#H817open: Why Open Education?

After finishing EDCMOOC aka E-learning and Digital Culture through coursera, I felt that I was not quite finished exploring the digital divide.  To be honest, I don’t know if I ever will be, but for me that is the point. Above all else, I am first and foremost a learner, and I believe that this is one of the number one teacher qualities that I can bring to students in the classroom.

So, obviously in order to continue with any degree of integrity in my field as a teacher in the 21st century, I believe that I must continue to evolve and gain skills and insights about global education, e-learning, and technology, so signing up for this course was a no brainer.  In this MOOC specifically, the course title and description being vague and not overly rigid or didactic gave it some intrigue as well.

Having an educational background in language and literature, I tend to think that I am  always racing to catch up with the newest developments in digital tools.  Technically according to Marc Prensky, I am a digital immigrant but as Ary Aranguiz astutely points out in a blog reaction to Prensky article written during EDCMOOC, the divisive polemic terminology of digital immigrant and digital native don’t do justice to the diversity of digital citizens on the planet, and there is a danger in embracing just “one story.”

Nevertheless, I did spent a great number of years as a passive consumer of technology in what in retrospect appears to have been some kind of  zombie time warp.  As a teacher inertia can easily set in, and I was content to use PowerPoint, an interactive white board,internet and virtually nothing else.  In the past, I have been a teacher of English, Spanish,and ESL  in Georgia, Texas and most recently in Vienna, Austria.

Now I live in California, and being underemployed has given me ample time to realize that I need to change, and if I want to be a part of the revolution facing education at all levels, I need to learn more about how to connect, communicate and create in digital ways.   I want to be a part of a global educational approach that allows for maximum creativity, individuality and innovation via a mixture of traditional classrooms, hybrids, and e-learning.

Those who want to lecture on endlessly at the front of the classroom only to face a crowd of students whose eyes are either glazed over or are looking down at their iPhones or tablets may continue on with their monologues.  Honestly, I was never very good at it.   Rather,  I want to learn more about being a facilitator with others who want to learn what they want to learn and are given those options via peer collaboration, self-directed learning, and project based learning within the different subject areas.  I am hoping that this course in Open Education will give me an opportunity to learn with peers motivated for similar and distinct reasons who are on their own parallel journey to an unchartered place.

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