Searching for a platform…

As I spend my first week defining the expectations of creating an “Open Course” I realize that there is no definition. The MOOC courses that have been developed in Higher Education won’t necessarily meet the demands of the k-12 population. In fact, the first change was to identify K-12 open online learning as “The Open Classroom” because MOOC spelled differently is an incredibly inappropriate word for k-12.

According to UNESCO Open Learning is….The ‘open’ nature of distance learning might be formally institutionalized in such policies as open admissions, and freedom of selection of what, when and where to learn. The openness of distance learning is also seen in relatively flexible organizational structures, delivery and communication patterns as well as the use of various technologies to support learning.

Retrieved from http://portal.unesco.org/education/en/ev.php-URL_ID=22329&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201.html

So- I started with a new name (kindly created by Teammate Laurel Beaton) – I am working on creating ” TheOC@ADLC” – That means The Open Classroom at Alberta Distance Learning Centre.

Then I started to try and define what “open” could mean to a k-12 community.

Instead of “massive” course – I am going to focus on creating an Interactive Digital Classroom. This classroom will have a specific focus on interaction and collaboration with the emphasis on the fact that everyone is a  learner together. In this Community there are a wide variety of people with a wide variety of skills. Together, we will collaborate to offer mini Open Online Courses throughout the year.

The Open Classroom will have open and closed access depending on the learners. The Open Online Courses will have open content with some of the interaction being closed.

I am now searching for a platform that will best meet the needs of the Open Classroom and the Open Courses. We were lucky enough to have Terry Anderson come in last week to discuss the future of online learning. Anderson (and others) collaborated to create the Community of Inquiry Model for online learning. I will be using the CoI model to help create the “Open Classroom” in order to investigate the strengths and weaknesses from a pedagogical perspective. However, Anderson introduced our team to ELGG, a social network software. This could be the perfect “walled garden” for the OC, while still giving me the opportunity for open content and open courses.

But….ADLC uses D2L as its LMS. I need to compare the functions, limitations and strengths of D2L with the capabilities of an open platform. What is D2L could do everything that I wanted it to? But….as I was asked frequently this week – what do I really want it to do?

My next steps are learning more about ELGG, the open classroom opportunities and open courses integration. How open is open? I also clearly need to figure out what activities I would like to consider in #oc1 – on Digital Citizenship and an Introduction to Open Learning.

Lots of ideas- no real platform –

Please send me your ideas….

Verena 🙂

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