Saturday, February 18, 2006

Good email on openness in education

I just received an email from a friend with some pretty strong arguments from David Wiley for openness in education. I've just moved into my new home in Dunedin and am on dial up for a few days. I've been too busy to keep up with my news reader, so am grateful for this pointer. Have just cut and paste the email here:

1. http://www.smartmobs.com/archive/2006/02/15/the_case_for_op.html

David Wiley teaches Instructional Technology at Utah State University and directs the Center for Open and Sustainable Learning based at the school. Recent posts on his blog, iterating toward openness, report on testimony given earlier this month to the US Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education by Wiley and other leaders of the open content for learning movement.

Wiley's summary of his testimony:

In summary, higher education has fallen out of step with business, science, and everyday life. In order to realign itself with changes in society and in its student base higher education must find the will to innovate in the area of openness, and then in connectedness, personalization, participation, and other key areas. Openness is the key to enabling other innovations and catalyzing improvements in the quality, accountability, affordability, and accessibility of higher education. The open infrastructure of the Internet has enabled a huge number of innovations at a speed and scale that could never have occurred if this infrastructure had been closed. I submit that content, faculty support, and peer support are the infrastructure of teaching and learning. To the extent that we open these, we can speed the adoption and scale of innovation in the teaching and learning space.

My recommendation to the Commission is this: please, set a bold goal of universal access to educational opportunity. It is the right thing to do for the citizenry, and the best thing to do for higher education. Openness can play a significant role in enabling this access and many other innovations in teaching and learning.

In a separate post, Wiley makes the case for open textbooks, which he describes as urgent: "Frankly, the textbook situation is wreaking havoc on teaching and learning practices on our campuses, with as many as 43 percent of students foregoing the purchase of required textbooks due to financial considerations."

2. http://www.archive.org/details/snowshoefilms_KenJenkins_PsychologicalAspectsOf911

a psychologist talks about different kinds of fear and how the 9/11 stuff has put us in denial - great piece because at the end he has you feeling quite positive. what's not so great is that he seems to believe the 9/11 thing was a set up. he's the most credible person i've heard yet - doesn't seem crazy AT ALL, so i'm really starting to believe there's something in it.

i had trouble playing the download from the internet archive site and had to download it from here - http://sandiego.indymedia.org/en/2004/04/103719.shtml - and use the quicktime format. is only a small file - 7 megs for 8 minutes of video - wish i understood how to do that, so many of them are huge files...



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