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 As David Wiley states placing walls around our work and not sharing is an outdated way of thinking.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, Code.org 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. Code.org 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. Code.org grants you a non-exclusive, transferable, non-sublicensable, limited right and license to access, view, use, and display the Code.org curriculum and tutorial materials. The Code.org 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
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:
- 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
- Open education and the future, Short TED-talk by David Wiley
- Weller, M., & Anderson, T. (2013). Digital resilience in higher education. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, 16(1), 53.