Nogbad’s Education

March 19, 2013

User created content


On Monday I was at a meeting to discuss the Virtual Campus. For an idea of what this is the Prisoner’s Education Trust website has a handy overview; in essence it is a way of delivering screen-based resources over a secure internet connection to learners in prison. The content is hosted on central servers rather than the current topography where individual prisons have their own education server and they manage content locally. They will still do this but can also access the VC and a broader range of material. There was a lot of geeky chat, and I can get as geeky as the next geek, but what I found most interesting is the way some content is being created.

While much of the stuff is provided by external agencies; Learn Direct, DWP, JC+ and the learning providers who deliver education in prison there is now a new strand. Content is being created by users. Who better to write units about some of the issues prisoners might face than other prisoners? Not exactly OERs but an interesting way to develop transferable skills and provide “fit for purpose” resources. I hope to see some of this content soon and I’ll see if any is available to the wider world.

March 16, 2013

Openness in education

Filed under: MOOC, OU — Tags: — nogbad @ 13:12

Openness in education

(Click to see full sized)

A brief glimpse inside my head – scary innit? I set myself a target of posting this today before I went to buy beer to enjoy with the big rugby game this afternoon so this is as much as you’ll be getting.

I’m fortunate in that I work for an organisation with “open” in its name. I’ve been involved in some of the projects mention in Martin’s paper and I’ve used OERs in my own practice for many years. In short I come to this with baggage; I have “previous” m’lud.

I think the node on the left is probably idealistic, the idea that anything is completely unbounded is a chimera but we have fewer limitations than traditional classroom-based transmission teaching.

I’ve put an icon next to trust/confidence because they seem to be the biggest hurdles to participation. Patrick McAndrew’s work, as cited by Martin, suggests that few users repurposed OpenLearn OERs because they were of such a high standard; “Big OERs”, but it is also daunting to take something of this quality and to then change it and make it available to an online audience. Participation in any online endeavour through forums, blogging, wikis, creating artifacts, etc is like getting naked in public  – I use that metaphor frequently when working with groups who will be using online tools – we have to feel confident before we expose our ideas online. I’m sure many others on the MOOC feel much the same just now and that, for some, posting “out in the world” will be a step they don’t feel comfortable taking.

Edited to add a title – d’oh!

March 11, 2013

And now the who and why

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — nogbad @ 23:08

2012-02-13 17.13.58This post is to introduce who I am and why I’m doing the Open Education MOOC. I guess it’ll also serve to introduce me to anyone else who wanders in so it’s cool

The who and why are probably interlinked. By day I work for the Open University as an advisor  I specialise in working with a specific group of students and I spend a fair bit of my time travelling and working away from the university’s offices. It’s in the DNA of the OU that we go to the student and as these students can’t access the usual support structures I’m one of the people who acts as an intermediary between them and the university. When I’m not doing that I work as an OU tutor on a first level technology course which is delivered almost entirely online. There are a handful of opportunities for students to meet face-to-face but they can’t all attend or can only come along once or twice so I don’t get to meet the majority of them.

The first OU thing I worked on as a tutor was more than a dozen years ago and that was a very innovative course which had more than 10,000 students on the first presentation Yes, 10k all at once. Bonkers. The course team chair was the self same Martin Weller who is heading up this MOOC.  In the past I’ve created some stuff on OpenLearn and used the space in work I’ve done on collaborative projects in the south east of England and also a project with Marjon and Plymouth City Council. And I’d forgotten how much there was and how long ago until I looked at those as a reminder.

So I suppose I’m drawn towards opportunities to engage with all this newfangled online stuff because I’m a tinkerer; I like playing with technology and ideas and seeing where they might be going next so that I can hang on the coattails. And because I know that if Martin’s involved it’s worth being around and because it’s a chance to hang out with some very smart people and find out what the world looks like past the very little bit that I can see. If I can only steal one good idea and use it to plug a gap in something I’m trying to do somewhere else then it’ll be worthwhile.




I’m also here because I understood there would be tea and biscuits.

So I’ve joined a MOOC #h817open

Filed under: MOOC, online, OU, Social Networking, Teaching and learning — Tags: — nogbad @ 12:15

I’ve signed up for the Open Education MOOC which is part of an OU postgrad course. The MOOC is embedded in H817 but this bit is open to the world. I’ve never MOOC’d before so this is all new but as soon as I opened the forum I saw a friendly name (a lovely lady who I often meet in pub car parks or Halfords) so it feels a little less daunting already. The MOOC starts on the 16th, for details of what it’s about you might start at Martin’s blog which has links including the place to register and get involved

If time and inclination allow I’ll blog about the MOOC here.

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