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Mark McGuire - "Open Strategies in Higher Education: Opportunities and Challenges"
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Mark McGuire - "Open Strategies in Higher Education: Opportunities and Challenges"


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In business, social media, and other aspects of contemporary society, we can trace the shift in models of production, delivery, and consumption from Push (broadcast) to Pull (download) to Share (co-create). Similarly, we are beginning to see new models of provision emerging in higher education. As Curtis Bonk points out in "The World is Open: How Technology is Revolutionizing Education", in theory, “[a]nyone can now learn anything from anyone at anytime” (2009). Martin Wellers is one of an increasing numbers of academics that are promoting the benefits of open, digital scholarship (2011). However, rather than transforming how courses are designed and delivered, most institutions of higher learning are using information technology in a limited way, to enhance traditional classroom teaching (Bates, A. W. T., Sangra, A. 2011). Although institutional structures and practices may be resistant to change, innovative individuals and institutions have developed “open” strategies that provide models for others to follow.

For several years, coordinators of OOCs (Open Online Courses) and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) have made use of network technologies to leverage the wisdom of the crowd and to amplify the reach of tertiary courses for both credit and non-credit students (de Waard et al., 2011; Kop, Fornier, & Sui Fai Mak, 2011). More recently, Stanford Engineering Everywhere (SEE) and MIT’s MITx, have demonstrated how traditional, formal learning for a limited number of fee-paying students can support informal learning for a much larger number of off-campus participants for free. In this paper, I discuss recent research relating to open education and report on my experience as a non-credit participant in several open courses. I discuss recent initiatives by Stanford and MIT and reflect on the potential of Open strategies for traditional tertiary institutions.

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  • 1. Open Strategies in Higher Education: Opportunities & Challenges CC-BY DEANZ 11-13 April 2012 Mark McGuire, Applied Sciences, U of Otago Blog: Twitter: @mark_mcguirePhoto by gotanew1 (CC-BY-NC-SA) CC-BY (unless otherwise stated)
  • 2. OR“I sing the body electric” Walt Whitman, from "Leaves of Grass", 1867. (
  • 3. 1. Open and “Open Courses”
  • 4. “[T]he Open Scholar issomeone who makes their intellectualprojects and processes digitally visibleand who invites and encourages ongoingcriticism of their work and secondaryuses of any or all parts of it — at anystage of its development”.Gideon Burton, Academic Evolution Blog(by way of Terry Anderson)
  • 5. Martin Weller.“The Digital Scholar”, 2011. 12 April 2012
  • 6. Accessed 9 April, 2012
  • 7. Accessed 9 April, 2012
  • 8. Accessed 9 April, 2012
  • 9. Accessed 9 April, 2012
  • 10. Accessed 9 April, 2012
  • 11. Accessed 9 April, 2012
  • 12. Accessed 9 April, 2012
  • 13. Accessed 10 April, 2012
  • 14.“Behind every Udacity class will be aproduction team, not unlike a film crew. Theprofessor will become an actor-producer.Which makes Thrun the studio head”.“In 50 years, he says, there will be only 10institutions in the world delivering highereducation and Udacity has a shot at being oneof them”.Steven Leckart: “The Stanford Education Experiment Could Change HigherLearning Forever” (WIRED 20 March, 2012) Accessed 11 April 2012
  • 15. Accessed 9 April, 2012
  • 16. Accessed 9 April, 2012
  • 17. Accessed 12 April 2012
  • 18. Accessed 9 April, 2012
  • 19. Public? Private? For-Profit? Non-Profit?“It’s the (mixed)economy, stupid”
  • 20. 2. MOOCs and Connectivism
  • 21. Teaching and Learning ParadigmsLocus, Mode, Temporality, Structure, ObjectivePUSHteacher, broadcast, synchronous, hierarchical, knowledgePULLresource, download, asynchronous, nodal, individual learningSHAREsite, co-create, continuous, networked, knowledge network
  • 22. Accessed 12 April 2012Also see: Change MOOC 11 - an introduction and an invitation
  • 23. Accessed 12 April, 2012
  • 24. Change11 Course Facilitators( Accessed 12 April 2012)Stephen Downeshttp://www.downes.caStephen Downes is a senior researcher for Canadas National Research Council and a leadingproponent of the use of online media and services in education. As the author of the widely-readOLDaily online newsletter, Downes has earned international recognition for his leading-edgework in the field of online learning.George Siemens Siemens is an internationally known writer, speaker, and researcher on learning,networks, technology and organizational effectiveness in digital environments. He is the authorof Knowing Knowledge, an exploration of how the context and characteristics of knowledge havechanged and what it means to organizations today, and the recently released Handbook ofEmerging Technologies for Learning. Siemens is currently a researcher and strategist with theTechnology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute at Athabasca University.Dave Cormierhttp://www.davecormier.comDave Cormier is an independent educational researcher and thinker, an online communitymanager and the Manager of web communications and innovations at the University of PrinceEdward Island. He has published on open education, the rhizomatic model of education, andpractical classroom uses of virtual worlds.
