Topic 2 – Open Education, Education for all

Topic 2 – Open Education

“Openness is the only means of doing education” – David Wiley (2010)

I would have to agree with David Wiley, as teachers we should be nurturers by default and part of being a nurturer is the desire to be generous and to enjoy seeing people grow by your guidance.  As David Wiley states placing walls around our work and not sharing is an outdated way of thinking.

One of my passions is growing bonsai’s and after recently attending the local Bonsai club meeting, which meets up once a month, it dawned on me that in the room the collective experience of working with bonsai’s must be over 1000 years. What happens when a person passes on? Perhaps the collective experience now drops to 930 years. Did that person impart their knowledge and skills or is it simply lost?

Technology gives us the wonderful opportunity to share. As part of our group’s task this week related to Topic 2, I came across two open educational websites that I will make use of in the future.

Experiment 1: Investigating and Exploring Open Computer Science Educational Resources for the subject programming


About: Launched in 2013, is a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science. Its vision is that every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science. increases diversity in computer science by reaching students of all backgrounds where they are — at their skill-level, in their schools, and in ways that inspire them to keep learning.

Can you use their curriculum at a club, private school, after-school program, home school, or company?

Yes. grants you a non-exclusive, transferable, non-sublicensable, limited right and license to access, view, use, and display the curriculum and tutorial materials. The curriculum and tutorial materials may only be used for non-commercial, computer science educational purposes.

Evaluation: A great, fun, and highly educational website. Some of my 1st year programming students worked with the website in class and found it beneficial as it highlights key programming principles and it provides instant feedback. The game, puzzle format appealed to them and the website uses Disney characters which sparked their interest as they had grown up watching those characters.

Relevancy: Although mostly for younger children (rather than University students), it is a helpful tool in teaching programming basics to any age. 5/5

Experiment 2: Investigating and Exploring open Computer Science Resources for the subject Web Development


About: W3Schools is a web developers site, with tutorials and references on web development languages such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, SQL, and Bootstrap, covering most aspects of web programming. The site derives its name from the World Wide Web (W3), but is not affiliated with the W3C. W3Schools was originally created in 1998 by Refsnes Data, a Norwegian software development and consulting company.

Is W3Schools Free?

W3Schools is a completely free developer’s resource.

Using W3Schools in Teaching

Fair use includes using copyrighted material in teaching under this balancing:

Favourable Use:

  • Copying examples and code snippets for non-profit teaching and research.
  • Copying small quantities, appropriate for classroom teaching.

Not Favourable Use:

  • Copying for profitable or commercial use.
  • Massive or verbatim copying.
  • Copying large quantities.

Evaluation: A very good site that covers key computer science principles related to web programming. Students really enjoyed working with this website, great instant feedback to something that you have coded. The site design is very intuitive.

Relevancy:  Extremely relevant and up to date. 5/5






2 thoughts on “Topic 2 – Open Education, Education for all

  1. I really like your analogy of the bonsai and the collective experience. So true of education and so many other professions. Through all the sharing of information it certainly helps with the information overload as we can learn from one another rather than trial and error on our own.


  2. How inspiring, I feel like trying to code now. Interesting that both resources you tried out seemed to be useful and accurate… maybe it is not so strange if there is more material within computer science compared to other, less IT-related subjects… I think some of the other group members had more difficulties finding resources that where relevant to their teaching…


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