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Harness the Power of 'Open'


This was presented at the 2012 NJEDge Conference in Plainsboro, NJ.

This was presented at the 2012 NJEDge Conference in Plainsboro, NJ.

Published in Education
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  • I’m always interested in creating interactive environments with learners and it’s even better if it is free and has real-world application to the activities.Being a special education teacher, even in upper-middle class school districts, we still had to work within a budget. Often when I have to do labs with the learners, I didn’t have the budget for the equipment. So I looked online and got creative.It’s the engagement, application way of teaching that helps me maintain my passion and share it with my colleagues. It is also the driving force for my projects in one of my doctoral course last year. This presentation is a result of 3 projects in that course facilitated by Michele Knobel (special consultation with her husband Colin Lankshear). They are experts in “New Literacies”.
  • Entrance to Keene State CollegeThe photographer asked…”No enter, no learn?”What do you think?Constructivism is the foundation of various views; however, there are two points of consistency: (Duffy & Cunningham, 1984)Learning is an active process of constructing rather than acquiring knowledgeInstruction is a process of supporting that construction rather than communicating knowledgeSocial Learning (Vygotzky) is based on the premise that our understanding of content is socially constructed through conversations about that content and through grounded interactions, especially with others, around problems or actions.Focus is more on how we are learning as to what we are learning (Brown & Adler, 2008)These next theory are really new to me.Kearsely & SchneidermanEmerged from their experiences teaching in electronic and distance education environments.Fundamental idea is that students must be meaningfully engaged in learning activities through interaction with others and worthwhile tasks.Intended to be a conceptual framework for technology-based learning and teaching.
  • There is no consensus in the field to the definition of learning objects.Introduced in early 1990s in response for the need for high-quality digital materials that can be used, reused, and shared, with the idea of dividing existing courses into smaller chunks of information that can be used independently or in conjunction with other learning resources.My definition is even broader. For me a learning object is a digital resource (powerpoint, simulations, images, apps)
  • David Wiley was the first to define “open content” as “creative work that others can copy or modifyMy definition is a combination of open in the traditional sense “having no means of closing or barring” and remixed with accessibility “the ability, right or permission to use”
  • Closest to pure informationLecture captures, PowerPoint presentations, readings, videos, field tripsPhysically passive, but mentally active- perceiving, processing, consolidating, considering, and judging the information
  • Transform information into knowledge and skillsLearners discover, parse, decode, analyze, verify, combine, organize, discuss, debate, evaluate, condense, refine, elaborate, apply knowledgePractice, discovery (virtual labs), games, simulations
  • Integrate what was learned with prior knowledge (already know)Bridge gapsPurpose is to link to something already known or prompt application of learningThis is most of the activities we will be working with today.Starting with the next slide.
  • This activity is done in a nutrition course (both face-to-face and online). Activity instruction is below:Fad Diet Activity:Groups: Website: Choose a diet that is of interest.  Read the article accompanying that diet and answer the following questions:1. Why did you choose this particular diet? 2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this diet?3. Is this diet sustainable indefinitely?4. Can this diet contribute to overall health?5. What health risks are associated with this diet for the long term?
  • Have the students create boards for a specific project. The students (and the instructor) should “follow” each person’s boards to be able to view and critique each other.
  • As an instructor, you can have students explore to read other writer’s work to get inspired, to critique, and perhaps submit your own writing.
  • Analysis: why is it more attractive? Product description, photos, price point?Set up shop.
  • He has Challenges.Itused to be easier to find on his website, but now you need to put ‘challenges’ in the search box.One of my faculty members uses the challenges and asks the students to journal (in Blackboard on private setting) the experience.
  • free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.Non-profit organizationWritten collaboratively by largely anonymous Internet volunteers who write w/o pay -> live collaborationAnyone with Internet access can write and make changes to wikipedia articlesWikipedia community has developed many policies and guidelines to improve the encyclopedia Experience peer review process:*Have the students edit a page  it does not have to be an academic topic, it can be something that they are an “expert” at.*As a class create and submit a wikipedia page to be “published”. It’ll have to go through their review process.
  • Think about something that you would like to teach someone, it can be a hobby (crocheting), a sport (specific position), a game (fantasy football), etc. Search the web and see what you can use and create an activity.
  • For both instructors and students.Believe it or not, in this hour we have experienced an Absorb activity (me talking), a Do activity (Fad Diet exercises), and a Connect activity (Your turn to design an activity).


  • 1. Objectives: Theories Learning Objects “Open” Activities: Absorb, Do, Connect
  • 2. Theories 1. Constructivism 2. Social Learning 3. Engagement TheoryRetrieved from Flickr by cogdogblog
  • 3. Learning Objects
  • 4. Open My definition: Resources that are readily accessible to all who has access to the Internet without any obstruction.Retrieved from Flickr by Bad Alley
  • 5. Fad Diet Website:http://www.everydi Retrieved from Flickr by Sidious Sid
  • 6. Pinterest: Event Planning
  • 7. Fanfiction:Creative
  • 8. Ebay: Small Business
  • 9. Personal Health: Dr. Oz Sleep Better Plan
  • 10. Peer Review: Wikipedia “The free encyclopediathat anyone can edit.”
  • 11. „Open‟ is…To take a riskTo have real-world connectionTo be part of a community
  • 12. Retrieved from Flickr by Oberazzi
  • 13. Retrieved from Flickr by hellojenuineShelley C.