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On access to uncensored, openly authored information
Fig.1 Open Education and learning online – is it the flight path to intellectual emancipation?
We’re considering the nature of ‘openness’ in education as part of this new Master of Arts in Open and Distance Education (MAODE) module. This is increasingly about ease of access to information, all of it, uncensored.
Often for ease of access and to gain a qualification with a marketable value, information that is packaged in books, journals and lectures, though increasingly in ‘sexier’ interactive and multimedia forms with the related ‘scaffolding’ that comes with learning design and planning. The natural tendency is to consider the hectic last decade of the Internet at the expense of the history of openness in access to information and an education over the last century.
A hundred years ago all but the most privileged were in the dark: leaving school after an elementary education, with reliance on biased newspapers, magazines and part works.
Libraries, BBC radio and affordable paperbacks, secondary then tertiary education, cinema and TV have each had a role to play, as has the Open University.
Does enlightenment come with access?
What does it say of power of information and ideas where access is controlled, as in China? Does connectedness within openness lead to even greater coalescing of likeminds in cliques, reinforcing stereotypical biases rather than exposing them to valid alternative views? Nothing is straightforward when it comes to people – heterogeneous by design, homogenous by inclination.
Agony in art
Fig. 1. Betthany Hughes – The ideas that make us. BBC Radio 4.
The volume of ‘educational’ content I gather from BBC Radio 4 is remarkable – there is so much of it. Much of it recalled here over the last three years.
Here is a 15 minutes piece that might make you the fiction writer you have always wanted to be.
She derives the word from ancient Greek and its use in Himer’s Illiad then interviews an eloquent Aussie Cricket commentator during the Ashes and the author Kate Mosse at her publisher’s.
Agony helps us to empathise with another’s struggle.
‘Struggle, in the form of philosophy of ideas, is at the heart of a good novel’, says author Kate Mosse, ‘otherwise there is no story to tell’.
Jeopardy and contest is central to what makes us human.
And when it comes to the effort of writing:
‘Try again, fail again, never mind, fail better’, said Sam Beckett.
Gardeners learn most in a badger
Fig.1. It might have been a bad year for badger‘s but that’s not the point.
Thick with cold and in the car unwillingly I wondered what badgers had to do with the state of the economy.
It is true, that you learn from disaster, from economic downturn, from making ends meet … from a death in the family, from making mistakes. Indeed, in many things you learn a good deal in a bad year.
It was a bad year for gardeners
I had a bad year in 1985. The love of my life and I were parting company. I was young. I let it fester. This has been a bad year – my mum died.
I’ll think of 2012 therefore as the year of the Badger.
At least this’ll put a smile on my face.
Do we really learn from our mistakes?
It rather suggests that our personalities are like plasticine rather than alabaster – that we can and do with ease adjust to the circumstances.
Every innovation is perceived as seismic, like a Tsunami it washes over everything.
I like the digital ocean metaphor …
In relation to H800 : technology enhanced learning and the Week 1 activities the introduction and final chapter of Stephen Lax’s book covers the communications innovations of the last century + enough to inform.
And whilst this is the topic for H807 ‘Innovations in E-learning’ I recommend this. I like him so much I bought copies to give to friends; I don’t know if they were grateful.
Is it available on Kindle?
- The Power of Innovation (enitiate.me)
- How Are We Preparing Students to Be Tomorrow’s Innovators? (cshmsfaculty.wordpress.com)
- Bad Metaphors, Bad Tech (themillions.com)