"Open education is a collective term to describe institutional practices and programmatic initiatives that broaden access to the learning and training traditionally offered through formal education systems. The qualifier "open" of open education refers to the elimination of barriers that can preclude both opportunities and recognition for participation in institution-based learning. One aspect of openness in or "opening up" education is the development and adoption of open educational resources."
The above quote is from Wikipedia that outlines a rather clinical definition of Open Education. I find the reality to be a little less strictly defined. Here is my personal definition
"Open Education is an enabler. A philosophy of openness that encourages educators to produce, share and build upon each others knowledge for the betterment of themselves and all around them."
I became an open educator nearly a decade ago and have built a huge PLN (Personal Learning Network) and joined communities of practice of like minded educators that significantly changed not just what I taught but how I taught it. Leading, I believe, to significant betterment of my teaching practice and the engagement/performance of my students.
The Open Education movement is wide and profound in both ideology and toolkits. Terms many will come across include:
- OER - Open Education Resources
- MOOC - Massive Open Online Courses
- Open Source
- Creative Commons Licensing
Each of these help facilitate the Open Education movement. You will also note that Canvas is synonymous with all of them. It is by no accident that Canvas and Open Education are a tight fit and it has been a key element to the success not only of the product itself but the teachers that use it.I want to start a thread here in this group to encourage educators like yourself to share your stories. To pose and answer questions on subject areas like:
- How has the Open Eduction movement impacted your teaching?
- What were your challenges?
- What were the benefits/rewards for you and your institution?
- Are you using open standards such as LTI, Open Badging, etc in your online courseware?
- Do you and your organisation use and understand open licensing (like Creative Commons)?
These are just some ideas to get you started. Please join in, pose the tricky questions, provide the answers you have found for others and share your journey. Let us see what Open Education means for the Canvas community and see where it can take us in our own teaching both today and tomorrow.
Can't wait to hear what you come up with?