We, too, had a Cyclo-Teacher; I remember it was interesting enough for the subjects that actually interested me, like history or English. It didn’t do much to improve my math skills, however, which is why I suspect my parents actually bought it.
However, one experience did more for me than all the attempts to educate me up to that point. It was the last week of seventh grade, and all my work was complete. My social studies teacher asked me, “Is there something you’ve always wanted to know about?” “The pyramids,” I replied. And with library pass in hand, off I went to do my own research instead of waiting to have the information poured into my head as if it were an empty vessel. A revelation! I didn’t have to WAIT until SOMEONE ELSE educated me; I could do it myself. Wow! I can remember many afternoons spent in the card catalog as I hopped from one interconnected subject to another. I still do it on that great teaching tool we call the Internet. And I will be forever in debt to my teacher, who put the responsibility for learning where it belongs–squarely in the student’s lap!
Thank you for this preliminary write-up, Gardner. I share your sense that it’s still too early for me to reflect on the #openlearning17 experience as a whole. Some of the nodes of friction and discovery are obvious to me. But I will need time to digest and develop some perspective on the experience. (This reminds me of a concern I also routinely raise about assessment. We focus so much effort on “measuring” change/ gains at the end of the semester, when the longer term and continuing learning is more significant (IMO anyway)). I found a sentence from your Lichtenberg quote from the previous post especially resonant here: “What we have to discover for ourselves leaves behind in our mind a pathway that can also be used on another occasion.”
And speaking of Lichtenberg. Thank you for introducing me to him! Must add the scrap books to my reading list. Also, reading these last two posts reminded me to put in a plug for Andrea Wulf’s biography of Humboldt: (https://www.amazon.com/Invention-Nature-Alexander-Humboldts-World/dp/0345806298/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=X8DF7FFWC6NHBM29CN7K). Humboldt’s passion for discovery and recognition of how interconnected humans are with nature — his vision of ecology and networks — is really thrilling. He was certainly an Open Learner in every sense of the word.
Finally, I do look forward to reading more about your design vision for our cMOOC. When it’s time. Thanks again for being such a fabulous hub creator and director!
As a librarian, I am zoning in on item #3, the open mix. Yes, yes, yes, use the library-provided resources for all the reasons you list AND add to that the hope that students might see that some information is only available with certain privileges, in this case their tuition dollars and current institutional affiliation. As you say, the mix of sources you include, open and proprietary, points to this privileged access versus access for all. And we could take it a step further to point out that your students at a state-funded, large, research institution have access to resources that students at a small private institution like mine do not. Mix away!
“What I’ve learned” from this is complicated for me as well, and not all of it is coherent enough to put out here. I am both inspired by and concerned about the prospects of liberal learning, which makes it hard to come up with a cogent precis of where I’ve been and where we all might be headed.
But with so many partially-written posts on my dashboard I decided it was worth at least putting something out there. As you say, it’s a place to start. The real challenge ahead, to my mind is how to fulfill the charge of the collaboratives project to “build capacity and a network of faculty.” Potential abounds.Easy answers, not so much.
Thank you, Gardner for asking me to join this project. I’ve learned so much and hope to carry the experience forward to wherever the next adventure leads us. Thanks so much for your vision and leadership — it’s been absolutely essential and I’m counting on you to carry the beacon for the foreseeable future.
What a thoughtful, detailed, and inspirational set of takeaways! Thank you. I hope to write a similar post soon, though “what have I learned from this experience?” is a very complicated question for me. But one must start somewhere…. I can only hope to create half the resource you’ve created here. I’m very grateful for all your contributions to this learning experience. I know I am not alone in feeling that way.
[…] dedicated significant time and energy to saving and maintaining a major OER in my field (Soviet History) that is used by tens of thousands of people around the globe annually — most […]
This is a wonderful idea and a beautiful way of honoring the community of educators and scholars that influenced us. I wonder if you might also consider dedicating each lecture in a similar way? I dedicated my lecture on primate cognition To Jane Goodall, Birute Galdikas, and Dianne Fossey.
Deeply moving. Thank you for holding the light.
[…] This weekend marks the tenth anniversary of another school massacre, the Virginia Tech Shootings, of April 16, 2007. Until last June, when a gunman killed fifty people at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, our local massacre had the dubious distinction of being the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. History. The gunman killed thirty-two students and faculty before taking his own life, mowing most of them down in classrooms where they taught or studied hydrology, German or French. Everyone I know here lost someone that day. And it’s safe to say that no one in the Virginia Tech / Blacksburg community escaped unscathed. Everyone was damaged and everything changed. We learned a lot about resilience. […]