I have been listening in on streamed presentations at #Edtech13, and Catherine Cronin’s keynote on open education was inspiring.
Technology influences so much of what we do in the world and as a result initiatives are fast moving. Catherine describes that things change in the blink of an eye. Two years ago projects like Coder Dojo and Google Plus were only beginning; today they have grown and are successful and widely used projects in learning circles.
Catherine mentioned her influencers such as @joi who advocates ‘owning our own learning and being nodes in networks in distributed creativity’. Social media makes this distribution possible though the connections made with other people in a global community of practice.
Also Catherine, as an open educator, talks about the risks she takes in trying new things, new ways of teaching in the classroom, she sees in importance in making learning open to others. Using Twitter to help further a learning discussion further than the classroom. I agree with Catherine wholeheartedly about giving the students opportunities to ‘create’ and to ‘choose’ their own learning path. I taught the Instructional design and Authoring module at DIT for 4 years and over that time my practice as an educator changed to an approach that advocated student autonomy and creativity. During the most recent module (Sept 12) I enabled students to choose their own projects, to work and learn from each other and to autonomously follow a learning path that that made sense to their practice. This reminds me of Anna Crafts 4 characteristics of creativity (Play, Pluralities, Participation, Possibilities) I wanted to nurture an environment that enabled participation, students exploring possibilities and demonstrating learning in a plurality of media. I am currently working on this piece of research for my current EdD paper. 🙂
I have found from reading literature and also from data collected that trust and enabling risk taking and a sense of play underpins the learning environment, and Catherine mirrored this in referring to learning as a meaningful joyful, connective process.