Friday, 11 October 2013

Learning Reflection

This is an exercise prompted by my involvement in an Opel Content Licensing for Educators course.

I began this course more for the experience of learning online than its content per se.  My institution (a small rural high school in New Zealand ) requires me to maintain an on-line presence with my classes (we close for snow etc from time time plus learning should be happening when the students want it to) and what better way to learn than be an "e-student" myself?

Well I did achieve that goal.  I did learn a lot about structure and the type of activities that can make learning happen.  But the content surprised me.  I enjoyed it (that's not too surprising) but it made a big difference to me, and that's going to be hard to put into words- so I'll use a mind map!

I guess given that I wasn't very motivated by the 'what' in this course, my prior thoughts were not very helpful!  I have been a principal and as such had a vague worry that one day we would get "done" for breaking copyright and it would be expensive and messy.  I had heard of Creative Commons as the schools I have been involved with were members of virtual learning networks (VLNs), and for about a year I was chair of the council for the VLN Community here in NZ.  But what I wasn't aware of, until I did this course, was that Creative Commons is connected to the moral purpose of education (I would define that as making a difference in others' lives); I had merely thought that Creative Commons was a form of copyright that would help protect our school from messy and expensive copyright infringements.  How wrong I was!

Where I am now then is in a somewhat morally uplifted place! I can see that the moral purpose of education is better served by CC licenses; the freedom to reuse, remix etc is a fundamentally useful and liberating thing. As a relatively rich white guy (with a liberal streak) I can see that students and their educators around the world would be better off if these licenses were commonly used. Creative Commons is a better way in so many ways. I have made a decision to use a BY SA license in anything I do (like Chris Bletcher though I doubt that what I do will ever be useful!) and part way through the course I would have said and I'll have an NC in there too please.  I didn't want any multi-national ripping my ideas off!  That change really surprised me.  And that brings me on to how I learnt.

How I learnt was my prior focus for this course. I was not disappointed here. One of the surprising things here may not be a surprise to educators in other countries.  It's the multi-choice question (MCQ).  In New Zealand we have moved to a system of assessment that does not value MCQs. To a large extent we rely more on extended writing as we try to judge a student's ability to evaluate, justify etc etc. The resources we read on MCQs has made me reconsider that and I'll be trialing that in my classes this term.

The video signposts were very well chosen.  From Tutu to the more prosaic Bletcher, they were the equivalent of a high class conference.  The readings were very good too; Moller's article was the turning point in dropping the NC tag for me.  I was surprised by that (I need to rehearse his arguments though as I find I'm unable to explain concisely why the NC tag should be not preferred.).  The definition of free and libre was a subtle point for me too and was partly responsible for some of the shifts I've made in my thinking.

I see great value now in micro and macro blogging and the use of reflective thinking and writing in learning.  I'll need to find a "safe" way of doing that with adolescent students, our school blocks Twitter among other things, but the concept will work well with pen and paper too. As for me; I think I'll carrying on blogging.

Thanks OERU for this course. I would recommend it.

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1 comment:

  1. Very interesting view of things. I was so interested in seeing your mindmap but I couldn't open it. :)