2012 Paris OER Declaration Ms. Catherine Ngugi.. and Letuimanu’asina Dr. Emma KRUSE VA’AI / Mariana Bittencourt / CC BY Through the generous support of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and in full partnership with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), UNESCO hosted the 2012 World Open Educational Resources (OER) Congress last week to: showcase the world’s best practices in OER policies, initiatives, and experts;release the 2012 Paris OER Declaration calling on Governments to support the development and use of OERs; andcelebrate the 10th anniversary of the 2002 UNESCO Forum that created the term “OER.” I am pleased to report UNESCO member States unanimously approved the “Paris OER Declaration” (pdf). This Declaration is the result of a yearlong process, led by UNESCO and the COL with regional and online meetings and final negotiations at the Congress. a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i. j. The Declaration will now be delivered to UNESCO’s Director General. OER Congress resources
How Khan Academy Is Changing the Rules of Education | Magazine Matthew Carpenter, age 10, has completed 642 inverse trigonometry problems at KhanAcademy.org.Photo: Joe Pugliese “This,” says Matthew Carpenter, “is my favorite exercise.” I peer over his shoulder at his laptop screen to see the math problem the fifth grader is pondering. It’s an inverse trigonometric function: cos-1(1) = ? Carpenter, a serious-faced 10-year-old wearing a gray T-shirt and an impressive black digital watch, pauses for a second, fidgets, then clicks on “0 degrees.” Carpenter, who attends Santa Rita Elementary, a public school in Los Altos, California, shouldn’t be doing work anywhere near this advanced. But last November, Thordarson began using Khan Academy in her class. Initially, Thordarson thought Khan Academy would merely be a helpful supplement to her normal instruction. “I’m able to give specific, pinpointed help when needed,” she says. The result is that Thordarson’s students move at their own pace. Khan’s videos are anything but sophisticated. Not everyone agrees.
Teach with Portals » About About The Teach with Portals program offers free content, information and tools to help educators build innovative curricula. Games and tools are delivered through STEAM for SCHOOLS, the school-friendly version of our game distribution service. Educators can learn about and share compelling, engaging and creative content by accessing lesson plans and resources on the Teach with Portals website, and join a teachers-only community forum for peer support and problem-solving. Become part of a movement that shares ideas, methods and experiences to teach students in profound new ways. Teachers and their students can gain free access to these great tools and more by signing up for STEAM for SCHOOLS. Portal 2 Puzzle Maker A 3D game design tool by which one can create puzzles, or levels, for the game Portal 2 which is included. Universe Sandbox Create, build or destroy universes!
Q & A: Ask the Van - How to build a model atom. | Department of Physics | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign I need to make a 3 dimensional model of an atom. Can you help with some ideas of constructing this. Thanks- Troy ReynoldsJenkins Middle School, Palatka, Florida USA Troy - Cool project! The basic structure of an atom is that it has little things called neutrons and protons that are stuck together in a ball (called a nucleus) in the middle, with electrons in a bigger fuzzy ball around that. An interesting fact is that although the "cloud" of electrons that surround the nucleus is much much much bigger than the nucleus itself, most of the mass of the atom (more than 99%) is due to the nucleus. The number of protons that an atom has is called its atomic number. As for what to build your atom out of, be creative! -Tamara /(mods by mbw) (republished on 07/21/06) Follow-Up #1: models of atoms i am not sure how to do this project my teacher asked of the class. i am searching on the internet to find a step by step insructional paper on how to make a 3-D model of an atom. Mike W. LeeH OK, we disagree.
Open as in door or open as in heart? #mooc A note on the end of Steve Carson’s post about MOOCs and the liberal arts prompted a brief conversation about the two different meanings of “MOOC” with Brandon Muramatsu. Steve’s original post drew (based on his conversation with Brandon) a distinction between the Edx/Coursera/Udacity “MOOCs” and the Change11/ds106/wileyMOOC “MOOCs” – he suggested using MOCs as a description of the former (as they are not, in the strictest sense, open). But Brandon felt, on reflection, that the real distinction concerned how massive the courses were. As a primer for those of you who read this but don’t live it (you lucky people!) At the basic level, you could just take your standard online course (crappy managed learning environment, some professor doing a video lecture, discussion forum with tumbleweeds(*) and take off the paywall. So – for your first version above you could see something like: learner -> guy(**) in a suit who used to lecture in the ivy league -> knowledge (**) and it is always a guy
Khan Academy Duplication theory of educational value Higher education faces a value crisis. Value is a fuzzy concept. In theory, I can purchase a $3 steak that isn’t a good value. Or a $20 hamburger that is a great value. Similarly, I could purchase a house for $500k that was a great value pre-2008 and is suddenly a terrible value in 2011. With physical objects, value is based on what you receive in relation to what you spend. The internet has a different value scheme than what we encounter with physical products, particularly in relation to input costs. Digital educational content in itself is not worth money. When Encarta was gearing for release, early prospective customers stated they would be willing to pay $1000 to $2000 for the product. Companies such as Pearson and McGraw-Hill are aware that content value is approaching zero. But what is the value point for learners? Should students go to university considering the incredible increase in tuition and associated costs? Higher education is valuable for individuals and for society.
Is the Internet making us smart or stupid? Venkatesh Rao is an entrepreneur-in-residence in the Xerox Innovation Group and manager of the Trailmeme project. Nicholas Carr, a writer devoted to exploring the social and business implications of technology, came out with his latest book last month. It’s called The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains and is a book-length elaboration of his much-discussed 2008 Atlantic feature, “Is Google Making us Stupid?.” It’s a must-read for Web technologists — not because Carr’s so right, but because he’s so wrong. If you don’t have good answers to the questions Carr raises, you aren’t thinking hard enough about what you are doing. The book extends the modest and relatively defensible argument of the article into an ambitious and fatally-flawed one. Carr’s argument is roughly this: 1. When Carr’s article first appeared, I enthusiastically co-opted it into the pitch for Trailmeme, the beta project I manage at Xerox. Reading The Shallows had me going, “Whoa! I have a problem with this.
OER K-12 Bill Passes in U.S. Washington State Cable Green, March 1st, 2012 There was exciting open policy news from U.S. Washington State (WA) last evening. HB 2337 “Regarding open educational resources in K-12 education” passed the Senate (47 to 1) and is on its way back to the House for final concurrence. It already passed the House 88 to 7 before moving to the Senate. The bill directs the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to support the 295 WA K-12 school districts in learning about and adopting existing open educational resources (OER) aligned with WA and common core curricular standards (e.g., CK-12 textbooks & Curriki). The opening section of the bill reads: “The legislature finds the state’s recent adoption of common core K-12 standards provides an opportunity to develop high-quality, openly licensed K-12 courseware that is aligned with these standards. Representative Carlyle introducing HB2337 in the House: WA is poised to follow the good work of Utah, Brazil, and so many others who have gone before.
Stephen Downes: The Role of the Educator How often do we read about the importance of teachers in education? It must be every day, it seems. We are told about "strong empirical evidence that teachers are the most important school-based determinant of student achievement" again and again. The problem with the educational system, it is argued, is that teachers need to be held accountable. We are told we must fire incompetent teachers. Not just in the United States, but in the UK and elsewhere, the concern is that bad teachers must go. The problem with focusing on the role of the teacher, from my perspective, is that it misses the point. Let me tell you how I know this. Each of these has contributed in one way or another to an overall approach not only to learning online but to learning generally. It's an approach that emphasizes open learning and learner autonomy. Concordant with this approach has been the oft-repeated consensus that the role of the educator will change significantly. There's no end to such projects online.