The Path to Sharing and Openness
I remind my two small children every day, it seems, that they must share their toys, treats, and hugs. This week’s topic in our #ECI831 course regarding sharing and openness in education made me really think about why I want to instill the value of sharing in my children. To be honest, my first inclination to ask my children to share with each other is to preserve harmony. But it goes beyond that. I want my children to share their experience of enjoyment, love, or gifts (whatever those may be) with others. I believe this fulfills our collective need for connection as Brene Brown describes.
I have been inspired by many, both professionally and personally, with their openness. Take my learning project for example. The two main home organization bloggers I follow are ordinary women, sharing their imperfect lives with extraordinary enthusiasm. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate their willingness to demonstrate their own organizational tips and tricks while broadcasting on YouTube from their own ordinary, imperfect homes. This is so refreshing considering our culture of perfection (see: Pinterest worthy homes or features in House and Home). Who doesn’t want to connect with down to earth people?
On a professional note, Dr. Mary McGlasson, an economics professor in Arizona, has positively impacted my teaching practice and the learning of my students by posting engaging videos on economic principles. These videos were originally created to help her own students in a blended learning environment. However, many around the world have sent notes of gratitude for her contribution to their teaching and education. This story is not unlike the impact of Dan Meyer’s blog posts of his innovative math lessons, as highlighted in Dean Shareski‘s video Sharing: The Moral Imperative.
There are so many benefits to sharing our resources both in person and online. As teacher’s we often work in isolation when delivering lessons and interacting with students. But we do not need to plan our lessons in isolation or reinvent the wheel. I talk about how the culture of sharing at my educational institution has helped me enhance my pedagogy tremendously in a previous blog post. Researchers from the University of Alberta argue that the more teachers collaborate and see the positive effects on student outcomes the more they are motivated to work together. This collective motivation impacts teacher efficacy in their teaching practice.
Time and resources are always factors to consider in pursuing a culture of openness and collaboration. However, I believe that it takes more time to reinvent the wheel then to take the opportunity to observe and learn from others’ innovative teaching practices. I believe that institutions and instructors need to work together to build this culture of collaboration to be in a position to face the diversity of student needs and evolving technology. In my experience at the post-secondary level, this means more emphasis needs to be placed on professional development.
Sustaining the Open Educational Resource (OER) Process
Chris Reed, a fellow #ECI831 classmate, shared on Twitter the notion of not only receiving resources from others online but also providing educational resources to sustain the #OER process. As I sat contemplating this call to action, I noticed that Chris went one step further to seek advice on Twitter in how to participate in this process. I am certainly following that!
Aside from sharing with our colleagues face to face, we can certainly reach out to others through our blogs as Dan Meyer did. And as an example close to home, Jaque, another #ECI831 classmate shared her lesson plan on digital identity on her blog. This simple act of sharing is something I could definitely do with concepts I teach in my courses – especially the lesson plans that utilize open resources. Feedback beyond the borders of my school is an exciting prospect. Again, professionally inspired – Thank you Chris and Jaque!
I would like to put Chris’s question out there to you. How do other teachers share their resources and contribute to
#OER? What platforms do you use to locate or contribute educational materials? If you do not share now, what platforms would you consider?
Thanks for stopping by!