she states,

“I think that open learning is more challenging in a school setting. Kids are not trained to be self- educators yet. They thrive on structure and guidance. I do think that there is opportunities for open learning within the closed format”.

I agree with Benita’s statement as teaching students how to navigate through closed forums can prove to be a challenging experience. However, it is important for educators to not rule out openness in education because of these challenges but rather find ways to incorporate open education by offering their students choices and the opportunity to gain deeper understanding of concepts.

What are your thoughts regarding openness in education? How do you determine whether the information being shared with you is authentic? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for stopping by!

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3 thoughts on “Open education…authentic sharing?

  1. I really appreciated your comment that open education allows learners to explore other peoples perspectives while considering their own. I can really relate to this statement – especially in Alec and Katia’s classes. Thanks for posting.

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  2. I liked your comment about the importance for educators to not rule out openness in education due to challenges. I think when we don’t have all the answers sometimes we don’t even try. I appreciate your insight about that. As far as your question, I think it is so difficult to determine authenticity, but I think audience helps provide authenticity.

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  3. Great post Roxanne! I think that a lot of educators like the structure and control of closed formats possibly even more that kids do. Kids are willing to take risks while teachers will stay staff. for this reason it is important for us to crawl out of our comfort zone (kicking and screaming) and dive into the open format with our students.

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