OpenEd: Why I was distracted II

November 22, 2007, [MD]

The other thing that has been going on is that I delivered a lecture on Open Learning and Global Education to the class I TA for on Tuesday. Although I taught English in a Chinese university for a year, and I have given several public presentations, this was my first proper two-hour academic lecture, with 75+ students and a Powerpoint. The professor was away, and I was very happy to be asked to give the lecture in his place. I wish I had thought of arranging for video or at least sound recording, both for my own sake, and for sharing it, but alas.

I wanted to share with the students many of the ideas that have come out of this class, but also putting it into a context, both of the history of education, universities developing as institutions, and the role they currently play, and the problems/challenges they are facing in both the developed world (Canada) and the developing world. We started by discussing the history of a university, and its “essence” - what is a university, and what is its purpose. How is it organized? I was trying to make them realize that the current way of organizing higher education is not by far the only possible way. I also showed them Michael Wesch’s video A Vision of Students Today (and I quite enjoyed the “inverted list” that Antonio Fini linked to, might have to show that to my students).

After the break we discussed higher education in developing countries, the problems they face with colonial vestiges and massification of higher education, and how distance education and OERs could contribute to solve some of these problems. We ended with a short discussion on accreditation, both the idea promoted by the Economist (I cannot find this article) that Harvard should split into two, one that accreditates anyone that is good enough, and one that competes with any other school for preparing students for the tests. I even mentioned writings from the Indian NGO that is completely against accreditation, and that I found through a link by Andreas Formiconi during week 1).

My slides are online. All the pictures are either Creative Commons pictures from Flickr or pictures from Wikipedia. However, I simply did not have time to build up a list of all the 80 odd photos I used, and where they came from, and so I broke the attribution requirement. I still believe it’s better to put this up there, then not to, but if any of the people in the slide contact me, I will be happy to attribute, and I apologize. This strengthens my belief that a CC-Ø (1) is the way to go.

(And I have to share this cute screencast of a mom and her six year old son discussion CC licenses)

Stian\ (thanks to bennylin0724 @ flickr for the lecture hall picture, and .zoe @ flickr for the notepad picture)

Stian Håklev November 22, 2007 Toronto, Canada
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