Educational Philosophy Behind Openly Publishing EFL/ESL Hangout

The following is in response to a thread regarding an open live hangout that I will be conducting tomorrow...

I understand that the idea of posting one's learning experience online can be daunting, but I will try to explain my philosophy on the matter.  I also understand that my views will not be shared by everyone.

1. I am a big proponent for open educational resources (OERs), open courseware, and the like.  I contribute to OERs continually and feel that offering an open hangout in EFL/ESL should not be restricted to those (potentially) nine individuals who join the Google+ hangout.  In fact, not making the recording available would make the live session closed to a lot of individuals.

2. I as a teacher, facilitator, and coach am subject to the same scrutiny as anyone else when publishing a hangout online.  If it's an issue of making mistakes in public, then know that I'm in the same boat as everyone else.  Having the recording available allows me as a live-long learner to reflect on past behavior with the intention of improving in the future - making me no different than anyone else.

3. My "real" job is teaching pre-service English language educators, so one thing that I advocate (not only for pre-service English language educators but in-service ones as well) is the notion of sharing experiences and opinions with each other.  So not creating a public recording of my experiences would be simply wrong.

4. Since I am investing personal resources into offering open sessions for English language learners, I feel more learners will get more out of the experience if they have a recording that they can go back to at any time for further clarification.  Also, some English language learners will only be interested in the recordings and not the live sessions.  These same learners may choose to simply interact in the YouTube comments sections, for example.

Now, although I do not plan to do much post editing, I am aware that my name is being associated with these recordings, and will not leave a video openly published that reflects badly on me or anyone else.  To clarify, making mistakes does not make one look bad, but rather makes one look human.  What I'm talking about is some major distraction that might occur during a session.  In these cases, I will use my best discretion in editing out those types of distractions that I feel interfere with the learning experience.  I'm purposefully leaving this vague as this will remain a subjective call on my part.

If anyone is uncomfortable with attending an open hangout that will be broadcast live and subsequently uploaded to YouTube, they should not attend.  But what they might be interested in doing is viewing the recording afterwards.  There is really no "wrong" way to participate, only that you do.

The Obviousness of Open Policy

A webinar with Cable Green on "The Obviousness of Open Policy."- The Internet, increasingly affordable computing, open licensing, open access journals and open educational resources provide the foundation for a world, Cable says, in which a quality education can be a basic human right. Yet before we break the "iron triangle" of access, cost and quality with new models, he argues that we need to educate policy makers about the obviousness of open policy: public access to publicly funded resources.



Live Interview Wednesday, February 1, 2012 - Cable Green on "The Obviousness of Open Policy"

Future of Education


OER University

The first week of this seminar, leading up to an 8-hour meeting at Otago Polytechnic in New Zealand (streamed), is intended to generate discussion and input on the context, problem, concept, partners, and objectives of an OER University. The second week will provide an opportunity for summary, follow-on discussions, and recommendations.

Live video stream from Otago Polytechnic meeting, sponsored by UNESCO
February 22, noon (PT) 20:00 GMT - February 23, 04:00 GMT

Open Textbook Tweet

Open Textbook Tweet

Mark Twain remarked that he could never “make a good impromptu speech without several hours to prepare it.” A tweet, restricted to 140 characters, is a reflection of the impromptu conscience of digital society today. This collection of micro contributions from educators, administrators, and learners reflecting on the burgeoning phenomenon of open education resources and open textbooks is reason to celebrate: we are returning to the core vocation of education, which is to share knowledge freely. Clearly these contributors have thought deeply about the value of “sharing to learn,” but more importantly “learning to share.” This book is insightfully clever because it conveys a powerful message that will be a catalyst to nurture and evolve into a growing community of educators worldwide that is committed to the evolution and collaborative planning of education projects rooted in the foundations of open content. It is clear that OER futures are inevitable. After reading this text, I wonder when we look back at the history of these sustainable education futures, will we wonder why it took so long? - Wayne Mackintosh

Free Learning

Doug Peterson discusses my 'Free Learning' badge, which was created in response to one of his comments. "But, what does this mean? What am I supporting? ... All day yesterday, I kept thinking about this new badge as I was having my discussions with friends, old and new. It could be interpreted in so many ways. My focus is on the word 'free'. Has Stephen used it as a verb? Or, does it connect with 'learning' to be a noun. It seems to me that it takes on a different connotation depending upon how you use it." To me, it's fine no matter how you use it. I like the many meanings of the word free. I think they're intermingled and related. And the meaning depends on your perspective. I have no problem with that (Badges ~ Stephen's Web).

Free learning (as opposed to free beer) means having the option of reusing, remixing, recopying, and redistributing Open Educational Resources (OERs). And I support free learning!

I support free learning

Calling all English language stakeholders!!

"I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as
long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can." –
George Bernard Shaw

This quote by George Bernard Shaw, I think, sums up how most of those who participate in WE and their commitment to OERs. In an attempt to do something for the community, I’ve
created the beginnings of an open course in English language learning
with the intent of bringing together English-language speakers (of all levels and
ages) in a way that fosters interaction. Although it may appear a bit
structured, the idea (as I have it at the moment) is to bring those
along the “long tailinto the heart of a discussion that brings about various cross-
cultural perspectives. In other words, I´m interested in not only
bringing together English language educators and ELLs, but any English
speaker that has an interest in interacting with big ideas, understandings, etc. as well as guiding ELLs
through the language learning process.

Recognizing that I will never develop such a project as well alone as
I could with others, I invite you to the wiki in order to have an
idea as to what I´m proposing. If it is of any interest to you
(regardless of your education, experience, or English level), please
feel free to leave comments in the “discussion” tab or contact me
directly (I prefer the “discussion” tab over putting comments directly in the
page itself, please). If anyone would like to discuss this in real-
time, we can certainly do that as well. I´m actually more interested
in receiving comments that explain why a project of this type would
not work, or how in its current form the course would fall short in
achieving its objective (i.e., constructive criticism).

Thanking you for taking the time to read this post, I am.