maandag 24 maart 2008

Philosophical background

The term enlightenment is used far to much to have true meaning anymore. I agree with what is said in the Wikipedia article " Because it was an attitude rather than a set of shared beliefs,there are many contradictory trains to follow. In his famous essay "What is Enlightenment?" (1784), Immanuel Kant described it simply as freedom to use one's own intelligence."
I agree that its wise to do a lot of thinking yourself, and not to let other people or a ' belief' tell you what to think. So OER relates to that because we want all people to benefit from the knowledge we have build up together.
" Dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants (Latin: nanos gigantium humeris insidentes) is a Western metaphor meaning "One who develops future intellectual pursuits by understanding the research and works created by notable thinkers of the past"; a contemporary interpretation." I agree totally on that. So to have al the thoughts of other people available is a good goal.
But wisdom of great thinkers is often only information to us. It has not been integrated in our own thinking. If we only have all the information available we are not wiser then we were beforehand. We have to work on our knowledge.
Web 2.0 can help. What we do at this moment in this course is trying to make knowledge out of a lot of information. Someone in the Wikicommunity one time said that knowledge is an ongoing worldwide conversation. So sharing is good.
The problem s that we have so much information and so little time to really discuss this information. I'm glad we have taken a little time to make knowledge out of the OER information.

zondag 23 maart 2008

Age of Enlightenment: a student project

From September through december 2007 I worked with students from 2 secondary schools in the Netherlands (Almere) on a project The Enlightment. Two classes did research on Enlightenment from the perspective of Philosophy and English and Dutch literature. The project was part of a research project on CSCL ( Computer Supported Collaborative Learning) I did as a teacher-researcher. The students had to build a WIKI on Enlightment from the 3 different perspectives I mentioned above. The research looked at 1. collaboration, 2. integration of subject perspectives and 3. motivation. Look at the students WIKI to get an impression what students (16-18 years old) can do. I'm still working on the research and would like to discuss this with some of you. Cormac Lawler and Erkan Yilmaz thought this was a good idea and they made a page on Wikiversity to share our ideas and experience. So: Lets start!
I updated the page today (march, 25, 2008)

dinsdag 11 maart 2008

Wikiversity, Wikieducators etc

I started to use Wikiversity. Try to get a grip on using the wikiversity. I joined the Wiki on Education project. See my first contribution here. Have had very interesting conversations in the Education Project. Asked some questions and got a lot of feedback. Started a discussion on the Wikiversity:Colloqium also.
Got a lot of help from Erkan Yilmaz . Thank you, Erkan.
Peter Rawsthorne suggested in the Wiki on education to have a look at Wikieducator, which is a wikimedia wiki. I just joined this wiki. It looks like a very interesting place to be, when you started to build and research wiki's in education as I did. But it gives you new questions, e.g. : What are the differences between Wikiversity and Wikieducator?
I must say that the sea of information and collaborative groups and initiatives makes me nervous sometimes. How to choose and not only hop from the one interesting idea to the other and forget to act and improve your own teaching? I can see on
I'm very happy seeing so many people working together.

zondag 9 maart 2008

Article Ilkka Tuomi

I will write this comment mostly from the perspective of a teacher in a secondary school. I start with reflecting on the practice in schools.
The idea of levels of openness is very interesting and useful. Ilkka Tuomi makes this idea very clear also. Most of the examples in education seem to be on level 1 of openness.
The idea " The creation of knowledge occurs incrementally, by reinterpreting and adding to the existing “body of knowledge.” Is challenging. I get frustrated often when I see that even in a school, we do not share.
If everybody would share his/her knowledge and wisdom, this should be heaven. But I see that even hardworking and dedicated teachers don't share. Why is that?
A lot of us still have the old idea that if you share (materials, thoughts, lesson plans etc) this should be perfect. We are scared that the world will tell you that you haven't thought it out properly.
And most of us aren't used to sharing and collaborating. Very many teachers still don't come out of their classrooms very often.
So the idea “Multiple participants, therefore, can effectively peer-review and improve the contributions of other developers” is very challenging, but very difficult also. The idea of wikipedia is we can look after the quality of the contributions because of the peer-review. Will this also be true if we share educational materials / learning environments / didactics etc??
I hope “where the adoption of new technologies will gradually lead to new forms of practice.” The concept of networked learning is hard to implement in practice in educational setting (I mean now schools, colleges and universities). Many teachers aren't used to using ICT and some (a lot?) of us think that we are the best knowledge base.
We also don't know how to set up learning environments that use the vast knowledge base we have outside the school. A lot of schools have an electronic learning environment, but they don't use it as a learning space, where you can learn together, but as storage room to put quizzes, assignments, syllabi etc.
How can we learn to use the new technologies, not as a new tool but as a new environment of learning.
We see that students and teachers find it hard to find and choose the good / reliable information from the vast ocean of information. So, the teacher chooses what's good information for the students. What we should do, of course is working with students on their information skills!
I cannot understand fully the idea “ Cognitive technologies will be used to repair defects in learning styles and to compensate the effects of aging.”
Technology solves all problems ???

maandag 25 februari 2008

My start in the OER course

I'm Jeroen Clemens, a language teacher in a secondary school in Almere. The Netherlands.
Before this I was a school consultant for 10 years and a teacher trainer for 12 years. I wanted to go back to the real work, working with students. So I became a teacher again.
But I'm very interested in ICT and learning. So one day a week I do research on Computer Supported Collaborative Learning.
An example of my work with students you can find on: (in English) Collaborative project Netherlands-Macedonia , in Dutch : Collaborative project 2 Dutch schools on Enlightment. Look at my CV / resume for more information.
I'm looking forward to participate in the online course Composing free and open online educational resources with all of you. I'm sure this will be very enlightening for all of us.