Week2: The OLCOS Roadmap 2012

Just finished a choppy read of the OLCOS Roadmap 2012: Open Educational Practices and Resources.

The authors highlight a fundamental challenge to the uptake of open educational practices: the shift from teacher centered to learning organizations – where the role of teacher is one of facilitator and the environment “favors innovation and change of established educational frameworks and practices.”(p.42)

I think this is the crux of the matter. This kind of shift requires a shift in value from individual learning to collective process and from competition to collaboration. Nothing about our traditional systems of higher education seems ready for this. How reliant are we on entrance requirements, exams, grades and “transmission of knowledge” from the expert to the novice? The university has very specific rules, guidelines and pathways by which students progress. For many (teachers and students), there is comfort in the bureaucracy – after all, they all followed the rules to get here and they know exactly what to do to be successful

A new framework based on collaboration, connection and the use of tools like weblogs, wiki, feeds and social networking sites (some things I consider to be the essentials in an open education environment) – challenge the linear approach. It’s all a little chaotic. It’s likely that open education requires a level of comfort with chaos that may be difficult for teachers and students at first.

Consider this quote from Chuck Palahniuk (American freelance novelist)

“Our real discoveries come from chaos, from going to the place that looks wrong and stupid and foolish.”

Back to the readings…

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