Sakai Boston '09 opens w/Vijay Kumar

A nice perk of the early registration to the 10th annual Sakai confrence in Boston this year was the inclusion of the book, Opening up Education. Keynote speaker for the conference, Vijay Kumar, opened his speech with reminders of the growth of and the emerging embracement of open education initatives not only in higher ed, but also in K-12. This is developing a new breed of educators and learners. Addressing and communicating with these potential audiences requires us to consider the Value Potential (think Rogers' benefits consideration) and their Readiness (how can these impact education & how can we align education priorities with the open ed initiative)?

Kumar showed slides voicing speaking users' experience with the use of open ed, Proessor Richard Hall commented on the high quality of OCW material; Kunte Adejumo, a student, complimented the ease of accesibility and supplemental learning opportunity. Carnegie Mellon's OLI has led & provided a framework for others to quickly build open learning online courses. Consider the implications of this kind of technology & education adoption for countries like India ...

The open vision included elements of focusing on Blended Learning & Boundary-less Education. Focus on LIFELONG learning, not just "schooling." Consider remote control of hardware & experience as seen in MIT's iLabs, Queensland, DUT (China), and others in the iLabs Consortium. Access to expensive labs & materials would dramatically alter economic-based education and create a larger community. It allows faculty to establish their own understanding of what should be taught (as relevant a priori to their course) and what is taught. An instructor can point students to OCW and know her students will have the requisite knowledge needed before she gets too far underway. (Side note: One of the "coolest" tools in all of this was the Spoken Lecture Browser. Check it out.)

Issues & Barriers to Adoption
Where does one find content? Once content is found, is it truly relevant and/or appropriate? How does one order and make sense of the materials & knowledge within the provided OCW? Standards can certainly help, but the most profound changes come elsewhere. Vijay makes the case for addressing the Organizational Cultural factors: Scarcity vs. Abundance, Sense-making (digital disorder & pedagogy), Accountability & Accreditation.

Kumar closes with the quote from Charles M. Vest, "We are seeing the emergence of a meta-university ..." and "If we don't see you in the future, we'll see you in the pasture."

-- I apologize for typos or errors. This was sent from my mobile phone. --
Amber D. Evans