This session aims to examine the merging of formal and informal learning spaces within open educational practices and consider their impact so far and potential for the future. The session will be participative with attendees invited to contribute their thoughts and develop ideas that will help mainstream open education for learners and other communities.
After more than a decade there is a substantial body of material & practice to evidence open education in the wider learning landscape. That landscape is an ever-changing picture influenced by many things, for example political objectives and the economy but in terms of solutions perhaps most of all by technology because of the enabling nature of web 2.0. Such technologies have changed the way people connect for work and leisure on a mass scale. Barriers such as distance are removed, allowing those who are geographically dispersed to form and expand effective connections and relationships rapidly. The diversification of social media also means choice in how connections are fostered and access to technologies that connect not just people and organisations but also help visualise concepts and ideas via multiple platforms simultaneously. Just as water reflects things around it developments in the way people connect, communicate and share ideas of information in everyday life are being reflected in formal educational practices and the thinking behind them. The embedding of social media in the fabric of society and its diversification presents opportunities to significant to ignore. The Horizon report of 2014 describes the “Growing Ubiquity of Social Media” as a ‘fast trend’, which will drive impactful, changes in education. Already social media is influencing teaching and learning practices but it has potential to go further and greatly influence the learner experience and lifelong learning opportunities. The OER learning landscape could be described as a sliding scale of social learning possibilities from the totally formal to the totally informal. A small desk study will be presented that highlights points of interest along this sliding scale, selecting specific discussion topics on the basis that they offer potential to develop learner focussed/driven pedagogic practice.
Downes, Stephen. “The Role of Open Educational Resources in Personal Learning”. VI International Seminar of the UNESCO chair in e-Learning. Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
Ferguson, R. & Buckingham Shum, S. (2012). Towards a social learning space for open educational resources. In: Okada, Alexandra; Connolly, Teresa and Scott, Peter eds. Collaborative Learning 2.0: Open Educational Resources. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Estrada, V., Freeman, A. (2014). NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.
Okada, A. & Barros, D. (2011). Using, adapting and authoring OER with Web 2.0 tools. In T. Bastiaens & M. Ebner (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2011 (pp. 2243-2248). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.