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One of the most enjoyable and inspiring books I have read this year has been Sir Ken Robinson's "Out of our Minds"  and my ref...

Friday, 17 July 2015

Open Education #FOS4L Getting creative


Open Education is dear to me, creating tailored learning resources has always been one of my favourite aspects of teaching, But what's the point of all that creation if you can't share it widely and be inspired by others who critique or improve on it? But the concept of open is often misunderstood

Since the advent of digital I have not only been able to clear out all the ancient worksheets from under my bed (25 years of dust collecting under there!) but I have also been able to refine the best ideas and develop them for digital practice, sharing using slideshare, TES resources, scribd, issu, dropbox, flickr and other sites and the engagement with them has helped me to realise how useful they are to others. It's not always easy to find sites that display the creative commons licence obviously, hence my campaign on slideshare recently. 

The new affordances of digital tools increase the impact that can be achieved from a teaching perspective considerably. Using digital video for example can revolutionise the authenticity of language teaching and learning scenarios. I have been involved in the EU Video for all project over the past year and a half and I have conducted piloting sessions with colleagues in HE to get their impressions of this approach to encouraging creativity. Of course using commercial video or "finding images on the web" can be problematic and sometimes teachers get caught like rabbits in the headlights, afraid to create or encourage creativity in case copyright is infringed. So for that reason I took one of the Video for All examples made by one of my students (using poetry for student creation) and made some resources about Creative Commons (including a wiki page here) to support language teachers in embarking on their own make to suit their context. 

I believe that supporting the confidence of teachers to create and within their Community of Practice is very important. We have been disempowered through a series of bureaucratic practices in education for too long, good teaching is a fundamentally creative process and skills development in the digital era should be a priority. This is why I embraced Terry Loane's suggestion of Open Guilds and participated recently in the webinar. I also set up an open badge for other language educators (see below, designed by @mearso) so we can start to build a cross sector CoP to promote such activity. If you know a language educator who practices openly, please share the badge claim link with them!