The Importance of Open Learning

That video was open to everyone today as part #K12Online Open Learning Conference.

Today is a huge open learning day for me.

I am presenting my first k12Online video, I am facilitating an all day High School Leadership Tweet Chat for a new open online course called #HSOLead13 (anyone can jump in and tweet about leadership using the hashtag) AND I am participating in the Canadian Education Association’s – What is Standing in the Way of Change in Education? conference in Calgary.

The fact that I will be following three open twitter chats in one day – plus participating in a conference (yes we are expected to discuss and engage at this one) suggests that the change is happening in education – and I am excited to be in the middle of it.

 This post is about why open learning is essential to transforming our education system. I would not be the learner and educator I am today, if other educators and learners did not learn and share with me, in the open.

The video that I was asked to create for K12Online was extremely difficult for me. It wasn’t the content and what I wanted to say, but literally “how” to put it together. I do not have great visual design or videography skills. However, that is the key piece to my success as an open learner. I try anyway. I put myself out there knowing that the video is not perfect, it is not clear and it does not really “speak” for me. Ironically, one of the high school students in #HSOLead13 sent out a tweet today about being perfect:

This video is one of many pebbles on my learning path – and it doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to created as a foundation for others to construct their own learning paths…..

Before I started learning in the open, very few people knew about who am I am as a person and as learner. Each year I would learn with my students, parents and others in my immediate learning community – but my learning path was hidden to others by too much shrubbery and gates.

012650_3fce2b30Retrieveed from:

I started to learn how to be an open learner because other people had started to create paths and opened gates for me.

I started on my learning journey by following the paths of other people.

Some people create really wide learning paths.  They provide a wide variety of rocks, pebbles and boulders for me to look at, think about, and add to. Because their rocks are in the open, not hidden in the forest, people can share their rockery with me. I can quote parts of his blogs that I see linked in twitter, connect with learners through skype or Google hangouts, and complete courses for open badges and find out who put the original rocks on paths through creative commons.

Because other people shared their paths with me – I was able to start constructing my own learning path.

Because I was able to start my own learning path – I was able to help others construct their own learning paths and the cycle goes on …..and on…….and on……

None of the pebbles on any of these paths were perfect – and in many cases, people were scared to “put” their ideas out in the open. But these anonymous (at first) people put their ideas “out there” and I learned because of them and with them!

As I said earlier – today is a busy day for me, but ironically I found this tweet that was retweeted by Ariana Cardanas as one of the first tweets for the #HSOLead13 twitter chat:

BXDFo-GIIAA6kVcAnd so the learning cycle continues – I hope that someone “gets” something out of my video and sees me for who I am – an open learner and far from perfect.

So – as I step into a wider path learner path today – I encourage you to consider how you can construct your own path – while helping construct the learning paths of others – by learning out in the open….

Verena 🙂

PS – Please consider tweeting about leadership using the hashtag #HSOLead13 and stepping into a learning path of all ages!




Please support my attempts to build knowledge together with some feedback and/or suggestions