Posted on January 21, 2017


Watched a video interview with the ‘connectedness coach’ or something like that for the course.

Truth be told, if I hadn’t had 15 hits on my little equity post, I’d have forgotten about #openlearning.   The semester has started so my job is actually serving students.  (Yesterday was a day I wished I had a way to keep track of what I did all day.   I was regaling it to my friend and kept having to say “Wait! Wait! There’s more!”)  There’s also the stuff of death and taxes that has eaten much of my focus.

Still, the “first week” of that cMOOC (‘connectivist’  so “learn from each other” rather than ‘here’s some lectures from MIT guys, aren’t you lucky?’)   doesn’t start ’til tomorrow — I suppose there are things in their LMS that will “open” then because right now it just claims (falsely) that each week listed on the syllabus will link to its details.

So far (right, xious… it hasn’t even **started** yet ~ )  it still feels like a whole lot of academic talk about the academic world and ‘openness.’

We are having some of those issues out on the front lines.   Friday’s anecdote #7 was a kiddo not being able to find courses to enroll in (starting at midterm since it’s too late for Spring)… I told him about our new online independent skill-building options and he said that well, he needed a course.   He knew that he just didn’t get things done independently.

(OTOH, anecdote #3 was the Brazilian who listened to a chunk of Modumath and said, “It’s perfect!  He talks slowly and explains things!” — and we’re trying to make that more open)

Lots of us on the edge of open — we’re the ones who *do.*   So … it’s easy for us to project our adventurous spirit and tolerance for frustration onto the rest of the world… a world of people who benefit from a lot more structure.   I actually remembered to ask people coming in for that independent stuff (it can be done on the internet anywhere but — guess what!! — they want to *go to school.*)  about making a folder and logging time and progress.   (I have qualms.   I cannot remember things like folders.   So far, though, *they have.*   All of ’em…. I really should get that other guy a folder…)

Why does that belong in this #openlearning blog post?   Because “open” should be better than “okay! open for swimming!” on the open seas.

We don’t have a “course” because … then we’d need students to be “in the system.”  They’d need the right kind of email address. Even if it’s open to everybody, they have to do a mess of paperwork and … some of the folks in some of hte groups who’d use it are undocumented.  I’d like to see us set up “houses” like Hogwarts and … you can pick your character.   (Didn’t Second Life do something like that?)

Then *if you so choose* you can find ways to connect with your identity and get credentials.

If “open” is open to people with the right tech equipment, the right tech skills, and even then there are hoops to navigate…  per the section in Fifty Shades of Open  about “open means use,”  that’s not really open.

How to provide the structure so many people need for good learning … without that structure turning into insurmountable hurdles?   Let’s explore…


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