  • 25. Accessed 12 April, 2012
  • 26. 10 April, 2012
  • 27. 10 April, 2012
  • 28. (CC-BY)Accessed 10 April, 2012
  • 29. The notion of connectedness:“Its about expertise thats widelydistributed in our society and culture, andthe fact that anybody can help somebodyelse get better at something.”Mimi Ito, Cultural Anthropologist, Digital Media LearningResearch Hub (University of California, Irvine)
  • 30. “The product of learningis not knowledge, theproduct of learning is atransformed learner.”– Stephen Downes
  • 31. Institutional? Personal? Formal? Informal?“It’s life, Jim butnot as we know it”+ Just-in-time learning+ Resources help when-and-where-needed+ Thinking, fast and slow+ Drive-by-assignments+ Collapsing sites, practices, identities
  • 32. Bora: “We’re what we are”“ we don’t need no leaders to follow blind we don’t need no heroes to copy / paste i object! we’re on a wrong way i reject! plastic sincerity we can break new own grounds, mature own fruits we can break new own grounds, that fit our needs Accessed 12 April 2012 ”
  • 33. Accessed 12 April, 2012
  • 34. 3. Learning Technologies
  • 35. Change11 Live Presentation by Jon Dron 24 Nov 2011 (Hard Soft Technologies)
  • 36. Industries, organizations, and other non-physical, non-tangible “purposed systems” can be considered astechnologies .Whereas one technology might be “adopted” by anothertechnology this process does not work for institutionalsystems, which are comprised of a collection or “body” oftechnologies.The process that takes place when one body of technologycomes into contact with a different body of technology ismore like an encounter than an adaptation. The result canbe a parting of the ways, or a transformation that leads to anew combination of technologies.W. Brian Arthur“The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves”, 2009.
  • 37. The dominant perspectives on technology give priority toeither the social or the technology side of the equation, andthey share what Orlokowski calls an “ontology ofseparateness”. She argues for a “relational ontology” thatfocuses on the assemblages, associations, and networks ofhumans and technologies that occur through“entanglements in practice”.W. J. Orlokowski“The sociomateriality of organisational life:considering technology in management research” (2009)
  • 38. As Arthur C. Clarke says, “[a]ny sufficiently advanced technologyis indistinguishable from magic.”*The real magic is not the technology, but itsinvisibility.All technologies become invisiblethrough repeated use- until they fail.Then, we are reminded of the magic,the seeming impossibility of how itworks, and the fact that it can stopworking. The distortion of a cellphonecall, a frozen video frame, and thecrackle of aradiotransmission are allwake-up calls.*Arthur C. Clarke Accessed 12 April 2012Also see: Kindle screen failure reveals repressed memory of earlier technology
  • 39. The biggest elephantsin the room are the ones weare riding – the technologies(systems, structures,practices) that we haveinternalized and renderedinvisible.
