OER is used by many as shorthand for openness in education. However, content and resources are just one aspect of education and the real power to transform pedagogy resides in the wider Open Educational Practices (Beetham, 2012), which focus on open pedagogy alongside open resources, technology, research and sharing.
In this paper I focus on open practice that aims to turn ‘cognitive surplus into civic value’ (Shirky, 2010). I describe some of the opportunities afforded by the adoption of open practices to connect learning in the classroom with the real world outside formal education, and to encourage students to see their class work not as ‘disposable assignments’ (Wiley, 2013), but as making a contribution to society.
The paper presents some examples from language learning of open pedagogical approaches that aim to make a contribution to society (Beasley-Murray, 2008; Martínez-Arboleda, 2013, Nelson & Pozo-Gutiérrez, 2013), before examining in more detail how one particular open online volunteer community, the TED Open Translation Project, is being used by teachers and learners in formal and informal learning. I review work on the motivations of participants in this community (Cámara de la Fuente, 2014) and consider the pedagogical potential of involving language learners in collaborative translation activities through the TED Open Translation Project.
Beasley-Murray, J. (2008). Was introducing Wikipedia to the classroom an act of madness leading only to mayhem if not murder? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jbmurray/Madness
Beetham, H., Falconer, I., McGill, L. & Littlejohn, A. (2012). JISC Open Practices: Briefing paper.
Cámara de la Fuente, L. (2014). “Multilingual Crowdsourcing Motivation on Global Social Media. Case Study: TED OTP”, Sendebar. No. 25. http://revistaseug.ugr.es/index.php/sendebar/article/view/1541/2676
Martínez-Arboleda, A. (2013). Discovering Spanish Voices Abroad in a Digital World. In Beaven, A., Comas-Quinn, A. and Sawhill, B. (eds). Case Studies of Openness in the Language Classroom (pp.176-188) Research-publishing, http://research-publishing.net/publications/2013-beaven-comas-quinn-sawhill/
Nelson, I., & Pozo-Gutiérrez, A. (2013). The OpenLIVES Project: Alternative Narratives of Pedagogical Achievement. In Beaven, A., Comas-Quinn, A. and Sawhill, B. (eds). Case Studies of Openness in the Language Classroom (pp.162-175) Research-publishing, http://research-publishing.net/publications/2013-beaven-comas-quinn-sawhill/
Shirky, C. (2010) How cognitive surplus will change the world. http://www.ted.com/talks/clay_shirky_how_cognitive_surplus_will_change_the_world
Wiley, D. (2013) What is Open Pedagogy? http://opencontent.org/blog/archives/2975