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I’ll reflect on and absorb the H818: The Networked Practitioner academic stuff in due course – somewhere in the reading a couple of authors were mentioned so while the pressure is low I’ve been reading Lawrence Lessig ‘Remix’ and re-reading, possibly for the third time, Martin Weller’s ‘The Digital Scholar’.
Whilst more people globally will get a slice of the tertiary education pizza, there will still be those that who are stuck on the edge with the crust while the ‘privileged’ few get the real substance. This applies between ‘first’ and ‘third’ worlds, but also locally in an education catchment area – when it comes to the democratization of education through e-learning some are more equal than others through having the kit, accessibility, inclination, support and opportunity.
Speaking with a school friend I’d not spoken to since we were 10 or 11 we got onto those OU broadcasts in the middle of the night, and then the BBC ‘Trade Test Transmissions’ – how else could we possibly know anything about how the stain glass windows were made for Liverpool Cathedral on how animals were rescued during the flooding of the Zambezi?
Repetition, rich content and a dearth of anything else to watch.
In sharp contrast ‘open’ today, and TV too means everything and anything. How can anything stand out?
Because the search engines offer it, because of branding and association, through word of mouth through your social and other networks i.e. as a consequence of the nature of your ‘connectedness’.
Fig. 1. The Digital Scholar
Martin Weller’s Digital Scholar becomes the basis for H818 – The Networked Practitioner
This new e-learning module from the Open University uses Martin Weller’s book The Digital Scholar is part of a wide range of open access material used for the module and Martin is one of the authors of the module content.
Over the last couple of years I have said how much I would like to ‘return’ to the traditional approach to graduate and postgraduate learning – you read a book from cover to cover and share your thinking on this with fellow students and your tutor – perhaps also a subject related student society.
Why know it if it works?
Fig. 2. The backbone of H810 Accessible Online Learning is Jane Seale’s 2006 Book.
Where the author has a voice and authority, writes well and in a narrative form, it makes for an easier learning journey – having read the Digital Scholar participants will find this is the case.
As in the creation of a TV series or movie a successful publication has been tested and shows that there is an audience.
The research and aggregation has been done – though I wonder if online exploiting a curated resource would be a better model? That e-learning lends itself to drawing upon multiple nuggets rather than a single gold bar.
There are a couple of caveats related to this tactic:
- Keeping the content refreshed and uptodate. Too often I find myself reading about redundant technologies – the solution is to Google the cited author and see if they have written something more current – often, not surprisingly from an academic, you find they have elaborated or drilled into a topic they have made their own in the last 18 months.
- Lack of variety. Variety is required in learning not simply to avoid the predictable – read this, comment on this, write an assignment based on this … but this single voice may not be to everyone’s liking. Can you get onto their wave length? If not, who and where are the alternative voices?