I have been moving on with my Open Content for Education course despite the date for the course finishing having past. It's very hard fitting everything into a school week. I think next time I might look for MOOCs that occur in the holidays. It's not so much the time required to participate it's the head-space. It's quite hard to be reflective and considered in "te ao hurihuri" (the churning world) of teaching.. (Ironical that hurihuri also means reflection).
Anyway the course has been leading me to consider the use of OERs or Open Education Resources. It's taken me too long today to get through this module because it has been so interesting. I've been diving off to the sites called "MERLOT" and Connexions which are depositories for open texts. I've searched wikieducator for a Level One Science text for NZ that I'm sure I've seen there and I've wondered if I should write a text myself for Y10 or 11 Science (what does the Moodle "book" resource do though?). As if I don't have enough to do. I also ended up at WebQuests, something I had forgotten about and Zooniverse as they both fit so well with what I am doing with Y9 Science at the moment (Space Exploration). (By the way in my meanderings I found a good site called "Waiology", a blog about the science of freshwater in Aotearoa/NZ that will help with the Wai Mackenzie topic later next term.) So you can see I've been around!
Where I should have been was considering the value of OERs in an open education system. A global system. These OERs make a lot of sense. Economically students can buy food instead of texts, ecologically an electron is easier to recycle and educationally educators can rewrite and re-author to improve and to suit their own needs. What the course is doing for me though is somewhat unexpected. The ethical consideration of who education is for and what it should be. The reason I joined the course is I hoped to learn about digital education by being digitally educated.
What I am also learning though is that education is a basic human right and the digital age is giving us the tools to provide a universal free education. It's a powerful message and a moving one.
What I need to learn next, or find really, is my place in this age as an educator. I am very shy about what material I write. They never seem perfect. I hope that I will move to a position, through doing this course, that sees that fear as being unexceptional and surmountable.