Thoughts on Tim O’Reilly’s Open University Video

March 25, 2010

First of all, I really like Tim O’Reilly’s women-in-tech post from yesterday…


Back in January, using the iPhone development model as an analogy, O’Reilly considers what things would be like if universities let developers (in this case, the professors) “innovate and distribute content to users (students) in new and efficient ways?”

He says that Open Standards have been the driver of all tech innovation. Content was put out first and then (e.g. Google) strategies for dealing with it were developed. And it has be a profound change — an example being how “search” has triumphed over the model of cataloguing.

Can universities really “let go” of control in this way? I suspect that if they don’t, they’ll become pretty much irrelevant.

O’Reilly says that the mission must change. It won’t be about delivering courses to enrolled students. Rating is key.

My interpretation is that this means reaching out to everyone and providing credit for learning that takes place no matter where.

DGREE—Tim O’Reilly from DGREE on Vimeo.

Looking at the chapters for “Emerging Technologies in Distance Education”

March 23, 2010

My colleague BJ Eib and I have had the chance to see the full book in proof format as part of our completion of final edits for the chapter we have written.

It’s about to be made available in:

George Veletsianos Ed.
Emerging Technologies in Distance Education

The book is scheduled to be published in June of this year, and we’re excited about its great content.

There are four main sections along with an introduction and conclusion. Some topics leapt out at me and I’ve alphabetized them here:

  • authentic learning
  • communication/interaction
  • design
  • foundations
  • immersive environments
  • implementation (using various tools)
  • informal learning
  • multiple/changing roles
  • open courseware
  • participatory environments (Web 2.0)
  • pedagogy/andragogy
  • personal learning environments/networks
  • structured dialogue design
  • web analytics

and more.

In my initial skimming, I see a commonality of focus on the social/participatory/communicative side of learning, and I see implementation strategies supported by theory. This is really encouraging!

I know I’ll be blogging more because I want to engage in some conversations about a range of ideas in the book, once it is available to all.


March 7, 2010

Of course I wish I had been there, at the sessions that will soon be archived at — but watching the morning streamed live and following the Twitter stream based on hashtag #TEDxNYED  truly did get me into the thoughts of tons of people who were watching and thinking things like:

  1. blairteach
    RT @jackiegerstein: Bring the classroom into the world & bring the world into your classroom @chrislehmann
  2. pesmith
    “if we don’t help them make sense of that world, then we’re doing them a disservice” @chrislehmann
  3. mslinch “Data Driven Decisions assume that you use good data- and the data we use stinks.” – @chrislehmann
  4. antonioviva How can we inspire global citizens if we continue to strip the arts out of education?
  5. kyraocity Lessons of openess: Commitment to freedom, community, limits of regulation, respecting creators.
  6. courosa Lessig – “openness is a commitment to a certain set of values” Yes!
  7. annmythai @lessig YouTube’s “Statement of Good Faith” box is Bart Simpson chalkboard moment
  8. amichetti Lessig is highlighting something I’ve long believed – that remixing is sometimes more powerful than creating original material

Will Richardson was there, and his blog post and the responses are also interesting:
I can’t wait to view the videos of the afternoon and see how it ended.

One thread that bubbled through as I was observing on Twitter was related to why, if the speakers are against lecturing as a vehicle for teaching/learning, would they then engage in the lecture format of TED? I answered a few of them with my thoughts that first of all, it isn’t that lectures are “evil” — it’s the “memorize what I say in the lecture and regurgitate it on for the test” mindset of many educational institutions that is the problem. And besides, TED lectures are part of something much much bigger. Yes there are ideas on the stage but they are surrounded by all the networking of the people in the room, all the sharing into the future (Wiley’s open versus closed), and all the simultaneous backstories in social media.