  • 40. #MyProfessionalDevelopmentLearning to ignore theelephants in the room, andperfecting the increasinglyelaborate art of dancingaround elephant shit.
  • 41. “We shape our technologies,and afterwards ourtechnologies shape us”– Winston Churchill (remixed) Accessed 11 April 2012
  • 42. 4. A Clash of Technologies
  • 43. Accessed 12 April 2012
  • 44. Accessed 12 April 2012
  • 45. 12 April 2012
  • 46.[From+Billy+Elliot]Site blocked at University of OtagoAccessed off campus 10 April 2012
  • 47. Accessed 12 April 2012
  • 48. New Zealand Education Act 1989Accessed 11 April 2012
  • 49. New Zealand Education Act 1989 Accessed 11 April 2012
  • 50. It’s not the tool, it’s thetechnique. It’s not the fish,it’s the pond. It’s not thedancers, it’s the dance.
  • 51. Photo by by thumeco (CC-BY-NC-SA)
  • 52. Federation Square, Melbourne (2001,Lab Architecture Studio + Bates Smart)Photo by Mark McGuire (CC-BY) Royal Ontario Museum (2007, Studio Daniel Libeskind) Photo by Eric Mutrie (CC-BY) Jewish Museum, Berlin (2001, Studio Daniel Libeskind) Photo by Guenter Schneider (CC-BY)
  • 53. Tony Bates: “Transforming teaching and learning through technology management”Change11 MOOC Live Session 16 October, 2011Bates, A. W. T., Sangra, A. (2011). Managing Technology in Higher Education: Strategies for Transforming Teaching and Learning: Jossey-Bass.
  • 54. 5. Opening Up
  • 55. Question: Why do mostuniversity logos have ashield? Who are theyprotecting themselves from? Accessed 11 April, 2012
  • 56. It’s not about the future of the book,it’s about the future of reading.It’s not about the future ofuniversities, it’s about the future ofhigher education.It’s not about the future oftechnologies, it’s about what wewant to do in the future.
  • 57. Police Pepper SprayingOccupy UC Davis students
  • 58. University academics occupy aprivileged position in society.In terms of education, we arepart of the 1%.We have the right, andthe responsibility, toact in the best interestof the 99%.
  • 59. Imagine that the classroom is surrounded bypermeable screens rather than opaque walls withrestricted points of entry. These screens are constructed from coursedescriptions, aims and objectives, schedules, and assessment criteria thatserve as the perimeter that defines and contains a course of study. The screensare flexible and moveable. Imagine that this structure sits in the middle of apublic space dotted with other permeable structures. Inside each of them,problems are posed and questions are raised. People work together under theguidance of an expert investigator to find solutions to problems and answers toquestions. They call upon others beyond the screen as required, and theyaccess information that passes freely into and out of the structure and betweenstructures and other spaces. They venture out to consult with other experts andto gather new information, which they bring back to the group. People outsidethe structure can overhear some of their discussions and can peer throughsmall openings to watch some of the activities. An archive of their work, whichis created as part of the process of investigation, serves as a shared historythat anyone can use and build upon.From SHIFTING GEAR: Transforming Our Communities of Learning, Report #1 from the CALTThinktank on ICT, University of Otago, May 2009
  • 60. Accessed 12 April 2012
  • 61. Collaborative,Conversational Networks
  • 62. SPACE is createdthrough the act ofcommunication.Co n v e r s a t i o ncreates sharedspace. OPENconversationcreates PUBLIC SPACE.
  • 63. Innovation is not aboutchanging how we do what wedo; innovation is aboutchanging our mind aboutwhat we need to do, and thencreating technologies that willenable us to do it.
  • 64. Can institutions of highereducation transform themselvesfrom within?Can elephants learn to dance?It depends on how well we areable to ride them. First, we have to ask ourselves:“who are they (we) dancing for?”
  • 65. Let’s dance!