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Week 4 Making connections

Week 4 Making connections

Spider‘s web
Photo Credit: Entangled by Will, CC BY 2.0

This week you are invited to reach out and:

  • consider the meaning and implications of ‘sharing’ in education
  • explore your own communities of practice
  • reflect on your own sharing.

4.1 Education is sharing

In 2010 David Wiley was invited to speak at TEDxNY, a New York-based TEDx event focused on education. His topic: ‘Open Education and the Future’. Here it is:

TEDxNYED – David Wiley
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Activity 1

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

In the video above David says, ‘If there is no sharing, there is no education.’

Think about your own practice.

  • How much do you share?
  • How do you share?
  • Do you agree with David?
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4.2 Communities of practice

If you think about your daily life, it probably won’t take you long to see yourself as a connected individual. Communities don’t happen only online; maybe you play the ukelele and meet your fellow musicians weekly? Maybe it is your local allotment, a book club or hill walking on Sundays? What gels people together varies immensely and as social creatures we drift towards those with similar interests. At work, we function much in the same way.

One such community is the Modern Foreign Languages Twitterati. Founder Joe Dale, in his blog post Have you heard of the MFL Twitterati?, describes it as ‘a dynamic grassroots group of language teachers, consultants and associations from the UK who are passionate about language learning and love sharing their expertise with like-minded colleagues around the globe.’

Activity 2

Timing: Allow 45 minutes

You don’t need to be a Twitter enthusiast to do this activity.

Simply enter ‘#mfltwitterati’ in your browser or, if languages is not a subject of interest to you, try any other hashtag, for example: #edtech, #edchat, #flipclass, #openscience, #highered, #BYOD, etc.

What are people doing? What is the purpose of their tweets?

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4.3 To share or not to share

We approach and sometimes belong to a community of practice because we share an interest, a passion, a desire to help or a need for help. One of the teachers we spoke with in preparing this course said:

‘I guess my philosophy is that, as teachers, we should see ourselves as a worldwide learning community. The more we can actually build upon and use and collaborate with each other, the better our students are going to benefit"

These are some of the benefits of sharing the materials that you create:

  • student/user feedback and open peer review
  • reputational benefits, recognition
  • benefits (efficiency and cultural) of collaborative approaches to teaching/learning
  • opportunities to work across sectors, institutions and subject disciplines
  • increased digital literacies (particularly around Intellectual Property Rights)
  • reaching a wider range of learners.

Sure you can think of other benefits but now let’s concentrate on the ‘dark’ side.

Activity 3

Timing: Allow about 30 minutes

Think about what would stop you from sharing your teaching materials.

  • What do you think can go wrong?
  • Do you know of any examples when the outcome of sharing was anything but advantageous?
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Is this the end?

It is indeed the end of the course but we hope also the beginning of many a journey into reusing and sharing.

Thank you for making it this far. We hope it’s been enjoyable.

Acknowledgements

This free course was written by Beatriz de los Arcos in collaboration with Hélène Pulker and Anna Comas-Quinn. The original version is available on the P2PU platform at http://www.exploerercourse.org/ en/. Learning to (Re)Use Open Educational Resources received an Open Education Award for Excellence 2016 in the category of Open MOOC.

Except for third party materials and otherwise stated (see terms and conditions), this content is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence.

The material acknowledged below is Proprietary and used under licence (not subject to Creative Commons Licence). Grateful acknowledgement is made to the following sources for permission to reproduce material in this free course:

Every effort has been made to contact copyright owners. If any have been inadvertently overlooked, the publishers will be pleased to make the necessary arrangements at the first opportunity.

Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Photo Credit: Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle by Marcus Quigmire, CC BY-SA 2.0

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